Raising a Glass to the Veterans of NC and SC Beer

Railhouse Brewery

Railhouse Brewery in Aberdeen is one of several veteran-owned breweries in the Carolinas. Photo by Eric Gaddy of http://www.castingshadowsphotography.com

This Veteran’s Day, I hope you’ll consider raising a glass to those who have served our country — and perhaps buy them a glass of their own if you’re able.  Here is a list of veteran-owned and run breweries across the Carolinas:

Did I miss any veteran-owned breweries in North or South Carolina? Let me know and I’ll add them to the list.

Olde Hickory Celebrates Twenty Years With “Omega Point”

Olde Hickory is no stranger to aging beer in barrels, as anyone who has had beers like Lindley Park and Event Horizon well know. Lindley Park, an imperial stout brewed with honey and raspberries and aged in bourbon barrels, will be out in the last week of October, according to founder Steven Lyerly. Event Horizon, a barrel-aged imperial stout brewed with honey, will be out around Thanksgiving.

But perhaps the biggest news is that in December the brewery will have its first ever brewery-only release. The brewery has been aging its Irish Walker barleywine style ale in bourbon barrels, some for as long as seven years. They will blend some of these barrels together to create Omega Point. According to the venerable Wikipedia, an Omega Point is “the purported maximum level of complexity and consciousness towards which some believe the universe is evolving.” The base Irish Walker received a silver medal at this year’s World Beer Cup.

There are no details as to the date, price or bottle counts at this time, but the release will take place this December at the brewery. Until then, we have Lindley Park and Event Horizon to look forward to. In the next few weeks, Olde Hickory will also transition to six-packs for its core beers. You can see the new labels for these — as well as the new Lindley Park and Event Horizon labels — here.

Olde Hickory Omega Point

Statewide Release of “NC Gose West”

North Carolina Craft Brewers Guild

Last August, more than twenty brewers from around North Carolina came together at Mystery Brewing Co. in Hillsborough to brew “NC Gose West,” the North Carolina Craft Brewers Guild’s first collaboration beer. The beer was brewed entirely with ingredients sourced from North Carolina: barley and wheat from Asheville’s Riverbend Malt House; muscadine grapes from Lu Mil Vineyard in Dublin, NC; fresh hops from several NC hop farms; and Outer Banks sea salt from Southern Shores, NC.

This sour and salty beer was recently available at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver and then also at the World Beer Festival in Durham. But if you weren’t able to attend those festivals, worry not — the beer will see a statewide release this Thursday, Oct. 16, with a variety of bars and breweries tapping it on the same day.

Those establishments are:

  • Bombshell Beer Co., Holly Springs
  • Bull City Burger and Brewery, Durham
  • Common Market, South End, Charlotte (in conjunction with Wooden Robot Brewery)
  • Double Barley Brewing, Smithfield
  • Gibb’s Hundred Brewing, Greensboro
  • Gizmo Brew Works, Raleigh
  • Lonerider, Raleigh
  • My Way Tavern, Holly Springs (in conjunction with Carolina Brewing Co.)
  • Mystery Brewing Public House, Hillsborough
  • Natty Greene’s Brewing Co., Greensboro
  • Top of the Hill Brewery, Chapel Hill
  • Triangle Brewing Co., Durham


Fullsteam’s Tree-to-Sea Gose to benefit Pints for Prostates

Fullsteam Tree-to-Sea Gose

Fullsteam Brewery’s Tree-to-Sea is aptly named, sourcing spruce tips from North Carolina’s mountains and sea salt from the Outer Banks. Barley from the mountains plus hops, coriander, and wheat from the state’s piedmont area also go into this beer, which benefits Pints for Prostates and will be available through The Rare Beer Club.

“We literally drove from one end of the state to the other to gather ingredients for this distinctly North Carolina beer,” said Fullsteam’s founder Sean Lilly Wilson in a press release. “This is the first Gose Fullsteam has made and the pine, salt and sour come together for a unique taste of place — the great state of North Carolina.”

Tree-to-Sea will be packaged in 750 mL bottles. To get your hands on one, you should:

1. Visit Fullsteam in Durham on Oct. 11 from 4-6 p.m., when the brewery will release the beer and host a Pints for Prostates awareness event.

2. Join The Rare Beer Club between now and Sept. 15.

The beer will also be poured at the Denver Rare Beer Tasting VI on Oct. 3. This event is put on by Pints for Prostates, which “reaches men through the universal language of beer to encourage them to take charge of their health.”

Mother Earth Brewing cans “Homegrown”

Mother Earth Brewing Homegrown

Mother Earth is finally brewing and canning a beer that played a large part in their opening the brewery five years ago.

In a recent blog post, CEO Stephen Hill described how his uncle would mix tomato juice with beer.

It all started in the summer of 2008. Well, for me it started earlier than that but 2008 is when the wheels in my mind started turning. For as long as I can remember, I have been gardening at my home in Kinston.  I grow all sorts of vegetables (squash, butter beans, string beans, okra, and beets just to name a few), but my favorite by far? Tomatoes! One of my favorite things to do in the summer is make my own tomato juice and can it, just like my mother did.  Back when I was younger, my uncle introduced me to this drink he called a Red Eye.  He would take the tomato juice that my mother made and mix it with beer.  Since he introduced me to this delicious concoction, I’ve been hooked! Not only do I look forward to enjoying my fresh, homegrown tomatoes each summer, I look forward to canning them and making my own version of the Red Eye, which I call “Homegrown.”

During the summer our family spends a lot of time in Atlantic Beach, NC and we are always having friends over.  One night, Trent and I were drinking Homegrown and mixing them up for some of the friends we had over, folks ranging from early 20s all the way into their 70s. They would rave about it!  They couldn’t get enough.  It was amazing: a 50 year age range and they all loved Homegrown. So, I looked at Trent and said, “We should start a brewery and make this beer, and put it out there for the whole world to experience.”  And so it began: a little (tomato) seed that ultimately grew into the Mother Earth Brewing that you know today.

Stephen and Co. have been dialing the beer in for the past five years now, and will unveil it as a brewery-only release on Saturday, Aug. 23.



Olde Hickory Reveals Redesigned Labels, 12-ounce Bottles

Now in their 20th year, Olde Hickory Brewing is a veteran among North Carolina breweries. And while they have been brewing a great selection of core beers, seasonals and limited releases for two decades now, they could use a refresher when it comes to their label designs.

Their new labels for their core beers show that they will get that and then some. Olde Hickory has unveiled sharp new labels that all feature a cohesive look and important “vitals” about the beers. You will notice that most of the labels below say “22 ounces,” but the brewery says these will actually be changing to 12-ounce bottles to be sold in six-packs.

Personally, I think the new labels look great. What do you think about the new designs and the move to six-packs?

Oct. 13 edit: I just added the new labels for Event Horizon and Lindley Park. 

Black Raven Death By Hops Hefe-Weizen Hickory Stick Stout Piedmont Pilsner Ruby Lager Table Rock Pale Ale

Olde Hickory Oktoberfest

Olde Hickory Event Horizon Olde Hickory Lindley Park

Olde Hickory Redeember

More on Wicked Weed Brewing’s New Production Brewery

Image of the production facility

This past Friday, Wicked Weed Brewing announced plans to build a 40,000-square-foot production brewery in the Candler area. This will join Wicked Weed’s downtown brewpub and new funkatorium (set to open in September) as the third facility, and it will be dedicated to their “clean” (i.e. non-sour) beers, such as Freak of Nature Double IPA and Hopburgular Blood Orange IPA.

They have now sent out a few more details regarding this project, including: