Wise Man Brewing always surprises
by: Kaeleigh McCauley
*Editor’s note: This article has been edited to fit the page and for style purposes. To read this article unabridged, visit the author’s blog www.thehoptometrist8.wixsite.com/allaboutbeer. There was also a typo in the print version. “Renu Energy Solutions” instead of “Soultions.” It has been updated online.
What does a quote, great beer and an old factory all have in common? That’s right; you guessed it- Wise Man Brewery! (Okay, that was the worst riddle to ever exist, and you probably didn’t guess it, but still). I visited Wise Man (located at 826 Angelo Bros Ave. in Winston-Salem) way before I even thought about starting my blog, The Hoptometrist (www.thehoptometrist8.wixsite.com/allaboutbeer). Fast forward almost a year later, and I had the opportunity to speak to taproom manager Dan Rossow so he could tell me just how this awesome brewery came to be.
Quit Your Day Job
Wise Man opened a little over one year ago and was founded by Sam Victory alongside his friends Mike Beverly and Jason Morehead. As I reviewed their website, I found one of their rotating quotes that I felt captured exactly their style: “Do not ask what beer can do for you, but what you can do for beer,” which is totally what Wise Man has not only used in their brewing process, but also with their approach to the community they are in. Victory has a background in chemistry (Ph.D. with years of experience in the field) and combined his knowledge into experimenting with home brewing. As he gained experience and began to take it more seriously, the idea of his own brewery came to take shape and soon he, Beverly (a lawyer), and Morehead (an accountant) joined forces. While Beverly and Morehead still have their day-jobs, Victory spends his days brewing and experimenting to come up with new, great beers for all of you to enjoy.
Victory has taken that ideology of what he can do for beer (not just what beer can do for him), and applied that thought process to how the whole brewery runs- and it’s worked really well so far.
A Whole Lot of Flighty Beers
(Get it? Flights of beers- flighty beers?)
As I mentioned a little before, Victory enjoys experimenting with new brews, and Rossow informed me of something I thought was pretty cool: Wise Man’s menu is always changing. So don’t get too attached to a brew, as it might be replaced after a bit. (Not like you won’t find a new favorite in about two seconds, because you will).
This was always the idea when they opened Wise Man; they wanted to be an experimental brewery that got to try new styles and didn’t chain themselves to a certain one. But they do have two permanent menu installments, Mountain Calling, an American IPA alongside with Body Electric, a Double IPA.
Rossow informed me this wasn’t the intention, but the beers did so well and were popular enough that the owners knew people might be really upset if they took them away. Even though those two will always be up on the menu, the others you may see today will not. But that’s the cool thing about this brewery; you’ll always be surprised (in a good way).
Each beer that’s brewed has a unique name and quote assigned to it. Each quote is from a wise man or woman (get it?). Whether it’s “Pie on the Weekends,” an IPA with the name based around Tina Fey commenting that prison must not be so bad if they get pie on the weekends; to “Dancing Problems,” a brown ale with the name based on James Brown saying that dancing might just solve all our problems. There’s always a story with Wise Man’s beer, and with rotating taps- you’ll get to hear a new one each time you go.
If You’re Not Eco-Friendly Don’t Talk to Me
The building itself is it is an old factory that they renovated earlier last year before opening. While they changed the space, they recycled a lot of the materials such as the old window panes and even wood to make tables in the taproom. Not only do they recycle that way, but they also give their grains after using them in their brewing process to local farms for them to use- isn’t that awesome?
It’s little things like that that can make a huge difference in the long run. This past Earth Day, Wise Man installed Renu Energy Solutions solar panels on the building so it can be more energy efficient along with LED lighting and high-efficiency taps for brewing.
With the amount of energy the brewery uses during the brewing process and hosting its guests, this is a great example of how Wise Man cares about the environment and are providing more than just a pint of beer to the community.
Quality, Variety and Community
As I’m sure you’ve noticed by now if you’ve made it this far, there’s a lot that makes Wise Man the brewery that it is. Rossow was so kind to show me around the whole building, let me taste a lot of the beer they have on tap, and tell me all about the great place that it is.
I could ramble on about all the reasons you need to go check this place out, but I think you’ve gotten the gist. Wise Man really values those three things- quality beer, variety of it and supporting a community that wants to drink it. So when you have a night that you’re looking for some good beer, a yummy food truck and an enjoyable place to hang out, look no further. Wise Man is your guy.