Well Crafted NC: The history, business, and culture of North Carolina beer

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Red Oak Brewery

One of North Carolina's oldest breweries, Red Oak began in 1991 as Spring Garden Brewing in Greensboro before moving to their current Whitsett location in 2007. A brewer of fresh, pure Bavarian Inspired Lagers, Red Oak strictly adheres to the Reinheitsgebot or 1516 Bavarian Beer Purity Law, creating all of their lagers with only 4 ingredients. Unfiltered, Unpasteurized with Natural Carbonation.


Oral history interview with Chris Buckley (2018)

We use a very traditional approach to beer making despite all the automation. We're really just using four ingredients to create, currently, seven different recipes. We do not filter the beer, we don't pasteurize the beer.... We're doing it the way it was in 1516 except we have hard drives controlling the timing and the temperatures.

Chris Buckley, head brewer at Red Oak Brewery in Whitsett, North Carolina, discusses his education and prior work experience in Germany, the decisions by Red Oak to focus on lagers only, the impact of legislation on the brewing industry in North Carolina, and the growth of the brewery's physical, public spaces. He specifically mentions the Craft Freedom Movement, an ongoing lawsuit in which brewery owners are challenging the state's production distribution cap in court.

View the Chris Buckley oral history interview.

Red Oak Brewery Archive