Carolina Brew Scene Summer 2019

Page 1



led Summer 2019

Brews &Tunes Meet

Inez Ribustello

l l a b e Bas rews &B

Check Six Brewing Company


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Issue no. 8 • Carolina Brew Scene

Summer Selections Editor’s Draft

ABV % 7

Bottled Selections Hampton Roads Breweries & ENC


Capital Broadcasting Invests in Beer 32

Featured: Women IN Beer Biere De Femme 2019 Pink Boots Society



Jared Buckley


Well crafted NC


Billy Beer


Baseball & Beer


Crystal Coast Brewing



Trailblazing: Women’s pioneer spirit 14 Tobacco Wood Brewing

Music & Craft Beer


Lost Colony Wine & Culinary Fest 56 Bombshell Brewing Company




7 Clans Brewing


Rocky Mount Brewery


Tarboro Brewing Company


Signature drafts on Tap Pick Your 6: Beer Games


Stour Whisperer


Homebrew Guys


Alicia Coulter: FItness & Beer


NC Beer Guys

64 Summer 2019 | Carolina Brew Scene | 5

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


6 | Carolina Brew Scene | Summer 2019

Carolina Brew Scene

Editor’s Draft

Staff, Credits, & Contributions PUBLISHER

Kyle Stephens


Gene Metrick

CONTENT & PHOTOGRAPHY Lewis Smith Dave Tollefsen Alan Campbell Sarah Louya Don Rowell Paul McDermott Karen A. Mann Jenny White Samuel Evers Jessie H. Nunery Jared Barkley Melissa Bruno Anita Riley Audrea Gaiziunas J. Eric Eckard John H. Walker William F. West Kevin Flinn Kevin Smith Bart Williams Don Rowell Paul McDermott Alicia Duncan Coulter

ADVERTISING Bryan Wilson Lewis Smith

DESIGN & LAYOUT Becky Wetherington

CONTACT ON THE COVER Inez Ribustello of Tarboro Brewing Company Photo by Sarah Louya 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.

Variety is the

Spice of Life

The burgeoning craft beer industry continues to increase its impact on North Carolina’s economy and culture. Once considered the realm of mostly 30-something bearded white men, more and more craft breweries are now being operated and staffed by women and people of color — a trend we here at Brew Scene have noticed as we have traversed the state’s taprooms and brewpubs. So we decided to bring you some of their stories. Inside these pages you’ll meet Bombshell Brewing owners Michelle Miniutti, Ellen Joyner and Jackie Hudspeth, 7 Clans Brewing owner Morgan Crisp, Rocky Mount Brewery co-founder Briana Brake and other women who are making their mark in what is slowly becoming less of a white male-dominated industry. And the continued expansion of the craft brewing industry is spilling over into other endeavors and activities. As new breweries continue to open up across the state, the growing popularity of craft beer is influencing other organizations’ operations, like in the world of sports — especially minor league baseball. Baseball stadiums across the state have wholeheartedly jumped on the craft beer bandwagon, adding craft brews to their concession stands, partnering with nearby breweries on promotions and launching partnerships with craft brewers to operate on-site taprooms. Taprooms and brewpubs also are providing new venues for musicians and bands to perform and reach new audiences in an intimate setting with a family-friendly, neighborhood vibe. And they often get free beer, too.

Gene Metrick Editor Summer 2019 | Carolina Brew Scene | 7

Biére de Femme

FESTIVAL named Top 10 in the country

The women of the North

women in the brewing industry.

and 100 percent of the proceeds

Carolina Pink Boots Society have

Because women often lack the

are donated to charity. Biére de

created one of the most truly

resources of their counterparts

Femme is also deeply rooted in






festivals in the county.


the educational experience that

industry, all proceeds from Biére



it offers its festival-goers. Many

Now in its third year, the Biére

de Femme fund PBS educational

breweries and brewery supply

de Femme festival was created to

scholarships for women in the

companies sponsor educational

raise scholarship funds for the Pink

beer industry. Those scholarships

booths so that guests can learn

Boots Society, an international

pay for things like off-flavor tasting

about the ingredients that make

nonprofit organization of women

courses, brewery startup seminars,

beer and understand how those

in beer who seek to assist,

BeerSavvy Cicerone courses and

ingredients play a part in the flavor

immersion trips to Germany.

or style of a beer.

inspire and encourage other female beer professionals

This year, Biére de Femme

This year’s Title Sponsor was

through education and

raised over $16,000 for these

ABS Commercial and Homebrew

community, as well

scholarships — about as much as

Supply, while Rocky Mount Mills,

as to showcase

its previous two years combined.

Epiphany Craft Malt, Lallemand

the amazing

And if that wasn’t enough, Biére de

Brewing and Tryon Distributing

talent of

Femme was recently voted by the

have all been notable sponsors

t h e

USA Today as one of the Top 10

year after year.

beer festivals in the country.

Additionally, and perhaps one

So what makes this festival so

of Biére de Femme’s biggest draws

different from all of the hundreds

— each brewery involved creates

of other beer festivals out there?

just for the festival. The For starters, this

breweries in attendance

festival is run 100

all have at least one


8 | Carolina Brew Scene | Summer 2019

a new, one-off specialty beer





member, that

By Melissa Bruno

member or members directly have a

each year. Festival breweries are truly

hand in creating the beer that will be

excited to be a part of this and believe

introduced at the festival. This year,

in our cause. The festival goers love

Bold Missy Brewing from Charlotte

to interact directly with the women

made a Glitter Chocolate Raspberry

employees and learn while enjoying

Stout, while Southern Pines Brewing

one of a kind beers. Biére de Femme

debuted a New England IPA. Mother

is truly a special experience.”

Earth Brewing from Kinston had a






women and females in the beer

Ale and Amor Artis from Fort Mill

industry, anyone who is of legal

unveiled a Farmhouse Ale with Pink

drinking age and a fan of craft


beer can attend. And since this is



“Biére de Femme is so unique

a travelling festival, most North

because it allows for a group of

Carolina residents will have the

likeminded women to come together

opportunity to attend one year or

as volunteers for a sole purpose

another. Held in March every year,

— to help provide real educational

the festival began in 2017 in Shelby,

opportunities for ladies — our peers

road-tripped to Raleigh in 2018

— in the brewing industry,” Biére de

and landed in Asheville at Highland

Femme Chairwoman Caroline Smith

Brewing in 2019.

said. “There are no egos involved,

With so many highlights, it’s easy


to see how Biére de Femme was

dedication and work for the greater

voted as one of the Top 10 craft beer

good of our fellow females. I’m

festivals in the country. Keep an eye

honored to work beside such strong

out — it might just be in a city near you

and talented and selfless women

in the future.




Summer 2019 | Carolina Brew Scene | 9

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Pay (phone) it


Cindy Vickers

Cindy Vickers

used all the skills and knowledge she gained to give back to the next generation of brewers and to North Carolina's beer industry in general. 12 | Carolina Brew Scene | Summer 2019

By Anita Riley The Pink Boots Society exists to encourage, assist and inspire women beer professionals to further their careers through education. We do this through providing our members with scholarships to a variety of learning opportunities throughout the year and through our Pay it Forward initiative. The scholarships come with strings attached. Each recipient is charged with sharing the information she learned through her scholarship with the other members of Pink Boots Society so that we all learn and grow together. It’s the rising tide that lifts all ships. It’s women supporting women. It’s a community that exists to help each other be the best we can be. While Pink Boots Society was officially founded in 2007 by Teri Fahrendorf, I’ll argue that it’s been around a lot longer than that. “We are women. We take on more than most, and we try our best to execute to the best of our ability,” Laura Ulrich, president of Pink Boots Society, recently said in an email. And she’s right. It’s what we do as women. We push each other and ourselves to grow and learn constantly. In fact, after interviewing dozens of women, the story that stands out to me as the best example of this began in 1979. That’s when Cindy Vickers, equipped with a biology degree, still didn’t believe she had what it takes to work in the beer industry. A friend who believed in Cindy more than she believed in herself drug Cindy by the arm to a pay phone, dropped a quarter into the slot, dialed the number and handed the phone to Cindy. It turns out that she was qualified. She got an interview, and then the job. Cindy started working for Miller in their Eden plant in January 1980. “During my 31 years at Miller, I wore many different hats,”

she said. “At that time at Miller, most quality department people started in the packaging quality lab, and that’s where I started. As a packaging quality analyst, I inspected the packaging lines. Then I was a technical packaging analyst, inspecting the bottles and crowns, the cans, ends, corrugate, labels and glue. I was a chemist, and I did sensory analysis. I was an in-line instrumentation analyst, a microbiologist and a shift coordinator. “ In spring 2014, she got a phone call from Keith Elliott. He wanted her to teach a microbiology class to a group of brewing students at Rockingham Community College that night. She explained that she couldn’t come that night, but that she would teach the class. Since then, Cindy has gone on to be the Brewing, Distillation and Fermentation Program coordinator then lead instructor. She has taught students microbiology, chemistry, beverage sales and marketing, craft brewing, advanced brewing, packaging maintenance and safety and sanitation as it relates to brewing, distillation and fermentation before retiring in 2017. Her entire career is a Pay it Forward story. She used all the skills and knowledge she gained to give back to the next generation of brewers and to North Carolina’s beer industry in general. You don’t have to be a member of Pink Boots Society to Pay it Forward. Whether you’re a part of the beer industry or not, whether you’re male or female or somewhere in between, you can Pay it Forward. Who has pushed you in your career? Who has believed in you when you didn’t believe in yourself? And even though pay phones are pretty much nonexistent, who will you drop a quarter in the proverbial slot and dial the number for their career launching phone call?

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Summer 2019 | Carolina Brew Scene | 13

By Audra Gaiziunas

TRAILBLAZING WITH A REBEL YELL AND A PIONEER SPIRIT From an early age, rebellion seemed to run through my veins. I was never the girly girl who dressed in frills and pink, hosted stuffed animal tea parties and daydreamed about her wedding day. Instead I competed against the boys in feats of athleticism, created science experiments with my chemistry kits and transformed my dolls into punk and goth icons. My parents learned to expect the unexpected from me and even nurtured that streak as long as I kept my grades high. Little did any of us realize that my personality would one day fit tongueand-groove within an industry that didn’t even exist as I was growing up in 80s. On the flip side, my path seemed to be predefined by the actions of my ancestors, as my family tree continued

14 | Carolina Brew Scene | Summer 2019

to spawn rebel fruit generation after generation. My grandfather was an owner of a brewery in Lithuania prior to World War II. He was a highly educated man, an attorney with strong patriotic ties. When the Russians occupied the Baltics, my grandfather was seen as a threat to their regime and was arrested as a patriot freedom fighter. He was sent to a Siberian concentration labor camp, and the brewery was dismantled, all paperwork of its existence destroyed. When the camp was liberated eight years later, he returned to find no trace of his past and no way to move forward. Rather than giving in to the Soviet Union with quelled servitude, he flipped them the bird and flew off to blaze a new life. He escaped to the United States and never returned. Flash forward 70 years. After a

decade of stints in various industries, often leaving each frustrated, his granddaughter started her journey with craft beer, unsure of where it would lead, but confident that a conventional, corporate life was not a fit. There were too many rules that existed for no reason other than to keep an established order, quashing creativity. The craft beer industry, however,

was chock full of startups filled with an openness toward chaotic good. Some grew to a certain size and evolved to look like their corporate macro brethren, but the majority of us remain a channel of pioneering spirit, breaking rules and finding new ways to thrive outside of the norm. It’s important we continue staying true to ourselves while bringing other rebels aboard. Research has proven it pays — in terms of the bottom line — to find people who break the rules and think differently than us in order to keep our breweries ripe for nimbleness, innovation and pivots to our business model. Novelty, curiosity, diversity, differing perspectives and authenticity should comprise the essence of our companies’ DNA. The command-and-control style of leadership may work for other industries, but ours evolves too quickly for tradition to keep hold. The price we often pay for comfort is the loss of relevance. Encourage constructive dissent and open conversations within your conversations. Allow coworkers to disagree with you rather than dismissing or letting them go.


