When I sat down to list what Waterline—The Brewery Under the Bridge—is best known for I realized very quickly that the list was very long. My personal favorite event is their annual Oktoberfest. If you haven’t been before, it’s a riot, complete with an oom-pah band, traditional German fare, a stein holding competition and so much more. There’s nothing quite like mowing down a couple of fresh, hot pretzels along with a couple (or couple too many) of Brewer Dani’s fabulous Oktoberfest brew.
This weekend is a celebration of the brewery’s 4th anniversary. I asked co-owner Rob Robinson what shape the weekend would take and what he’s excited about. Here’s what he had to say.
“We decided to spread our 4th anniversary party out over a couple of days, encompassing local music and our first bottle release on Friday night, Dec 6th, and then our more traditional anniversary and beginning of the holiday season party on Saturday, Dec 7th!
For beers, on Friday night we’re doing our first ever bottle release and some awesome rock and roll local music! For our bottle release we’ve got about 50 bomber size bottles of vintage 2017 (bottled in 2018) Whiskey Barrel Tripel which is our Waterline Tripel that was aged for 6 months or so in Jack Daniels’ barrels. It’s turned out beautifully with the whiskey notes complementing the traditional Belgian tripel flavors. We’re combining them with commemorative beer snifter style glasses to make for a very cool combination.
Also we’ve brewed a small batch of our Waterline Red…at 7.4% we’re calling it Big Red and we’ll tap it Friday. Then on Saturday we’ve brewed a big version of our flagship Kolsch, an (Imperial) Kolsch if you will that comes in at 9% ABV, and also a couple of sixtels of Kolsch we’ve aged on tequila oak chips…so Kolsch Three Ways: Original, (Imperial), and Tequila Aged. Oh, and if that’s not enough, on Saturday we’re also tapping a barrel aged version of our Wee Heavy…it’s a Wee in the Woods version that was aged for 9 months in Woodford Reserve bourbon barrels. It’s delicious.
For music, our friend and local guitar legend Justin Cody Fox has pulled together some of his musician friends and guitarists for a one night special show. We’ll have onstage Justin, Mason Keck (Jive Mother Mary), Tommy Brothers (Machine Gun, Greenhouse, Medusa Stone) and Worth Weaver (He Is Legend, Medusa Stone). Rounding out the band is the rhythm section Seth Aldridge on drums and Dave Morse on bass. They’ve promised to play some legendary music of Eric Johnson, Joe Satriani, Pink Floyd, ZZ Top, Stevie Ray Vaughn and more. It’s going to be awesome.
If that’s not enough, on Saturday night we’re having our traditional (for us) party that includes an ugly sweater contest and the annual lighting of our very own Leg Lamp (yep…the classic 80’s movie A Christmas Story is one of our favorites). We’re also supporting some important local charities by hosting their annual oyster roast fundraiser. Every year the Cape Fear Area Doulas, NC Midwifery Education, Regulation, and Association and the NC Chapter of the National Association of Certified Professional Midwives hold a special soccer tournament during the day and then we’re hosting the oyster roast fundraiser afterwards…so it’s really 2 parties in one!”
When I asked Robinson about where he thinks the brewery success has stemmed from.
“We’ve worked hard to make sure that we’re open and welcoming to everyone both in the taproom and we try to give back to our local community as much as we can! We host lots of different fundraisers, we’ve sponsored local sports teams and events, and we support our local musicians and music scene with lots of live music, festivals, and album and video release parties! Oh yes, the beer, too, as we’ve been involved with the local Cape Fear Craft Beer Alliance from the beginning! We’ve wrapped all of that up into our Anniversary Weekend Cheers to 4 Years Celebrations!”