Wow… how quickly a year can pass…. Especially when you’re having FUN.
It is hard to believe that it has been one year since we had our ‘soft’ opening on November 4, 2016. It was the Friday before the annual NC Whirligig Festival (Nov 5 and 6, 2016).
We called it a ‘soft’ opening since we had not yet completed the installation of our equipment… actually, most of it was delivered by our manufacturer that same day.
We were ready to serve our beer that we had brewed in cooperation with Raleigh Brewing and Sweet Taters Brew Pub. We also had over 5 guest taps on from other INDEPENDENT Breweries in Eastern, NC.
On the day we opened it was the perfect example of ‘learning on the fly’. Although we were hoping for a large crowd, we did not expect to see over 500 who came to visit. To say we were overwhelmed would be a serious understatement. But, with the help of our excellent staff and some volunteers from the long line of customers, we were able to get to all who had the patience to wait. As a result of our ‘soft’ opening weekend, we learned how to deal with the exceptional number of large events we have hosted this past year.
Over the last 12 months, we have been host to over 40 private events (Weddings, Rehearsal Dinners, Engagement Parties, Birthdays, Farewell Parties, Holiday Parties, Ground Breaking, and Corporate Events.
In addition, we have hosted a number of City and County of Wilson events. We are the venue for Beats and Eats, a Downtown Properties Public Event; we are the Innovation Zone for Greenlight (City Owned Fiber Optic Service) which held all of the Gig East Technology Seminars and After Parties. Just this month (October 4) we hosted 800 Cyclists who stopped in Wilson for an overnight on their Bike Tour of NC – From the Mountains to the Coast.
We have shown our commitment to truly being a Community Brewery by hosting a number of Fundraising Events over the past year. Starting in January (New Year’s Day) with a fundraiser for the Wilson County Humane Society; Home Run For Hunger Official Food Drop Off Point for CHEW, a nonprofit that provides food items for local school kids for after school hours; A Vollis Simpson Luncheon for the Whirli-Girls who fundraise for the park. Toboggans for Little Noggins Event to provide winter hats for all of the children attending an elementary school in an economically challenged area of Historic Downtown; FriendsGiving Event on Thanksgiving Day that collected food items to ensure the local food pantries were stocked for the holiday; Roundhouse Museum Expansion Project Fundraiser to help raise the remaining funds needed to complete the $500,000.00 building expansion. This past 10 months we have helped raise over $30,000.00 for these most needed programs in our Community.
We are in the planning phase for a food drive on November 11 (Vet’s Day) with a full celebration of our local vets by supporting the Veterans Residential Services Agency in Wilson. This not for profit helps Veterans who are in need of support services. As a Veteran Owned Business, we are honored to honor those who honorably served.
In addition to all of these events, we have ‘regular’ events during the week: Monday is Open Mic Night where we give local new and old talent a venue to perform. This year, some of our musicians will be performing on the Main Stage of the Whirligig Festival on Sunday, November 5, 2017, at Noon. There will be three ‘acts’ that will perform 15-minute sets and finish the hour with a Community Jam of all the performers.
Wednesday we host the Wilson Beer Runners Club. Don’t let the name fool you, they are SERIOUS RUNNERS who also like to drink beer. They will also be representing 217 Brew Works at the Annual MILL CHILL RUN for MS at the Rocky Mount Mill. 217 Brew Works is a major sponsor of the event for MS and, to date, we have the largest team participating. We will also be providing our award-winning beers at the After Party.
We have just started our Wednesday Night Darts with the hope of putting together a competitive Dart League in Wilson. With one of our BeerTenders (Andrew) who will be teaching Darting to those interested and organizing a Dart League
Thursday’s are Best Buds’ Dog Walk which does a walk through Historic Downtown Wilson with some local businesses providing ‘water’ stops along the way. 217 Brew Works is a Dog and Kid Friendly (as long as your kid is as nice as your dog, otherwise, get a babysitter). Seriously, we are a family-friendly venue and welcome everyone.
Thursday is Trivia night (7:30 pm with Pam). Exercise your mind while you exercise your dominant arm (hoisting a brew or two). Awards to 1st , 2nd, and 3rd place winners.
Most Friday and Saturdays we host a food truck and live music. Food service starts at 6:00 pm and Music at 7:00 pm. We will begin Cool Jazz Saturday Nights after the New Year which will feature Local Jazz Groups.
First Sunday of every month we host a Pot Luck dinner organized by our local residents and loyal customers from 6:00 till 8:00 pm. All are welcome.
So… to recap…. We are officially a Brewery. We have enjoyed, so far, a very successful first year of operation. We have participated in a number of NC Beer Festivals, supported the Annual NC Guild Craft Beer Legislative Day with our Elected Representatives. We are members of the NC Guild and National Brewers Association.
In addition to our taproom, our beers can be found and enjoyed in over 25 locations throughout 4 surrounding counties.
Oh yeah… we were also voted ‘BEST BEER IN THE EAST – MEANING OF LIFE - and FINALIST ‘BEST BREWERY IN THE EAST – by Carolina BrewScene Magazine.
Please join us on November 4, 2017, from 5:00 pm till 10 pm for our 1-year Anniversary Celebration. We will have Live Music by the Will McBride Group, and Food by The Cow and Oak Food Truck from Raleigh. Come and help us celebrate…..
Our team is seriously looking forward to continuing success in 2018…. And Beyond.