Carolina Brew Scene Fall 2018

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BREW SCENE Fall 2018





300 YEARS: 1718-2018

we salute you

OCRACOKE veteran-owned breweries CELEBRATES across N.C. BLACKBEARD

pick your six

ales from beyond the crypt


    4300 NW Cary Parkway | 919.463.7779

 UPTOWN | 255 W Martin Luther King Jr Blvd | 704.371.4725 MYERS PARK | 2820 Selwyn Ave #100 | 704.966.7499 BALLANTYNE | 14835 Ballantyne Village Way | 704.369.5300

  301 N McPherson Church Road | 910.779.2442

  2020 Charles Blvd | 252.565.8220

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& ‘QUE Just a hop, skip

& jump away Visit Goldsboro, NC

We’re home to historic ‘cue with many of our BBQ joints listed on the Historic BBQ Trail. And if that wasn’t enough, our growing number of tap houses and craft beer rooms will leave you wanting more.

Come taste for yourself! | 866.440.2245

4 | Carolina Brew Scene | Fall 2018

Issue no. 7 • Carolina Brew Scene

What’s Brewing?

7 Editor’s Draft Carolina Brew Scene salutes our veterans 8 GOLDSBORO BREW WORKS Air Force buddies take a chance to provide a local gathering spot 12 BRUTOPIA A pair of homebrewers seize an opportunity to fill a void 16 WELL-TRAVELED BEER Bar and bottle shop looks to keep expanding offerings 20 BLACKBEARD AT 300 Outer Banks establishments mark infamous pirate’s death 24 GAME DAY: N.C. STATE



Tailgaters relish in tradition as other fans gather at nearby brewpubs

34 FAINTING GOAT BREWING Growing demand leads to expansion for Fuquay-Varina brewery 36 Veteran Owned Breweries Where to find them all across North Carolina 40 RAILHOUSE BREWING Brewery with statewide reputation has deep roots in a military community 43 TOP OF THE HILL Chapel Hill institution builds on past history of success 46 PICK YOUR SIX Ales from the Crypt matches brews to famous Carolina ghost stories 50 NC BEER GUYS What’s old is new again in North Carolina’s brewing industry 52 HOMEBREW GUYS How to launch a homebrewing project on a limited budget 54 BREW’S VIEWS: JOHN TRUMP Large beer companies betting that consumers won’t pay attention 58 BLANCO LABELS Pressure-sensitive labels sell themselves to Virginia brewing company 60 BITES & BREWS Beer is always an easy and welcome addition to any recipe 62 DIRTBAG ALES Small start with close-knit group leads to expanding business 63 Challenge of the Coin Longtime tradition holds special meaning for members of the military 64 BRIGHT LIGHT BREWING Co. Collaboration, community at heart of Fayetteville brewing operation 66 QUICKTRIGGER BREWING Brewing hobby presents new avenue for Ahoskie family business 68 STOUTWHISPERER A look at the darker side of craft brew offerings 70 TIGHT LINES Brewery seeks to reflect history and culture of Crystal Coast


8 24 Fall 2018 | Carolina Brew Scene | 5

Orig inality in every sip and bite

Vanvisa and Vansana Nolintha have poured their beliefs and passions into Brewery Bhavana. Their newest gathering place blends inspired dim sum with craft beer, flowers and well-curated books in a space that celebrates creativity. It’s the kind of establishment you’d only find in Raleigh, where talked-about chefs and some of the country’s most original restaurants are thriving. Learn more at

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Carolina Brew Scene

Editor’s Draft

Staff, Credits, & Contributions Publisher

Kyle Stephens


Gene Metrick

Content & Photography Corey Davis Lewis Smith Dave Tollefsen Glenn Cutler Lindell John Kay Alan Campbell Don Rowell Paul McDermott Karen A. Mann Nicole Boucher John Trump Corey Burton Jenny White Patrick Mason Samuel Evers Jessie H. Nunery Dana W. Todd Moddri Armstrong James “Brad” Mitchell

Advertising Bryan Wilson Lewis Smith

Design & Layout Becky Wetherington

Contact On The Covers

Photo by Steve Coad for NC State Athletics

John Hodge of Well Travelled Beer Photo by Alan Campbell

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.

Our Salute to Veterans who brew Welcome to a special edition of Carolina Brew Scene. As we have traversed the state over the past few years to bring you the latest news and developments in the craft brewing industry, we noticed a trend — that more than a fair share of the emerging and expanding craft beer entrepreneurs in North Carolina have been coming from the ranks of the U.S. military. Both active-duty personnel and veterans have been turning their personal passion for craft brewing into successful business enterprises. Often starting out small, many of them have seen what was once a hobby blossom into a full-time venture. And they have enjoyed success as they have continued to push ahead, persevere and flourish in their endeavors. But that’s only one part of the story. Whether it’s providing a welcoming gathering place for veterans or those currently serving in the ranks, collaborating with other brewers for the benefit of all or supporting their communities in a myriad of charitable undertakings, their dedication to service to the common good continues. That’s not surprising. It’s what they’ve always done during their service to our country and continue to do for their communities — building bonds, forging ties, reaching out, giving back and taking care of their own. It’s in their nature. It’s what they do. Here are some of their stories. Gene Metrick Editor Fall 2018 | Carolina Brew Scene | 7

The bottle shop at Goldsboro Brew Works.

Goldsboro Brew Works Story by Corey Davis Photos by Alan Campbell


hile stationed at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, Zak Fein and Carson Clark quickly found out there were limited options when it came to trying to find a place to relax and have a drink. “There was nowhere at all around here to get a good beer,” Fein said. Fein said he and Clark started experimenting making beer and brewing in his garage during their free time. They believed for the longest time that the only way they could get good beer in the area was to make it themselves. Once Fein and Clark came to that conclusion, they started the process of finding a place where they could open their own taproom. 8 | Carolina Brew Scene | Fall 2018

Fein and Clark, who were both F-15 aircraft mechanics at Seymour Johnson, opened Goldsboro Brew Works: Taproom & Bottle Shop in 2016 shortly after both decided during the spring of that year to leave the Air Force. “Another one of our driving forces of opening up something in the

community was because the DUI rate was terrible around here at one point,” Fein said. “A lot of guys drove to Raleigh, Wilson, Wilmington or anywhere to get something to drink, and then they would try to drive back. We wanted to open a place for people like us to not have to do that.” While starting any business is a risk, Fein acknowledged it was even more of a gamble since they were on active duty in the military. “There was a lot of risk because there had been some people that tried to start craft breweries in the past in (Wayne) county and fail completely and it never worked out,” Fein said. “Also, it was a huge risk because we got out of the military, which was the absolute most

Military Issue

Carolina Brew Scene

stable career we could have, to start the most absolute unstable career. Most businesses fail in the first two years.” Fein and Clark said their taproom sells a variety of craft beers. Fein said Goldsboro Brew Works has 22 beers that it keeps constantly cold in bottles, 30 beers that are constantly rotated on tap and about 250 beers in the bottle shop. Goldsboro Brew Works has been converted from a homebrew supply store with a fenced-in back patio to a taproom, bottle shop and barcade featuring ping pong ball machines, skee ball and other classic arcade games. It’s open seven days a week and has live music every weekend. “We’ve gotten a great response,” he said. “We got regulars and we meet new people everyday. We’re constantly getting Facebook likes, and we put billboards out there on U.S. 70 Bypass. People are seeing it and popping in on their way to the beach.”

Fein & CLARKE believed for the longest time that the only way they could get good beer in the area was to make it themselves. Clark said the next step is to start a craft brewery but acknowledged they’re a little while off from making that happen. “We’re still taking our time, and it comes down to finances because it’s a very expensive endeavor — but that’s

our goal,” he said. According to the NC Craft Brewers Guild, North Carolina boasts the largest number of craft breweries in the South, with more than 260 breweries and brewpubs. The craft brew scene in Eastern North Carolina has grown over the years. Fein said a lot of that has been spurred by the fact the industry is saturated and because there are so many breweries and pubs in big metropolitan areas like Raleigh and Asheville has pushed people wanting to go into the industry to look at other locations. “The next thing you do is go out further and instead of going to Asheville and starting that same dream that four other breweries started before you, why not provide that service to the people that live around us now?” he said. “You can save yourself so much money. Here, I’m a big fish in a very small pond. In Asheville, I would have been the tiniest fish there.”


1 1) A mug of New England IPA at Goldsboro Brew Works. 2) Goldsboro Brew Works co-owner Carson Clark, right, talks with Michael Krapcha, left, at the taproom and bottle shop in downtown Goldsboro. 3) Will Pfau plays pinball in the game room at Goldsboro Brew Works.


Fall 2018 | Carolina Brew Scene | 9

JOIN THE TEAM We are always accepting new skaters, referees, and Non-Skating Officials (NSOs). Don’t know anything about derby? No problem! We will get you started and teach you everything you need to know. To get involved, please contact

For more information on the Cape Fear Roller Girls, visit us on Facebook or at 10 | Carolina Brew Scene | Fall 2018

Let's meet for a Beer at the North Carolina State Fair!

Explore NC craft beer, cider, and wine OPEN DAILY OCT 11-21 HERITAGE CIRCLE GATE 8 FACEBOOK.COM/OURSTATEPUBLICHOUSE Fall 2018 | Carolina Brew Scene | 11

Brutopia By Corey Davis


hen a homebrew supply store closed in the New Bern area, a couple of guys with full-time jobs who were part of a well-established homebrew club thought it was important to fill that void by providing a destination for locals to drink craft beer. Tim Dryden and Bryan Conway opened Brutopia Beer Company in February 2016. Dryden, who spent 22 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, works full time on aircraft at the Fleet Readiness Center East at the Marine Corps Air Station in Cherry Point. Dryden’s business partner, Conway, has spent more than 20 years as a corrections officer for the state Department of Public Safety’s Carteret Correctional Center in Newport. Dryden started brewing beer in his home about five years ago and is an active member of the Alcohol Through Fermentation (ATF) Homebrew Club, which is where the men met. Conway, who is president of the ATF Homebrew 12 | Carolina Brew Scene | Fall 2018

Club, had been brewing his own beer for 15 years. As avid homebrewers, Dryden and Conway said they saw a way of getting into the craft brewery industry after a local family-owned homebrew shop closed down, which opened the door for something else to come into the area. “Once that local homebrew shop left because the family had to move to California, it left a hole in the area — so the only place to go really was online to purchase anything,” Dryden said. “There were no local stores where you could go in and get what you need, so opening a homebrew shop was kind of a dream and more or less our vision originally.” However, Dryden and Conway found that having a homebrew shop wasn’t going to be sustainable after talking to people with experience in the craft brewery industry. Instead of just being a home brewery supply store, Brutopia opened as a bottle shop, taproom and homebrew

supply store. “There is money to be made in home brewery supply stores, but the turnover is pretty quick and it depends on how many people you have in your area,” Dryden said. “After doing the research and talking to people that run homebrew shops, we found that you’ve got to have some other sources of income or money to help support it. We determined the best thing for us to do was to put in a bottle shop in with the homebrew store, and that evolved into a taproom and bottle shop.” An addition to the business, the owners started brewing their own beer in February. Popular beers at Brutopia include New England-style India Pale Ale and James City India Pale Ale. Brutopia also has 20 to 25 additional beers that are made on a rotating basis to avoid having one specific beer on tap. The changing menu allows customers to order something different. Brutopia is in the process of expanding operations by putting in a much

Carolina Brew Scene

larger system that will allow it to start distributing kegs in restaurants and other places around the area, Dryden explained. “We are all about bettering and building the community and not just making money,” Dryden said. “When it comes down to it, when I sell you a craft beer, I want you to understand, like wine, there is so much more you can do with beer than just making it yellow and foaming it. When you drink most domestic beers, they’re a little bland — and craft beer can be paired with so many things. “Once you get them to try it and get them out of their comfort zone, you usually win them over.” Brutopia is located at 1201 U.S. 70 in New Bern, 35 to 40 minutes away from the beach. But Dryden said their revenue season is in the winter rather than the summer. “It has turned out to be completely opposite,” Dryden said. “It seemed odd, but that how it works. We’ve got a lot of

Military Issue

Dryden said Brutopia has tried to embody an atmosphere similar to the popular TV show “Cheers” - knowing all their regular customers when they come into Brutopia. communities around us and most of them are boat owners and they love to sit on the water and on the beach. We also catch them going to and from the beach. With the release of our beers this year, business has been great. We haven’t seen that

downturn like we saw the last two years.” Dryden said Brutopia has tried to embody an atmosphere similar to the popular TV show “Cheers” — knowing all their regular customers when they come into Brutopia. When it opened two years ago, Brutopia was a challenge to get off the ground with both men having day jobs, and there were no employees hired for the first six months. But doing the leg work helped the owners become more in tune with the community. “We used to see some of the businesses around town — you never knew who the owners were and you only talked to the bartenders,” Dryden said. “We made it pretty apparent up front that we were always going to be here in some form or fashion because we wanted the community to know there is someone here that has a vested interest in the business.”

