This month North Carolinians are raising their glass to NC craft beer! Throughout the month of April, beer connoisseurs, professional brew masters, amateur brew masters, and even those people who simply enjoy the taste of a delicious craft brew will acknowledge and celebrate North Carolina brewed beer. With more than 60 microbreweries across the state, North Carolina is currently home to more breweries than any other state in the South. With that being said, the Outer Banks of North Carolina is lucky enough to be home to a few very unique breweries that are special in their own right.
Introducing North Carolina’s oldest continuously operating brewery in the state – Weeping Radish Brewery, Farm, & Butchery in Grandy, NC. On July 4th, 1986, Weeping Radish opened for business in the heart of Manteo after the owner, Uli Bennewitz worked with his local senator to pass a bill that would allow microbreweries to sell their own beer on site after 25 years of not being able to do so. In 2006, Weeping Radish Brewery, Farm, & Butchery moved to their Eco Farm in Currituck County.
True to his German roots, Bennewitz’s beer has always adhered to the German Reinheitsgebot Purity Law of being all natural and unfiltered with no chemicals or preservatives. Next time you’re traveling to the Outer Banks, stop by for a $5 brew tour on Wednesdays at 11am and sample the beer that NC beer writers, Win Bassett and Anne-Fitten Glenn selected as their “not-to-miss-tap,” Weeping Radish’s Black Radish Dark Lager, a dark German lager-style brew.
A little farther down the road is Outer Banks Brewing Stationin Kill Devil Hills, the nation’s 1st wind-powered brewery! In 1992, Peace Corp volunteers, Eric Reese, Aubrey Davis, and Tina Mackenzie brainstormed ideas based on their current interests and talents and envisioned an environmentally conscious restaurant and brewery. Eric’s love of the Outer Banks began during summers spent with his grandparents, which led to an interest from all parties of following through with their vision and making things happen!
The Brewing Station’s brew master, Scott Meyer out of Berkeley, California, is on hand for brew tours Fridays at 3pm. Formerly a vintner, Scott is a national and international gold medal winner in brewing competitions. Check out the brew master’s blog for a glimpse behind the scenes!
Check out their current beers on tap .
(A personal favorite is the Lemongrass Wheat Ale, a zesty golden hefeweizen infused with a potent smack of Lemongrass. The flavor is crisp, tart and refreshing – World Beer Cup Silver Medal winner!)
And last, but certainly not least (depending on your point of entry to the Outer Banks) is Full Moon Café and Brewery in downtown Manteo. This unique, upbeat eatery opened its doors in the fall of 1995 and has since added the brewery to its offerings. Specializing in British and Irish-style ales and stouts, Full Moon Café and Brewery uses a one barrel RIMS system filling one and two barrel fermenters.
Sign up for a brew tour before venturing to Roanoke Island and be sure to sample some of their delicious brews such as Lost Colony Ale, Baltimore Blonde, and Charon Stout. After the tour, dine with Full Moon Café and Brewery in charming downtown Manteo and be amongst the list of famous Full Moon patrons, such as Richard Gere, Jimmy Buffet, and Edward Norton.
Whether you share a love of craft brews or simply find the history of breweries intriguing and the craft of brewing just as interesting, we hope that you enjoy or have developed a new found fondness for NC crafts brews and the fine folks behind the more than 60 breweries across the state!
**PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY**