Carolina Brew Scene - Summer 2022

Page 1






Carolina Brew Scene Staff, Credits, & Contributions

Editor’s Draft

PUBLISHER Kyle Stephens EDITOR Lewis Smith CONTENT & PHOTOGRAPHY Lewis Smith Christina Ruotolo Sue Buning Paul Nielsen Chris Day Inez Ribustello Brianna Long Matt Poppe Ryan K. Roberts Alex Shoenthal Harrison Fahrer Kimberly Battersby RD Jones Whitney Varner Cheryl Lane Chris Creech Dave Peters Don Rowell Paul McDermott Shannon Taylor Matt Gabbard John McCord Photography Jennifer Fritsch Candace Holder Erin Lawrimore Richard Cox Sheena Lester Toni Boyce Samantha Everette Photography

ADVERTISING Bryan Wilson Lewis Smith Christina Ruotolo Chris Taylor Rubie Smith

DESIGN & LAYOUT Becky Wetherington


ON THE COVER Design by Becky Wetherington Art contributed by Cory Burton

Carolina Brew Scene is a publication of the Rocky Mount Telegram and Adams Publishing Group. Contents may not be reproduced without the consent of the publisher.


ROUND For six years, Carolina BrewScene has been documenting the life and times of North Carolina’s craft beer scene and all the things that come along with it. As we explored the ins and outs of brewing as well as the length and breadth of the community that had grown up around this pursuit, we always found something new. Some new story, some new brewery opening, some new festival, some new people to meet—around every corner, there was always some new story to tell, some new place to explore. And here we all are. Together again. The centerpiece of this issue could only be one thing—the story of how North Carolina’s craft beer scene weathered its greatest challenge yet: the darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this issue you will read stories of breweries and related businesses from all over the state telling their stories in their own words of how they struggled and how they made it through. Or how they held on to the dream of opening a brewery and formed the backbone of a new generation of craft brewers coming up all over the state. By virtue of creativity, tenacity, imagination, and most of all, unity—craft beer has made it through and is emerging more vital than ever. To us, this was the story Carolina BrewScene had been building towards from the time we began this magazine. And we weren’t going to miss our chance to bring it to you. To those of you who got us to this place–who contributed, who bought ads, who helped us return to publication, we want to take this moment to thank you for all the help you’ve given us, and we hope you enjoy what we’ve come up with. Welcome back.

Lewis Smith Editor


THE PANDEMIC How Local Breweries Adapted Through COVID & the Aftermath BY CHRISTINA RUOTOLO in North Carolina continued to brew. There

with their products. Below are contributions

COVID pandemic between 2020-2022,

was still beer to be made and production

from North Carolina breweries on how they

students and employees transitioned to

could not be halted. Breweries had to adjust

adjusted their workflow, created solutions and

working remotely and restaurants had to

their tactics and continue to brew through

effectively brewed through the pandemic.

adjust their workflow transitioning to curbside

the pandemic. Each brewery had unique

The community and their support aided in

and delivery. As the world remained at a

challenges and hurdles to clear in order to

the success of each brewery allowing them to

crossroads with no relief in sight, breweries

continue to brew and provide customers

continue to do what they love.

Inez Ribustello

Tarboro Brewing Company

When the world shut down during the


At Tarboro Brewing Company, our first item of action was to sell curbside supplementing with online sales utilizing Square POS, our website and partnering with BEVV, an online beer retailer that allows you to ship all over the country. We also started canning from kegs since we entered the pandemic with more draft beer than ever. While we did not sell these canned beers to our wholesalers, we did sell them out of the taproom using new and whimsical labels and receiving great feedback from locals and out of towners alike. We added a fire pit to encourage people to drink outside during the colder months which brought in people who didn’t want to come inside. We partnered with a local pharmacy and church to host a COVID vaccine night, where anyone over 18 could get a shot and a free pint of beer. Our favorite part of the pandemic was the collaboration brews with Spaceway, Casita, Duck Rabbit and Koi Pond that gave us a chance to feel the support and camaraderie ENC is so well known for.

At Pitt Street Brewing Company, we pivoted pretty

February of 2020 at 395 Haywood Rd. in Asheville,

quickly once hearing the news of having to close our

NC and ordered all of our equipment for Cellarest

doors. We started offering curbside pickup and delivery

Beer Project. That year involved the buildout of

services. Retail also opened up more avenues for us. We

delivery of and installing our 4 Bbl. brewhouse while everything around us was slowing or shutting down completely. We opened our doors one year later in February of 2021. At opening our indoor capacity was limited to 30% of our already pint-sized max occupancy of 41 patrons, so 12 people. Meanwhile the weather outside on our patio was exactly what you might expect for the North Carolina High Country during Winter. It was a wild year to make wild beer and to keep ourselves afloat. The outpouring of support for our project and respect for COVID protocols from our family, friends, staff, neighbors, local musicians, artists, other breweries and restaurants was the brightest spot in an otherwise bleak year to begin a new business. We are thrilled to move forward this year, stronger for the last two, with more wood fermented ales and

packaged styles of beer that we were not able to offer in cans before. We had a handful of employees working when the shutdown first happened but through the receiving of a Paycheck Protection Program loan, we were able to bring our full staff back to work. The resilience of our employees

Brianna Long

our entire space, applying for permits, arranging

Pitt Street Brewing Company

Harrison Fahrer, Co-Founder & General Manager

Cellarest Beer Project • Asheville, NC

After years of planning we signed our lease in

and the outpouring of support from our community really carried us through this time. Our NC Brewers Guild really went to bat for us and once we were able to reopen, we wanted to welcome guests back to a space they felt safe and comfortable in. We followed all Executive Orders and we were lucky enough to have great outdoor seating options and also a spacious taproom inside for guests to spread out adequately. Brewing through the pandemic was a trying time. Before the pandemic, we had plans to open a 2nd location that quickly fell apart after March of 2020. Two years later we are able to set our sights on a second location again and those sights are taking us to Little Washington. The new taproom will be located in beautiful downtown

lagers, bottlings from our ‘Sapling’ mixed-culture

Washington, NC, situated squarely on the Pamlico River. Pitt

program, sharing more art, music and good times

Street will be opening a satellite location to join the growing

in West Asheville.

independent, craft beer scene in Beaufort County. You can look for us opening this location in late May or early June.

Lower Left Brewing Company • Charlotte NC Alex Shoenthal Head Brewer & Co-Owner At Lower Left Brewing Company, we had only been open six months when the pandemic hit. It was terrifying, but we had just enough time to cultivate a small but dedicated group of customers. We had just bought a Crowler seaming machine and it probably saved us! We were able to keep all our Beertenders employed and did nocontact beer and Merch sales. As Head Brewer I really focused on the quality of the beer and kept pushing out new stuff. The Pandemic forced us to evolve quickly, so we also started mobile canning at this time and really worked on distribution which was challenging. Failure was never an option so we all buckled down as a team and worked together to survive. Flash forward two years of hard work, dedication to the craft, and a lot of elbow grease and we are NC Brewery of the Year and NC New Brewery of the Year from the NC Craft Brewer’s Guild.




state capitol, Historic New Bern, NC. Originally opening their doors in 2016 as a Homebrew Shop, Tap Room

RD Jones, Operations Manager

BrÜtopia Brewing Company • New Bern NC


is nestled in North Carolina’s first

and Bottle Shop, they quickly began brewing on a 1 barrel Spike Brewing System and started offering their own beers on tap in 2017. From their light and easy-todrink German Kolsch Ale to their rich Milk Stout and Hazy IPAs, BrÜtopia has something to offer every palate. Focusing on education, they offer in-house troubleshooting for local homebrewers.




facilitated getting a brewing program up and running at the local Community College. Classes were full from day one and only continue to gain popularity. In 2020, the world of brewing was shaken by the pandemic. Breweries were closed down by the state, and sales came to a screeching halt. Thanks to the North Carolina Brewer’s Guild, the

Governor quickly reversed his decision

Havelock is located at 460 US Hwy 70

to close breweries down and allowed

West, Havelock, NC. (252) 652-7040

them to remain open as retail, to-go

Through pandemic related loans

locations only. The retail option allowed

and community support, BrÜtopia is

breweries like BrÜtopia to offer their

steadily moving forward and taking

goods as a take-home option, which

on more challenges every day. They

was the lifeline that would keep them

recently upgraded their brewery to

and many other locations above water.

a beautiful, custom built Deutsche 5

BrÜtopia was overwhelmed by the

barrel system, making them the largest

support in New Bern and its surrounding

operating brewery in Craven County.

communities during the pandemic

As they continue to grow, they look

shutdown. Orders for takeout came in

forward to jumping into the world of

like no other time before, and people

distribution and getting their tasty

were eager to make sure their local

brews out into other communities. If you are interested in BrÜtopia’s

businesses would be able to recover from the lack of in-house events. In October 2020, BrÜtopia’s owners

information about putting their beer

took a leap of faith and opened a

on tap at your location, please email

satellite taproom in Havelock. It was

the sales team at brutopiabrewing@

an opportunity to reach out further

into the community and offer another


option for their customers. Often or call the

hosting tastings and special events, it

taproom at 252-631-5142. BrÜtopia

has become a popular spot for Havelock

Brewing Company is located at 1201

locals to mingle and meet. BrÜtopia

Hwy 70 East, New Bern, NC 28560.

Double Barley Brewing • Smithfield NC Cheryl Lane, Owner & Head Trouble Maker by

taproom was closed. We also received a

selling our beer in a drive-thru behind

PPP forgivable loan and took out a SBA

the brewery. We even sold beer at our

EIDL loan to stay afloat while business

friends brewery, Neuse River Brewing &

was slow. We would not have made it

Brasserie a few times and it was so kind

without these loans. After two years we

of them. These sales allowed us the keep

are reopening our kitchen and finally

our two brewers employed while our

getting back to normal.






portfolio of beer or would like more



general please

questions email

Hatchet Brewing Company • Southern Pines NC Whitney Varner, Taproom Manager The owners of Hatchet Brewing Company,

filing endless paperwork, working to create the

Mike and Greg, met as neighbors while Greg

most enjoyable taproom experience for our

was in Special Forces training and Mike was the

customers, and perfecting craft beer recipes.

Senior Operations Sergeant Major of the 82nd

When the pandemic hit in March 2020, Team

Airborne Division. Both quickly bonded over a

Hatchet refused to let it bring us down. Our

love of brewing and their shared experiences in the military. Realizing how powerful brewing and a shared interest in craft beer can be, Mike and Greg wanted to create a place where people can relax, share experiences, and develop new friendships over great beer. Hatchet has always been focused on building teams and developing genuine and selfless relationships. It began as a culture on SFODA 3331 and has been at the heart of everything

owners and staff quickly adapted to cranking out production of the to-go beers of the quarantine era, selling 16oz cans, crowlers, and growlers through the taproom to our local community. With the support of our loyal patrons and our team-focused approach, we were able to maintain an optimistic outlook through the struggle and come out even stronger than we started.

we do with our beer, our employees, and the

Now, Hatchet is the go-to place for

community – what we consider the Hatchet

hundreds of customers every week in the heart


of downtown Southern Pines, NC, and our

Hatchet opened its doors in November 2019 after over a two-year long journey of

beer is sold at several locations in the Triangle, Moore County, and surrounding areas.

Brew and Feed Brewing 225 S Broad St, Mooresville, NC 11

R & R Brewing • Mount Olive, NC Ryan K. Roberts (Head of Hoperations) How did we survive the pandemic? Bootstrapping, creativity, and people. Day one of the shutdown, we began searching for unnecessary expenses and cut them immediately. Internet service in the taproom and office? Cut off the office and work in the taproom. Do we really need all of these TVs if we’re not open? Call and suspend subscription. After we combed through everything, we eliminated over $40,000 in current and forecasted expenses. The next step was to get creative with what was here. We had tripled all merchandise and production in anticipation of the annual Pickle Festival, our town’s single largest event in April that brings thousands of people through our front door in just two days. We used our food truck gates, a crowler machine, a tent with a menu and sanitizer to


The idea for Braukorps started

with some creative social media marketing helped generate enough cash

in March 2020 after another home

flow to keep our basic costs paid. Lastly, and most importantly, people

brew store in Jacksonville closed. The

made the final decision of our survival. Regulars driving through bringing

community still needed a supply store,

staff meals and buying crowlers; bartenders and brewers working a drive

so three friends decided to open their

through with walkie talkies like they had done it all their lives; other brewery

own store. Opening a business can be

owners openly communicating daily to brainstorm how we overcome this

frustrating, and opening a business

challenge together; even the local fire department donating their labor and

during a pandemic was infuriating.

tools to build 15 picnic tables so we could fully utilize our open air backyard.

Luckily, we have a wonderful community

All of these people, in their own capacities, combined into the true reason

here in Jacksonville that helped us along

we are still here today. So, now that we have survived, the goal is to give

the way. The local home brew club,

back to all of them by spreading rest and relaxation throughout NC.

(BAC)2 now meets at our store, and it has been a great way to help other network.


supplies has been a challenge at times. This has allowed us to be creative with finding suppliers that are domestic and local to help bridge the gap.

During this pandemic it has definitely made operating difficult as things change rapidly all across the board. We were lucky to have such a great local community and team here at Crystal Coast Brewing, and we were able to keep our entire staff on board throughout the course of the shutdown.

Matt Poppe


Crystal Coast Brewing Company Atlantic Beach, NC

Kimberly Battersby, Store Manager

Braukorps • Jacksonville, NC

create a safe and effective “brew through” at our location. That, coupled

Thanks to our loyal customers both near and far that have supported us throughout, we were able to survive this and wouldn’t be here without them. We were forced to adapt and change many ways of how we operate, and even what we offer in terms of package versus draft, and with restrictions changing, the demand is constantly changing in unpredictable ways. Like other businesses, we struggled, but were able to come out the other side better and stronger, and we are thankful for that.

Huge Outdoor Game & Lounge Area

Tap That Craft Beer & Wine Bar

Drink Specials, Karaoke, Trivia & Live Music Weekends!