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First impressions are made in 1/10th second... We buy with our eyes. Lasting impressions are made with quality and service. Every week Blanco meets its commitments of millions of labels to manufacturers depending on them. At Blanco we believe service is as important as quality. We select our customers so that we can be a perfect fit. We are small enough for their business to matter and large enough to make sure their job gets done. “Blanco does what they say they will do. Blanco delivers.� Joe and Wendy Hallock, Co-Owners and Founders, Chaos Mountain Brewing. 1876 Apperson Drive, Salem, VA 24153


Fall 2018 | Carolina Brew Scene | 15

A variety of beer and mead at Well Travelled Beer in Goldsboro.

Well Traveled Beer Story by Lindell John Kay Photos by Alan Campbell


orth Carolina's first craft beer shop can be found in downtown Goldsboro. Well Travelled Beer, a bar and bottle shop, has everything from a growing assortment of craft beer, wine, sake and soda. Anything and everything for someone who enjoys a little adventure in their glass. Located at 201 S. Center St., the shop is locally owned and operated by veteran John Hodge and his brother Sam. Along with its mass assortment of beers, what sets WTB apart from other establishments is its easygoing 16 | Carolina Brew Scene | Fall 2018

atmosphere, Sam Hodge said. "We have a very inviting bar," Hodge said. "People come to our bar to meet people." Hodge said they're still looking to do everything better. "We want more live music, more original local music," Hodge said. "We're looking at a gaming night and other events. We don't want to do the same things everyone else is doing." They're off to a great start with their popular Bottle Share. The bar can't sell any beer from outside the state unless it's through a distributor. But patrons who

grab an extra six pack while out-of-state can share a tasting of the beer with other patrons. It's just another example of how WTB patrons are a community, Hodge said. Well Travelled Beer offers a $99 annual membership that allows drinkers to taste more of what the world is brewing. Each month, the owners hand pick tasty beers from North Carolina, the United States and around the world. Styles of beers change but the owners promise it's well worth the price of the trip to Well Travelled Beer. Whenever limited beers come in,

Carolina Brew Scene

members get first choice. "It's a common occurrence that we can only get 12 or 24 bottles of a given beer and we want to make sure our members are covered," the owners said. Members also get all WTB merchandise at cost. An annual membership makes a great gift for a beer drinking friend or loved one. The membership is perfect for folks who like to explore, taste what's out there and can't make up their minds. Members get a new beer to try each month. The beers come in six packs, four packs, bombers or otherwise, depending on the manufacturer. "We have the best selection at the best price," Hodge said. Named for the brothers' love of travelling and trying new beers — WTB occupies a historical building constructed in the 1870s. In its heyday, the building housed a fine dining restaurant. The site has also been home to several other businesses, including a corner grocery and an appliance store.

Military Issue

Well Travelled Beer co-owner John Hodge pours a beer at the bar and bottle shop in Goldsboro.

Well Travelled Beer at 201 S. Center St. in Goldsboro.

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Local Brews Local Grooves.. Good Moods enjoy your favorite

clean beer



In the beautiful setting of



7211 Market Street, Wilmington, NC

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Northbound on Market: Turn left at the traffic light on Middle Sound Loop, then make your 1st right on Lendire Rd. We have overflow parking behind our building or make a right onto Market St to access our front lot.


celebrates Blackbeard at 300 By Lindell John Kay

Trivia night question: What is 1718? It's the year Blackbeard died and it's the name of a new brewery on Ocracoke Island. The Outer Banks island is celebrating the 300th anniversary of Blackbeard and 1718 Brewing Co. is right in the middle of the pirate party.

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The 2018 Blackbeard’s Pirate Jamboree will be held Oct. 25-28. The event marks Blackbeard’s historic last battle, fought off the shores of Ocracoke. Open for about a year, 1718 has a great location at 1129 Irvin Garrish Highway. The brewery is named for the year

Blackbeard was killed off Springer’s Point. The brewery’s logo is a variation on Blackbeard’s signature flag, said owner Jacqui Kalna. A great bottle shop and taproom, also on the island, is Zillie's, at 538 Back Road in Ocracoke, which offers an incredible selection of wines, micro brews and beers from around

the world. In 2005, the owners of a small gift shop began selling specialty foods and when that went well, craft beer and wines were introduced. Zillie’s is widely regarded as one of the first mix and match craft beer bottle shops in the country. The Back Road location was established in 2008.

Zillie's is named after Barzilla O'Neal, who lived on Back Road at the turn of the 20th Century. The Blackbeard festival will allow participants to travel back in time and get a glimpse of the pirate life of the 18th century with re-enactments, magic shows music performances, encampments and vendors. The

celebration is highlighted by a live reenactment battle complete with ships and cannon fire. Brigand’s Bazaar, a popular vendor fair, will set up shop in on the Wahab Estate Lawn in the heart of the party. The bazaar will have gift vendors with crafts, pottery, jewelry and more.

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Dickinson Avenue Public House 703 Dickinson Ave 252.689.6388 TuesDAys $1 off Drafts WeDnesDAys Half Price Beer Flights THursDAys Half Price Wine Bottles oysTer HAPPy Hour 5:30 to 7pm Tuesday-Friday

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Christy’s euro Pub 301 s. Jarvis st

Jarvis street Bottle shop 211 s. Jarvis st



$7 DAily sPeCiAls

DAily sPeCiAls

TuesDAys open Mic $7 PB&J (PBr and Jameson’s Whiskey shot)

TuesDAys 20% off Wine

THursDAys $5 Moscow & Kentucky Mule sATurDAys $4 sangria sunDAys live Music

WeDnesDAys 10% off Bombers THursDAys $1 off Growler Fill ups FriDAys $.75 Domestic Cans sATurDAys $.50 off Craft singles sunDAys $2 off Domestic 12 Packs

Fall 2018 | Carolina Brew Scene | 23


Fans flock to nearby brewpubs Story by Patrick Mason • Photos by Moddri Armstrong & Anthony “Brad” Mitchell


ed and white, the colors of choice for those out and about on Hillsborough Street and Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh were inescapable. It was as if a special occasion nudged everyone to coordinate the sea of red that flowed from one noisy watering hole to the next. It was college game day, the first of

many to come, as September beckons cooler weather, seasonal beers and the reason for so many early mornings and long nights — football season. For those wearing red shirts, hats with ‘Wolfpack’ stitched across the top or just plain love watching their local team, the start of football season beckons new hope. Just ask Daniel Blythe, a Raleigh transplant who was

swept up in the mania on Sept. 1. Blythe, originally from pro-sports town Atlanta, hopped on the college fandom train and now follows all three Triangle schools and their sports teams. But with Duke playing the Friday before and North Carolina across the country at California, N.C. State stole the stage as the only show in town on that Saturday. continued on page 26

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Tailgaters continue fall tradition Story by Samuel Evers • Photos by Moddri Armstrong & Anthony “Brad” Mitchell


here aren’t many things that can hypnotize tens of thousands of people into waking up at the crack of dawn, dressing in unison with the same color-themed shirts and sitting together in 95-degree weather for four hours. But football is certainly one of them. And it’s football season in ACC country, which means Saturdays in

Raleigh are again filled with redsplotched Wolfpack fans, their coolers, their grills and their red tents for muchneeded shade. They line the outside of CarterFinley Stadium, creating a buzz of corn hole and hopes for a new season. That was the case on Sept. 1 for N.C. State’s season-opener against James Madison University.

Of course, there’s another thing that motivates people to participate in such an activity. The fact remains: Beer makes the tailgate. Even in craft brew-crazy North Carolina, though, the Coors Lights, Miller Lights, Bud Lights and so on were winning out as the drink of choice on this particular early-season and earlycontinued on page 27

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continued from page 24

He watched the game from his apartment but raced to his favorite hangout in the fourth quarter to be part of the celebration. All he needed was the Wolfpack to hang on to keep the good vibes going. “There’s something about football that brings all kinds together like no other sport does,” Blythe said, standing in front of Raleigh Beer Garden. “Basically you can yell at the TV, have a couple drinks, and fit right in.” Raleigh Beer Garden boasts more than 350 beers on tap, and the multiple levels, as well as a spacious outdoor space, means it’s a welcoming place for sports fans with taste buds of all kinds. And as the Wolfpack clamored for solid footing in its season opener, the stadium emptied as the game wore on, mostly due to the unrelenting heat. Many of those fans followed the game

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at the many local bars and breweries that dot the surrounding area of Carter-Finley Stadium. When N.C. State needed a late field-length drive to put away a pesky James Madison team to escape with a season-opening win, the bar scene reflected the victory. “Everyone’s in a better mood when your team wins,” said Devin Thomas, who sipped on one of the rotating beers on tap from Wicked Weed Brewing at Backyard Bistro. “I normally watch the games here, but I had tickets to the opener so I went in. “It didn’t take long for me to find my way here, though.” Backyard Bistro is just down the street from the stadium, and is a popular hangout for Wolfpack fans. Thomas said the atmosphere was a mix of excitement and doubters who couldn’t fathom the thought of their team losing in Week 1.