WE ARE MIGHTY. Groupthink encourages a creative rut, and

while the importance of alignment, looking in the same direction to the future, can not be understated enough, this can be accomplished through the lens of respectful challenge




compliance. As a leader, if you ask for creative input from your team, avoid treating it as an academic exercise by leaving it on the table, ignored. Keep your collective minds hungry.

Continue asking yourselves about the unmet needs of your customers and how you can fulfill them. Never settle. Never sit still. We are trailblazing champions of collaboration few industries have the capability and capacity to mimic. Take advantage of learning from each interaction during our collective brew days, whether technically or personally. New ideas arise when we ask ourselves, ‘Why not?’ — and one never knows how or when that conversation may start. As beacons of independent beer, we may represent the minority in terms of market share, but we are mighty. We are true. We are honest. We are open. So let that guerilla flag fly high and keep breaking the rules. Our disregard for the establishment allows us to create new styles, new formats, new experiences and new ways of running our respective businesses. Our rebel yell has a purpose. Let’s keep fanning those flames and planting those seeds. Let those who don’t, follow. Dare them to keep up. I know my grandfather would be proud.

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43 Years in Business

Historic Pailin's Alley, Downtown Elizabeth City NC


Summer 2019 | Carolina Brew Scene | 15 Historic Pailin's Alley, Downtown Elizabeth City NC


Tobacco Wood Brewing By J. Eric Eckard

Although Tobacco Wood Brewing in Oxford has only been open six months, its roots are more than a decade old, stemming from a young couple looking for an inexpensive date night. Mara and Paul Shelton had been married for a short time, with two young sons and not a lot of extra money for fun. Mara bakes, and Paul cooks — so they decided to take a home brewing class at a beer store in Raleigh. “I was not optimistic,” Mara said. But it didn’t take long for the couple to find that making beer was their passion. Three years into brewing beer at home, the Sheltons bounced around an idea to open a small brewery in Oxford. That was about 2008. The economy was on a downswing, and there still was a stigma

over making beer in some parts of North Carolina. “Oxford was not ready for it at the time,” Mara Shelton said. So the couple put their idea on hold and continued with their careers — she, a night shift nurse and he, with McKesson, a health care company. But they held on to their business plan, and they still brewed at home. Then a trip to England about two years ago reignited their plans to open a brewery. “We saw all those little pubs in all those small towns, and we got excited,” she said. When they got home, the Sheltons put feelers out again about starting their own beer-making company. This time, the reception in the region was a little warmer. Since their first foray into starting

16 | Carolina Brew Scene | Summer 2019

a brewery, the number of craft breweries in North Carolina had climbed from about 50 to more than 260, according to the Brewers Association. Initially, Youngsville approached the Sheltons about starting a brewery there. But then a new group of leaders in Oxford convinced the couple to reconsider their home town. In an effort to revitalize Oxford, leaders there changed the town laws, allowing beer production, paving the way for Tobacco Wood. “Three weeks later, a building came up for sale,” Mara said. The plan was to open before the N.C. Hot Sauce Contest, a festival held annually in September in Oxford. But the Sheltons’ first partner got sick and had to back out of the deal. That’s when Pierre Gingue

and Chris Barrow stepped in, Mara

making Tobacco Wood the first

Today, Mara and Paul maintain

said. Gingue and Barrow operate

female, veteran-owned brewery in

jobs outside of beer — Mara as a

a construction company that re-

the state.

part-time school nurse and Paul as

Mara Shelton enlisted in the

president of Pharma Complete, a

“They worked around the clock,”

N.C. National Guard three weeks

pharmacy consulting organization.

Mara said. “We opened four days

before 9/11, and she spent the next

Meanwhile, Mara runs the brewery

before the festival.”

nine years in the Guard and the Air

and taproom, and Paul takes

Force Reserve, serving in the Army

care of outside sales for Tobacco

band, as a forklift operator on a

Wood, named as an homage to the

in its taproom. Three of their

area’s history.

more popular sellers are 565, an

outfits buildings.

On Sept. 1, 2018, a 1940s furniture



transformed into a craft brewery,

flight line and then as a medic.



“Tobacco is really what Oxford

amber ale; Bulletstopper, a golden

is known for,” Mara said. “Our bar is

American ale; and False Motivation,

made from reclaimed tobacco barn

a hazy and juicy New England IPA.

wood, so the name really played

But Mara also likes the Beam Me

into how the city was started.”

Up Quaddy, a Belgian quad that’s

After six months of operation, Tobacco Wood brews beer twice a week, and it has 13 of its beers and two outside ciders on tap

described online as “sugar plum fairies dancing on your tongue.” The family friendly taproom, which includes a kids’ corner, also serves food. The 2,200-squarefoot taproom that can seat 180 people inside and outside features a new menu that debuted in March. Tobacco Wood serves what Mara described as barbecue fusion, with shareable appetizers, pork sliders made from homemade brisket, Wisconsin cheese curds, egg rolls, vegan dishes and salads. Wednesday night is rib night. “It did happen very quickly,” Mara said of the opening. “It is exciting, and a relief and terrifying simultaneously to have this happen after so long of just being a what if.”

Summer 2019 | Carolina Brew Scene | 17

Bombshell Brewing Company


By J. Eric Eckard

t might sound cliché, but the beginnings of Bombshell Brewing Co. in Holly Springs literally started on a golf course. Bombshell owners Michelle Miniutti, Ellen Joyner and Jackie Hudspeth all knew each other originally from Devil’s Ridge Golf Course in Holly Springs, where the three met playing golf. And through the twists and turns of fate and hops, the three opened Bombshell Brewing in 2013. But don’t let the name fool you. Bombshell might harken back to the days of Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield and Jean Harlow, but Miniutti, Joyner and Hudspeth are all business when it comes to brewing beer. “It’s about the hops, not the hype,” Miniutti said. With gold medals in the 2018 N.C. Brewers Cup and Beer Army Wars competitions for its H Town lager, Bombshell’s true beauty is inside its kegs and cans. The ladies also have won awards for their Hipster Handshake wheat ale, Lady in Red ale, Oktoberfest and Woman Full o’ Trouble porter.

18 | Carolina Brew Scene | Summer 2019

And their best-seller is the Head Over Hops IPA, a traditional IPA with plenty of fruit tones. “We wanted to make it about the beer, not the hype,” Miniutti repeated. But when the partners were brainstorming for a name, they decided to cash in on the fact that Bombshell Brewery is owned by three women — something unique in the male-dominated craft brew industry, said Miniutti.

I was brought up being taught that I could do anything. Going into a ‘man’s world’ didn’t faze me. I hope that starting Bombshell shows other women not to let gender get in the way.

- Ellen Joyner “We didn’t want it to be so much about the sexy part, but we did want it to have some femininity to it,” Miniutti said in reference to choosing a brewery name. “Here are three

women in the brewery business. Wow. Who expected that? “That’s the definition of bombshell — something shocking and amazing.” And it’s true. Fewer than 4 percent of the nation’s craft breweries are run by women, according to the Brewer’s Association. And another study indicates that 25 percent of craft beer drinkers are women. "I was brought up being taught that I could do anything," Joyner said. "Going into a 'man's world' didn't faze me. I hope that starting Bombshell shows other women not to let gender get in the way." Joyner and Miniutti first hatched the Bombshell plan almost a decade ago. When rain washed out their weekend rounds of golf, they ventured out to breweries in the region to sample the craft beer fare. They were friends and co-workers at Siemens Healthcare, but the two dreamed of running their own business and controlling their own destiny, Miniutti said. “There are (hardly any) women in the brewing

industry, and we wanted to change that,” Miniutti said. “Ellen had been a home brewer, and I grew up in Maine, drinking Allagash and Sea Dog beers.” For a few years, the two focused on brewing beer at home to hone in on specific recipes. In 2012, they decided to come up with a business plan and add a third partner – Hudspeth, a neighbor and fellow Devil’s Ridge golfer. Construction on the brewery and taproom began in 2013, and the first Bombshell beer hit the market in December of that year. A month later, the taproom opened. Later in 2014, Miniutti and Joyner left Siemens to focus on the brewery full-time. Today, Bombshell Brewery produces 2,000 barrels of beer each year and distributes to 15 North Carolina counties throughout the Triad, Triangle and Sandhills. And head brewer Devin Singley now handles the brewing operations. “We’ve grown a lot,” Miniutti said. “We have 15 employees — seven full-time. “And we bought our own canning line.”

Each partner oversees a different part of the company. Miniutti handles marketing, social media and outside sales; Joyner runs the dayto-day operations; and Hudspeth supervises delivery and distribution of the product. "I love seeing people having a good time in our taproom and enjoying our beers,” Hudspeth said. “Even though decision-making can be difficult at times, everyone in the room wants what's best for the company and our brand.” Part of what they’ve decided is best for the Bombshell brand revolves around community involvement, charitable giving and empowering women. Part of the profits go to local charities each month. The brewery also is involved in the Pink Boots Society, an organization that assists, inspires and encourages women in the beer industry. Bombshell donates a 25-barrel batch to the organization regularly. “I’m proud of who we are and what we’ve accomplished,” Miniutti said.

Summer 2019 | Carolina Brew Scene | 19

CHICKSPEARE I would give all my fame for a

pot of


— William Shakespeare, “As you Like It,” Scene 3


20 | Carolina Brew Scene | Summer 2019


f you are the type of person who thinks Shakespeare just isn’t for you, you’re Sheila Proctor’s favorite kind of person. Proctor is one of the founders of Chickspeare, an all-female Shakespeare Company that started performing shows in 1998 at (the now defunct) Johnson Beer Company in Charlotte. They now produce and perform 2-3 shows a year at NoDa Brewing Company in Charlotte. Owner Suzie Ford has been welcoming the troupe in for the past seven years. “After 20 years, I can tell you that we have earned William Shakespeare hundreds of new fans — people that had never seen or read a Shakespeare play realize they absolutely LOVE Shakespeare,” Proctor said. Proctor said first the Johnson Beer Company and now the NoDa Brewery have always had the right kind of people to appreciate Chickspeare’s work.

By Jenny White

“There’s a sense of camaraderie in these craft brewery taprooms and the audiences are open to being interactive with the actors. They’re just our kind of people,” Proctor said. Proctor said the genesis of Chickspeare evolved out of a local crew of women who yearned to act in Shakespeare plays. “There were few productions and even fewer female parts,” Proctor said. “So, we did what women typically do – we solved the problem and created our own productions. “We started brainstorming in May of 1998 and by winter, we put on our first show.” Chickspeare performs full Shakespeare productions as well as Quickspeare productions, which are abridged interactive versions of Shakespeare’s plays that also utilize improv. Proctor said most of the Quickspeare scripts are written by the Chickspeare group and are

usually comedies.




Another fan favorite show

that for some of their larger

is when Chickspeare performs

productions, they may hold

a play backwards, from the

auditions — but most of the

ending to the beginning. “We

time, their regular crew puts on

like to mix it up,”

the two or three yearly shows.

“We like to be adventurous,”


always fit in well with the craft

been breaking gender barriers,

brew scene and the people that

giving women the opportunity

like to gather at the breweries.”