New Bern’s Largest Restaurant & Entertainment Venue

Dog & Family Friendly

Find what’s on tap

Great Menu - Talented Bartenders Guaranteed FUN!

Tue-Thu 3pm-11pm · Fri 12pm-12am Sat 12pm-12am · Sun 12pm-11pm • Closed Mon


901-B Pollock St.

The Glass Jug Beer Lab • Durham NC Chris Creech, Co-Owner & Brewing Operations Because of this success, we had begun negotiating with a new building developer in downtown Durham to lease a corner suite adjacent to Durham Central Park and across the street from the soon-to-open Durham Food Hall. We wanted to open a second taproom to showcase the beers we were brewing, and we wanted to do it in the heart of the Bull City, which had been so good to us for the last 5+ years.” Then, COVID happened. On-site sales at our taproom/bottle shop in South Durham were halted for nearly 3 months. Lease negotiations stopped. Brewing paused. The business jumped into survival mode. And, thanks to the tenacity of our team and the overwhelming support of our loyal customer base, we were able to pivot. Bartenders took online training and became delivery drivers. We worked with On Saturday, April 23, The Glass Jug Beer

our bookkeeper to create new pay models.

Lab hosted the first ever Bull City Beer Mile

Pallets and pallets of crowlers were ordered

in front of their new taproom in Durham

so that we could sell our draft beer while it

Central Park. While watching 350+ runners

was still fresh. Pop-up drive-through sales

complete their laps and drink their beers on

began happening (shout-out to our friends

a beautiful Saturday afternoon, all while live

at Hi-Wire, Durty Bull, and Bond Brothers for

music was playing, and spectators enjoyed

taking the lead). Mobile canning was booked,

an array of food trucks and craft beer in the

and our brewers got back to work.

park, it really hit me what a remarkable feat we had just pulled off. Yes, the race was fantastic, thanks in large part to our partners at Bull City Running Company, the folks at Durham Central Park, our amazing front of house and production teams, and all of the volunteers who chipped in to make it happen. But, that was only the culmination of a 2+ year roller coaster ride that we, like so many other breweries, had to weather. In early 2020, The Glass Jug had recently celebrated our 5th anniversary, having opened our bottle shop and taproom in South Durham/RTP in 2014. Our expansion and brewery addition in 2018 was going well, and our beer garden was the place to be for live music and food trucks every weekend.


But, we didn’t want the business to simply

delivery and a drastic shift away from draft

COVID variants began to severely hamper our

survive the pandemic. We still had growth

sales to package sales where margins are


aspirations. We still wanted that second

much, much, lower. But, compared to what

It’s challenging enough to spread the

taproom. And we wanted to rally our existing

it could have been, it was an overwhelming

word and get people out to a new small

community and give them a place of respite


business with a tiny marketing budget, but

where they could let down their guard and

I’d be remiss to not mention how helpful

it immediately became even more difficult

the PPP and EIDL programs were in providing

during the Delta and Omicron surge. Coupled

So, in addition to increased cleaning and

the funds we needed during the height of the

safety protocols, we began renovating our

pandemic to keep our staff employed and

with high staff turnover due to low traffic at

beer garden. We added more tables and

to grow our beer garden, providing safety

chairs, brought in fresh gravel, and purchased

measures like masks, hand sanitizer, and

table top heaters to allow our outdoor space

“drinking circles,” in addition to more outdoor

to be used nearly year-round. And we booked

seating, retail shelving, and heaters.

reduce their anxiety, if only temporarily.

more live music for our outdoor beer garden

With the success of the summer of

in 2020 than we had in any year prior. Pex-

2020, we re-entered lease negotiations on

tubing was used to create “drinking circles” in

a downtown Durham taproom, this time

the lawn of the beer garden, allowing guests

insisting on pandemic-related rent relief if

to bring their own camp chairs and set up in a

COVID were to surge again and cause our

safe space, 6+ feet from other guests.

taproom to be shut down.

our new taproom (and the industry-wide increase in resignations), it made for a scary stretch in the fall and winter of 2021. But, again thanks to some amazing team members who put in the extra work, wore extra hats, and helped us find ways to spread the word and build a community around our taproom, here we are. The first year of the Bull City Beer Mile saw a sold-out race and a park full of friends, family, and spectators. We designed and sold

Online ordering and curbside delivery

We signed a lease and began our build-

continued, even after delivery stopped. We

out of what is now our Downtown Durham

not only maintained the size of our retail

taproom. During the build-out, COVID cases

bottle shop, which was already one of the

began dropping and vaccines were rolled out.

largest in the Triangle area, but we grew it.

The doors opened on March 31, 2021. Indoor

We added more wine, seltzers, and cocktail

capacity was still limited to 50%, but it would

mixers. We added a whole section for mixed

soon increase, and by the summer of 2021,

And this is still only the beginning of our

12-packs and cases. And we made more of

we thought we were coming through to the

story. Our downtown Durham taproom

our own beer available in 16oz cans and 32oz

other side of this pandemic. Then Delta and

quietly celebrated our 1-year anniversary

crowlers than ever before.

Omicron arrived.

in March, and we have learned a lot about

new custom merch and apparel, brewed a commemorative beer, and, most importantly, made and strengthened our relationships within the community, to whom we owe so much for all of their support.

The result? The summer of 2020 saw our

We were thrown one last curve-ball. Now

ourselves in the process. We have built a strong

highest attendance to our summer music

that we had invested all of the relief money

team, tapped into a fantastic community, and

series. All of our staff remained employed.

and loans into our new space, when we had

have our eyes forward, ready for the next

And, revenue for 2020 was a record high.

the smallest safety net we’d ever had, we

opportunity-or the next challenge-the world

Profits were down, due to increased costs for

had to scramble once more. That is when the

throws our way.


Hell on Horsecreek Brewing • Madison NC Dave Peters, Owner Hell on Horsecreek Brewing opened its

We set up a sales table in the rolled-up front

We brought back music and events into and

doors to the thirsty public in downtown

garage door and kept the lights on through

through 2021. As soon as events and festivals

Madison, NC on October 23, 2019. This was

crowler and growler sales right to the sidewalk.

popped back up we were there, kegs frosty

after a year of construction, installation

We had to let our staff go, temporarily, but

and ready. It wasn’t really until the summer of

and waiting forever on permits. We had

brought them back as relief funds were made

2021 that we were back into the swing of real

a very welcoming crowd, folks who had


business with expected sales volumes. What

been watching our construction progress

In May we opened back up with fewer

we’ve missed out on was the natural business

with abundant eagerness Our neighbors

tables, fewer chairs, masks when required,

growth in those first two years. But here we

complained of having to answer “We don’t

gallons of sanitizers and, unfortunately fewer

are, still operating, still small in staff and big

know!” too often to the “When will they

but very appreciative customers. As 2020

in beer. Our taproom is about character and

open?” chorus of customers. But we finally

wore on we looked into keg sales, but were

friendship, Hell on Horsecreek Brewing is a


stymied by the give-away price-cuts big-beer

fun place to visit and yeah, our beer ain’t bad

could afford on their kegs.