“Either way,” he said. “It’s always a good time to go through the swings with people who all want the same thing — drink a good beer and watch a win.” The last stop on a journey of hangouts that could have taken days to properly see it all was a popular spot called The Players’ Retreat. A little off the beaten path from the stadium, the PR offers a large menu and plenty of beer on tap. You won’t find the rowdy football swarm that rolls through like a tornado on game day, but instead will find a long-lost haven from a different time where socializing and soaking up the company you keep is paramount. Still, football fans dotted the lounge, cold drinks in hand, reveling in a new season with unlimited possibilities.

continued from page 25

morning Saturday, which preceded a noon kickoff for the Wolfpack. But there were some glimmers of the industry that’s taken over the state. Take Wolfpack fan and frequent tailgater Brett Moseley. In her college days, which ended with graduation in 2013, she might have gone with the quantity over quality approach; a light beer in one hand, and, perhaps, a light beer in the other. Nowadays, it’s more simple: A few craft beers before the game. This time, the choice was a summer-friendly beer from a brewery in Virginia. “We don’t go nearly as hard as we did in college, but we load up on a select few,” she said. “But then again, we weren’t very good back then. Now there’s more reason to enjoy the game.” She and her husband, Taylor Moseley, both 2013 graduates of N.C. State, now work and live in Richmond. That hasn’t stopped them from watching the Wolfpack at CarterFinley. For the James Madison game, they

woke up “at right about the crack of dawn,” Taylor said. Then they loaded the car and took the two-and-a-half hour drive to Raleigh. They’ve done that for almost every home game since they moved. What keeps them coming back? There’s the pregame, the game and the post game. “I mean, it’s everything about the experience of college football,” Taylor said. “The tailgate is obviously fun, but it also gets you ready for the actual game. Seeing friends out in the parking lot, that gets you kind of pumped up. Once you get in there, you’re ready to go for the national anthem, the fireworks, the kickoff.” One night sticks out to both of them. It was a Thursday last season, and the Wolfpack were playing host to Louisville. Both took off work and made the trip. N.C. State won, and so did the tailgaters. “We beat them and it was the best feeling in the world,” Brett said. “The stadium was going crazy. The tailgate

after was the best part. After you win, everyone wants to celebrate. We even snuck out to tailgate at halftime.” A few hundred feet away from those two, a more high-key pregame was going on with a group of about a dozen current college students. They were all for the Wolfpack. Most went the light beer route. One was holding an IPA from a local craft brewery. In that regard, Jonathan Avery, a junior at N.C. State, was willing to be different. “’I’m a beer hipster,” he said. “I gotta keep it classy.”

Fall 2018 | Carolina Brew Scene | 27

1129 Irvin Garrish HWY Ocracoke Island Outer Banks, North Carolina 27960 (252) 9282337

928 N Winstead Ave, Rocky Mount, NC 27804

(252) 446-7292 28 | Carolina Brew Scene | Fall 2018

JACKSONVILLE’S ONLY BREWERY! B LACKSH E E P HOME BREW SUPPLIES • WINE MAKING KITS • BEER BREWING KITS If beer is your thing, The Fermentation Station has been providing quality products and home quality products for homebrewers and home wine makers since 1995. Need advice? Just ask! We’ve helped beginners, professional brewers and winemakers improve for the past 23 years. The store carries a complete line of malts, hops, yeast and equipment. Choose from a variety of different styles of beginner beer kits, or step it up a notch and design your own recipe!


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pitt county’s best kept secret!

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Jam Session and open Mic nights

great selection of craft Beers and Wine

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Hours: Tues. 4-8, Wed. 4-10, Thurs. 4-8, Fri. 4-10, Sat 2-7 • A great selection of Craft Beers specializing in North Carolina brewers! • Best prices on Beer and Wine in NC. • Jam Session every Wednesday night! All skill levels, any instrument... learn to play with others! • Open Mic 1st and 3rd Fridays! Come sign up and do your thing! 8pm. • Monthly Birthday Party last Friday every month.

nothing like it! laid back atmosphere... We are all about friends and good beer! come join the cindirene’s family! Book your event in our unique venue today-call for availaBility and pricing!

owners: charles & cathleen Swinson

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559 Third Street Ayden, NC Phone 252.746.9222 Cell 252.917.7305

Fall 2018 | Carolina Brew Scene | 31

eSt. 2017

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32 | Carolina Brew Scene | Fall 2018

118 W. Main St. Ahoskie, NC 27910

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Monday: Closed • Tuesday: 7a-3p Wednesday: 7a-3p • Thursday: 7a-9p Friday: 7a-10p • Saturday: 5p-10p

Brew Dolly is a portable Kegerator system that is perfect for any occasion. Let us handle the heavy lifting and hassle of setting up for your event. With Brew Dolly your only job is to pour and enjoy. Brew Dolly is perfect for your family vacation, romantic wedding, or for your special party or event. Please contact us for inquiries. Thank you!

Book our dining room for your holiday parties today (919) 734-3233 100 N. Center Street Goldsboro, NC 27530

Open Daily Live Music Weekly Dogs and outside food are encouraged

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Fall 2018 | Carolina Brew Scene | 33

Fainting Goat By Jenny White


ews Alert: There are no goats present at Fainting Goat Brewing Company and Taproom in Fuquay Varina’s downtown historic district. There could be some fainting. The brewery gets its name from owner Tim Reichert. In addition to being a veteran, master brewer and having a great sense of humor, Reichert suffers from something called Laughter Induced Syncope, which — you guessed it — causes one to faint when laughing. “My friends nicknamed me ‘the 34 | Carolina Brew Scene | Fall 2018

fainting goat’ and it just stuck,” Reichert said. Reichert and his business partner, MaryAnn Durborrow, opened the Fuquay-Varina brewery in 2015, and it’s been going strong ever since. In fact, Fainting Goat Brewing Company is expanding. The company recently announced it has purchased an 8,000-square-foot building in downtown Benson and will relocate and expand its brewing space to the Benson location and open a second taproom. The Fuquay-Varina space will remain open as a taproom.

The expansion comes as high demand for its flagship beers — Der Hoof Hefeweizen, Brewquay DIPA and Butthead Brown Ale — has caused the Fainting Goat Brewing Company to outgrow its current 2,500-squarefoot brewery and taproom. Reichert says the company experienced rapid growth and success since opening in 2015, and the Fuquay location has reached its brewing capacity of 300 barrels per year. The new brewery location will output about 1,000 barrels per year. The newest Fainting Goat brewery

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property will be located at the corner of West Parrish Drive and South Railroad Street in the former Crossroads Church in Benson. It will feature a tap room, patio and a two-vessel, 10-barrel brewhouse. The company’s current two-barrel brewing system will be moved to Benson to serve as a pilot system and used to produce limited release, small-batch beers. Reichert says the company will continue its green operations. “All our spent grain is picked up by a local cattle farmer to be used as feed, and we have a 100-gallon cold liquor tank housed in our walk-in cooler. This tank cut our chilling water usage by two-thirds, and we recycle hot water generated by chilling wort to clean equipment and fermenters,” he said. Construction on the first phase of the new location began in September, with brewing operations expected to begin near the end of 2018. Reichert says both taprooms will have about 8-10 varieties on tap on a daily basis. “Though the brewery is moving, we really wanted to continue being part of the Fuquay-Varina community. We’ve got a core group of customers and friends that is steadily growing as more people check us out. We don’t offer Wi-Fi in our taproom and really concentrate on building relationships, getting to know one another and promoting interacting with each other, rather than via a phone,” Reichert said. “We’re a gathering place — with really good beer,” he added. The Fuquay-Varina location is open Wednesday through Sunday. Check their website at for times, what’s on tap and upcoming events. Fall 2018 | Carolina Brew Scene | 35

Veteran Owned Breweries

Frog Level Brewing Company 56 Commerce St, Waynesville, NC 28786 BearWaters Brewing Company 101 Park St, Canton, NC 28716 Hickory Nut Gorge Brewery 461 Main St, Chimney Rock, NC 28720 Mica Town Brewing Company 25 Brown Dr, Marion, NC 28752 36 | Carolina Brew Scene | Fall 2018

Boondocks Brewing Tap Room & Restaurant 108 S Jefferson Ave, West Jefferson, NC 28694 Sugar Creek Brewing Company 215 Southside Dr, Charlotte, NC 28217 Tobacco Wood Brewing Company 117 Wall St, Oxford, NC 27565 Barrel Culture Brewing and Blending 4913 S Alston Ave, Durham, NC 27713

Aviator Brewing Company 209 Technology Park Ln,

Fuquay Varina, NC 27526 Fainting Goat Brewing Company 330 S Main St,

Fuquay Varina, NC 27526 Railhouse Brewery

105 E South St, Aberdeen, NC 28315

Carolina Brew Scene

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Carolina Brew Scene is grateful to the NC Beer Guys for providing us with the data to create this map. Please visit to view all of their NC Beer maps.

Southern Pines Brewing Company 565 Air Tool Dr Suite E, Southern Pines, NC 28387 Dirtbag Ales Brewery & Taproom 3623 Legion Rd, Hope Mills, NC 28348 Mug Shotz Cafe & Quick Trigger Brewing Co. 118 W Main St, Ahoskie, NC 27910

Salty Turtle Beer Company 103 Triton Ln, Surf City, NC 28445 3rd Rock Brewing Company 134-B Industrial Park Dr, Trenton, NC 28585 BrĂœtopia 1201 US-70, New Bern, NC 28560 Shortway Brewing Company 230 Chatham St, Newport, NC 28570

Bills Front Porch 4238 Market St, Wilmington, NC 28403 Waterline Brewing Co. 721 Surry St, Wilmington, NC 28401 Check Six Brewing Co. 5130 Southport-Supply Rd SE, Southport, NC 28461 217 Brew Works 217 South St S, Wilson, NC 27893 Fall 2018 | Carolina Brew Scene | 37



38 | Carolina Brew Scene | Fall 2018

113-B Goldsboro St., Wilson NC (252) 991-7211

NOW OPEN AT ROCKY MOUNT MILLS Authentic wood-fired pizza Craft beer on tap A dream come true on Elm Street Rocky Mount NC

• Beers Brewed with tropical fruits or Kona coffee Beans • wines By the glass • rotating guest taps from wilmington Breweries, including a non-alcoholic KomBucha

5850 Ocean Highway W. Ocean Isle BeacH, nc

910.579.2739 hours: closed monday, tues-thur 12pm-7pm, fri-sat 12pm-9pm, sun 12pm-6pm

Henderson, nc,

offers brewmasters a friendly home with multiple advantages:

• Strategic location off I-85 between Raleigh and Richmond (Va.) • Abundant water supply • Cooperative local government with access to multiple grants and incentives • Convenient access to locally sourced ingredients • Proximity to Kerr Lake, a popular regional recreational destination, with 1.2 million visitors/yr.

Among the distinctive properties currently available:

Visit for more details, or call: Dennis Jarvis, II • Director

Henderson-Vance County Economic Development Commission o: 252.492.2094 | c: 252.820.0041 |

Fall 2018 | Carolina Brew Scene | 39

Railhouse Brewery By Jessie H. Nunery


ven if beer lovers haven’t made it down U.S. 1 into the Moore County city of Aberdeen, chances are they’ve had a taste of the town. Railhouse Brewery, which opened in 2010 as the first of its kind in Moore County, is distributed in all 100 counties throughout the state, meaning its famous Brown Ale and Pale Ale are drinkable no matter where one lives. “We have people tell us over and over that our Brown Ale is our best ale,” Railhouse Head Cellerman Jason Hull said. “We’re proud of it, and when we hear those kinds of things, it means a lot.” Hull is sort of the outsider of what is a unique crew at Railhouse Brewery. He spent more than two 40 | Carolina Brew Scene | Fall 2018

decades in the printing industry and was a guest brewer in Ohio before joining the veteran-owned staff at Railhouse. Founders Brian Evitts (Navy) and Mike Ratkowski (Army), along with co-owners Jeremy Reynolds (National Guard) and Scott Birdsell (Army) have combined to make a visit to Railhouse one that can be appreciated from a military and civilian perspective. There is a wall that honors fallen soldiers and plenty of flags, giving the downtown Aberdeen location “a very Americana feel,” said Head Brewmaster Dan Fifield, who is accompanied by assistant brewer Dave Robinson, also an Army vet. There is a long-standing tradition where patrons can buy a beer in

advance for an active or retired military member. Fort Bragg is a 45-minute drive from Aberdeen, so the opportunity to put its roots in a military community is something Railhouse is proud to do. “Being in the Sandhills area, there is a military contingent that has retired to live here or is on active duty,” said Fifield, who retired from the Army after 24 years of service. “That’s a fair amount of our community, but we also try to make it all-inclusive and set up the best product we can regardless of where people are from.” The beers tell the story. There is a Knight’s Golden Ale served in the summer which gives reverence in name to Army parachute

Carolina Brew Scene

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There is a Knight’s Golden Ale served in the summer which gives reverence in name to Army parachute team, the “Golden Knights.” team, the “Golden Knights.” KA-BAR, the name of its heralded Brown Ale, refers to the fighting knife used in World War II by the U.S. Marines Corps. Railhouse uses KA-BAR tap handles made from the knife’s factory in upstate New York. Railhouse also serves a Mastiff Oatmeal Stout, an FCA IPA, the popular Pineland Pale Ale (which Fifield said was refined and tweaked many times), and the EK Imperial Red Ale.