Chickspeare’s regular production

in most modern productions

location, NoDa Brewery, is a

of Shakespeare. Chickspeare’s

big supporter of Chickspeare

shows engage the audience and

productions and has welcomed

provide a creative, provocative

the performance team and

environment for female actors

their quirky productions at the


brewery’s tap room for several

Shakespeare’s plays.



This desire to break down

in Charlotte and offers large

gender barriers for women in

batch brews and smaller batch

Shakespeare fuels the next

brews, which appear seasonally.

stage of Chickspeare’s future.

Chickspeare is planning a

While the company continues

holiday production on Dec.

to be a vehicle for women

19 and 20 and a spring 2020


show at NoDa Brewery.

performance of Shakespeare’s






roles, the company plans to

actors are paid. The production

promote the development of



new plays, providing the voices




money to


my opinion,” Proctor said.


years. NoDa has two taprooms


more new Shakespeare fans in

“Shakespeare and a good beer is a great combination in


otherwise available to them


Proctor hopes to meet many




based on Shakespeare’s plays.

local breweries.

As an all-female Shakespeare

Proctor said. “And that has


opportunity to create new work





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Summer 2019 | Carolina Brew Scene | 21

7 Clans

B y J enny W hite

Brewing C

raft brewers believe every brew has a story. Many




strategies are centered around telling the story of the brew and the brewers. Some are good stories. Some lend themselves to a cool T-shirt. 7 Clans Brewing is a company that really is all about the story. And it’s a good story, weaving together history, heritage and community, told by a determined female entrepreneur, 7 Clans owner Morgan Crisp, a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Crisp, her two business partners, Frank Bonomo and her husband, Travis Crisp, are committed to sharing the stories and traditions of her Cherokee heritage through their craft brewing company, which produces product in Canton. “7 Clans Brewing is a labor of a mother’s love for her family, community and heritage,” Morgan said. “At 7 Clans, we hope to share the Cherokee traditions and culture that illustrate how women are the center of your family and your community. In Cherokee traditions, women are equal to men in positions of power — it was a matriarchal system,” Crisp said. 7 Clans is a phrase used to represent the Cherokee Clan system. Crisp said Cherokees identify themselves by the clan they belong to — and there are seven clans. “Telling stories is a Cherokee tradition, as is craft brewing. My husband and I have owned restaurants and were serving craft beers and it was just an organic thing I began thinking about. I wanted to tell our Cherokee stories by creating, packaging

22 | Carolina Brew Scene | Summer 2019

and sharing a good craft beer,”

embodies the floral crispness

Crisp said.

of the Cherokee’s homeland’s

Crisp loves how craft brewing encourages



mountain air and serene spirit indicative of Selu herself. 7 Clans Blonde Ale is a malt-

engage in conversations, invites an

forward American Blonde Ale

appreciation for the artistry of

featuring rich, bready Vienna






Hop Rooted IPA

“We are proud to unite these

Indigenous cultures around

natural partners and continue Cherokee

the world know that nature

ingenuity and resiliency through

never fails to provide just

our beers,” Crisp added.

what our bodies need and our




7 Clans is brewed and

taste buds crave. Sustaining

packaged in cans and in draft


kegs at BearWaters Brewing in

with the land is essential to

Canton. It’s on tap across the

our well-being. By cultivating

state and available in some

intense floral and citrus notes to

grocery markets.

compliment Pacific Northwest











taproom in their future but

this brew goes back to the

for now uses a distributing

secret of earthly goodness —

company to share its products

balance. Bitterness is bright and

across North Carolina.

balanced without being over the top.

In Cherokee traditions, women are equal to men in positions of power — it was a matriarchal system. - Morgan Crisp While there are plans for

Bended Tree Chestnut

Brown Ale The world bends with the

heat of summer and cools into the curvature of fall. As leaves begin to blanket mountain trails, the sweetness of Cherokee chestnut bread beckons us home. Bent trees found on Cherokee lands are believed to be navigational markers.


Like these trees, the Chestnut






seven core beers, so far the

home, however you define it, to

brewing company is selling and

pull up a seat at our communal

marketing three beers.

table and indulge in rich, malt-

Blonde Ale

forward flavors year-round.

For Cherokees, the homeland

Notes of bread crust, biscuit,

is where life begins and the first

caramel and chocolate are

sip of this ale is just that — a

complemented by a subtle

new beginning, a renewal for


the soul. This rich, medium-

mahogany colored ale is rich in

bodied blonde is inspired by the

malt flavor.

original Cherokee mother, Selu,






and incorporates a hint of corn

on 7 Clans Brewing or where

to symbolize her eternal gift to

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Rocky Mount Brewery My main goal is to make great beer, but it’s also

so much bigger than


- Briana Blake

26 | Carolina Brew Scene | Summer 2019

STOPPED. For one, she doesn’t sit still much. Craft beer can be and often is a seven-day, per week job. As co-founder of Rocky Mount Brewery, Brake is either on the road distributing her latest IPA or in the incubator of the Rocky Mount Mills. Brake saw her dream of opening a brewery become a reality in November, and after a few months as a newcomer on the block, she is ready to tackle her first spring and summer months aggressively. There truly is no settling down when you’re making a name for yourself and a product. “Mondays through Wednesdays I’m brewing beers and attending meetings, trying to open new accounts,” said Brake, who is also the founder of Spaceway Brewery. “Thursdays through Sundays, we do events, festivals, beer tastings. I typically try to be at the Mills to run the cash register and catch up with some people, but it’s busy.” Brake, along with Harlem Brewery founder Celeste Beatty, opened Rocky Mount Brewery in November. Beatty has operated Harlem Brewing Company for more than a decade and a half. Beatty, a North Carolina native, often is in New York, but continually serves as a partner and mentor to Brake.

In the midst of figuring out the business side of brewing and the juggling act that comes with her schedule, Brake also strives to make a difference. The storyline that follows her and others like Beatty are that they are black women in an industry dominated by those who do not look like them. Brake doesn’t shy away from the fact that she isn’t a bearded, white man, but rather accepts it and gets to business. Brewing a cream ale for the summer is part of the business as is finding a connection with those who purchase her beer. “There are a lot of people who are curious,” Brake said. “They don’t see others who look like me. We get people who are surprised that I’m a woman and a lot of people who are glad that I am where I am.” Her minority presence will open doors for others one about

day. one

Brake day

talks having

apprenticeships with young minorities. “My main goal is to make great beer, but it’s also so much bigger than beer,” Brake said. “I want to reach out to people who don’t know this is a thing they can do.”

Inez at

T a rboro B rewin g C o .

28 | Carolina Brew Scene | Summer 2019

Story by John H. Walker Photos by Sarah Louya


broad smile came on Inez — Inie, as most know her — Ribustello's face after being asked if her venture into the beer brewing business was what she expected. "Let's see," she said. "Yes, and then some — and no ... oh, holy cow!" Ribustello was quick to add, "You have to understand that I'm not a brewer. I'm a drinker and a seller." It has been seven years or so since Ribustello and her husband, Stephen, began talking about opening a brewery in Tarboro and almost three since Tarboro Brewing Company held a grand opening for its Main Street taproom on June 4, 2016. "We opened Tarboro Brewing Company for Tarboro ... to help make the community more vibrant and to add to the quality of life," she explained as the smile turned into a more serious look. "That taproom ... we never dreamed ... there's so much neighborhood pride. It's humbling and inspiring," she said. "It has exceeded our wildest expectations. Indeed. The taproom has become a community meeting room, if you will, with groups gathering regularly to discuss issues or attend a yoga workout. On the first and third Saturdays during growing season, the Tarboro Market is held under the portico of the

building that once was the home of Constantine Bros. Pontiac. Seldom does anything go on in downtown that doesn't include TBC. Of the community involvement, Ribustello said, "It's amazing. One of our customers designs our merchandise and products ... our taproom staff includes a coach, a local business operator who has a record shop up the street and an On the Square bartender who wanted another shift." Ribustello said that it "feels like everybody who comes in feels ownership ... and it's my job to protect that." Of TBC West Tacos & Taproom at Rocky Mount Mills, Ribustello became more animated as she said, "The opportunity to come here (Mills) is a dream come true as well. "To be able to brew a 3-barrel beer over here is like a lab. We can test and try and experiment." A barrel is 31 gallons. She said everything that has come out of TBC West's 3-barrel brewery has been a success. "There are three that we've taken back to Tarboro to the 20-barrel brewery and brew regularly," she said. But as she said, Ribustello is a drinker, not a brewer, and her husband-partner Stephen is a restaurateur and not a brewer. That's where native Tarborean Franklin Winslow entered the picture. Back in the planning days

— when Inie was talking to the local

this to where we wanted it to be.

Ribustello said.

She said everyone associated

civic clubs — she would reference a


brewer from Philadelphia who was


working with she and her husband to develop the unique flavors that

down by the (Tar) river and I'm

happen and be successful."

would one day make up TBC's

already working on that again for

She again mentioned Winslow.

out of Seed Spitter," she said,

lineup of beers.

this year. We're going to be on tap

"I think he's been impressed

referring to the salted goze ale

with the beer geekiness in eastern

made with Edgecombe County




"I think we should call it TBWe


and not TBC, because there is such

November) and had 1,000 people

a collection of people making it


That brewer was Winslow, who

at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park

was with the well-known Yards

and we're going to be the (only)

Brewery at the time and driving

beer sponsor of the MoogFest on

back and forth between Philly and Tarboro every other weekend to help things move along. "We would never had done it, had we not had him," Ribustello says of TBC's brewmaster and coowner. Now,



- Inez Ribustello

moved home, Ribustello says had



(in July) than the first two-andone-half-years



His permanency is the key to everything." But Ribustello is quick to explain the increase in activity. "It's





something new or different in a 3-barrel brew," she said. "We can't afford to try that in a 20-barrel brew." In the seven years since what

watermelons and crafted to elicit memories of summer — regardless of the time of year one drinks it. "We're enjoying what we do and we enjoy watching people enjoy




beer). I think the up and coming generation wants to love what we do and want to enjoy their time,” she said.” We want to help

Ribustello said all of those events help make selling her product easier. She explained that she could go to Raleigh to pitch her beer now and try to sell it as a local beer and be told there are a half-dozen breweries up the street from the outlet and they “are” local. In





agreement for its beers to be

being talked about, Inie says

Asheville to Wilmington and soon,

"There are probably three times as

TBC will enter the South Carolina

many breweries in the state. It's so

market, testing the waters in


Greenville and Charleston first.



Ribustello said that TBC is at a key juncture in its young history.

that" that have been brewed at

"The first two years, we were

TBC West, including one, Sexy

basically treading water," she said.

Canoe, that has made the move

"And sometimes not even that.

to the 20-barrel brewery.

told us is to be sure we never run

Durham (May 18-21)."


"maybe 12 ... could be more than

"One thing the distributor has

the American Tobacco Campus in

we now know as TBC started

She said there have been

the reaction to the product.


things have really picked up. "We've

people have about their beer."



(created) since he moved back

North Carolina and the knowledge

with TBC has been pleased with

"Now, we're at a pivotal time

It joins the original lineup of

because of everything that is

Town Common Ale, Nana's Roof,

happening. The beer is making

Seed Spitter, First Ryed IPA and

an impact and developing a

Downtown Abbaye.

following. At TBC West, Laurie

"We're working to develop

Hines (manager) has taken real

name recognition and a following,"

ownership and is all about getting

Summer 2019 | Carolina Brew Scene | 29

Brick & Mortar Brewing Company operates a brewery and a 3,000-square-foot tasting room in Suffolk, Va.

Brick & Mortar Brewing Company wants to sell beer in eastern North Carolina.

Hampton Roads Breweries & Eastern NC By William F. West

Will Daughtry, who owns Atlantic Craft Beer and Specialty Wine Distributors in Currituck County, is distributing beer produced by Coelacanth Brewing in Norfolk, Va.