We had a great fall and end of year right through Christmas. Our operating model, as a down-town walk-up taproom, relies on almost 100% taproom sales - these have been challenging years for this model! The typical January 2020 drop-off in brew-loving traffic was surprising, but by February and through early March 2020 the taproom was full and our beer was flowing well. We keep and operate with a small staff: the owner runs the brewery and a hand-full of Brewslingers staff the taproom. On March 17, 2020, 5pm, with tables full of St. Patrick’s Day food, the taproom full of our friends and patrons, the Covid-hammer fell. We gave away all the food and converted to a to-go beer pickup operation on the spot.


526 N. Main St.,Tarboro

1121 Falls Road, Rocky Mount



Wed.-Thurs.: 5:00 - 9 p.m. • Fri.: 5:00 - 10 p.m. Saturday: 12 - 11 p.m. • Sunday: 12 - 6 p.m.

Wed.-Fri.: 5:00 - 10 p.m. Saturday: 12 - 10 p.m. • Sunday: 12 - 6 p.m.


150 B

Perfect Places to Have a Beer SUE BUNING

ack in the olden days in North Carolina, before

Places to Have a Beer”. Seventy-six of them were

the craft beer explosion and the Pop the

in the United States, (including Alaska and Hawaii).

Cap (6% cap on alcohol in beer) campaign, the beer

The other seventy-four were scattered across the

connoisseur either had to brew their own or make out-

globe, including such far flung places as Cape Town,

of-state trips to get good beer. They could also attend

Auckland, Tokyo, Shanghai, and Buenos Aires. As one

the World Beer Festival for an annual indulgence close

might guess, Germany, Holland, Belgium, and England

to home. My husband, Dave, participated in all of the

had good representation.

above and also became a certified beer judge. (I am the

So my husband and I were intrigued and decided

trailing spouse, who, fortunately, likes some styles of

to take up the challenge. And, as in the words of

beer.) Attending the World Beer Festival evolved into

the immortal Robert Frost, “that has made all the

volunteering for the World Beer Festival, which resulted

difference”. Let me regale you with a few tales and

in a key turning point in our traveling adventures.

discoveries that the intrepid seeker of the perfect pint

As the World Beer Festival grew and expanded,



will appreciate and enjoy.

it began offering a volunteer appreciation night for

We had about fifteen check marks right away.

its many helpers. In 2010, this event was held at

Classic beer spots near our home in North Carolina

Fullsteam Brewery in Durham. Since the magazine

or where we grew up, in Michigan, or from a couple of

“All About Beer” was one of the main sponsors, they

beer-centric vacations. Then we began in earnest.

had various swag scattered about the tables. Our table

We drank great beer. We drank good beer in great

happened to have a copy of Beer Traveler, which came

places. Not too often, we drank beer and wondered

home with me. In it was an article called “150 Perfect

how the spot got on the list (5 Seasons Brewing Co.,

Atlanta, GA). After a while, the beer became

from the ceiling. The most impressive beer

almost secondary to the thrill of the hunt, the

menu that we have yet seen was at a place

journey to the next location. For example, a

in Belgium called Kulminator, in Antwerp. It

few years ago, we were invited to a wedding on the west coast of Scotland. There is only one spot in Scotland on the list: The Marine Hotel in Stonehaven. It is on the east coast. Neither the bus ride, the two train rides, nor the half mile walk with suitcases from the train station kept us from our appointed rounds. A beer never tasted so good. And the journey was half the fun. Our annual trips from North



Carolina to Michigan began to change from

was the size of a small phone book. They not only had beers on tap, but also aged, cellared beers. Sometimes we actually learned stuff not related to beer. The Cadieux Cafe in Detroit, MI is one of a handful of places in the United States that has feather bowling. The game originated in Flanders, Belgium. Wooden balls, shaped like cheese wheels, are rolled down an alley towards a fixed feather. The

the most direct route to a route that included

Andechs (tour was in German) Goose Island

person closest to the feather scores. Excellent

a top 150 spot. Detours were taken through

(before they were sold to Anheuser-Busch), De

game with a beer in the hand.

Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh.


Halve Maan, and Dogfish Head. Sometimes

One on the list died before we got there

most extreme example was a scenic route

we were just in the right place at the right

(The Brickskeller, in Washington, DC). One

through Canada, so we could stop in Toronto.

time: joining a group brewery tour because

has died since we got there. (We attended

On our return to the United States, the border

they have extra tickets (tour tickets and drink

the Bruxellensis Festival of Characterful

security guard asked the question “What was

tickets!!) or visiting a tavern on the list that

Beers. It is no more.) Much as this creates

the purpose of your visit (to Canada)?” We

just happens to have its samples priced way

sadness, there are still seventy-nine top 150

answered truthfully, to have a beer. He was

less than the equivalent cost of a bottle in the

places for us to visit and many wonderful

not amused.

store. Sometimes we also get to try amazing

new contenders for the next 150. (We would

food–The pig's knuckle at Andechs Monastery

suggest Founders Brewing Company, Grand

comes to mind.

Rapids, MI and 3 Floyds Brewing Company,

The farthest we have been for a beer is the Sapporo Beer Garden in Japan. One of the closer spots was in our own backyard, Milltown

Belgium was an enlightening experience.

Munster, IN be added to the list.) So many

in Carrboro, NC which was unknown to us.

They have a glass for every beer (there are

beers, so little time. Feel free to share your

Memorable brewery tours include Sapporo,

hundreds) - usually hanging by their stems

personal favorites!


Greensboro’s First Brewpub

Loggerhead Brewing Company:


ocumenting the history of North Carolina’s craft beer industry was the motivating factor for creating Well Crafted NC, a project based at UNC

Greensboro. The craft beer industry has changed significantly since it was legalized in North Carolina in 1985. Weeping Radish opened the doors of North Carolina’s first brewpub in Manteo in 1986, but initial industry growth was slow. The Triad region became home to North Carolina’s fifth craft brewpub in April 1990 when Loggerhead Brewing Company launched in Greensboro. Housed in a strip mall on Vandalia Road near the intersection of interstates 40 and 85 in southwest Greensboro, Loggerhead was described in All About Beer magazine in October 1990 as having “little going for it in terms of street appeal. But once inside, you’ll forget about the entrance way.” Led by Gary Vickers, a chemist who had worked as a brewing supervisor at the Miller Brewing Company in Eden, Loggerhead brewed by the traditional Bavarian purity laws, restricting ingredients to malted barley, hops, yeast, and water. Vickers and assistant brewmaster Duane Abbott focused on producing four main house beers: the Loggerhead Pilsner, a “light-bodied American style beer,” the General Greene Lager, “a deep amber lager with a rich and malty body,” the Loggerhead Light, a “full flavored pilsner with City Ale, “a full-bodied brew with a taste all its own.”

