You may have seen Maria Speaks running one of the many large-scale events at Waterline Brewing Company, the brewery under the bridge. She started as a bartender three years ago and worked her way into becoming Taproom Manager & On-Site Events Coordinator. This week we chat with Maria.
AT: Whats your favorite thing about bar tending?
MS: My favorite thing about bar tending at Waterline is talking about beer with people. I like to nerd out about it and it’s always nice to have a fellow nerd that I can converse with. The other part I enjoy is the social aspect of it. I love the demographic here so socializing with regulars and people who come in is always pretty enjoyable.
AT: Do you have any advice for current or future craft beer bartenders?
MS: Always be open. Be open to try new beers, to try new product period. I love ordering new ciders and wine. I also love that the brewery I work at is all-inclusive when it comes to the beverage of choice. Also, know your beer. Part of the appeal of a brewery for customers is for them to be able to ask you questions about your product or even other craft beer products and for you to have the answers.
AT: If you were a beer which one would you be?
MS: If I was a beer I’d like to be a Gruit. I’d be a Gruit because it’s an OG style of beer. Traditional and original but can taste and look like anything!
Halfway There is a celebration of reaching the halfway point to Cape Fear Craft Beer Week. ( March 20-29th) 18 local breweries are partnered with local downtown venues to all release a brand new beer for 2019. Some will release seasonal favorites like their Oktoberfest and others will release beers for the very first time.
Check in begins at noon on Saturday, September 21st, at Bomber’s Beverage Company. Here you will receive your “passport” which tells you the participating venues and has spaces for stamps from each venue. 10 stamps gets you a $15 off code for Cape Fear Craft & Cuisine. Get all 18 stamps and receive a 2020 Cape Fear Craft Beer Week t-shirt. Check in ends at 6pm.
New for this year, are the Instagram Scavenger Hunt and Costumed Keg Hunt. The Instagram Scavenger Hunt gives you tasks to be performed during the day and post them to Instagram using special hashtags. Those that perform the tasks will be entered to win various prize packs from local venues and breweries.
The Costumed Keg Hunt hides 6 kegs around Downtown Wilmington and will release clues to their whereabouts throughout the day. When a keg is found, the keg cap can be redeemed for a gift certificate for the value of that keg at Waterline Brewing between 6 and 9pm.
There will also be a roving “prize patrol” that will be looking for those playing both games to award on the spot prizes.
Also new this year, registration will include a BBQ plate at Waterline Brewing prepared by the guys at Rebellion with help from Cheney Brothers Inc and Heritage Farms. You can turn in your passport and receive your BBQ plate between 6pm and 9pm.
Early registration is $10 and day of registration is $15. To register and for more information go to https://capefearcraftbeerweek.com/halfway-there
Julie’s House on Treasure Cay
By now everyone has seen the destruction caused by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas and in particular in the Abaco Islands. My friend, Julie, has a house in Treasure Cay in the Abaco Islands. Luckily, it is still standing and has been able to offer people shelter during and after the storm.
The level of devastation is unprecedented and basic needs are not being met for many people. Most of those that have been displaced by the storm only have the clothes on their back and are being shuffled around to different facilities. Families are separated and scattered among various Bahama islands. Some have been trying to get on flights to the US but they cost $150 ( as of this post) and many cannot access their money.
There is a large Haitian community as well as the local Bahamians that work on the island. There is no infrastructure left. They need money. To get off the island. To get shelter. To just get a beer. So through Julie, we are going to send them money. Yesterday, she was able to talk to some of her friends and that is the best way we can help.
Through September and October every Wilmington Ale Trail passport sold we will be giving away 50% of the sales. To be clear, this money is not going through a non-profit. It is going directly to someone in the Bahamas in need, most of who were in the service or tourism industry, bar tenders, shop clerks, resort workers, tour guides, etc. There are also no string attached. We are just trying to make their day a little brighter. Use code 4TreasureCay to take $5 off.
Buy your passport here.
If you don’t want to buy a passport but want to donate directly to these people, here is a link to Julie’s gofundme page.
Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions.