30 | Carolina Brew Scene | Summer 2019

An official with the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild says cross pollination is occurring between craft brewers in the Hampton Roads area of the commonwealth and eastern North Carolina. "We are near you guys," Kevin Erskine said. "I mean, quite honestly, I used to live down about seven miles away from the North Carolina border. So we've got a lot in common with the Outer Banks and Virginia Beach and Norfolk." Erskine, 53, owns Coelacanth Brewing in Norfolk. The business opened in December 2015 and makes and sells beer on-site to customers. Additionally, Erskine is vice chairman of the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild. The guild works to help promote the marketing and advancement of craft beer in the commonwealth and make sure legislation is passed to help the craft beer industry. Erskine said the reason for the coming together of business in the commonwealth and eastern North Carolina is simple: "We're both beach-like communities. We both rely an awful lot on tourism."

"We just signed contracts so we will be distributed in Richmond and northern Virginia, but before that I said, 'I want to be in the Outer Banks'," he said. Coelacanth Brewing joined up with a small North Carolina company, Atlantic Craft Beer and Specialty Wine Distributors. "And we were the first Virginia brewery that he signed up — and got a foot hold probably last year, a little earlier than this time in the Outer Banks, and got our beers down there," he said. "And they did pretty well." He said he believes the other guys are catching on that the Outer Banks is kind of a cool place. "We get a lot of visitors down there — and those visitors come from all over the East Coast. So, it's great exposure for your beer," he said. Will Daughtry, 40, owns Atlantic Craft Beer and Specialty Wine Distributors, which is based on the Currituck County mainland. Atlantic is approximately a year-and-a-half old. The company's service area includes Corolla on the Currituck County Outer Banks all the way down to the tip of Hatteras on the Dare County Outer Banks. Daughtry offered his take about why Virginia is coming into North Carolina, saying what he has learned is people are more interested in regional beer. "They like it to be close by — but it doesn't necessarily need to be from their home state," Daughtry said. He said he thinks if one made people choose — either in North Carolina or Virginia — and if they had to drink something for the rest of their lives, whether from their home

Kevin Erskine state or just something from across the border, they're going to pick their home state. He said, however, he believes people go for whatever is good, what is trendy and what is somewhat nearby. "And so as part of the benefit of being in this part of North Carolina, we get so much traffic from Virginia — tourism — it's just like a mixture. This is kind of a hub, where North Carolina can meet Virginia," he said. He said as soon as he began selling Coelacanth beers, within a month they had matched or exceeded all his North Carolina brands. "And that's when I started to figure out, 'OK, this isn't a state-by-state thing. This is a regional thing.' This is, 'What's good around me'," he said. "And

people are not afraid to cross over a state line to get some good beer." Dave Stacknick, 30, is part owner and operator of Brick & Mortar Brewing Co., which is in Suffolk and was established in 2017. Brick & Mortar brews beer and has a 3,000-square-foot tasting room. Stacknick said he and his team are trying to pursue marketing and selling their beer in eastern North Carolina. "We're about 20 minutes away from the border," Stacknick said. He said he and his team have been interested approximately the past five months in marketing in North Carolina, specifically up and down the Outer Banks. He said the reason is in Suffolk, a lot of people own property on the Outer Banks and vacation there and he would like to take Brick & Mortar's beer down there to them. As for how much business could be gained on the North Carolina side of the border, he said, "I definitely think it's a sustainable idea to distribute our stuff down there."

Coelacanth Brewing in Norfolk, Va., is selling its beer in eastern North Carolina.

Good for What Ales Ya Discover our breweries & find out how to get your official PassPork at

Summer 2019 | Carolina Brew Scene | 31

Capitol Broadcasting investment in

Craft Beer

Story by William F. West Photos by Alan Campbell


o where does Capitol Broadcasting

Evan Covington Chavez, development

other business models are about producing a

see investment in breweries in

manager of Rocky Mount Mills for Capitol

smaller amount of beer but really being able

the Rocky Mount Mills evolving as

Broadcasting, said the idea behind the

to drive those sales that are in the tap room.”

the campus reaches capacity?

incubators was Rocky Mount Mills would be

She said given this is an incubator, Rocky

And what is the Raleigh-based company’s

able to give start-up brewers an opportunity

Mount Mills would like to see breweries grow

plan and where do they see the Tar riverside

to get off the ground without the hassle of real

and expand on campus or move elsewhere —

location fitting in with the fabric of North

estate or capital rates for the equipment.

and would like to see new breweries continue

Carolina’s craft brew scene? And given

“We never really intended for everyone

the brew businesses on the campus are

to stick around,” Chavez said. “We did hope

incubators, would the company let them go or

that people would see this as the jumping-off

And she noted the leases are designed so

let them relocate elsewhere on the grounds?

point and either grow bigger at the mills, find

after a period of three years, the brewer can

another space within Rocky Mount or go back

either renew the lease or move on to another

to their hometown.”

location or grow somewhere else on campus.

The former cotton mill site had long been dormant in the aftermath of the collapse of North Carolina’s textile industry. Capitol Broadcasting stepped in as the purchaser with

Chavez noted each of the breweries on campus has their own business model.

to develop and see the mills as a place where they want to establish their first location.

“And right now, we’re basically in the first or second year of those leases,” she said. “So,

the vision being for a mixed-use development

“Some of those business models are very

it’s to be seen what will happen in the next

— but the brew businesses and the restaurants

much about being able to produce a lot of

evolution of this when the breweries start to

are the immediate eye-catchers.

beer and get it into stores,” she said. “And

re-up their leases.”

32 | Carolina Brew Scene | Summer 2019

Chavez emphasized Rocky

North Carolina craft beer scene,


she said, “Being one of the

Nash Community College from

hubs, probably the only one in


the eastern part of the state for





partnered because college’s




breweries to get together and

to prepare people for a variety

share experiences, to learn

of careers in brewing, distillation

from one another, to learn

and fermentation. The program is

from experts in the

offered through the community

fields – and do special

college and practiced through

events as part of that.” “So, whether it’s an

Rocky Mount Mills. Chavez also said Rocky Mount

incubator on campus or

Mills is working with the N.C.

another brewery that’s in

Brewers Guild to offer week-long

eastern North Carolina, that

and weekend-long workshops for

they would come out for those

brewers large and small that will

sorts of things throughout the

be coming out this autumn.

year,” she said.

Evan Covington Chavez, development manager of Rocky Mount Mills for Capitol Broadcasting. breweries as a whole and as

public more,” she said. “And we

a collective brand, along the

are ready to sort of make that

people can expect to see more

lines of “The Rocky Mount Mills

announcement, given that we’ve

whether they’re starting up or

of this year is promotion around

breweries” versus an individual

got the facilities for everything

trying to hone in certain skills.”

breweries at Rocky Mount Mills


else that comes along with

And she said as a result,

As for developing the scene

“Ideally, the mills itself becomes

on campus, she said, “I think what

a hub for breweries to learn,





Broadcasting sees Rocky Mount Mills generally fitting into the

“The breweries are at a place

being a thing.” Specifically, she


enjoying a brewery — and that is



where they’re all established

food and overnight stays and



and ready to get out into the

such,” she said.

526 N. Main St., Tarboro

1121 Falls Road, Rocky Mount



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Summer 2019 | Carolina Brew Scene | 33



27 &28


2-Day Festival cele state and beyon

Tickets & information: 252-515-




ebrates top breweries and brew pubs from across the nd, set in the historic seaside town of Beaufort, NC



ust as opening a brewery or taproom is loaded with a unique set of challenges, forming and maintaining any kind of band can be just as demanding. Given that many brewpubs offer

live music in some form — be it acoustic singersongwriters or electric, full-band outings — there’s an uncanny symbiosis between the modern craft brewery and the independent musician, one that frequently offers growth opportunities for both parties and a winwin situation for patrons. We reached out to a handful of North Carolina bands who gig


CRAFT BEER By Kevin Flinn

regularly in the Old North State’s taprooms to see how the stars have aligned for brewers and musicians alike. Jones Smith, bassist for the Phantom Playboys, cites the modern brewpub’s “builtin crowd and budget for bands” as a major advantage. He said that when the Wilmingtonbased rockabilly surf group “goes into new markets we can’t expect people to come see us if they don’t know us,” but the taproom might give otherwise unaware listeners an opportunity to discover new music. On top of that, he says, is the fact that unlike traditional venues like bars or clubs, there’s no cover charge at taprooms, which is a bonus for folks who might balk at paying $10 at the door on top of a two-drink minimum at a club. Interacting with those musically-engaged patrons is what keeps the members of Cary’s

Members of the Joe Baes Project pose for a photo with audience members at Brutopia in New Bern.

Blue Sky Crying returning to brewpubs across the state.

Joe Baes Project, which cites KISS and Rush

an across-the-board response from the

as influences — says that the advantages

musicians we talked to, as they all cited

of playing brewpubs far outweigh the

the proximity to the audience and the get-

disadvantages. Most notably, he likes

a-beer-between-sets mentality as unique

earlier starting/ending times and closer

to brewpubs. The earlier hours that Baes

interactions with crowds, which isn’t always

referenced came up frequently as well,

possible (or positive) at a bar or club. While

with Smith acknowledging how those

That local, everybody-knows-your-name

a taproom gig might not pay as much as

hours often contribute to a more family-

vibe is what draws a lot of customers to

a club gig for a full band, Baes is quick to

friendly environment than a traditional bar

brewpubs and taprooms, as there’s a good

point out possibly the best perk of playing

or club, where late showtimes and 21-and-

chance that the person pulling your pint also

a brewery: the beer.

over restrictions can limit potential fans.






community feel,” says the blues-rock band’s guitarist Justin Abood. “When I’m at Bombshell Brewery (in Holly Springs) or Southern Peak (in Apex) to perform, I feel like I’m in the sitcom Cheers — everyone has a local hang that is their place.”

had a hand (or two) in its brewing. There’s also

“The band enjoys trying the new brews

“We have found there's a lot of folks that

an adventuresome spirit in the beer drinker

from different brewers,” Baes adds. Often a

would love to have a beer and enjoy some

who’s up for just about anything his/her local

taproom will bolster a band’s payment with

music but would never (come out) later

brewery produces, just as enthusiastic listeners

an open bar tab, which makes for a nice

in the evening to a downtown bar,” Smith

seek out what’s new and exciting in local music.


says. “Early shows can be profitable and

New Bern’s Joe Baes — of the eponymous

36 | Carolina Brew Scene | Summer 2019

The interactions Baes mentions were

they can target a different demographic.”

For all the benefits of a brewpub




ages, the downside to that kind of environment is, of course, kids running amok while their parents sample a flight of IPAs. Abood laments “trying to load in $10,000 worth of gear only to have little Johnny climb all over it without asking, while his parents barely notice.” The guitarist adds, however, that this problem is currently being




breweries, with potential childfree “adult swim” hours in the evenings.

The Phantom Playboys perform at Pitt Street Brewery in Greenville.

Ultimately, the musicians with whom we spoke credited the

scene that pays off (literally and

and the semi-pro player,” Abood

environment a quality brewpub

figuratively) for both the brewery

says. “If a quality environment

Adds Baes, “it’s great to see

or taproom creates as the most

and the musicians.

for the listener and performer is

that things are looking up for

establishment and the music.”

important factor in creating and

“It comes down to how any

provided, then everyone has a

the local musicians, fans of live

maintaining a vibrant music

venue treats the music scene

much better ability to enjoy the

music and beer lovers.”

