Recently, the Cape Fear Caller sat down with Brew Master Zac Brown and Head Chef Andrew Stanley to talk about what’s happening at the brewery and restaurant as locals and visitors begin to scour the area in search of some relief from the cold winter weather. Waterman’s Brewing Company opened its doors last summer to establish itself as somewhat of a surf hostel, serving people in the community who spend much of their time on the water during the day, providing a place for rest and relaxation after they’ve spent some time under the sun. This vision was brought to fruition by Bob High and Craig Gee, who also own and operate Crank Arm Brewery in Raleigh, NC, Don Webber, and their team here on the coast, aiming to serve quality brews and food for all to enjoy.
In addition to a full-service bar, not often found in similar environments, Brew Master Zac Brown currently has twenty-seven unique recipes to quench one’s thirst. His top sellers include the Abundant Sunshine IPA, the Sandblaster Blonde Ale, and the Knott Head ESP. Initially, Brown set a mark to work through fifty unique recipes and still aims to shoot for that goal as the operation closes in on its first anniversary, but he looks for quality over quantity with every new selection. Brown’s venture into brewing began at his residence while he worked in the music industry in Manhattan, where he took on an apprenticeship with Vermont-based Longtail Brewing. He also consulted a start-up brewing operation in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, before making his way out west and working in a creative role as the lead brewer for a small brewpub in San Francisco, Cellarmaker Brewing Co. With close to a decade involved in the brewery business, Brown headed back east to the coast of North Carolina to work on the construction involved in getting the Waterman’s vision up and running.
While many breweries maintain a primary focus on their libations, Waterman’s enlisted the help of local chef Andrew Stanley to manage the meals presented to its patrons.
Chef Stanley, who received his Professional Chef Certification from the Culinary Institute of America, has been a part of the kitchen staff in several local eateries – including South Beach Grill, Abrianna’s, Sweet & Savory, and Brasserie du Soleil – and applies his local knowledge and creative freedom to think up new and exciting dishes to pair with your beverage of choice. While many dishes are considered to be more standard fare, like burgers, tacos, and wings, Chef Stanley is excited about the eclectic changes coming forth on the new menu to be released this spring. In following Waterman’s Instagram account (@watermansbrewin), you will find many of the specialty dishes that the kitchen staff puts together, always using the freshest of ingredients from the land and sea in the region, you will quickly discover a selection of items that you’d like to try for yourself.
On the first weekend in March, Waterman’s Brewing will host its first annual Oyster Festival in support of the North Carolina Shellfish Growers Association, showcasing locally sourced shellfish and Brew Master Brown’s reveal of an Oyster Stout and British style Oatmeal Stout.
Carrying on the tradition of the previous establishment, Fibber McGee’s, Waterman’s is also looking forward to hosting crowds from the Wrightsville Beach Marathon as well as the US Fat Bike Beach Championship in addition to St. Patrick’s Day revelers, as the holiday falls on a Saturday this year. In addition to the anticipated forty plus pounds of corned beef and cabbage, the brewery looks to rival the sale of Guinness pints served with its new specialty brews being released specifically for these events. Later in the summer, an anniversary party is being put together on the Fourth of July, featuring bands Massive Grass and the Phantom Playboys.
Waterman’s Brewing Company is located just off Wrightsville Beach, at 1610 Pavillion Place, Wilmington, NC 28403. You can also find them on the worldwide web at watermansbrewing.com and follow their social media platforms as well.