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BearWaters 4th Anniversary — Celebrating with ‘Bock to Basics’

By Paul Viau | May 31, 2016
Photo by: Donated photo READY FOR A GOAT TIME? — Don't miss BearWaters Brewing Company's 4th anniversary, Sat. June 4.

It’s hard to believe that it has been four years since BearWaters Brewing Company (then HeadWaters Brewing Company) opened its tasting room in the commercial area on Frazier Street. During those years the BearWaters iconic VW Beer Bus, has logged tens of thousands of miles, serving as an ambassador for craft beer in Waynesville.

Did you know? I got to ride on that bus from BWB to Altamont Brewing in West Asheville so BearWaters could use Land of the Sky Mobile Canning Company to package its beer for consumption at Oskar Blues new Brevard brewery’s first Burning Can BeerFest.

It was ‘quite a trip,’ especially the slow return ride back home to Waynesville with 75+ cases of beer in the back. I had forgotten how slow a loaded VW bus goes up a steep grade.

I think we got down to 20 mph before reaching the Canton exit and at one point a groundhog was moving faster than we were.

But the good news is that the same BearWaters Beer Bus made it to Brevard later that month to Burning Can, Hickory Hops, Waynesville Craft Beer Faire and countless other beer festivals throughout North Carolina and beyond. And BearWaters beer — and the brewery’s reputation — just keeps getting better.

BWB is proud of how far it has come in four short years and owners Kevin and Melanie Sandefur haven’t forgotten the loyal customers — the beer fans — who have supported the brewery along the way. That’s why each and every BWB anniversary celebration is focused on customer appreciation.

For BearWaters 4th anniversary, the brewery is opening at noon, Saturday, June 4 and introducing a special release of ‘Bock to Basics’ Maibock, both on tap and in a limited release of 22-oz. bottles.

I’ve been itching to write about Maibock beers for a long time for the silliest of reasons. Most Bock beers and Maibock beers picture goats on the label — and if you’ve read my columns over the years, you know I have a thing for those bearded beauties.

Maibock is a traditional German beer style that has long symbolized the start of summer. It is a strong, malty lager with a 6-7 percent ABV.

BearWaters ‘Bock to Basics’ Maibock comes in at 7 percent ABV and the ‘Bock to Basics’ represents both a ‘Thank You” and a renewed commitment from the BearWaters staff to its ever-loyal customers.

The description on the 22-oz. bottles says it all: “Bock to Basics” — In honor of BearWaters turning 4 years old, we honor our past and celebrate our future. There have been good times and bad. Through it all, we have become stronger. This anniversary brew takes us back to basics.”

“It’s a reprise to what we are all about at BearWaters,” said owner/head brewer Kevin Sandefur. “We will always be beer-centric.”

BearWaters has also been entertainment-centric, so it’s no surprise that for its 4th anniversary, there will be music. The Colby Dietz string band will be taking the stage at 7 p.m. with its own, unique blend of sounds rooted in rock, outlaw country, bluegrass and folk. The band includes local favorites Joey Fortner on banjo and Alma Russ on fiddle, and of course, the soulful voice of Colby Dietz.

This unique band has an authentic Appalachian sound the goes perfect with good, craft beer.

And for this special occasion the BearWaters crew will also be serving up a variety of home-cooked Appalachian eats as accompaniment and giving away some great BearWaters swag.

You’ll also get to see some new faces behind and around the bar, including ‘beertenders’ Serena Windburn, Zack Suggs and Kylie Huehn.

So come have a pint of BearWaters ‘Back to Basics’ Maibock, raise your glass to salute four years of “Going with the flow.”

BearWaters is located at 130 Frazier Street, Ste.7, in the commercial area behind Sagebrush Restaurant in Waynesville. BearWaters opens at noon, Sat. June 4, with anniversary celebrations starting at 5 p.m. and The Colby Dietz Band taking the stage at 7 p.m.

BearWaters summer hours are from noon to 8 p.m.

For more information, call 828-246-0602 or visit www.bwbrewing.com.

In the words of Kevin and Melanie Sandefur, “Thank you for four wonderful years.”

I’ll drink to that.