We are approaching the Fourth of July, America’s Independence Day. It’s also the birthday of North Carolina’s independent brewing industry. In 1776 Thomas Jefferson declared that the United States of America was an independent nation to be founded on the self-evident truths of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. On that same July day in 1986 the Weeping Radish opened its doors and vowed to stand for hops, malt, yeast, and water; all men being created equal was already taken.
Like America, we’ve taken a walk down the wild side a few times over the years. We’ve made non-Reinheitsgebot beers, and our ales outnumber our famous lagers, but we haven’t stopped believing in our core principles. We are still independent. That is something to celebrate because we all know that independence is hard. Whether you’re a teenager working your first job, a 20-something in your first apartment, or a small business owner, there are struggles and painful adjustments that can bring you down. Thirty-three years in business, the first five of them as North Carolina’s only microbrewery, and we have gone through more than enough struggles and have certainly been worn down. But we keep going because we believe in what we are doing.
That belief has expanded from just making quality beer, to distributing that quality beer. Our beer is natural, not pasteurized, and free from preservatives so it needs to be handled with care. We chose to self-distribute our beer around the OBX and the Triangle to ensure that our customers are getting the freshest product possible. Just like our brewery, this is a boutique operation, small yet capable, and full of character. Look for our van burning up the roads from Corolla to Hatteras and please be patient. We’re getting the beer to you as quickly as we can!
As the season progresses, beer won’t be the only thing on board that van. We are slowly getting back into the wholesale meat market. Even though it hurt to say farewell to our farm clients, it was a massive relief saying goodbye to daily USDA inspection in 2017 (seriously you have no idea how great that felt!). However, we had so many requests from small stores and restaurants to carry our products that we have created an abridged version of our original wholesale program. We are so proud of the standard of our sausages, and our partnership with North Carolina Natural Hog Growers Association, that the pleasure of sharing them with other restaurants was worth the pain of a few days of inspection.
And you can’t have sausages without toppings! We’re going to load the van with condiments for every taste. For a few years we’ve been making curry ketchup that is a delicious tribute the beloved German Currywurst. Fun fact: there was a currywurst museum in Berlin for over a year! Our curry ketchup has a rich spice flavor on top of a sweet tomato base, which takes any sausage to the next level. I also use it to make shepherd’s pie and meatloaf – it’s a multi-tasker! But if spiced ketchup isn’t quite your speed, our new Sweet Bavarian Mustard is coming out soon. This tangy mustard with a subtle sweetness will be straight from our kitchen to yours. Keep an eye out for these goodies in stores soon! That’s the joy of being an independent business; you are free to experiment and try new things. You can do what you want… well within reason!
To celebrate America’s independence there will be bands, fireworks, movie marathons, barbeques, and furniture sales. There’s always a furniture sale. But when you’re shopping for that annual barbeque with friends and family, don’t forget what else was born on the Fourth of July! Happy 33rd Birthday Weeping Radish!
This story originally appeared on OBXToday.com. Read More local stories here.