After some initial struggles with funding, Loggerhead’s brewing operations continued, but the restaurant side of the business did not. In 1994, Loggerhead shifted its focus solely to beer production, signing a contract to supply beer at a number of local restaurants in January and closing their on-site restaurant operations completely in April. As Vickers noted in an April 1994 interview with the Greensboro News & Record, the restaurant side of the business had been struggling, and they made the decision to “go with our strong suit” by focusing solely on brewing operations. By early 1995, Loggerhead was dissolved, but its legacy continued for a short time with Gate City

In addition to their four standard beers,

Brewing. With Vickers still serving as brewmaster,

Loggerhead typically included “specialty brews,”

Gate City Brewing served as a subsidiary of Ham’s

more limited seasonal brews and variations

Restaurants and focused solely on making beer

such as a sweeter cherry-flavored beer that was

for numerous Ham’s Restaurants across the Triad

available during their first months of operation. A


“sampler tray” flight of their four standard beers and one specialty brew was available for $2.50.


could see in the brewhouse.

Loggerhead Brewing Company and the craft beer industry in North Carolina are important

In the early 1990s, craft brewing and serving

parts of our history, and we at Well Crafted NC

beer on site in a brewpub was a novelty in North

need your help in documenting these significant

Carolina. As a result, Loggerhead’s restaurant

stories. We are actively seeking photographs,

layout and menu design both focused on


educating consumers on how the beer was made.

Loggerhead Brewing Company and other North

The restaurant space featured ceiling-high glass

Carolina craft brewpubs, particularly during the

windows that allowed customers to peer into

1980s and 1990s. Whenever possible, we make

the brewing area. The menu included a full-page

this information freely available on our website

description of the brewing process, with hand-

– If you have materials

drawn illustrations labelling the various stainless-

you are willing to share, please contact us at

steel tanks and equipment that the customers






The Craft Beer Specialists on the Outer Banks Pints • Flights • Growler Fills • Fine Wines • Cigars • Tastings Two Locations with up to 44 Taps

3723 N. Croatan Hwy, Kitty Hawk 1187 Duck Road, Duck


Another hidden gem

Your adventure begins on the Pitt County Brew & ‘Cue Trail. Discover the birthplace of Eastern North Carolina BBQ with mandatory “pit stops” at B’s, Skylight Inn, Sam Jones BBQ and all the places that put whole hog ‘cue on the map. Hungry for more? See one-of-a-kind art sculptures, attend an outdoor jam at Town Common or lose yourself in the Uptown District. NC’s Emerald City is filled with countless hidden gems.

Find yours at


Follow our social media for the live music schedule and upcoming events! 1107 Falls Rd, Rocky Mount, N

“ T H E





We are closed on Monday & Tuesday Wednesday-Thursday: 4-10pm Friday: 4pm-12am Saturday: 2pm-12am Sunday: 1-7pm

Family Friendly Pet Friendly Curated Wine List

ThirsT in FlighT

Hella Swells’a


The FlighT This was a lovely starter—has a rich initial hit, feels bright

Never having had a Czech lager, yet loving dark beer as I do,

and gold in the middle, then finishes with a little sweetness

I was curious to see how this tasted, and it was quite intriguing.

and a hint of cream in the finish. It’s a perfect sipping beer

It has dark and roasty qualities like a coffee porter, but it finishes

for when you just want something easygoing without the

light and smooth, balancing the roast in a way that avoids the

crispness of a pilsner or a tart sour. Swells’a makes an effort

overwhelming “hey, tastes like the office coffee’s burnt again,”

to include a little something for everyone. Every style they try

over-roasting that can sometimes result trying to strike a balance

has a lot of thought put into making the best version of that

with a variety of flavor hints but the smooth finish eases you

style they can achieve (we’ll come back to this later) I could

right out with no bitterness at all. My first taste of this variety,

easily have done a full pour of this one.

but it won’t be my last.

I’ve never had a horchata—it’s one of those things I know exist,

While Beane Jumper was my favorite beer this trip, the way

but I’ve never got around to it. But I am primarily a Dude of Stouts,

that this coffee porter came together really impressed me as

and so the chance to try something new in a familiar context

an example of Swells’a’s brewing technique. Unlike most coffee

seemed like a good thing to do, and I’m glad I did, because this was

porters, this one actually hits you with the sharp bitter taste first,

my clear favorite of the beers I sampled. Really sweet and rich at

then yields to a roast flavor in the middle, and then finishes super

first, little bit of nutty roastiness and a hint of cinnamon in the light,

smooth. I’ve never quite had a flavor profile hit that way, never

sweet finish. This was an absolute delight. I’ve got a new entry for

mind one done so precisely, but damn if they didn’t do it with

my favorite stouts list, now in its fifth volume.

this one, and made it seem pretty easy. This was challenging to my palate and a really enjoyable drinking experience.

This was a tetralogy of triumph to be sure. Swells’a is more than a good location, more than good vibes and far more than a cool hang-There’s something special going on here. Their beers are brewed with imagination and there’s some real thought put into the flavor profile that offers a challenge to the palate, playing with expectations in new and surprising ways. They’re making a real effort to stake out their own unique territory in the scene. I was really impressed with Swells’a, and I can’t recommend them enough. Great beer, brewed by creative people, enjoyed on a beachfront balcony is a definite delight, and I will definitely be back, and hopefully y’all are planning a visit as well. I’ll see y’all on the balcony. Until then—may all your favorite flavors be found in flight!






Putting on a great festival,

from seven states, all enjoyed

never mind a great beer festival,

in the delightful atmosphere

needs two things: a good

of the Rocky Mount Mills, all to

location and great timing. The

support the Boys & Girls Club of

Rocky Mount Mills was a perfect

the Tar River Region.

location—since 2016 it’s been a

While a beer festival lives or

magnet for culture, business,

dies on a tremendous selection

events, and a bustling craft beer

of delicious beverages, there

community on its campus, and one of its mainstays has been Goat Island Bottle Shop, who began planning in 2020 to bring the energy and excitement of a craft beer festival to Rocky Mount at long last. But then the COVID-19 pandemic happened. A beer festival at the peak of the pandemic was unthinkable. So things had to be put on hold, and plans were shelved while the organizers waited to see if conditions would improve. The next year, with improving conditions, the promise of a

was even more to enjoy for festival goers. There was axe throwing, courtesy of Axes and Exes, delicious food provided by Dubz Grubz & The Walking Crab food truck, and musical guests Will West, the Dogwoods and DJ Nick at Night serenaded festival goers with a great selection of good time tunes. Despite some rough breaks early on, the odds turned in favor of fun, and the first annual Rocky Mount Beer Fest was an unqualified success, and a great time was had by all. We’re

vaccine, and the relaxation

looking forward to seeing you

of the stricter protocols, Goat

for the second annual event

Island was ready. The date was

on Saturday, Nov 12, 2022 and

set for November 13, 2021, and

the Rocky Mount Mills! Ticket

on that pleasant and sunny

information and news about

Saturday, over 500 people

the festival can be found on

turned up to sample craft beer,

cider, wine, sake, and mead from more than 30 breweries


We’ll bring the beer—you bring you!


The Lost Colony Wine





& Culinary Festival aims to

different wines, 7 different

honor the Mothervine, an

breweries, 10 restaurants, and

obscure part of Roanoke

a brand-new Artist Market.