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

Summer 2019 | Carolina Brew Scene | 37

e M See lass C r e t Af A note from the desk of eastern North Carolina’s beer professor


f you believe what some of the beer TV commercials and marketing will show you, craft brewers are usually all big, beardy men.Standing around wearing aprons, chatting quite seriously with our beardy buddies. Giving stern looks to liquids in large glass tubes and sniffing big beardy handfuls of the finest, freshest hops and barley that were ever grown between the sandy shores of the home of the AS A BREWER, brave. Ahhh … Work. I LOVE WHAT Craft. Barrels. I DO. I LIKE TO America. GET IN THERE So the AND GET MY customers come HANDS DIRTY. I in droves. To make GET TO CREATE their pilgrimage in tribute to these SOMETHING wizened men of THAT PEOPLE copper and steel. CAN GATHER The Hemingways AROUND AND of beverage-dom. ENJOY. And they sip from great pints of stout and IPAs, as they peer through the foggy brewhouse window. Hoping to see with their own eyes some small glimpse of the magic of these storied brewers performing their liquid alchemy. When like eager children at the first flakes of snow, with their eyes squinted and their noses pressed to the glass, at long last

38 | Carolina Brew Scene | Summer 2019

By Jared Barkley

they finally see … the back end of some nerd with a clipboard washing out a plastic bucket. But hey, the truth probably doesn’t sell as many six packs, right? In reality, we brewers are all different types of people. While I, myself, do happen to be of the beardy dude persuasion, not all brewers are bearded. Not all brewers are dudes. So what makes a brewer? Or more importantly, what makes a good brewer? Personally, I think it’s a combination of multiple things. First, a good brewer should be willing to get in there and get their hands dirty. Day to day work in a brewery probably isn’t the backbreaking, soul crushing job that some careers are, but it can be physically tough on you. You’ll get a good workout, for sure. There’s a great saying floating around the industry that I always like to tell my students: “Everyone wants to be a brewer until it’s time to do brewer shit.” I don’t know who said it first, but I think it makes a good summary. Much of our time is spent cleaning, scrubbing, mopping, and moving around some pretty hefty gear. Kegs aren’t light. You’ll spend the vast majority of your day on your feet on a concrete floor. You’ll do a lot of bending and squatting. Breweries tend to get hot and humid pretty quickly. I’m reminded of a particular brewhouse that I used to work in that averaged a good 108 degrees most of

the time. In the winter. But if you don’t mind good, hard work, maybe you’ll make a good brewer. Physical stuff aside, a good brewer needs to understand the science of their work. Here’s a fun experiment: Head to any brewery of your choice. Order a beer and really taste it. Make some notes and get a really good sense of what that beer is like. Go back again in a month and repeat. Head back for a third time one month later and compare notes. If the beer isn’t the same, that may mean that somebody isn’t doing their homework. At its absolute base level, if you can macn-cheese, you can make a beer. The basic process is a pretty simple concept. Heat some water, dump in some stuff, drain, pour in more stuff, etc. Step by step, it’s not difficult to follow. However, for brewers it is bit more complicated. We deal with agricultural products as our ingredients. This means a constant drift in things like water chemistry, enzymatic content, alpha acids, cell viability, temperature, time or about a ba-jillion (scientific term) other variables that come into play. The good brewer does their best to learn and understand these variables, and uses their knowledge of chemistry, biology and math to minimize those variables into that best-selling, repeatable flagship brew. It’s a challenge of getting a consistent

result from sometimes less that consistent ingredients. Customers are going to want your awesome Belgian Tripel they bought from you in September to be awesome again when they buy it in March — not to mention every time in between. Do you like solving puzzles? You might be a good brewer. So we have the hands-on stuff, and we have the nerdy brain stuff. And truth be told, with that combination, you could probably make some pretty good beer. But for me, I still think that there’s one piece left. That last bit that can push you from good to great. That’s the passion. Maybe that’s the thing that those commercials are trying to capture? The love for it. As a brewer, I love what I do. I like to get in there and get my hands dirty. I get to create something that people can gather around

and enjoy. I love that my job lets me stretch my brain and solve problems. And at the end of the day, there is no better reward than to sit down with your friends and enjoy a great cold beer that you made. That’s the passion. You will never find a group of people that love what they do more than a room full of great brewers. As an educator, I can teach the hands-on stuff. How to fill a keg or clean a mash tun. I can teach the science and math. The polysaccharides or how to manually calculate projected IBUs on paper. But I’m not really sure if I can teach the passion. Luckily, I’ve never had to. Jared Barkley is a full-time instructor of Brewing, Distillation and Fermentation Science at Nash Community College. When not in class or his office, he’s usually “conducting research” at his local bottle shop.

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Summer 2019 | Carolina Brew Scene | 39

40 | Carolina Brew Scene | Summer 2019

By Jessie H. Nunery There’s no secret that North Carolina’s craft brewing industry is booming. There





remaining one can take and not find a local

minimal to start, but as research was done,

doing is an important piece to the puzzle.”

Lawrimore — along with colleagues David

Oregon State University has archived its

Gwynn and Richard Cox — began to feel as

region regarding brewing, but it’s a project

if the project had many more layers.

that isn’t found in many other states. Lawrimore believes the work being done

brewery. The state’s brewing history hasn’t been

by the UNC-Greensboro team can be a

documented in an overly aggressive

guideline for other places that might want

manner, but the current climate of where

to take on such a challenge. Locally, the project has been well

North Carolina stands regarding beer will

received. A public event release party was

have a home. A small group at UNC-Greensboro are

held last year, an exhibit was held at a local

in the midst of cataloging the beer scene

beer festival, and Lawrimore said there are

in Guilford and surrounding counties with a

a lot of people interested in the work, which

project named Well Crafted NC.

she calls “a labor of love” outside of her job duties.

The idea was spawned during the fall of

“We know that if we don’t record history

2017 when UNC-Greenville archivist and associate professor Erin Lawrimore was

They began to learn about the

now for researchers in the future, there

part of a group that received an internal

contributions of women to home brewing

might not be resources,” Lawrimore said.

grant to research beer and brewing history

dating back to the late 1890s, where such

“We are doing what we can now.”

in Greensboro.

brewing took place.

Expectations might have been

Well Crafted NC has a home at http://

Although it is natural for an

archivist like Lawrimore to look

history/ that includes a timeline of the

back, she said the project is also a

origins of brewing in the state around the

documentation of current times.

Triad region.

“This is a snapshot of now

Lawrimore said that Well Crafted NC

and not necessarily who has

hopes to be a part of the anniversary

the oldest, most well-known or

celebrations of breweries, where they can


look back and have a historical perspective



said. “We have so many younger

of the times.

folks coming through educational

“We’ll be able to provide those resources

programs for craft brewing, and

and pieces to fill in the gaps,” Lawrimore

they know their stuff. Regardless

said. “We are trying to grow the project at a

of what changes, what we’re

speed that we can keep up with.”

Summer 2019 | Carolina Brew Scene | 41

Greene County Manager Kyle DeHaven, right, visits with Uptown Brewing Co. and Billy Beer Inc. President Billy Dunn, left, and brewmaster Ben Self at the company’s Greenville-based brewery and taproom.



ack in 1977, Billy Carter — younger brother of thenPresident Jimmy Carter — sought to become “the Colonel Sanders of Beer” by partnering with Louisville’s Falls City Brewing Co. to produce an easy-drinking light beer. “I got a red neck, white socks and Blue Ribbon beer,” Carter was once quoted as saying. To that end, his goal was a beer for the working man: Billy Beer. However, the working man didn’t like Billy Beer. Nor did many others for that matter, and in October 1978, Falls City shut down operations after less than a year of producing Billy’s eponymous brew. Because of Billy Beer’s ties to President Carter, the cans — either full or empty — became collectibles, first via newspaper wantads and later on eBay. Enter another Billy. In the early 2000s, former Oklahoma Sooners and Detroit Lions running back Billy Sims bought the Billy Beer brand and trademark for use in his chain of barbecue restaurants. The 1978 Heisman Trophy winner wanted a beer with his name on it, and in

42 | Carolina Brew Scene | Summer 2019

By Kevin Flinn

lieu of starting from square one with a new beer, he simply re-upped on Billy Carter’s. The song remained the same, though, and even as Billy Sims BBQ expanded to over 40 locations in six states, it stopped producing Billy Beer. There’s always another Billy. This time it was Billy Dunn Sr., owner of Greenville’s Uptown Brewing Co. In the summer of 2018, Dunn had a vision not unlike the former First Brother, envisioning a light beer that was easily drinkable, one that was equally at home on the golf course, at a tailgate party or even in Uptown’s taproom in Greenville. According to Megan Tomlinson, director of sales at Billy Beer, Dunn wanted a

We want to be the best-selling local beer in the Greenville area first, and then venture West, going statewide. - Megan Tomlinson

beer with which “he could drink, entertain and be social.” Thus was born Uptown’s craft light lager, appropriately named “Billy’s Beer.” (It’s important to note that at this stage the beer had nothing whatsoever to do with either Carter or Sims. This was simply Billy Dunn Sr.’s brainchild come to fruition.) In this day and age of IBUs, VGAs and DIPAs, Uptown was a bit hesitant to even put Billy’s Beer on its menu due to the stigma surrounding light beers. Would anyone actually drink a craft beer with a 3.48 percent ABV, or would it be doomed to the obscurity of a collectible can? The company even considered making (Billy’s) an offmenu selection for those “in the know.” In an interview with The Daily Reflector, Dunn noted that “craft beer people don’t like to advertise light beer.” But once word got around (and, more importantly, consumers tasted the beer, Billy’s soon became Uptown’s best-seller “by far,” says Tomlinson. The company’s web site notes that “here will always be a place for unfussy, approachable styles, and craft is the way to

brew them right.”

Tomlinson reports that Billy

In September 2018, Dunn

Beer’s footprint is ever growing, as

purchased the Billy Beer trademark

it’s distributed throughout eastern

from Sims and officially split Billy

North Carolina from Greenville to

Beer from Uptown. The two are now

the Outer Banks and Wilmington

sister — but separate — companies.

to the Virginia Border. She adds that

Billy Beer built a 10,000-square-

the company’s goal is for Billy Beer

foot brewing and canning facility

to be available statewide by the end

in Walstonburg in Greene County,

of 2019.

about 20 miles west of Greenville.

"We want to be the best-selling

Billy Beer has moved from

local beer in the Greenville area

being Carter’s brand to Sims’ to

first, and then venture West, going

now Dunn’s, and the company now


is branded as Billy Beer, with the

In the 1970s, the original Billy

95-calorie “Billy’s Beer” originally

Beer had a message from Carter

served at Uptown now known

emblazoned on the can: “I had this

as the Billy Beer American Light

beer brewed up just for me. I think

Lager and Billy’s Wild Weekend (a

it's the best I ever tasted. And I've

Mexican-style lager) next on tap.

tasted a lot. I think you'll like it, too.”

Tomlinson says the idea was to

Dunn put a twist on his forebear for

“branch out and make (Billy Beer) a

the American Light Lager can: “I’m

true brewery by going step-by-step

a connoisseur of light beer, so I had

and doing what makes sense for the

this one brewed just for me. I


think you’ll like it, too.”

Summer 2019 | Carolina Brew Scene | 43

Carolina MicroBrews Story by Samuel Evers P h oto s by S a r a h L o u ya The sports world was

on their jerseys for four games

“It’s perfect both ways,”

officially introduced to the

this season, the first of which

Ennis said. “It gives us a chance

Carolina Micro Brews a few

was on April 13 — were born. The

to gain traction in Milwaukee

months ago, on Feb. 22, at

other Micro Brew games will be

and with our fans here.”

an event at Oak City Brewery

May 9, June 6 and Aug. 1.

in Knightdale hosted by the Mudcats.