Wilmington Ale Trail
The Wilmington Ale Trail Passport is an opportunity for visitors and locals to receive vouchers at participating local breweries, bottle shops, and craft beer-focused bars and restaurants. Our weekly Passport Picks blog post will focus on the “best bang for your buck” at one of our participating venues.
7250 Market Street
Voucher: $5 off beverage, food, or merchandise
If you have not been to Fermental, it is a must stop on your Wilmington Ale Trail journey. With live music every Friday and Saturday, a free wine and beer tasting on Friday, and a general house party atmosphere in their expansive beer garden, Fermental is a great place to grab your favorite craft beer or glass of wine.
Your Wilmington Ale Trail passport includes a $5 voucher and I think the best time to use would be on “Mediocre Mondays”. All drafts are $3. All day. The goal is to kick the kegs left over from the weekend and can include local favorites from Waterline or New Anthem to a heavy hitter like Founder’s KBS. It’s just a luck of the draw.
Purchase a passport, and receive a $5 voucher to Fermental and additional vouchers at over 20 area locations.
Photo Credit: Cape Fear Solar Systems
Get ready for an awesome Saturday at Wilmington’s solar powered brewery, Mad Mole!
The brewery entered and won the Brews from the Sun competition, hosted by Solar United Neighbors (SUN), and will be honored by the organization this Saturday with a big party at the brewery.
Out of the twenty one US solar powered breweries that entered the competition, the three from North Carolina came out on top with Mad Mole in first, Birdsong in second, and Wiseman in third. The two other categories available for entry were brewpubs and regional breweries. All categories were in accordance with the Brewers Association definitions.
Saturday will be a day filled with music, food trucks, and many toasts to environmental sustainability. Attendees will find Salty Sistas and Pepe’s Taco’s to snack on, and entertainment will be provided by Wildcat 69 and John Rogers. The brewery also just canned their first batch, so on top of growlers and crowlers, there will also be four packs of Boston Mole Party NE IPA to take home.
Solar United Neighbors will also be in attendance to present Mad Mole with their award. So whatever your plans are, cancel ’em! Let’s show SUN all of our pride and excitement for being home to America’s Favorite Solar Craft Microbrewery!
More details can be found here
Photo Credit: Matthew Ray Photography
Don’t miss your chance to buy tickets for Wilmington’s very first beer festival on the newly returned Henrietta!
Flying Machine Brewing Company teamed up with Wilmington Brewing Company, Wooden Robot (Charlotte), and Ancillary Fermentation (Raleigh area) to brew a collaboration beer called BOATS! (Yes, there’s an exclamation point) and host a four-brewery beer festival on a boat. Ticket holders will receive a glass, a hat, and unlimited samples, as well as a cruise on the Cape Fear River. And to top it all off, they can feel good about buying the tickets because it’s basically a $65 donation to the Cape Fear River Watch. That’s right, 100% of the proceeds will go to the local nonprofit.
But don’t let us tell you. We sat down with David Sweigart, co-owner of Flying Machine Brewing Company, to get the scoop on this Saturday’s Brew Voyage.
AT: Can you walk us through the event? What happens when the ticket holder arrives?
DS: There are two tours. Logistics for parking are provided on our website, but we recommend taking an Uber, Lyft, or taxi to and from the event. Passengers for each cruise will be given a commemorative hat and a glass, and invited to sip the evening away with four NC breweries on a river cruise. It’ll be chill. There is an inside/cover spot, so it’ll happen rain or shine.
AT: Does the price of the ticket cover the beers?
DS: Oh, yes. It’s unlimited pours.
AT: What was the inspiration for the event?
DS: Well, number one we’ve got two beautiful landmarks here and that’s the Cape Fear River and the [beaches], and we just wanted to utilize it. We wanted to have a fun event that was kind of low-key, chill, that brought in some outside breweries. But we also wanted to take advantage of some of our local environment like the Cape Fear River, which is a beautiful body of water. So take a boat trip and add on the respective breweries who we’ve paired with? Talk about a very intimate craft beer setting, and on top of it 100% of the proceeds to the Cape Fear River Watch.
Tickets for the event can be purchased at https://www.flyingmachine.beer/brew-voyage. And you should.