Island’s history. It is said that

This Artist Market showcased

Roanoke Island is home to


the oldest naturally-occurring

varying styles and a Bubbles

grapevines in the United

station. All of the attending

States, and it is still growing

breweries were from North

right along the shore on the north end of the Island. There have been countless folktales told throughout the years that connect this Vine to the Lost Colony. The Lost Colony Wine & Culinary was born to bring together these two fascinating aspects of Roanoke Island’s history while also bringing people together to sample some of the best food and drink on the east coast. The festival is the only major fundraiser held by the Roanoke



Association to support the annual production of The Lost Colony, the oldest, longest-




Carolina, with three of them being located less than 10 miles from the Waterside Theatre. All of the restaurants attending the festival were local, and offered a variety of different fare, from seafood to



specialty shop.




also a robust Silent Auction, with many local attractions donating items for guests to bid on. Guests attending the festival sipped and sampled all afternoon while enjoying a beautiful cool day on Roanoke Island. The Roanoke Island Historical Association

running Outdoor Drama in

recently moved the event to

America. The event is held at

the spring, and it is the perfect

the Waterside Theatre, home

way to kick off your summer

of The Lost Colony, which

on the Outer Banks and also

located right on the shore of

look forward to the upcoming

the beautiful Roanoke Sound.

season ofThe Lost Colony


(now in its 85th year!). Event


dates and times for next year’s

Townebank, for the festival

festival will be announced

was held on April 9th, 2022,


This Tasting,





One call for all of your maintenance needs commercial or residential! HVAC, electrical, plumbing & preventive maintenance.

Hours: Monday - Friday • 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

(252) 977-2730 • 29




lack Brew Culture

was brewed and distributed at

will once again

Dirtbag Ales in Hope Mills, North







focus solely on the beverage,

American Beer Festival in the



Potter and his team see beer as

country this year on October 22,

discussion among Black Brew

a way for Black folks to take their

2022 at The Durham Bottling

Culture’s founder Mike Potter

collective destiny of equity in the

Company in Downtown Durham!

and members Brian Lawson and

industry into their own hands.

Blacktoberfest Beer Fest is an

Sheena Lester.

This was the approach taken with



homage to every important,

“We wanted to create a

the Blacktoberfest Märzen-style

interconnected sector of Black

tradition and venue that would

beer collaboration featured at the

culture with a focus on a common

allow people of all cultures to

festival. “We wanted to create

love–all things craft beer! Its

enjoy food and beer that was

a template for what a circular

mission: to engage the brewing

created in full or in part by Black

economy would look like within

industry to bond opportunity,

people,” says Potter. “We have a

the craft beer industry. Many of

accessibility and creativity in

deep and rich cultural connection

us as Black brewers and industry

ways that empower the Black

to brewing and cooking, and there

professionals often talk about not



are not enough opportunities

having a ‘seat at the table,’ and

craft beer industry even more

for us to showcase the results of

rightfully so,” says Potter.

progressive for everyone.

these amazing skills.”



While the year 2021 was filled with canceled and revamped events, it served as the inaugural year of Blacktoberfest - Durham. The festival featured beers from sixteen Black-owned breweries, three



and a second year Blacktoberfest Märzen-style beer featuring ten Black-owned breweries on which they all collaborated. The beer


While many beer festivals

The idea for the Durham

This approach resulted in


industry and think this is a good

In addition to an expanded

focus of the industry past a

allowed Black-owned breweries

and healthy way to promote

festival in 2022, there are plans

mere conversation. “Many of

the opportunity to showcase

it. In collaboration, doors open

for a documentary. The film

us are coming to the realization

some of their year-round beer

up that were otherwise closed,

offerings. Local favorites Dirtbag

and people get to meet each

by AfterMash Productions will


other where they are and create



conversation. The narrative has to

something special.”

that led to the emergence of

shift to one of ownership, equity

Also new for this year is the

the Blacktoberfest beer festival

and leverage, and I think we are

out their “Don Dada” Cardamom

addition of a new city, Atlanta,

and emphasize the importance

primed to make an even bigger

Stout, which is described by the

Georgia. The event will be held


impact in 2022”

brewery as “an old fashioned in

at the new Hippin’ Hops brewery

collaboration in the brewing

a beer,” were featured along with

in Stone Mountain, who’s owner


beers from the other eighteen

Clarence Boston is a Reidsville

brewery participants.

native and is slated to open his





“Jalapeño Business”, and Rocky Mount’s Spaceway Brewing rolled

The agrees

festival that





fourth location in Charlotte later


this year. The festival features

importance in the craft beer


community as a whole supporting

Comforts, Sweet Water Brewing

one another. The fest is expanding

and Atlantucky Brewery owned

on 2021’s collaborations with Run

by hip-hop artists Nappy Roots.


that the diversity and inclusion the




For more information or to become a sponsor, check out

Potter hopes to shift the

541 NW Center St., Mount Olive, NC


The Jewels, Ponysaurus Brewery and Dirtbag Ales, and are inviting local and state-wide breweries

The 2021 festival also featured

to partner with Black-owned

a food and vendors section called

breweries and brewers around

Black Vegan Street which was

the country to do collaborations

fueled by the collaboration beer

for the festival. “We know how important diversity is in our

Brewing Co., and Ponysauraus Brewery,




vegan fare. Over 40 traditional vendors were in attendance, and that number is expected to reach 70 for this year’s event. “Blacktoberfest is bigger than beer. It’s about community and creativity and providing equitable opportunities”, says Potter.

R & R Brewing


Follow us on Facebook and IG for weekly events and food truck line ups



Book Your Private Event TODAY:


Hop Into Spring A Celebration of NC Spring Beer & Events B Y S HANNON T AYLOR


From locally malted grains to expertly crafted lagers

June 21st. Hop Into Spring is an opportunity for #NCBeer

and ales, North Carolina is internationally recognized for

breweries, retailers, and communities across the state to

craft beer excellence. With over 380 licensed breweries,

showcase spring beer releases and events designed to

North Carolina’s craft beer industry contributes more than

highlight the flavors of spring!

$2.7B to the state’s economy, and has been instrumental

There’s no finer way to enjoy the sunshine of a Carolina

in revitalizing many of our small towns and communities

spring day than with a locally crafted NC beer. So grab your

throughout the state.

favorite friend (two legs or four!) and head to your local

The NC Craft Brewers Guild is delighted to present

brewery taproom, restaurant, or retailer to experience the

the inaugural "Hop Into Spring" celebration, March 21st -

flavors of spring as you explore the State of Southern Beer!

Open 7 days a week!

Located at the Rocky Mount Mills

Locally owned and operated! We carry a variety of craft beer and cider from all over, featuring a local North Carolina section. Come build your own 6 pack or grab a bottle of wine today! Be sure to try one of our 14 rotating taps, house wine or cider. Find us on Facebook at Goat Island Bottle Shop or give us a call at 252-545-6521

voted best restaurant in the twin counties!

BARLEY & BURGER also homset of the be

burgenr! in tow

best pizza 252-421-9423

2921 Zebulon Rd • Rocky Mount • 252-557-3215

b a r l e ya n d b u r g e r . c o m

Great Food. Great Beer. Made Simple.