Everything is brewed on site. Railhouse keeps its doors open to the community, having recently participated in a teacher appreciation day. Live bands play every Saturday, and the brewery holds large events for July 4th and its birthday celebration in December. It all makes for a laid-back atmosphere. “It’s a close-knit community,” Hull said.

Fall 2018 | Carolina Brew Scene | 41

Grab your official PassPork then hit the trail to experience award-winning craft beer and legendary Eastern NC BBQ. Collect your stamps to earn some sweet trail swag!

42 | Carolina Brew Scene | Fall 2018

Top of the Hill


By Jessie H. Nunery

s far as locations go, Top of the Hill Restaurant and Brewery sets a standard. Not only does Top of the Hill sit in the most prime of locations on Chapel Hill’s famed Franklin Street, but it also is an essential gathering spot for students, faculty and staff at the University of North Carolina. With that type of clientele visiting the restaurant on a daily basis — especially on fall football Saturdays and big home basketball games throughout the winter — Top of the Hill has been able to maintain relevancy. It began brewing beer in 1996 and is the eighth oldest brewery in the state. Despite the current climate of breweries opening shops and distributing beer, Top of the Hill — known to locals at TOPO — only distributes to one location in nearby Carrboro. If you want their good beer, you’ll just have to deal with grabbing a glass and taking it to their famed rooftop overlooking Chapel Hill. “That’s the biggest draw,” Top of the Hill Brewmaster Aaron Caracci said. “On a nice day, you can’t beat it.” The beer is excellent, too, and if you want

heavy 9 percent AVB-type beers, this isn’t the place. Freshmen and sophomores don’t drink those, so at TOPO, you’ll find craft beer on the more affordable, less gut-filling end of the spectrum than you might in other locales. “Most of our clientele are students who are 21-22 years old,” Caracci said. “We want them to have 3-4 beers, and you can’t do that

when you are drinking heavy AVB beers.” TOPO gives a nod to UNC with its popular Kenan Lager (4.2 AVB, $4.50, 10 oz.), the Belgian-style Old Well White (6.0 AVB, $4.50, 10 oz.) and the Ram’s Head IPA (6.9 AVB, $5, 10 oz.) The fall 2018 Session Series beer features “Bees get Degrees,” which is a honey ale (5.0 ABV, $4.50, 10 oz.). Caracci, who is originally from Pennsylvania before saying he “dumb-luck” stumbled into his current position, said that TOPO continues to kick around the idea of introducing hazy and milkshake IPAs to keep up with the latest crazes. They recently introduced an American stout that had not been on the menu. Overall, TOPO goes through 1,5002,200 barrels of beer per year and even has had a cask beer program for the past six years where unfiltered beers are served at cellar temperatures. Caracci said it is an acquired taste, but it often is a hit with UNC professors. TOPO tries to hit everyone’s taste buds, and the plan is to continue not only its relevancy by location, but by glass. “We want to keep our signature beers but also expand to something different to drink and different to brew,” Caracci said. “We are certainly university-forward.”

Fall 2018 | Carolina Brew Scene | 43

Check Six Brewing Company 5130 Southport Supply Rd Southport NC 910-477-9280 Karaoke, Trivia, and Live Music Open 12 Daily




44 | Carolina Brew Scene | Fall 2018

When it comes to beer we’ve got your six!


WWW.QCGROWLERS.COM 3432 THE PLAZA, CHARLOTTE, NC 28205 980.277.4010 PREMIUM & CUSTOM CERAMIC GROWLERS beer mugs and more... @queencitygrowlers

3623 Legion Rd, Hope Mills, NC

(910) 426-2537

Fall 2018 | Carolina Brew Scene | 45

Part II: Brews

from beyond the


by Lewis Smith If you grew up in North Carolina during a certain era, your elementary school library was probably full of books of North Carolina ghost stories written by Nancy Roberts, which provided evocative sketches of North Carolina’s supernatural history. It’s just the kind of thing for impressionable 6-year-olds to be reading, because in those days before things like “parental supervision,” tales of grisly death and spectral wanderings weren’t gonna cause that much harm to an impressionable child’s mind, right? Struck by a sudden burst of nostalgia and looking for another hook for a Halloween article, we here at BrewScene decided to pair six ghostly tales with six goodly ales and see if a little magic couldn’t be made. So gather round the fire and hand us that flashlight — it’s time to get spooky.

The Story: Virginia Dare, the White Doe

If you’ve spent five minutes in North Carolina, I hope you tried the barbecue. If you spent ten minutes here, you’ve probably heard about the Lost Colony, our famous legend involving disappearing colonists, culture clashes with the First Nations and tree vandalism on lovely Roanoke Island. One of the many explanations proffered for what became of these vanished souls posits that the first child born to this colony, Virginia Dare, was cursed by a sorcerer named Chico and turned into a white doe, who was then hunted by two guys with magic arrowheads and then turned into scuppernong grapes — because sure, that’s how all of that works.

The Beer: Beam Me Up (Skull Camp Brewing, Elkin)

If any of you think that I might know what I’m doing, consider this: I spent 25 minutes trying to work out why a Scotch ale would be called “beam me up.” I did get there in the end, but it was a little embarrassing it took so long. This was my first Skull Camp beer, and it’s pretty great. A sweet initial taste yields to a sugary, sweet finish. It’s eminently drinkable and the sweet flavor is balanced enough that it doesn’t overstay its welcome It’s a perfect middle of the road beer for when you want something a little heavier than the norm but don’t want to go too far to the dark side. A very solid beer, indeed.

The Story: The Rum Keg Girl

From the town of Beaufort comes a story that Edgar Allan Poe is probably kicking himself that he didn’t think of. It’s a tale of the family Sloo who sailed to North Carolina to start a new life. Just after they settled in however, the family sailed back to England, promising to return to Beaufort no matter what. On the way back, unfortunately, the daughter fell ill and passed away. Not wanting to bury her at sea because of his promise to return her to North Carolina, the father sealed her up in a keg of rum to preserve her body for the voyage home. Not wanting to unseal the barrel and transfer the body to a casket, she was buried in Beaufort — still in the keg, but home at last. It’s said that on the right kind of night, her ghost runs and plays among the headstones of the cemetery and scatters offerings left at her tomb all over the headstones. Because that’s what kids do, whatever side of the veil they happen to be on.

The Story: Blackbeard's Ghost

If you remember last issue's Pick Your Six you will recall we had some fond words for North Carolina's most infamous pirate, Edward Teach, aka Blackbeard. After his last stand, wherein his entire crew was captured and killed, Blackbeard was shot five times, stabbed 20 times, then beheaded (just in case he was a Highlander) The victorious ship hung his head from their bowsprit, because we were centuries away from Xbox achievements. His headless body was dumped at sea, and it is said his ghost wanders around Teach's Hole in Ocracoke, calling for his head. How it does this without a larynx is one of those logical thingies that legends tend to brush past in the storytelling.

The Beer: Ephemere (Unibroue, Quebec, Canada) From the great white north comes a great white ale. A very light but flavorful combination of wheat and apples, it has a very pleasant flavor and interestingly enough, one that doesn’t veer into being a cider. A sharp, tart, apple taste gives way to a sweet finish. It’s very light all around and not at all bitter and would be ideal for a time when you want something pleasant and sweet, without an extremely intrusive flavor to it. An interesting style of beer I’ll have to try to explore more of in the future.

The Beer: III Rye Tripel (Neuse River Brewing Co, Raleigh)

This one felt like an event (it's the first beer I had with a wired cork opener) and boy, was it ever. Neuse River Brewing took an already impressively strong Rye Tripel and aged it for six months in rum barrels from Raleigh Rum Co. To give you an idea of what that's like, imagine someone rigged up a hot rod with a solid rocket booster and drove it right into your head. Yes my people, this is pretty darn strong — 11 percent ABV — and it's pretty amazing. A light initial taste yields to the rum flavor and when it hits, it hits very hard indeed. Despite that, though, it doesn't feel as heavy as, say, a Russian Imperial stout, so it's easy to sip, though it will pack quite a wallop. Quite an amazing find and well worth a pour, assuming you don't have any plans for the rest of the day. Fall 2018 | Carolina Brew Scene | 47

The Beer: Papaver (Brewery Bhavana, Raleigh)

The Story: Dromgoole Rock

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is known for many things, and if a die-hard Duke fan was writing this article, we wouldn't be able to print any of them. But besides storied college basketball rivalries, there's also this legend that takes place near Piney Point, near Gimgoul Castle: Peter Dromgoole (UNC-Chapek Hill Winner For Most Metal Name of All Time, 1831) loved a girl from town called Fannie and fought a duel with another student over her (this is before we settled these by shooting a beer bong, like gentleman do) Peter lost (or, to be more accurate, died) and, as dueling was strongly frowned upon in those days — colleges have always been down on murder, funnily enough — was hastily buried under a rock rolled over a freshly-dug grave. Because out of sight, out of mind, right? That worked about as well as you imagine it would — Peter's absence was hastily noticed, not least by Fannie, who died soon after, stricken with grief. It's said that one can still see their shadows lingering close to the still blood-stained rock today.

From the hot new brewery in Raleigh comes this interesting beer, a sumptuous Cabernet barrel-aged Flanders Red. It’s amazingly tart all the way through (as anything with black cherry and red currants is liable to be), but it has an intriguing finish, with a few complex flavors lingering on the palate. This beer was really intriguing, in that it seemed to become a more rewarding experience the longer I drank it. It tempts the palate to explore the different tastes present. Also, if you have a friend who’s into wine but might be a bit beer-curious, this is an ideal middle ground, as it’s not too heavy on the beer side, nor too rich as a wine. This was my first Bhavana beer, and they certainly live up to the hype. I quite recommend it.

The Story: The Maco Light It's said that not all heroes wear capes. It's rather hard to if you don't have a neck. Signal man Joe Baldwin was having a nap in the caboose of a train when it suddenly detached from the other cars, heading for another engine down the line. Desperate to avoid a crash, Joe stood on the platform, waving his lantern. Joe was decapitated by the crashing train and his head was launched into the nearby swamp. For more than a century, people walking the tracks at night claimed that you could see Joe waving his lantern alongside the train tracks, searching for his missing head. In 1977, the tracks were pulled up, and the light disappeared.