So, why did this idea, from

On April 13, the first 1,200 fans admitted to Five County

inception to execution, take so long?

ESPN’s SportsCenter gave

Stadium received a replica Micro

Simple: Great minor league

the idea large-scale exposure

Brews jersey; on May 9, the

promotions aren’t built in a day,

on April 13, with a 45-second

first 1,200 fans will get a free

a month — or even a season.

Saturday morning clip showing off the special jerseys and hats, which show a resemblance to the Milwaukee Brewers’ jerseys


of a few decades ago.




Ennis said. “Instead of rushing something out, we took our time and did it right.” Once the idea was set


and approved, the marketing

2018 season had even started


department put it on the back

during a brainstorming session


shelf for the 2018 season, and,

But way back, before the

for promotional ideas at the Carolina Mudcats’ offices in


Zebulon, is when the idea first

around, kicked the planning into



once last September rolled

“It was a team effort,”




design ideas, making tweaks, communicating with vendors

said Patrick Ennis, the team’s

beer stein with the MB logo on

and tying other loose ends

director of promotions and

the cup; and on Aug. 1, the first

before the reveal in February

fan experience. “We were just

1,200 will get a Micro Brews

which, for a satisfying moment,

talking around — what if we did

bottle opener.

broke Minor League Baseball

this and that? Mini Brewers?






Micro Brewers? Micro Brews?

introduced to much excitement

For a Single-A marketing

That’s it — let’s submit and see

from the Twitter-verse to the

department, there’s no better

what happens.”

baseball blogosphere to The






Sports Network in Canada, is

“It was an awesome feeling,”

from the Milwaukee Brewers

supposed to pay homage to the

Ennis said. “With all the hard

and Minor and Major League

Mudcats’ major league club and

work that everyone on the staff

Baseball, the Micro Brews — the

to the rich recent boom in craft

put in, it’s been tremendous to

beer across North Carolina.

see all the feedback.”

name the Mudcats will sport

44 | Carolina Brew Scene | Summer 2019

l By Samue


Woodpeckers Looking for a nice day out while savoring some

have to be everything — it’s been very much like a start up around here.”

good beer? The Fayetteville Woodpeckers have you covered.

A lot of that man power has gone toward making

There’ll be some baseball going on, too.

sure stadium goers will have plenty of local craft

Formerly the Buies Creek Astros, playing its home

beer options in the inaugural season.

games in a nondescript college baseball stadium,

“We thought a lot about the military population

the Class-A affiliate of the Houston Astros has fully

and young families,” Hughes said. “Those fans and

transitioned into its new city, new name and new

those people are the demographic we’re looking for

stadium for the 2019 Carolina League season.

in terms of craft beer; people who are looking for

The Woodpeckers played their first-ever game

more than watered down beer to get drunk on.”

on April 4, on the road against the Potomac

The main attraction beer-wise will be a bar in

Nationals, an eventual 15-0 win,

right field, which will be named Healy’s after the

but they officially opened their

main beer distributor the team partnered with, and

brand new Segra Stadium

will feature 30 taps pouring local craft beer options

in downtown Fayetteville

like Foothills, Fayetteville’s Bright Lights, Mash

on April 18 against the

House, New Belgium and others, along with other domestic light beer options.

Carolina Mudcats. the

The Woodpeckers have visions of Healy’s

offseason to the home

becoming its own entity — but right now, the team

opener, it’s been all

is planning on keeping the bar open even when the

able hands on deck.

team is off or out of town, though the dates and







times have yet to be determined.


Elsewhere in the stadium, there will be a bar


behind home plate exclusively selling Foothills

Woodpeckers’ marketing and

Brewing beer, along with three mobile carts — one

communications manager,

will sell beers by Southern Pines Brewing, one will

“our entire front office

sell beers by Highland Brewing and the other will sell



staff was moving

rotating beers under the Healy’s umbrella.


And, local craft beer sticklers be advised: In


the process of scouting out the beer scene, the


Woodpeckers made sure they went as North

other day. In

Carolina-centric as possible: Every craft beer

minor league

available in Segra Stadium either originated in the

baseball, you

state or has a physical brewery in North Carolina

gym into


Summer 2019 | Carolina Brew Scene | 45



By S




k r a p l

l a B


in downtown Winston-Salem and employ

president of media relations,

Foothills Brewing as their craft beer supplier. In

and since, a symbiotic relationship has

all, eight of the brewery’s beers are available for


raft beer and minor league sports in North Carolina go together like college basketball and The Triangle.

s w e r B

formed, which manifested into a brew called the Thunderbirds Brown Ale. THE CAROLINA MUDCATS

pour this summer. THE ASHEVILLE TOURISTS Unsurprisingly, the baseball team in the

From the pioneering Durham Bulls, who, of

The Mudcats, who play at Five County

city dotted with breweries seemingly on every

course, have a beer named after them, to the

Stadium in Zebulon, are serious enough about

block has a long list of craft beer available

newest minor league addition, the Fayetteville

craft beer that they’ll play four games this

at McCormick Field, home of the Asheville

Woodpeckers, artisan alcohol and live sporting

season rebranded as the Carolina Micro Brews.

Tourists, who have been playing under that

events can be paired in all different parts of

In-stadium craft beer options include brews

moniker since the late 1800s.

the state. Here are some of the many teams,

by Red Oak Brewery and Foothills Brewing.

from Wake County to Asheville, who have


available at the park by nearly a dozen different

capitalized on the craze.

The Wood Ducks, the DEWDS for short, are

brands, including Catawba Brewing, Highland


in their second season back in Kinston after a

It’s one thing to partner with a local brewery.

seven-year absence of minor league baseball.

It’s another thing to partner with a brewery to create a team-inspired beer. That’s what the Carolina Thunderbirds, the minor league hockey team in downtown

In all, there are 26 craft beer and ciders

Brewing, Hi-Wire Brewing and many others. THE CHARLOTTE KNIGHTS

The team plays at historic Grainger Stadium

The Charlotte Knights, the Class-AAA

and partners with Kinston’s Mother Earth

affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, who play

Brewing, providing nearly a dozen of the

their home games at BB&T Ballpark overlooking

brewery’s beers on tap during games.

downtown Charlotte, are heavy in the craft

Winston-Salem, did with Fiddlin' Fish Brewing,

With the recent return of Carolina League

which also has its headquarters in downtown

baseball to the stadium came several upgrades,

Fans who attend a Knights game this

Winston-Salem, about a 10-minute walk to

including Mother Earth Pavilion in right field, a

season will have their choice between local

the Fairgrounds Annex, where the team plays.

double-decker bar with a view of the action.

and statewide favorites like NoDA Brewing,

beer game.


Birdsong Brewing, The Olde Mecklenburg

nearby brewery was the only one willing to

The Carolina League’s Winston-Salem

Brewery, Sycamore Brewing, Red Oak Brewery,

partner with them, said Zak DeBeaussaert,

Dash play their home games at BB&T Ballpark

The team was founded in 2016, and the

46 | Carolina Brew Scene | Summer 2019

Foothills Brewing and Wicked Weed Brewing.

Summer 2019 | Carolina Brew Scene | 47


Authentic wood-fired pizza Craft beer on tap A dream come true at 7 Elm St., Rocky Mount NC (252) 469-8778



ann A. M

t s a o C l a t s y r C i ng

Matt, Charlie and Sidney Poppe in the Atlantic Beach tap room of Crystal Coast Brewing Company

w e Br


the locals as

hen Charlie Poppe first saw the

“He was looking to do something

empty Beach Mart on Salter Path

bigger,” Charlie said. “They had a real

Road in Atlantic Beach, he just

small system back then, so we started

knew the cavernous building — formerly

thinking about it and thought this would

long road to get to success for Crystal

the home of tacky T-shirts, personalized

be a really great place to have a craft

Coast Brewing Company.

shot glasses and oversized beach towels

brewery — right here with all this glass,

Renovations on the building got so

— would be perfect for some sort of

right on the street. It would be unique to

far behind that it took more than a year


have the brewery here on the island.”

to open. One hitch was the fact that

well as the visitors.” Business is good, but it was a


the island is only on a septic system.

interior and glass exterior, it was, he

beautifully refurbished Atlantic Beach

Tired of waiting to open, they decided

thought, a natural for a store such as

tap room of the family’s brewery, Crystal

to open their first taproom in a building

Total Wine. But since Total Wine doesn’t

Coast Brewing Company. On this August

that had housed a theatre, a skating

franchise, Poppe, his wife, Sidney, and

particular evening, the family is on hand

rink and a church in Morehead City. The

adult son, Matt, decided to regroup and

for the release of it’s latest beer, Mojito

seven-barrel brewing facility opened in

see what other ideas might work in that

Cerveza, a light, refreshing brew with

a business park in Morehead City.


lots of lime character and hints of mint,

A fire in December 2017 caused

perfect for imbibing after a day spent in

extensive damage to the facility,causing

the surf. It’s early, but a lively crowd has

the Morehead City location to be closed

With its soaring ceiling, spacious

The answer, it turned out, was at the opposite end of the state.




Originally from Davidson, the Poppe

gathered in the tap room and is enjoying

indefinately, Matt Poppe has released

family has owned a home in Atlantic

the beer as well as tacos served by a

the following statement:

Beach for more than 30 years, but

local caterer.

We are hoping to return to that

they also spend a lot of time at Beech

“When we do a new beer, a lot of

building if possible,” Matt said. “Our

Mountain Resort, where they got to

times people in this area will want to

Atlantic Beach taproom is now open

know Billy Smith, the brewmaster at the

come out and try it, “ Matt said. “Even if

seven days a week, and the community

resort’s small brewery.

they’re craft beer or not. We try to reach

has been unbelievably supportive and

50 | Carolina Brew Scene | Summer 2019

Company , Coast Brewing l ta ys Cr m fro A flight ey Island Black Cerveza, Mon ito oj M : ht rig ftle ach Blonde IPA , Atlantic Be t as Co l ta ys Lager, Cr

has set up events and visited us at our Atlantic


Beach location in huge numbers since the


event. We are extremely thankful to have our

“You can’t put the cleaning

brewery in the Crystal Coast Business Park

chemicals down the drain because it

as well that was obviously unaffected by this

will destroy the septic system. It’s not that

fire as it's in a different location in Morehead

much water if you’re careful, you just have a

City, and we are excited to be distributing our

100-gallon tank and haul it off. “

craft beer in the Charlotte, Raleigh, and Rocky Mount areas as well as locally.



“We thought it would be more of an intimate experience for people to see it right

other l o c a l b r e w e r i e s to



other’s beers, they also work with local and regional farmers on recipes.

Eventually, the Poppe family plans to brew

through the glass,” Matt added. “We don’t

at least some small-batch craft brews. The

have a huge system back there — it’s one-and-

Atlantic Beach location features a small one-

a-half barrels, so the brewer can experiment.”

and-a-half barrel system with a glass garage

He said the goal is to have Saturday tours

saids. He also pointed out that the brewery

door that opens to the brewery’s game area,

where the brewer can demonstrate what he’s

takes waste grain to a farmer in Beaufort who

allowing patrons to see the brewing process.


gives it to his pigs and cows and then sells the

The intent was to perhaps brew some sours. “It’s only septic so we have to haul all the

Local connections are also important for Crystal Coast. Not only do they work with

“For some of our beers, we’ve gotten strawberries from Garner Farms in Newport and gotten malt from Carolina Malt,” Matt

meat at the Beaufort Farmer’s Market. “It’s a complete circle,” he said.