Who doesn’t love a good comeback story?

gleaned from these movies about maintaining a positive attitude in

As we considered Carolina BrewScene’s big return, the topic of

the face of adversity, always being kind, and letting nothing stop you.

comebacks floated through the room, and we got talking about the

Also, training montages, running up library steps really fast, and did

Rocky movies, because of course we did. Being a huge Rocky fan,

I mention punching? There’s a lot, and all of it seemed ripe for the

this seemed like as natural a premise for the return of Pick Your Six

return of Pick Your Six.

as anything else.

So touch gloves and come out fighting—we’re gonna run the

For the uninitiated, Rocky is the heartwarming story of a goodnatured fighter from the mean streets of Philadelphia who punches

Rocky series. Six beers, six movies, with all the fun and frenzy you’ve come to expect.

things really hard. In between, he raises turtles and finds love and friendship, which he doesn’t punch. There are many lessons to be

You won’t eat lightning and crap thunder by the end of it, but why would you want to?

THE MOVIE: ROCKY In which we are introduced to Rocky Balboa, a club fighter moonlighting as the world’s nicest leg-breaker because he can’t sing or dance. In between, he romances his best friend’s sister and is generally affable, when all of a sudden he gets the chance of a lifetime when world champion Apollo Creed picks his name at random. With no illusions about winning, Rocky resolves to prove his worth by going this distance—the only thing on the line for him is the self-respect that comes with standing toe-to-toe with the best in the world. This is the one that starts it all, and all the components are what makes these movies work is here—larger than life opponent, training montages, poignant



punching meat, eating raw eggs, “gonna fly now” Yeah— this is a great movie and you should watch it.


THE BEER: Vito Italian Pilsner (Ghost Harbor Brewing Company, Elizabeth City NC) My first chance to try one of Ghost Harbor’s offerings, and the can art clinched it—I mean, it has brass knuckles on the can label. I know a sign when I see one. I’ve never had an Italian Pilsner, but it’s a fantastic attenuated take on the original pilsner. Everything is dialed up higher than usual, but not unpleasantly so—the crispness is almost sharp, with a golden middle, and a dry finish. This was an extremely crushable beer and I quite liked it. Ghost Harbor started us off right with this one.


THE BEER: Chocolate Volcano Dessert Stout (Heavy Seas Beer, Baltimore MD)

So, Rocky stood toe

In honor of Apollo Creed, I decided to go

to toe with the champ,

with this choice from Heavy Seas. This may



seem a spurious correlation, but Apollo

really set him off, and

had nicknames like “The King of Sting” and


“The Count of Monte Fisto,” so I feel

Creed, he’s





Rocky deals with soap opera


like “Chocolate Volcano” is relatively benign by comparison.


As usual, the beer is better than

troubles, childbirth, plot-

my jokes. It starts with a strong hit

convenient comas, etc.)

of chocolate richness, evens out to a

until he gets serious about

roasty middle, and finishes light and

fighting Creed again, and

sweet in a way that belies its 9%

by “serious,” I mean he

ABV. Heavy Seas is always reliable

chases a chicken around.

with this style of beer (I’ve never

I guess in the next movie,

had a bad stout from them) and

Colonel Sanders better

that winning streak continues with

watch the hell out.

this beer. It’s rad.

THE MOVIE: ROCKY III Well into a decent title reign, things are going well for Rocky— he’s got cool cars, nice suits, guest-starring on the Muppet Show, beating up Hulk Hogan— really living the dream. But there’s something he didn’t count on: a



mohawk-wearing Clubber Lang absolutely trucking him and taking

THE BEER: Gourd Rocker Pumpkin Stout (Double Barley Brewing, Smithfield NC) While one might make the argument that Clubber is the true Chocolate Volcano, I did that already, and so went with this seasonal favorite from the great folks at Double Barley. Gourd Rocker is an enduring favorite of mine—dark and heavy, with a sweet start, a lovely spicy middle, and a

his belt by punching him hard in his

sweet finish that doesn’t hit you

complacency, among other places.

all at once, but does hit you. I







training from Apollo to get back

Rocker to people who turn up their

his edge and regain the belt from

nose at pumpkin beers as a concept

Clubber, by using a strategy of “Rocky gets punched in the head a lot

because the flavor profile defeats

until Mr. T gets tired,” a plan that is cunning in its simplicity. In the end,

the common assumptions about

the real winner is Survior, because decades later, “Eye of the Tiger” is

this kind of beer, and being Double

still pretty popular on karaoke nights.

Barley, they do it well.



THE BEER: Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch Russian Imperial Stout (Lost Colony Brewery, Manteo NC)

Rocky saves Christmas and wins the Cold War. With punching.

Because, y’see it’s a Russian

OK, you need more? Well, there’s a robot girlfriend,

Imperial Stout.

James Brown, a death in the ring, Rocky gets his Jedi

Rather than fill this part with a

on by lifting rocks and

lot of Monty Python & The Holy




Grail references, let’s talk about




this mighty discovery from our

back to back training

friends in Manteo. It starts off rich,



with a nice chocolaty flavor in the

the fate of the world

middle to balance a heavy note

is literally at stake—you

of malt, then finishes very earthy

can’t stop at one—

and nutty. It feels heavy, but not

and a Big Speech to

unpleasantly so.

wrap it all up that

It’s a good steady drinking

I’m sure would be

stout. Lost Colony has been doing

very inspiring if only

fantastic beers for a long time

you could work out

now and I’m delighted for the

what the hell he was

opportunity to show them some


love in Pick Your Six.

THE MOVIE: ROCKY V After winning the entire Cold War in the last movie, it would be hard to go bigger than that unless Rocky squared off with Superman in a boxing match overseen by aliens. Unfortunately, Muhammad Ali had

Before we get started—yes, I chose this beer

already done that 12 years ago (it’s true, look it up!) and so the choice

for this slot entirely based on the title. If you’re

was made to bring everything back to reality with a bit of a hollow thud.

new, Pick Your Six runs almost entirely on

Rocky suffers

loses brain

everything damage



these tenuous thematic connections. But it also led me to a delightful

apparently blocking punches with

beer from Fortnight. I’d never

your face is bad for your brain long

had an Imperial Golden Ale,

term, and so tries to manage a hot

but it’s really good—It starts

young boxing prospect to the title,

hella savory, has this lovely

only he’s kind of a jerk, and thus

bright gold with a hint of crisp

needs to be straightened out. With

in the middle, and finishes

punching, of course.

very sweet. A delightful beer gets

with the force of a stout, but

punched out. If that’s a thing you

the lightness of an ale. Quite

wanted to see, they, uh. . . sure did that.

an intriguing discovery, and a

This is the movie everyone pretends

good bit of business from our





never happened, and with good reason.


THE BEER: I Remember Nothing Imperial Golden Ale (Fortnight Brewing Company, Cary NC)

pals at Fortnight.