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The Story: The Hoofprints At Bath We close out our macabre half-dozen with a tale of drunken hubris from the town of Bath. Jesse Elliot enjoyed drinking, racing his horse (often while drunk) and boasting about how he never lost a race (again, often when drunk) One day Jesse is challenged to a race by a man in black, who is totally not the Devil. Devlin McNotsatan rode a big black horse with burning red eyes, probably called Symbolism, or maybe Comeuppance. Jesse's horse stopped dead in his tracks mid-race and reared up on its hind legs, causing Jesse to lawn dart right into a tree, killing him instantly. The man in black apparently dragged Jesse's soul to hell soon after, having achieved his recommended daily allowance of irony. The hoof prints where Jesse's horse stopped dead are said to be permanently etched into the earth at Bath, and that nothing grows where the horse stood. As for Jesse, while he was condemned to an eternity in Hell, he would later be retroactively awarded the first Darwin Award when the internet was invented, 183 years later.

The Beer: Devil’s Tramping Ground Tripel (Aviator Brewing, Fuquay-Varina) I know the Devil’s Tramping Ground is in Siler City, but the description of both phenomena was too close not to match this one to the story. This is a mighty tripel for sure, and it wastes no time getting right the heck on top. A very rich initial taste hits hard and soon yields to a syrupy-sweet finish, which is very drinkable. I suppose that’s part the devil’s bargain in drinking it though, as it’s so sweet that you can down it very fast and not realize it’s 9 percent ABV. And you will (eventually) feel that. Boy howdy, will you ever. It’s a very impressive beer, and well worth trying.

The Beer: Off With Her Red (Fortnight Brewing, Cary) Fortnight does a great job with contrasting flavors in ways that are intriguing and surprisingly precise, and this beguiling raspberry sour ale is no exception. A tart initial taste gives way to a dry and very sweet finish. It'd be easy to go overboard with the sourness (it's got raspberries in it after all) but there's a balancing of the tartness of the raspberry and the dryness that makes for a pleasant mix. Sours aren't usually my main thing, but I found this an eminently drinkable beer — flavorful, but not too bitter or tart. It's a light and refreshing beer, ideal for a high-humidity late summer night.

And there you have it: A spectral sextet of somber stories and sublime suds. If you were looking for some old guy to be thwarted by some stoners in a van and their dog, well, I don’t know what to tell you. But as to the rest of you — grab a pint. In fact, grab two. You never know when the ghosts might turn up… Fall 2018 | Carolina Brew Scene | 49

Small is the New Big (Again)


round us, we're seeing the first signs of summer easing its way into fall. It brings to mind how so much of the world is cyclical. Beer is no exception to this — styles come and go, only to come back around again. The whole experience of beer in North Carolina has seemed to follow a circuitous path, and by seeing where it's been, we might just get a peek at where it's going. The very first brewery in North Carolina opened in 1774, called Single Brother’s Brewery and Distillery on Old Shallowford Road in Salem (didn’t even have the “Winston-” yet). Growth was relatively sedate for the next few hundred years, with Prohibition all but annihilating North Carolina beer. When Uli Bennewitz wanted to

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By Glenn Cutler and Dave Tollefsen

open a brewery here back in the mid80s, he encountered a few logistical snags preventing him from attaining his dream. Working with state politicians, he pushed legislation allowing microbreweries to sell their own beer on site. The 90s saw a few breweries open and close around the state. The competition at this point was the acceptance of craft beer against the long held staple of “Big Beer” plus the price difference of buying local. Additionally, there was a hard cap of 6 percent ABV the brewers had to observe, limiting offered styles. The session and wild beers you see now weren’t on the radar back then. Availability of local beer was mostly limited to the breweries themselves. The passion was to grow but there was a lot to overcome. The exponential growth of breweries

started just a few years after “Pop the Cap” was passed in 2005. WOO HOO! Breweries can brew beer up to 15 percent! The growth of breweries spurred the growth of bottle shops and growlerfilling stations that focused on only craft beer. Only a few breweries in the state had their product available for shelves. The pace of growth in beer varieties, volume brewed and the sheer number of operating breweries meant that competition grew ever fiercer. Shelves had to be rearranged or increased to handle all this new product. Tap space now became a premium; even with 16 taps, the amount of product available meant a hard choice for the store owners on who to carry — and who gets left out. This was fantastic for the store owners to have so much selection, but

not so great for breweries trying to sell their beer. Enter canning with its improved quality, availability and the growth of mobile canning. Breweries of all sizes were able to can and get their product on more shelves. Bottle shops filled with a great selection of craft beer - so much so that it’s almost sensory overload when browsing the shelves. Of course, with any type of product that gains so much popularity, the larger stores want to get in on the action too. Supermarkets started carrying local product, with some even offering beer on tap. Craft beer EVERYWHERE! Isn’t that the dream? For the consumer, yes — but behind the scenes it’s competition. As more breweries open and are able to can their beer and distribute, there is the potential for it to get ugly. You know how it goes — “Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together ... mass hysteria!” Maybe not quite that, but you get the picture. This is not to say there’s an oversaturation issue with breweries. We believe there’s plenty of room for a brewery on every corner — as long as

quality and creativity are in place. It’s the amount of product now available that may have a saturation issue.

Best way to support the breweries explore the state and visit them. Breweries are destinations well worth the visit and you get to see the wonders of North Carolina along the way. Now there’s a new thought going around: hyperlocalization. Breweries limit their distribution, sell their own bottles and cans in-house and really

push their biggest return — their own draft sales. Why fight for shelf and tap space while taking a hit on margins when they can keep most of it right at the brewery? Granted, that means building up traffic in their taproom to make up for sales not elsewhere. Staying small, however, grows their profits and eventually the whole business. This smaller-is-better trend is expressing itself in the newest offerings coming around the bend. More and more of the new openings are nanobreweries producing only a barrel or two a batch. Restaurants are getting in on the act, brewing their own lines of house beers only available within their walls. Best way to support the breweries — explore the state and visit them. Breweries are destinations well worth the visit and you get to see the wonders of North Carolina along the way. Where do you see the industry going next? Let us know on Twitter and Facebook at @ncbeerguys or via e-mail

October 20th Journey of Hope Ride for Breast Cancer November 24th

26th annual ride to the Kennedy Children’s Home Line-up begins at 10 a.m, departure at 12 noon.

$15.00 donation

Due to the wide range of ages of the residents, cash or gift certificates are welcomed. Donations and gifts will be presented at the Kennedy Home. There will be 50/50, Door Prizes, and lunch. First 1000 registrations will receive a commemorative chip.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL (252) 633-4060 Fall 2018 | Carolina Brew Scene | 51

Homebrew Guys

“Build It and You Shall Brew” By Don Rowell and Paul McDermott


ometimes we have a tendency to put the cart before the horse or argue which came first, the chicken or the egg. (Chicken!) We’ve written several articles on how to brew, what to brew, bottling issues, but nothing in-depth on what you need to get started other than an ingredients kit. In this issue we’ll discuss some equipment you may need to brew from bare bones to “wow!” and from deep pockets to penny poor. Don’t be intimidated about getting into homebrewing because you think you can’t afford it. There’s nothing further from the truth. When we started brewing, we were penny poor to say the least. So listen to us, we’re speaking from experience. To get started, you probably already have the majority of the equipment you need right at home. You’ll need a decent size cooking pot, stove, stirring spoon and funnel. All

52 | Carolina Brew Scene | Fall 2018

you need to acquire is a fermenter, a siphon, bottling bucket, bottles, caps and bottle capper. All of this can be purchased as a kit for under $75. Once you have your equipment starter kit and ingredients kit, your ready to go! (On how to brew, see Homebrewing 101 in the Summer 2017 Issue). As mentioned before, homebrewers tend to grow their brewery over time to absorb the costs of new equipment. If you have the cash up front, there are all kinds of nice equipment on the market. Complete systems with electronic controllers, heating elements, pumps, temperature-controlled fermenters, you name it. They even have systems out there that are an all-grain all in one brew system and fermenter. That’s right, only one vessel! Some of these systems are so nice they will almost brew by themselves. Of course a lot of these systems cost thousands of dollars

and out of most peoples budget. It seems as if companies come out with new gadgets everyday to make homebrewing easier. Like we said earlier, when we started off, we were penny poor and built a lot of things ourselves. We were “old school” and brewed “old school”. For the most part we still do. We’re still using the same direct-fired mashtun and boil kettle we’ve been using for the last 10 years. Of course we’ve added vessels, pumps, quick connects, etc. over the years. Building your brewhouse or upgrading your brewhouse to a larger size can be done cheaper than you may think if you put your head to it and do it over time. We’ll use our personal journey into homebrewing to give examples of how

you can build your brewery or expand to a larger size on the cheap. We started with a turkey fryer kit doing 5-gallon extract batches. These kits are perfect because they come with a burner and stainless steel pot typically big enough to make 5-gallon batches. Another great benefit is that these kits are fairly inexpensive. Now keep in mind that this is not a duel purpose vessel. No turkey frying in this pot, brewing only! Then we wanted to go to 10 gallons and found a damaged 15.5-gallon commercial keg. We didn’t have the ability to cut and drill the keg, nor the money to pay a machine shop to do it. So, we found a local guy in town to do what we needed and paid him in trade with homebrew. We then put the ball valve fittings on ourselves and voilà; we had a 10-gallon brewhouse for little money. We used (and still us) the same burner that came with the turkey fryer kit with the new converted kettle. Then we bought a couple of

Open 7 days a week!

Our system is nothing fancy, nothing shiny and pristine, but we take pride in the fact that we built it ourselves and it has rewarded us with a many a fifIne beer! cheep ice coolers and converted them into a mashtun and hot liquor tank in order to move into all-grain brewing. We eventually found more damaged commercial kegs and upgraded to all stainless steel vessels and a propane burner for each vessel. You can find a lot of how to videos online to help you

do all the things we have done. Keep in mind these upgrades took place over 10 years so the cost remained relatively low and each vessel we did ourselves. There are may things you can buy for homebrewing to make your life easier, but there are just as many things you can do yourself to keep the costs down. Spend the money where you need to and put a little thinking, paired with a little elbow grease to the things you can do yourself. Our system is nothing fancy, nothing shiny and pristine, but we take pride in the fact that we built it ourselves and it has rewarded us with a many a fine beer! Having to build our brewhouse was a big part of our homebrew journey. It taught us a lot about brewing, how to think outside the box and most importantly about ourselves. We wouldn’t have changed a thing! Til’ next time…happy brewing, happy holidays and may your dreams be filled with the “Complete Joy of Homebrewing”.