Mill Music Sessions ● Friday, May 17 – Get Funky at the Mills with the Groove Shop Band ● Friday, June 7 – Purple School Bus ● Friday, August 9 – Billy Walton Band ● Saturday, September 14 – New Reveille Mill Music Mini-Sessions ● Saturday, June 1 – Saxophonist Eric Xavier and regional musicians perform jazz, funk, rhythm and blues ● Saturday, July 20 – Blues at The Mills with Jon Shain and Randy McQuay Find us and Like us on Social Media Summer 2019 | Carolina Brew Scene | 51

Pick Your Six By Lewis Smith

Shall we play a game?


Beers Games

The Game: Darts Yes, that eternal classic — because nothing

It’s a fact of life that humans love beer, and that humans love fun. That’s actually two facts of life, but after enough beers one hardly notices sudden changes like that. Taprooms and bars offer excellent opportunities to combine these two things, and with that in mind, we thought we’d match up six much-loved bar games with six beers, mix them together, and see if an article happens at the end of it (spoiler alert: yes, it did). This is, of course, done for educational purposes of scholarly review and not at all an excuse to drink beer and throw things. We don’t know how those rumors got started.

The Beer: Wilma’s Wandering Eye IPA

(Double Barley Brewing, Smithfield)

bad ever happens when you get people drunk

Double Barley opens us up strong

and let them throw sharp things while doing

with a dry-hopped Imperial IPA that

math. George Carlin once asserted that even with the potential for serious injury, darts couldn’t be considered

comes on tart, but finishes smooth and satisfying. Double Barley describes the

a sport because the whole object

overall effect as “sneaky,” and

was to get to zero and thus

they’re not wrong. The hoppiness

went against all competitive

is cut through by some pleasant

theory. But for sheer longevity

notes of orange blossom honey,

and ease of play (the rule set is

that cut the bitterness without

very adaptable, especially our

making things too sickly sweet,

version, called “Just try to get

and makes for a beguiling little

the dart in the board somewhere

libation whose 12 percent ABV

and don’t put an eye out”) darts

will get on top of you like a

stands alone at the top of the taproom

sudden summer storm or a

Olympics events.

Volkswagen your head.

52 | Carolina Brew Scene | Summer 2019



The Game: Giant Jenga Jenga — from a Swahili word meaning “who’s going to clean up this mess?” — is a game born out of the human soul’s love of stacking things and watching things fall down, especially in the game’s upsized taproom cousin. A successful Jenga game involves

(Blowing Rock Brewing Company, Blowing Rock)

If you like your beers hoppy and piney, this is the beer for you. Galaxy, Amarillo



hops form the backbone of this one, and it has a very tart and bitter taste

steady hands, a keen sense of

but finishes out crisp

balance and an innate feel for

and dry. I’m not much for

the stress points of interlocking

super hopped-up beers,

construction, all of which may be

but if you are the sort of

things that would be easy to find

person who likes these

at an architect’s convention but

kind of beers, you will

are very thin on the ground on tap takeover night.

THE GAME: Foosball Foosball was invented when someone took a look at the game of soccer and thought it could be improved if both teams were really tiny and had big steel poles shoved through their arms. Despite the horrible image this may evoke, Foosball is a very high-energy game that rewards dexterity and quick wrist action. Plus, it’s really fun to spin the players around like they’re human helicopters.

THE BEER: Mountain Star Hoppy Double Lager

find it is the sort of beer you like.

THE BEER: Zero Cool

(Casita Cerveceria, Fountan NC /Triple Crossing Beer, Richmond, Va.)

Casita works magic with coffee and beer and Triple Crossing’s beers were a delightful find on a recent trip to Richmond, so this team-up was one I couldn’t miss, and I’m glad I didn’t, because this was pretty great. This is a lovely dark concoction with a heavy, rich coffee flavor that finishes with just a hint of chocolate. Nothing is too sharp, too sweet or too prominent in the flavor mix, and it makes for a wonderful experience. The balance this beer has is just amazing and is the perfect counter-argument for anyone who complains that there’s too much coffee or chocolate in other beers — for those particular Goldilocks, they will find this one just right.

Summer 2019 | Carolina Brew Scene | 53

THE GAME: Air Hockey

THE BEER: Winter Porter

(Carolina Brewing Co., Holly Springs)

Otherwise known as “the hockey with less fights, played by fewer Canadians,” air hockey uses the miracle of a cushion of air to propel a nearly



around a special table. Each player tries to score goals, right up until one

Alluding to air hockey’s icier cousin, we decided to pick this offering from CBC, and it was an inspired choice. A warm roast taste with a malty hook hits you initially, but it

player hits the puck so hard

smooths out to a nice, smooth, sweet

it flies off the table because

chocolate finish. Hadn’t had an offering

they got caught up in the

like this from CBC previous to this, but it

high spirit of the moment.

sure became a fast favorite.

THE GAME: Cornhole

Cornhole grew out of the game of

THE BEER: Kolsch Krush

(Wrightsville Beach Brewery, Wilmington)

horseshoes and sought to preserve the

As befits a game best played in the

fun of throwing things at other, different,

temperate months, we felt like a beer

things without the potential dangers of

evoking that beloved summer treat, the

having big heavy pieces of iron flying

orange creamsicle, was a proper match.

around and maybe killing someone.

And it’s a good one — a very dry, zesty

Allowing for varied opportunities for

and crisp orange taste yields to a smooth,

scoring and strategy in play as well as

sweet finish. It’s not the sugar overload

rewarding a keen eye and steady hand,

that an actual creamsicle would be, but

cornhole is a beloved game in taproom

it’s pleasing, refreshing and as perfect a

and tailgate parties everywhere.

summer beer as one could hope for.

THE GAME: Axe Throwing Aww



Someone looked at darts, cornhole and the warrior barbarian that dwells inside all of us and said, “How can we combine these things into an awesome game, turn it up to 11 and rip the knob off?” Out the other end of that thought process came axe throwing, a game that is exhilarating, fun, amazing exercise and provides blissful catharsis through the medium of barely controlled mayhem.

Coffee Vanilla Black

(Dugges Bryggeri, Landvetter, Västergötland Sweden)

A game as serious as axe throwing deserves a serious beer and this one certainly qualifies — a mighty imperial stout, rich with a thick roast coffee and malt flavor but tempered with a sweetness that lulls you into that sucker-punch that imperial stouts are renowned for. Quite a satisfying beer, though we obviously don’t recommend going axe-throwing afterwards, as this is 13 percent AB and thus is not necessarily the kind of thing that will enhance your skills. But definitely enjoy one afterward. It’s a great way to unwind. Hard.

And there you have it — six games to liven up your night out in the taproom. While we all go to the taproom for the promise of great beer — sometimes more than several — you’d be surprised how much a good game can go toward giving you incentive to stay a spell. May your summer nights be full of good beer, good memories and all the fun and games you can stand.

54 | Carolina Brew Scene | Summer 2019

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Summer 2019 | Carolina Brew Scene | 55

Lost Colony Wine & Culinary


Some of the best handcrafted brews from Outer Banks breweries and beyond were featured in September at the The Lost Colony Wine and Culinary Festival. The event at the the Beer Garden of the Waterside Theatre on Roanoke Island — with views across the Roanoke Sound of Jockey’s Ridge sand dunes and the Wright Memorial — also featured wine-tastings, samplings of specialties from some of the Outer Banks’ favorite restaurants and best chefs and live music. Located in the breezeway of the Waterside Theatre, the Beer Garden showcases all five local Outer Banks breweries and some of the best regional craft beers as well. The event raised funds for The Lost Colony production, the country’s longest-running symphonic outdoor drama telling the story of the 1587 Roanoke Colony on the site where the actual events occurred.

56 | Carolina Brew Scene | Summer 2019

urance Ins C e n t er



PROMISE LAND MARKET bottles - bar - kitchen


fine wine

craft beer

great eats

live music & event space

Summer 2019 | Carolina Brew Scene | 57






have made it a much more palatable

bombers are just a bit much for stouts —

declared April to be North Carolina Beer

option for small brewers.

great for sharing, though.

Month, I thought I’d focus this column on

whether one has their own canning line or

Note that I’m not counting crowlers

stouts from North Carolina.

a contract canner is used, it’s all within reach

as part of my discussion; only canned

for those who want to branch out beyond

stouts that find their way into distribution.

You probably are saying well, I hope so, you are the Stoutwhisperer and this is the

For brewers,

their taproom.

Carolina Brew Scene magazine. OK, I’ll take

For stout lovers like us, canned stouts

it to another level and focus on canned

have become so prevalent, if you go to

stouts from North Carolina.

your local bottle shop, I’ll bet that the

What was once a unique sight has turned

ratio of bottles to cans in the stout section

into something rather commonplace. It’s

has gone from 10:1 to perhaps 4:1 and is

truly amazing the increase in canned stouts

probably trending even lower.

over the past couple of years. When I

I don’t know about you, but I find that

Crowlers are a great way to introduce a brewer to the world of canned beer and provide direction and feedback on whether canned stouts are part of an overall strategy for a brewery. As you look from the mountains to the ocean, I believe we have an abundance of

started my stout journey, the only canned

canned stouts are fantastic.


riches here in North Carolina when it comes

stout that I recall was Oskar Blues TEN FIDY

8-ounce, 12-ounce or 16-ounce, I find

to canned stouts. Let me give you a brief

… and that came from Colorado.

that cans are the perfect size for individual

tour of just some of the finer North Carolina

consumption. Sometimes the 22-ounce

stouts that are offered in cans:

Since then, the economics of canning

Collaboration without Representation

Breakfast Junkie

The Toll

Heist Brewing, Charlotte

Raleigh Brewing, Raleigh

A wonderful annual collaboration

some amazing stouts and their Brunch

with a local bottleshop, Collaboration is

Junkie lineup of stouts is one of their

Probably one of the first local canned

a great BA Stout that has a release day,

more popular ones. They do a great

stouts, The Toll has its place in North

matching glassware and a high demand!

job on their Junkie variants (Coconut!

Carolina stout lore It’s a great straight

It holds its own with many of the more

Maple Bacon! Candy Bar!) and their

down the middle stout and the fantastic

nationally recognized BA Stouts!

base Brunch Junkie sets the table.

base for their Barrel Aged Toll!

Deep River Brewing, Clayton

Heist has a great lineage of brewing

58 | Carolina Brew Scene | Summer 2019




Oskar Blues, Brevard

Brewery Bhavana, Raleigh

Hi-Wire Brewing, Asheville

A unique 8-ounce barrel aged stout from one of the most innovative and creative brewers in North Carolina. The one that started it all ... need I say more? It’s the standard.

Brewery Bhavana is known more for their IPAs and DIPAs, but this stout is worthy of your time!

The Hi-Wire team is working on creating a brand for their 10W-40 stout over the last couple of years. The latest variants have been Salted Maple 10W40 and German Chocolate Cupcake 10W-40 Stout. I like what Hi-Wire has going ... they have also ventured east and have opened a taproom in Durham to satisfy those thirsty eastern Hi-Wire fans!

Skillet Donut Stout

Drunken Vigils

Impending Grace

Burial Brewing, Asheville

Southern Pines Brewing, Southern Pines

Four Saints Brewing, Asheboro

Another OG Stout that’s getting its due recognition beyond North Carolina! Burial has opened a small

Another North Carolina brewer

shop in Raleigh (part of the Transfer Co.

that has a stout program that deserves

Food Hall) and are hoping to create a

your attention. Drunken Vigils is their

taproom ambience and vibe similar to

delicious BA Breakfast Stout, but

their Asheville home. So far so good

they’ve been rolling out other stouts

... they are already expanding their

that are more than worthy.

presence there! FYI … don’t pass on

BA German Chocolate Cake Stout is

their Griddle Imperial Espresso Stout!



Four Saints is one of those local breweries that you just feel at home the second you walk in the door … believe me, I’ve done it!