THE BEER: Never Sunny New England IPA (Revelry Brewing Company, Charleston SC)

16 years after that sequel everyone politely disavowed, an older Rocky gets it in his head to try one last match

For all its charms, Rocky Balboa paints a very stark (yet

as he tries to grapple with relevance in the last round of

not bleak) picture of Philadelphia, and as a way of alluding

his life and make peace with his legacy. While the last

to the title of a TV show I quite enjoy, in comes this beer

movie tried to reset things back to the more authentic


grittiness of the first movie, it

I’ve never been huge on NEIPAs—the hype has often

failed to do that. This one gets

over-promised and under-delivered for me—but this was

it right—it’s gritty, honest, a little

actually a fantastic beer with an excellent

sad, and a lot hopeful. It plays

balance that addressed a lot of my problems

it fairly straight—Rocky is old

with IPAs in general, that the pine taste is

and broken down and has no

so heavy they’re a bit of a struggle to get

advantage left to him apart

through. Never Sunny counterweights this

from punching really hard

with a splash of citrus that balances the

(that’s not a joke—that’s actually

pine out perfectly—you barely taste it, and

their strategy) so it’s not a big

it finishes dry and a little sweet. It ended

victory, but a moral one. Again.

up being a delightful and refreshing beer,

As a final chapter (with an asterisk) it works pretty darn perfectly.

and I’m eager to explore more from this brewery, as they really seem to know their stuff.


Elizabeth City set to become

craft beer


Paul Nielsen/The Daily Advance


hen the third craft

Ghost Harbor opened in 2017 and has

brewery opens in

since expanded to a bigger taproom across

Visit Elizabeth City Executive Director

Elizabeth City in

from its original location in historic Pailin’s

Corrina Ruffieux said having three breweries

the coming weeks

Alley. Ghost Harbor’s former taproom now

will increase overnight stays in the city.

tourism officials will begin marketing the city as a craft beer destination.

houses the brewery’s manufacturing facility.

and other events.






Seven Sounds opened in December and

have a craft brewery trail,” Ruffieux said.

AVDET Brewing Company, which is short

the 12,000-square-foot taproom, event

“People absolutely travel for food and drink

for a military “aviation detachment, will join

venue and brewing system is located along

experiences. The great thing about that is it is

the city’s other two craft breweries — Ghost

the Pasquotank River.

repeatable. If they have a great time they will

Harbor Brewing and Seven Sound Brewing —

The brewery's 6,000-square-foot first

when it opens its taproom and manufacturing

floor features the taproom and the brewing

Mark and Jennifer Napolitano have strong

facility at 407 McArthur Drive, which is just

system while the second floor, also around

ties to the U.S. Coast Guard — thus the name

over a mile from the city’s waterfront.

6,000 square feet, is an event venue that can

AVDET Brewing Company. The Coast Guard

accommodate 280 people. The brewery has

base in Elizabeth City is also one of the busiest

already hosted several wedding receptions

in the U.S. Coast Guard.

Ghost Harbor and Seven Sounds are both located downtown near the waterfront.


come back.”

(Right) Seven Sounds Brewery Co. co-owner Dean Schann shows off the brewery’s brew house in November 2021. Located in the former Hurdle Hardware Building on Water Street, Seven Sounds Brewing Co. put three different craft beers into production on Nov. 9 and several more were started in anticipation of the brewery’s mid-to-late December opening. Schann and his partners developed the idea for the $3.5 million brewery project in 2016. (Left) Mark Napolitano poses next to the taps in the new brewery, AVDET Brewing Company, he and his wife Jennifer are opening in Elizabeth City. AVDET — which takes its name from the Napolitanos’ strong ties to the U.S. Coast Guard—will have a production system that is capable of producing 450 barrels of craft beer a year. Mark Napolitano has been home brewing beer since 1994 and will be the brewery’s head brewer.

Chris Day/The Daily Advance


The couple began renovation work around the first of November. Mark, who’s been in the Coast Guard for 28 years, said on April 26 that one beer was in the fermentor and a second was scheduled for the next day. AVDET will have a production system that is capable of producing 450 barrels of craft beer a year. Mark Napolitano has been home brewing beer since 1994 and will be the


brewery’s head brewer. “We are going to brew all types of beer,” he said. Ghost Harbor’s expansion allowed the brewery to increase the size of its taproom and double its craft beer production. Ghost Harbor was producing 400 barrels of craft beer a year but that has now doubled production to around 800 barrels annually.

Seven Sounds is located in the former Hurdle Hardware Building on Water Street along the Pasquotank River.

“It’s been a long project since then.” Lancaster, who is now a member of the Master Brewers Association, attended

Renovation work on the $3.5 million

a brewing course at Appalachian State

project to create what was then Elizabeth

University to help prepare for brewing larger

City's second craft brewery started over two

batches of beer.

years before they poured their first beer.

“The course at App State was very intensive

The original plan for Ghost Harbor was to

“It’s been a long process, but we are finally

because it was heavy in biochemistry and the

open small and grow as demand increased.

serving beer,” said Dean Schaan, one of four

biology of yeast,” Lancaster said. “Brewing

Owner Thomas Reese said that business has

partners in the project, when the brewery

beer is always a learning process and we are

been steady since the doors first opened in


still learning.”

Seven Sounds brewer Josh Lancaster of

Schaan hopes Seven Sounds will produce

“We have some core beers and some

Elizabeth City was a long-time and award-

500 barrels, or 15,500 gallons, of craft beer in

popular beers that I always try to keep on,”

winning craft beer home brewer who left the

the first year. Future plans call for distributing

Reese said. “One of our big things is keeping

banking business to brew beer. Lancaster first

beer to restaurants and bars and retail

things new. Our goal is to have a new beer

thought about opening his own small craft


every two weeks and I would like to have a

brewery before being approached by Schaan

Seven Sounds also features an outside

new beer every week. It’s also a plus for me

and Paul Robinson, who is another partner in

beer garden on the ground level that will serve

and the new assistant brewer because it keeps

Seven Sounds.

as a second bar. A rooftop deck on the second


it fun.’’

“That was five years ago,” Lancaster said.

floor also offers panoramic views of the river.



Pure & Simple


Based in Mooresville, North Carolina

Crisp, Refreshing All Natural Root Beer

1209 US HWY 70 East • 252 28 86077

Available throughout North Carolina 704-660-0687


1129 Irvin Garrish Highway Ocracoke Island Outer Banks NC 27960 (252) 928-2337


On The Verge of Greatness Brew News: Just a Beer Newsletter Stay up-to-date and connect with us on all the latest beer and Brewery99 related news. Subscribe Now!

The Smart, Sustainable, and Simple way to handle your craft beers.

1014 Pollock St. • New Bern, NC

541.461.5000 // @PakTech //







at 10 psi. This is all done at

One side note about cleaning:

serving temperature, which is

You will have to completely

about 36 - 40oF. You can start

disassemble the keg to get a

drinking your homebrew after

good cleaning. Start to finish

you reduce to serving pressure after the 24hrs., but we have found it’s better to wait one week after kegging. Hopefully this article gave you some insight into kegging

is still only about 15 min. once you get the hang of it. That’s a lot less time than cleaning 50+ bottles! Beer lines will have to be cleaned periodically as well

and to understand it’s not

to ensure no bacteria ruins the

as hard as you might have

taste of your wonderful brew.

thought. Trust us……once you

We typically do this when we

get into kegging, there’s no

finish a keg and combine that

going back. You won’t regret it!

with the cleaning of the keg.



Blacktoberfest (Back Cover) BLACK BRE W CULTURE PRESENTS