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 11 rotating taps, house wine or cider. Find us on Facebook at Goat Island Bottle Shop or give us a call at 252-545-6521 Fall 2018 | Carolina Brew Scene | 53

Brew’s Views

What’s craft beer, really?


hat’s craft beer, really? Is it made and distributed locally? Or is so-called “stealth” craft, mass produced and distributed internationally? It’s becoming increasingly tougher for consumers to discern between the two. Beer labels are vague and nonspecific in regard to who really makes the beer — unlike labels on spirits, in which the word “distilled” offers insight into where it’s made; or wine, which lists on the label the region where the grapes were grown. For the uninformed beer consumer, it’s largely a guessing game. That said, consumers ultimately decide what beer to buy. The large brewers are right when they say more brands mean more choice. True competition means a marketplace free and open to all without restriction. It’s tough to disagree. But it’s important to pay attention. Big beer companies aren’t transparent, nor are they required to be. It’s not easy for even the most zealous lover of beer to stay on top of things, but, as drinkers who care about beer — and about craft — we should try. Then, all things now considered, we can choose — whether that choice is NoDa’s Hop Drop n’ Roll or Goose IPA, now made by Anheuser-Busch InBev. "That's always the case, right?” says Todd Ford who, along with his wife, Suzie, founded NoDa Brewing Co. in Charlotte. “It ultimately falls on the consumer to do their research and do their homework, and what the big companies are counting on ... is that they won't. “I'm in the industry, been there for

54 | Carolina Brew Scene | Fall 2018

By John Trump

seven years, and I can't tell you who makes these beers a lot of times. I can't keep up with it. If you look at the back of the label, you're not going to find anything that clears up the mud. I think that's the point. … The large breweries have taken the ability to muddy the field, and they've used it to their advantage." The stealth market isn’t new. As I wrote last year, big brewers are gulping down craft brewers to get in the game, an apparent effort to offset waning sales for mass-produced adjuncts. As the Charlotte Business Journal says in a recent story, five beer makers own more than 50 percent of the worldwide market, and those brands, obviously, dominate supermarket shelf space. Incentive programs from big brewers, who award distributors who place and sell large percentages of a client’s product, further tilt the proverbial field. Ford and his fellow craft brewers don’t necessarily debate the quality of beer produced by the big guys, or how those brewers make the beer. Yet sometimes the big brewers’ ability to promote, market and

incentivize their products go down like a swig of bad ghost pepper stout. “I think what they've decided to do long ago was, they can't be sexier than our brand, but what they can do is capitalize on the convenience of their distribution networks, their incredible amount of advertising dollars and all the other stuff,” Todd Ford says. “So, they can buy craft breweries ... and actually become owners in the craft beer industry, if not organically then directly by purchasing. And then they can take those brands, which have a good following in the craft beer industry, and turn them into international brands, brands that help the bottom line in Brazil and Belgium and other places, even though they're not sold there.” Craft beer guilds and associations are inventing ways to differentiate their products. The Brewers Association, for example, has come up with a seal — an upside down bottle symbolizing how craft brewers have turned the industry, well, “upside down.” Brewers in Charlotte will soon adorn their products with a red cap reading “CLT Certified Beer,” the Carolina Business Journal reported. These initiatives are worth noting, and they may well help the craft brewers. But, again, it’s the buyers who will decide what beer to buy and from where, and there are myriad options. Many grocery stores have decent selections, and some stores are exceptional in that regard. But — and beer geeks already know this — people new to beer should get to know their neighborhoods, to seek out niche retailers, bottle shops and tap houses. To visit their local breweries.

Ford doesn’t fault brewers who sell to large corporations and conglomerates. Why not capitalize on that interest? Why not take advantage of a free market that rewards entrepreneurship and innovation? When, that is, lawmakers allow it. Ford and NoDa are part of an ongoing lawsuit filed against the state seeking to end enforcement of the state’s distribution cap — now at 25,000 barrels per year — and franchise laws on breweries. "I support anybody that makes a decision on how to run their business,” Ford says. He offers a caveat for brewers who sell to a bigger concern. "If you do make that decision, it does change

everything. Does it change the beer? No, the beer's probably the only thing it doesn't change, at least initially. … But ultimately what changes the day they sign on the line is they aren't independent. "I think there are a vast majority of people who are, like, ‘Hey, I care where my money goes. I'd like to spend it locally ... especially if (a product is) just as good if not better than what I would get from a big box store that sells things by the pallet load versus by the case. ... I would like to know who makes this and where that money's going. In that case, I think we're going to win. …” John Trump is author of “Still & Barrel: Craft Spirits in the Old North State.” He lives in Cary.





SATURDAY, OCT. 20, 2018






305 Hodges St. ICW MM 182 Oriental NC (252) 249-1797 WE ARE OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK 9:30 TO 5:30 M-SA • 10 TO 4 SUN Come check out our ever-growing selection of craft beers!

Relax & enjoy a beer in the heart of Oriental, NC! Sample our locally-inspired craft ales & sodas.

Guest taps featuring NC’s best craft breweries, rotated weekly. Family & pet-friendly!

702 Broad St. Oriental NC (252) 249-6132 Open Thu-Fri-Sat: Noon to 10 pm

ern O h t ut or N 56 | Carolina Brew Scene | Fall 2018

r oll a, NC



g Compan in w

anks Br B e er

THE CENTER OF IT ALL Rocky Mount, N.C. has a lot to offer: • A 143-acre Sports Complex featuring volleyball, basketball and baseball courts, walking trail, disc golf and more. • The multipurpose Rocky Mount Event Center, a premier destination for athletes, families, and concert goers. • Imperial Centre for the Arts and Sciences with an Arts Center, Children’s Museum and Science Center, community performing arts theatre and an Arts Education Building. • A host of regional events, like Juneteenth and the Eastern Carolina BBQ Throw Down. For all that Rocky Mount has to offer, visit

Fall 2018 | Carolina Brew Scene | 57

Parkway Brewing Converts Labeling Process

By Dana W. Todd

With the frenzy of craft brewery grand openings coming to a close, the ever-evolving industry is showing signs of maturation. Although it is still growing, there is some deceleration as brewery closings increased over the last two years, according to the annual State of the Craft Brewing Industry presentation at the 2017 Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America. The craft breweries that remain are maturing in their production processes, marketing, and customer service — the way an emerging company becomes a well-established company in any market. “When I began working in the industry, there were about a dozen breweries in Virginia,” says General Manager and Brewmaster Mike Pensinger of Parkway 58 | Carolina Brew Scene | Fall 2018

Brewing Company, which has been in business since 2012. “Now there are 230.” As one of the “seasoned” players in Virginia, as least as far as the craft brewing industry goes, Parkway Brewing is maturing in its processes. Earlier this year, the company decided to change over its labeling production process, including the type of labels it uses on about 25 different brews it produces annually. Since the company’s inception, it has used traditional cut and stack labels on its bottles. Some in the company felt it was time to explore making a change to pressuresensitive labels (PSLs) to take advantage of expanded marketing capabilities and perhaps cost-saving benefits. Others were not as quick to jump on the bandwagon.

“I used cut and stack my entire career, and I have had my feet wet since 1982 when I joined the bottled water industry,” says Parkway Brewing’s packaging manager, Paul DeLuise. “So I was against switching to PSLs at first.” After further internal discussion, however, DeLuise changed his mind and decided PSLs were the right labeling choice for Parkway Brewing’s current situation. “There was no learning curve with PSLs,” he says, “but we did discuss keeping room on the line for a glue machine (for cut and stack labels). We threw it out because we ultimately didn’t need it.” Parkway Brewing chose Blanco, a label and labeling equipment supplier just a couple of miles down the road in Salem,

Virginia, to supply materials, equipment and service for the changeover. Both DeLuise and Pensinger said choosing a reputable supplier was the most important consideration when changing the labeling process and materials. “Blanco is our customer, too, and Parkway Brewing likes to buy local when possible,” says Pensinger. “Plus, Blanco set up our existing labels for free, helped us finance a lower price on our new labeling equipment, and is right down the road if we need service.” Although there are benefits to both types of labels, ultimately Parkway Brewing felt PSL’s benefits outweighed cut and stack labels for its particular needs. There were four main reasons pressure-sensitive labels became the labelof-choice for the expanding brewery. • Creative and Design Flexibility: While Parkway Brewing was required to buy at least 30,000 cut and stack labels at a time, PSLs have a smaller minimum order quantity, which allows the brewery to produce short runs of a few thousand bottles of each specialty brew. “We buy enough labels to reduce costs and save money in the long run and then divide up those labels to package a variety of different brands. With shorter runs, we are able to individually print and number specialty brews and be more creative in the type of labeling materials we choose,” says Pensinger. According to Avery Dennison, the manufacturer who makes the label material used by Blanco and Parkway Brewing, PSLs are perfect for “creating look-at-me labels with eye-catching color, standout imagery, unique shapes, and surprising textures.” The company explains further that pressure-sensitive labeling makes it easier for smaller beer brands to compete on the shelf with specialty printing techniques likes foiling, embossing and varnishing. • Lower Labor Cost: Although the per piece price of a pressure-sensitive label is slightly more expensive than the alternative, DeLuise says one reason PSLs are less expensive in the long run is the lower labor and consumable costs associated with these labels. They do not need glue to adhere to bottles, which saves a minimum of one to two hours of manpower per day. Cut and stack labelers have to be cleaned mid-stream and at the end of each day to remove glue residue, a maintenance service that is not needed for PSL labelers.

“I appreciate the fact I can just stop the equipment and go home, without waiting for cleanup to be done,” DeLuise says. • Intuitive Machinery: There is no learning curve using PSLs and machinery such as Pack Leader’s PL-501 fully automated labeler, according to DeLuise. “The whole process is easier with PSLs and PSL applicators,” says Kurt Webber of Blanco. “Changeover times are faster, which is a big plus for shorter runs. PSL equipment is very simple to operate and not overly mechanical so it doesn’t require the amount of maintenance and expensive part changes that cut and stack labelers do.” • Sense of Community: As previously

mentioned, Blanco and Parkway Brewing are practically neighbors and have forged a good working relationship. As a dealer of Pack Leader labeling equipment, Blanco provided affordable financing for Parkway Brewing to complete the changeover that it could not otherwise have managed. “We are not trying to make a huge profit on labeling equipment,” says Webber, who deals in PSL labeling equipment simply so his customers can trust Blanco labels will work well with the equipment. Blanco also provides service and parts, so Parkway Brewing feels secure that any needs will receive immediate attention. Although it is only a few months since the changeover, DeLuise says Parkway Brewing is embarking on a project it would not otherwise have been able to do with its old cut and stack equipment — produce labels for cans. According to Avery Dennison, cans are being increasingly used instead of bottles because of the efficiency of the packaging process and a larger surface area available for printing branding messages and logos. “We will be able to run the can right through the equipment and add the label,” DeLuise says. The new-found flexibility of PSLs means the creativity door is now wide open for Parkway Brewing, which has always hired local artists to create its labels. Now the artists will have even more freedom for ingenuity and inspiration. Dana W. Todd is a professional writer and public relations consultant who writes for news outlets and publishers nationwide. Fall 2018 | Carolina Brew Scene | 59

Bites & Brews

the secret to

Perfect Pairings By Nicole Boucher

I’ve got a secret about cooking with beer.

A big one.