Their stout lineup

stands up to most others and their Barrel Aged Impending Grace should be on your must try list.

We are certainly fortunate to have so many quality brewers in North Carolina that turn out quality stouts and since canning is now available to everyone, those same quality brewers are able to share their wonderful dark elixirs with more people beyond their respective taprooms. What is your favorite North Carolina canned stout? Tell me which stouts I missed and must try! Drop me a note at and let me know your favorites! I’d love to hear your thoughts on the wonderful world of canned stouts in North Carolina.

Summer 2019 | Carolina Brew Scene | 59

By Don Rowell & Paul McDermott



Who doesn’t like to get more bang for their buck? The answer is pretty much everyone. This article isn’t about saving you money as you may have thought, but about how to get more variety out of your brewing with a little added time. Well, sometimes time is money, but we’ll come back to that later. We are putting together a two-part series on how to get more out of your brew day. In this segment we are going to focus on additions to secondary fermentation — see Fall 2017 issue. It is intended for all level of homebrewers and works for both extract and allgrain brewing. If you are doing 5-gallon baths, you will need to get two more fermenters to use

this method — only one if you are already doing a secondary fermentation. First you will start by picking a recipe and depending on the recipe, you will decide what to add to your secondary fermenter. There are many styles of beer that work well for this process like blondes, saisons, pale ales and stouts to name just a few. We’ll use an American Blonde Ale for this example. Brew the recipe just as you normally would and ferment it in your first fermenter (primary fermenter). After the yeast has finished doing their thing, transfer the beer equally into two secondary fermenters. Here is where we have some fun!

60 | Carolina Brew Scene | Summer 2019

Leave one fermenter as a blonde ale and make the other a strawberry blonde. You can do this by either adding a fresh strawberry puree or a quality strawberry extract to one of the fermenters. Voilà — you now have two different beers to bottle in a week or so. This technique gives you two different beers from only one batch and requires only one brew day. In the end, you will only have 2.5 gallons of each beer, but that’s better than 4-6 hours for another brew day. You could do one strawberry and one peach. How about taking a stout recipe and making one a coffee stout and one a bourbon aged stout? The combinations are endless. This technique is also very helpful when you want to try something for the first time or want to try two different ideas at once. If the beer turns out great, you now have a new recipe that you can brew five gallons of the next time you brew. Many professional brewers use this very

same technique on their pilot system to come up with new ideas with less brew time. For them, time is money (see, we said we’d come back to that). Once they find what works, they make it a new recipe and take it to their big system for mass production. Many brewers have a recipe for a beer and another just like it with the additions added to the fermenter being the only thing different. With all the possibilities, don’t be scared to try something new and break some rules. Some rules are meant to be broken. That’s one of the reasons you started homebrewing in the first place. Be different ... live a little! Throw some peppers in a pale ale, cherries in an amber or turnips in a Kölsch (OK, perhaps we derailed on the last one!). The point is, try some different things and you might just be surprised with the results. Til’ next time ... happy brewing, enjoy good times with family and friends and “may the hops be with you!”

s! r e e Ch




Henderson nc

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!


216 Henderson Dr., Jacksonville, NC 28540 • (910)455-7309 Summer 2019 | Carolina Brew Scene | 61

Fitness & eer B

By Alicia Duncan Coulter

Look, no one really wants that “body made by beer,” but sometimes we catch a glimpse of ourselves in a mirror or a photo posted by a friend and the reality sets in. So, you want to lose some weight, but you aren’t willing to give up your craft beer? Don’t think it’s possible to see success? Think again! A few years back, I found myself in this exact place. I was overweight, out of shape and struggling with anxiety. I wasn’t at all the active mom, fun-loving wife and kickass craft beer rep that I wanted to be. It was sucking the life out of me. I knew it was time for a change. Here are the things I put into place in my life to get more active, increase my energy and shed the excess weight: • Never having been a morning person in the past, I committed to waking up a half an hour earlier every day to do a home workout. My sleep is precious, so I made sure I had everything ready the night before from filling up a water bottle to going to sleep in my workout clothes. Yes, I actually did that because it made my excuses a lot harder to live with in the morning since I was already ready for the task at hand. • I made sure to eat a balanced diet by adding in way more veggies and fruits into my life and somewhat reducing my intake of carbs.

62 | Carolina Brew Scene | Summer 2019

After years of yo-yo dieting, I knew jumping in on the latest trend wasn’t going to work for me long term. I didn’t want just a quick fix but a better way of living in general. • I started drinking water like it was my job. I mean, it’s a lot easier to get your daily step goal in if you have to go to the bathroom all the time. I made sure to make it a part of my outings to my favorite local brewery by alternating a pint of beer with a pint of water. This helped keep my drinking in check while also keeping a hangover at bay. • I held myself to the three promises I made to myself as listed above by joining an accountability community. Motivation will only get you so far. We all know we should eat right and exercise … That part is simple. The hard part is finding a way to be consistent with those things unless you have someone to really hold you to it. • I started reading — or rather listening to — personal development books on my commute to work every day. At first, I thought this wasn’t something I needed in my life … I wasn’t broken. Or was I? I started with Simon Sinek’s “Start With Why” because I had watched his TED talk in the past and was intrigued about the concept — but once I read it I was fascinated. For me, it has become

a love affair with filling my mind with positives, which ultimately has helped build my confidence and resolve to stick with my new lifestyle. It’s been three years now that I have been on my journey of self-improvement, and I am proud to say I have successfully kept off those 30 extra pounds.

Ultimately, it has come

down to my three keys to success — simplicity in my plan, accountability to a group of likeminded individuals and moderation rather than deprivation.

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

Summer 2019 | Carolina Brew Scene | 63

By Dave Tollefsen, Kevin Smith


his issue of the magazine is highlighting the women owners and brewers of North Carolina breweries. It’s great that they are getting recognition in the industry that’s been long deserved. We want to take it one step further and spotlight the women that work “behind the scenes” in the brewing industry — from before beer is made to the day-to-day operations of a brewery and finally, promoting local beer in a huge way. To make beer, you need to have the base ingredients: water, malt, hops and yeast. The malt industry has grown exponentially over the last decade and one woman that is exceptionally busy in this part of the craft beer industry is Jen Blair. She is the executive director of the North American Craft Maltsters Guild, the current president of the Carolina BrewMasters — a Charlotte homebrew club — and she also holds monthly beer education classes at Pilot Brewing in Charlotte. We asked if she experienced any challenges


Bart Williams

as a woman on her craft beer journey, she said: “As far as challenges go, I’m not going to pretend that my gender wasn’t a hindrance in many ways. In one of the first homebrew competitions I judged, the organizer paired me with “the other one” — the only other woman there judging — and assigned us fruit beers “because women like fruit beers.” It was demoralizing and embarrassing, but I continued to judge competitions — and made a new friend that day. Being treated that way was not a one-time occurrence and it was not and is not a unique occurrence — I’m betting just about every woman in the beer industry has at least one similar story and probably a bunch more.” Her passion is taking her to the highest levels of craft beer. Currently she is studying to retake the written portion of the BJCP exam to advance to become a National BJCP Beer Judge and she’s studying for the Master Cicerone exam. There are currently 18 master cicerones and three of them are women. The day-to-day beer distribution

operations out of a brewery are similar to any retail operation. Nikki Bitsche is the customer experience and logistics manager for Catawba Brewing in Morganton. The craft beer industry has become very competitive; breweries must vie for product shelf space and find markets where their beer will flourish. When orders aren’t correctly fulfilled or beer isn’t delivered on time, it could jeopardize your relationship with a vendor or lose your spot on the shelf. Nikki has the huge responsibility of covering orders in and out of the brewery and warehouse, maintaining inventory, maintenance and compliance of the company trucks, and supervision of the employees of the warehouse. “The biggest challenge for me has been getting the right pay and benefits to meet my needs while still pursuing my dream of working in the craft beer industry,” she said. “I do not believe that this challenge was due to being a woman. I came to the industry with years of logistics and management experience. This has helped me get in the unique position

Drink Local and Keep Your Beer Dollars in North Carolina 64 | Carolina Brew Scene | Summer 2019

I am in today as the customer experience and logistics manager for Catawba Brewing. But those years of experience also made it difficult in the beginning to make enough while gaining the brewery knowledge that I needed. I learned quickly and have grown into multiple different roles throughout my craft beer career. My advice is to be persistent, inquisitive and sponge up all of the knowledge that you can along the way.” Craft beer festivals are a great way for breweries to get introduced to a new and larger audience. There are festivals all over the state and are spread out all year long. Brewgaloo has established itself for the last Saturday of April, the end of N.C. Beer Month, and has grown from a small festival in downtown Raleigh to the Best Beer Festival in the U.S. by USA Today. Our final featured woman is Jennifer Martin, the executive director of Shop Local Raleigh who has been with Brewgaloo since its inception. One of the major defining characteristics of this festival is the emphasis on everything local. Breweries and cideries must be rooted in North Carolina in order to

In this day and age, merit and success should be recognized by talent and accomplishments — not gender. participate. This year’s festival will offer over 110 North Carolina breweries. Breweries large and small from all over the state participate in the festival, introducing them to a massive group of craft beer enthusiasts. “When we first started the festival, the beer order that was placed was delivered with about half of what was requested,” she said. “I remember when I went to move a

keg and someone giggled and said you sure you got that — I said, ‘Got it, get another one ready because I’ll be right back.’ The next load I was having them double stacked. I would never tell anyone that I would get home after the event and my feet and body hurt so bad that I couldn’t move the next day ... and would struggle for days after that — but I was determined, determined to fit in, determined not to ask anyone to do anything I couldn’t or wouldn’t do, determined to be seen as a part of the team, the club, the industry. More determined to prove I belonged here and I could do this. Not only could I do it, I was going to be the most committed event director the participants had even seen. By volunteering at so many festivals and investing the time to learn, my philosophy has been that if people are talking about me or the festival, it means at least we’re on their radar.” Each of these women have experienced their own challenges in the craft beer industry, but they have persevered and found success in their positions. In this day and age, merit and success should be recognized by talent and accomplishments — not gender.

Summer 2019 | Carolina Brew Scene | 65

CONTEST RULES: • Only nOrth CarOlina nOminees are eligible • One vOte per e-mail address • vOting periOd is frOm June 1st 2019-august 1st 2019 LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD!

66 | Carolina Brew Scene | Summer 2019

Starting June 1st, 2019, you can go to and vote in 12 categories Best Brewery (Which NC brewery is best overall?) Best Beer (Who has the best single beer you can get in the state?) Best Atmosphere (What place has that special combination of ambience, events, and selection that make it the best place to get a beer?) Best LiVe music (Which place has the best acts playing?) Best Beer FestiVAL (What's your must-go beer festival in NC?) Best homeBrew suppLy store (Where do you go to get your gear when you brew?)

Best BottLe shop (Which place curates the best beer selection and has an awesome array of taps?) Best crAFt FriendLy restAurAnt (Which place has great food and great beer on tap?) Best Food truck (Which truck has food so good, you're always happy to see them parked nearby?) Best Beer town (Which town in the state has it going on with an amazing lineup of bars, breweries, taprooms, bottle shops--the total package?) Best homeBrew cLuB (Which club is brewing the best beer?) Best BeArd in Brewing (Brewers work hard on other things besides beer—who's got the best?)

Voting ends August 31st, 2019 For every category there will be 1 Winner, and 2 Finalists, consisting of the first and second runner-up in terms of votes. Winners will be informed soon after, and a list of all Winners and Finalists will be published in the Fall 2019 issue of Carolina BrewScene magazine.

Summer 2019 | Carolina Brew Scene | 67

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