And I’m going to share it with you right now: You don’t need a recipe. I mean, sure, you probably need a recipe if you’re going to cook something from scratch. But what if you decide to rustle something up that doesn’t include your favorite brew? Easy: Add it! As a boozy baker at Twist & Stout Cakery in Wilmington, I’ve been experimenting with beer in both sweet and savory creations for years. I had no idea what I was doing when I began 60 | Carolina Brew Scene | Fall 2018

my beer-infused adventure ... and that’s OK. You don’t always need a plan — sometimes the best dishes are made purely by accident. All you need is a recipe that requires liquid. Just about anywhere you add liquid, you can add craft beer instead! For example, let’s say you have a favorite soup and one of the ingredients is three cups of chicken stock. While you’ll still want to add some chicken stock because stock adds a ton of flavor, you can replace half of the stock with your

favorite craft beer. The result will be an impressive richness and depth of flavor, like your soup’s been simmering on the stove all day, even if you just threw it in the pot 30 minutes ago. Want to make a box cake mix taste richer and more chocolaty? Replace all of the water with a nice dark, chocolaty stout. How about those powdered sauces and gravies in pouches on the spice aisle? Want to kick those up a notch or twelve? Use craft beer instead of water. Steaming vegetables or seafood? Why

not beer-steam them instead? Ever make your own meat marinade? Beer really shines here. Not only does it pack quite a punch in the flavor department, but it also tenderizes the meat at the same time. Now begs the question: What kind of beer do you use? The rule for cooking with wine is: Never cook with a wine you wouldn’t drink. Same goes for beer. Make sure you’re using a craft beer you enjoy drinking because you will taste it. If you’re making — let’s say — a cheese soup, then any of your favorite ales or pilsners will incorporate seamlessly into the new beer cheese soup recipe you just came up with on the fly. Can you use a stout instead? Absolutely! It will change the flavor of the soup, but you can use whatever agrees with your palate. There are no rules about which beer goes with which recipe. And the best part? After your “exbeeriment,” you get to feast on all your beer-based bites and wash them down with the remainder of your favorite brew! Now go get your hands on some beer and figure out how to incorporate it into your next meal for one tasty culinary journey. Need a little help getting started? I got you. Here’s one of my favorite chilly day fall recipes that will warm you from the inside out: Shepherd’s Pie with Stout Gravy • 1.5 lb. 80/20 ground beef • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce • 1 tsp. smoked paprika • 1 tsp. onion salt • 1 tbsp. Montreal Steak seasoning • salt, as needed • pepper, as needed • 6-8 medium white potatoes (about 2.5 lbs.), cut into chunks • 1 stick o’ butter • 1/4 c.+ heavy cream • olive oil • 1 large onion, diced • 4 tsp. minced garlic • 1 small bag frozen carrots ‘n peas • 1/2 small bag frozen corn • 2 pkts. McCormick Brown Gravy • 16 oz. of your favorite stout • Pam

1. Let’s do this! I know, I know it looks like a lot of steps, but each step is easy. Seriously, you got this — promise! Now, grab 6-8 medium white potatoes. Wash and peel ‘em (or leave skins on, if you prefer). Cut into large chunks and add to pot with well-salted water. Cook on high 20-25 minutes until potatoes are fork tender. 2. Meanwhile, heat both a large and medium skillet on stove to medium-high. While they’re coming up to temp, get a huge bowl and mix beef, Worcestershire sauce and all five spices together well with your hands — get in there and get dirty! 3. Fine, fine, now you can wash your filthy meat hands. Then dice that onion, mince that garlic (or just buy the jar of pre-minced garlic if you’re not a big mincer). 4. Add a couple turns of olive oil to large heated skillet, then add onions. Once they’re all sweaty, add garlic. Swoosh everything around the pan occasionally until they’re heading towards caramelized. Add frozen peas, carrots, and corn. Cook until unfrozen and starting to get brown edges here and there, about 8-10 minutes. 5. While that’s a-workin,’ add the beef mixture to preheated medium skillet. Use a wooden spoon and break up any big chunks. Keep swooshing occasionally until meat is browned. Drain the fat, then add the meat to the veggie mixture. Mix well, then take off heat and set aside. 6.Grab a small saucepan, those two packets o’ gravy, and 16 oz. of your favorite stout. Make gravy according to directions EXCEPT instead of adding water, use the stout. And if my math is correct, you probably bought two 12 oz. bottles or cans of your favorite stout, so that leaves 8 oz. left to sip. Did you really think I would go through this whole recipe without suggesting you drink beer? Never! While sipping away, whisk well until

gravy happens. Take that saucepan off the heat and set aside. Now’s probably a good time to preheat that oven to 350*F Or don’t. Up to you. 7. Potato time! Once they’re fork tender, drain the water. Return ‘em to pot and add butter, salt and heavy cream. Whip on high with electric mixer. Add more heavy cream if needed to get to the consistency you prefer, but don’t make potato soup — that’s a whole different recipe. 8. FINALLY TIME TO ASSEMBLE! Grab your finest casserole dish. I prefer one of those taller, thicker 5 quart casseroles — ideally with a late 70s or early 80s design in shades of orange and brown. Spray some buttery Pam all around the inside of that sucker. Add the meat/veggie mixture. Slowly pour thickened stout gravy all through the meat mixture until it’s covered. You don’t want there to be more gravy than meat, but you want the meat to take a comfortable stout gravy bath. If there’s extra gravy, just set that aside and drink it with a straw later. (It’s cool, I won’t tell anyone). Now carefully add the mashed potatoes one spoonful at a time, trying not to disturb the stout gravy meat bath. Spread those potatoes out across the meat and gravy evenly, creating a potato peak here and there if you wanna be fancy pants. 9. Pop that casserole into preheated oven (or turn the oven on to 350*F if you rebelled against my earlier advice) and bake for 25-30 minutes until the stout gravy is starting to bubble up the sides and the potatoes are starting to brown. (If you like more brown on top, you can put it under the broiler for 3-5 minutes.) 10. Serve to your impressed family and friends with your favorite stout. Enjoy! Fall 2018 | Carolina Brew Scene | 61

Carolina Brew Scene


Military Issue

Dirtbag Ales

small but growing community is brewing in a small warehouse in Hope Mills. Nearly every night of the week, the parking lot of Dirtbag Ales is full with a close-knit group that flocks to the site for yoga classes, home-brewing classes, artist galleries and a relaxing evening for the whole family. The variety of beer choices is noticeable and delicious. Porters, a Saison/Farmhouse ale, IPA-Belgian, Marzen and the Brown ale made with Wet Hops, Three staples and then a rotating selection of seasonal selections are on tap, and their colorful names are written in chalk above the bar. Tito, the brewmaster and mastermind behind Dirtbag Ales, guides a quick tour through his facility. The local community inspires much of what they do. The hops for the WHale were procured by a local farmer. The horticulturalist from the nearby Cape Fear Botanical Garden brought the rosemary to add to Tito’s collection of unique ingredients. Most of his creations came from experiments in his garage and copious amounts of reading. While serving in the military, Tito and 62 | Carolina Brew Scene | Fall 2018

his fellow soldiers, Eric and Batch, brewed new beers in their spare time. After so many people praised the beer, they decided to strike out and start Dirtbag Ales. Tito made the leap. He signed out of the Army on a Friday and was selling his draft beer on Monday. At first, they contract-brewed out of Railhouse Brewery in Aberdeen. It did not take long for the demand to grow

too much for that tentative setup. That is when they found the warehouse behind a mechanic shop and a gas station in Hope Mills. Using a CEED (Center for Economic, Empowerment and Development) loan from the Fayetteville Economic Development Council, they set up shop. Originally, the taproom was a small affair and the rest of the space was dedicated to the 15-barrel system. Shortly after word got out, they needed a larger taproom. Knocking down a wall and building a bar opened up the brewing space to patrons. The brewing stops in the early afternoon and the space is repurposed from brewery to taproom. All the tables and stools are rolled out and the brewing supplies are pushed away. Amid the tumult of an average night, Tito explains his philosophy: “Starts with an idea of fun flavors and then discover how to make it happen,” he says while delivering a final blow to his opponents. Tito is a self-professed foodie. “Make great food, great beer and hang out with the people you love,” he says.

Challenge of the Coin: A Pocketful of Tradition

By Cory Burton

Many members of the military — both former and current — enjoy going out and enjoying a pint of their favorite brew with fellow co-workers, especially after a hard shift. Imagine the scenario: You’re in group of, let’s say, 10. Who pays the first round? Well, that’s when a pocket-sized tradition comes into play. And it all begins with two words — “Coin Check!” At that point, a service member better have the most important piece of metal in their pocket. A challenge coin. The tradition of today’s modern challenge coin first began around World War I. According to one legend, an officer in the U.S. Army Air Corps (forerunner of the U.S. Air Force) had a coin created that he kept in a leather pouch around his neck. This was a wise precaution, as it turned out. His plane was shot down and he was captured by a German patrol, who took all of his identification, except for the coin in the pouch. The officer then escaped capture and made his way to a French outpost. The commander of the outpost thought the officer was an enemy, until the officer showed his coin, which bore the officer’s unit insignia, making him an ally.

A second story claims the tradition started in Vietnam, when an Army infantry-run bar was trying to figure out a way to keep non-infantry from coming in to buy drinks — so they devised an ingenious “challenge,” so to speak. Bullets, spent or not, were plentiful in the wake of a firefight and were ready proof you were an infantryman. This soon got out of hand, as other proof like enemy grenades and unexploded ordinance were being offered as proof. Then a coin was created with the infantry’s unit insignia on it. Thus a “coin check” was done from that point on. If you had the coin, you were good. So, what are the rules to follow when a “coin check” is issued? Here is what you need to know: 1. A “Coin Check” involves a challenge and a response. The challenge is initiated by a person pulling out a challenge coin, holding it in the air and then verbally announcing a coin check. Another way to initiate a coin check is to tap the coin on a table or bar, so the noise of the coin can be heard. Also, if you accidentally drop a challenge coin, the sound of the coin being dropped initiates a challenge. (This is considered a penalty for not properly caring for your coin. Don’t be that person!)

2. All people respond by pulling out a coin in the same manner. 3. If you are unable to respond to the challenge, you buy a round of drinks for the person who initiated the challenge, as well as the rest of the group. 4. If all are able to respond, the initiator of the challenge buys the round. 5. Failure to buy a round is considered a despicable crime and requires that you turn in your coin to the issuing agency. 6. Coin checks can be done ANY TIME, ANY PLACE. 7. There are no exceptions to the rules. It does not matter if you are in uniform or in regular clothes. At the time of the challenge, you’re permitted one step and an arm’s reach to locate your coin. Still can’t find it? Sorry! The most important thing about challenge coins, other than deciding who buys the drinks, is that A COIN IS A COIN — meaning if you were given a coin, it’s in recognition of an accomplishment. A coin is also given to promote esprit de corps among battalions, fleets, squadrons and units across all the branches of the military. It’s a tradition that will always have a special meaning to all military. Currently serving, retired or veteran. Fall 2018 | Carolina Brew Scene | 63

Bright Light Brewing By Carolina Brew Scene Staff


f you find yourself in downtown Fayetteville, knocking on a random warehouse door in the middle of the afternoon, you will learn that Bright Light Brewing Company is closed. They do not open until 4 p.m. on a Wednesday, but Eddie Ketchum invites me to come in and sit on the couch while he gets the place ready for the evening. He is a friendly, averagedbuild veteran who has an immaculate emerald green Harley Davidson. Eddie loves his community. From the space he occupies to the neighboring companies down the street, Eddie has

64 | Carolina Brew Scene | Fall 2018

a story about all of them. “No one stands alone in this town,” he says. The line-up on the tap tonight proves it. A collaboration brew with Mash House is one that draws a lot of attention. Called the “Lighthouse Stout,” it is deceptive and delicious. “We like to make beer that makes you think about it,” Eddie says as he serves a glass of the Lighthouse, an amber colored beer, and assures me it is a stout. Next he gives me a taster with a chocolatey opaque hue and tells me it is a Red. The collaborations do not stop

with the beer. One of the co-founders of Bright Light worked with Dirtbag Ales, another veteran-owned brewery in the area. The third partner and his wife designed the original taproom for the same brewery. All of the Bright Light Brewing owners are veterans and their desire to give back is evident and motivates a lot of their activities. In April, they hosted The Lone Survivor Foundation, which “restores, empowers and renews hope for our wounded service members and their families through health, wellness and therapeutic support.”

Carolina Brew Scene

No one stands alone. The community of patrons seems more like good friends than customers. The brewery started under a bright light in one of the owner’s garages and it still has the real-feel of a garage door and concrete floors — industrial and homey at the same time. “You can’t hurt anything around here,” Eddie says while leaning on the bar made with 200-year-old Heart-Pine. Beyond the homely, garage look, the community gathers for that family environment. “From your first steps to your 21st birthday, we got you,” Eddie says. The families that gather here nearly every night are all following the BLBC Facebook page for updates with food truck schedules,

Military Issue

music events and new brews. Local business owners drop in to support the guys who support them. Veterans and active-duty personnel spend a good amount of time with their family enjoying Bright Light’s “Gateway IPA - The 60 Watt IPA.” “We have our staples, but we try to get truly broad with our experiments. We like to make beer that makes you think about it,” Eddie explains as he serves a lightly colored amber beer and calls it a stout. This collaboration with the Mash House is deceptive. Then Eddie puts a chocolate opaque beer on the bar and calls it an Irish Red. The whole Bright Light Brewing experience is unique — American, full and welcoming.

Fall 2018 | Carolina Brew Scene | 65

Quick Trigger By Karen A. Mann


ou and Brenda Velazquez have long been business innovators in Ahoskie. For 15 years, they have owned the town’s only coffee bar, located in a beautifully renovated former hotel in the tiny historic downtown area. Mug Shotz was Hertford County’s first non-smoking restaurant, and the first to offer all healthy options on the menu. Even the health department recognized the cafe for its offerings. Now, with the opening of Quick 66 | Carolina Brew Scene | Fall 2018

Trigger Brewing in September 2017, they’ve achieved another first: The town’s first brewery. “Mug Shotz has been a local meeting place for a lot of people here,” says Lou, who began home brewing eight years ago. “It was only fitting for us to complement the cafe with the brewery.” A physician’s assistant by trade, Lou settled in Ahoskie with Brenda and their three daughters after retiring from the Coast Guard. He continued to work — and still works

at a local prison — while perfecting his hobby. After Lou won two blue ribbons at the N.C. State Fair for his bourbon-infused ale and lemongrass wheat beers, the family decided it was time to make the hobby into an actual profession. “This is very much a family business,” Lou says. “Everybody’s involved, from my mother, fatherin-law, kids and their spouses. We welcome folks in like we welcome them into our home.” The walls of the cafe are adorned

Carolina Brew Scene

with posters representing the various places the Velazquez family lived while in the service and pictures of family, including the brewery’s namesake, a black lab named Trigger, who passed away after a bout of liver disease. “Anyone who has ever had an animal has had one or two that were close to their hearts and who they would never forget. For us that was Trigger, who found no stranger in whomever he met,” Lou says. Located in the back of the cafe, the brew-making operation currently includes a 1.5 barrel set up with three fermentors and a brite tank. While Brenda holds down the cafe business, Lou — along with a brew team that includes daughter Kerstyn and son-in-law Angel Genao — handles beer production. Daughter Kelly designed the Quick Trigger

Military Issue

On the FIRST night they opened, a few customers became angry that they couldn’t get a Bud Light or a Coors. But Brenda says they’ve eventually won those customers over. logo, which includes a likeness of Trigger himself. All of the brewery’s beers are kegged. They went with the nano brewery because they weren't sure how open

the town would be to a brewery. On the first night they opened, a few customers became angry that they couldn’t get a Bud Light or a Coors. But Brenda says they’ve eventually won those customers over. “They’ll tell us what they like, and we’ll give them four beers in a flight,” she says. “Nine times out of ten, they’ll come up and they’ll get the All Time Low (a low alcohol, low IBU hefeweizen) or the pilsner. They’re coming back.” Other popular beers are the Portly Chocolate Lab, a chocolate porter made from chocolate grain with chocolate nibs from Guyana, and the Travesty, an unfermented New England IPA so named because of its unexpectedly deep, cloudy color. Brenda says the Travesty is their most popular beer to sell in a growler. They are currently working with a local retail peanut company to make their first bottle-produced beer: A peanut butter chocolate stout infused in bourbon barrels. Business is booming to the point that the family is in the process of increasing fermentation capacity, and they are already pondering a move to a larger location. “I think we’re happy,” Brenda says. “If we do anything, we’ll move the business to a larger facility where we can have outdoor seating and people can bring their pets.” Quick Trigger Brewing Company quicktriggerbrewing/ 118 W. Main Street Ahoskie, N.C., 27910 (252) 332-6844 Fall 2018 | Carolina Brew Scene | 67

Brew’s Views

The Stout Whisperer Welcome to the wonderful world of Stouts! My Instagram/Twitter nom-deplume is the Stoutwhisperer. Why? Because that’s all I drink. Stouts and the occasional Porter. In fact, the only time I drink a beer that I can see through is once a year during the summertime, when I perform my annual cleansing of my palate with an IPA — usually a Pliny the Elder or Heady Topper. Everything else is a Stout ... and what a wonderful world it is! Come along with me as I write about all things Stout! Since this is the Carolina Brew Scene, I’ll probably keep most of my columns about local North Carolina Stouts. To be honest, that’s a large enough world to keep me busy on a full-time basis. From the mountains to the beaches and places in between, we are so fortunate to have a host of Stoutstanding brewers in North Carolina. Personally, my tastes are varied and depend on my mood. I like to have my taste buds challenged so I tend to gravitate toward Stouts that are thick and viscous. I appreciate the creativity of using different adjuncts but I also realize how difficult it is to dial in a perfect straight down the middle Imperial Stout. The impacts of barrel aging are also one of my interests, not only bourbon, but also rum, wine and even grappe (and whatever will be next). Since Stouts tend to gravitate toward higher alcohol content, I tend to have only one a day, savor it as it warms, and appreciate the flavors as they present themselves (or run away and hide). 68 | Carolina Brew Scene | Fall 2018

Now one word to the readers ... I’ll be mentioning specific breweries and Stouts. If I don’t mention your favorite Stout, that doesn’t mean I don’t like it ... it may very well be that I haven’t had the good fortune of tasting your favorite dark beverage. One wonderful thing about Stouts is that there are more Stouts than days and something new is always rolling off of a line that is deserving of our attention. One prime example is from The Dreamcatcher’s Brewery in Waxhaw, just outside of Charlotte. To be honest, I had never heard of Waxhaw until I saw an Instagram post of Dreamcatcher’s and their Stout called “Wail of the Baen SIdhe.” Mrs. Stoutwhisperer and I took a drive out to Waxhaw to visit their taproom (a renovated firehouse — love the place!) and to pick up a couple of bottles of Wail. Turns out this is a great Stout! This is but one example of what I’m sure are numerous stories of local North Carolina breweries and their brewmasters turning out some quality Stouts. In future columns, I’ll touch on various Stout topics — new releases, top North Carolina Stouts, popular adjuncts, bottles vs. cans, and I’ll also want to hear from you. Let me know what you want me to cover in the world of Stouts and I’ll be glad to oblige. Drop me a note at and let me know you saw my column in Carolina Brew Scene. Remember, every season is Stout season!



Fall into Flavor









-6162 207 NORTH 919-429-6162 JOHN 919-429-6162 207 NORTH 207 NORTH JOHN JOHN Tarboro Brewing Company DOWNTOWN GOLDSBORO STREET, DOWNTOWN GOLDSBORO STREET, DOWNTOWN GOLDSBORO 526 N Main St, Tarboro 252.563.6522

5PM - 9PM Wednesday-Thursday -12am, 7 da ys a week 12pm-12am, 12pm-12am, 7 days7adays weeka week 1121 Falls Road, Rocky Mount

Rocky Mount Mills Campus Wednesday-Friday: 5:00 - 10 p.m. Saturday: 12 - 10 p.m. Sunday: 12 - 6 p.m.

5 PM - 10 PM Friday 11 AM - 11 PM Saturday 12 PM - 6 PM Sunday Fall 2018 | Carolina Brew Scene | 69

Tight Lines By Karen A. Mann

If it hadn’t been for a fateful offshore fishing trip, Russell Lewis’ downtown Morehead City brewery and restaurant might have been called Carteret Brewing. Instead, the first mate on the boat uttered a phrase that fishermen use to wish each other good luck: Tight lines. “It’s kind of like saying ‘break a leg’ in show business,” Lewis says. “When I hear him say that, I was just like, (snaps fingers) ‘That’s it!’” Thus, Tight Lines was born. At the time, he was still conceptualizing the business and hadn’t even purchased the Arendell Street location, which was long home to Rapscallions Restaurant. The restaurant was developed while Lewis waited on the proper permits and construction of the brewing facility. Working with his grandfather, who is a general contractor, Lewis did a total remake of the restaurant’s dining room and upstairs area. The area that now houses the five-barrel brewing system had been a smoking area. A wide, comfortable bar faces a row of bigscreen TVs, all showing various sports. The goal, Lewis says, was to “create a space where people would come to eat, drink a few beers and definitely watch a game.” “It’s ironic because I rarely do that.” With the help of Seibel Institutetrained brewer Jeff Brungard, Tight Lines began brewing on May 1, 2017, and now has nine brews on tap. With each beer, the brewery tries to tell a story about the history and culture of the Crystal Coast area. A native of Beaufort, Lewis is a descendant of the original Ca’e Bankers who formed a now-abandoned whaling community on Shackleford Banks and looked to the sea for their livelihoods. “This area is so rich in tradition and legacy,” he says. “We thought it would 70 | Carolina Brew Scene | Fall 2018

be a cool way to tell that story through the production of our beer.” Tight Lines’ brews include Lookout Pale Ale, a honey citrus brew that’s dedicated to the keepers of the Cape Lookout Lighthouse, who lived on the island with their families and made sure the light never went out. There’s also the Big Rock Double IPA, dedicated to an offshore site known for attracting big game fish and the world-famous bill

fishing tournament that takes place in Morehead City every June. One brew that’s very near and dear to Lewis’ heart is the Shellfish Warning Double Black IPA, a big, strong chocolatey IPA that’s brewed with local oysters. At 10.5 percent alcohol, it’s a brew to savor slowly before moving on to something lighter. Lewis minored in marine science at UNC-Chapel Hill, and continues to be involved in mariculture and aquaculture issues. Through his nonprofit, Pints for Purpose, Lewis helps donate to the Crystal Coast Oyster Festival, which benefits the N.C. Shellfish Growers Association. “Oysters are something that is super important to me,” he says.”Wild caught oysters, their stocks are dwindling in the state. If you look at places like New England or Maryland or Chesapeake, the oyster farming communities there are massive. So we’re not only trying to raise the prominence of North Carolina farmed oysters but also grow the industry.” As for beer No. 10, Lewis and his team are thinking about potential recipes in honor of the 300th anniversary of the death of Blackbeard, the infamous pirate who called Beaufort home, and whose ship, The Queen Anne’s Revenge, was recently discovered in Beaufort Inlet. Lewis also owns a restaurant named Queen Anne’s Revenge in Beaufort. Right now, Queen Anne’s Revenge is the only other place to find Tight Lines’ beers. “Something I’ve learned is to move slowly and only take things as you’re ready,” he says. “I wanted to make sure our beers were ready, wanted to make sure we didn’t put the cart before the proverbial horse. This brand and the creation are extremely important to me — I want to make sure that when we’re ready, it’s right.”

Fall 2018 | Carolina Brew Scene | 71

America’s Light Craft Beer™ THIS IS #CRUSHABLECRAFT 3.2% ABV



Love it. Crush it. @billybeerusa 72 | Carolina Brew Scene | Fall 2018 P R O U D LY D I ST R I B U T E D BY