In 1986 The Weeping Radish Restaurant and Brewery opened its doors, at a time when there were less than 100 breweries remaining in the United States. Since the beginning, the Weeping Radish has brewed beer according to the Bavarian Reinheitsgebot Purity Law of 1516 which states that beer must be brewed using only four ingredients: Hops, Malt, Yeast and Water. No additives, chemicals or preservatives may be used. In 2001 groundbreaking began on The Weeping Radish Farm Brewery in Grandy, including a restaurant, butcher’s facility, and farm as well as a larger brewery.
Oral history interview with Uli Bennewitz (2018)
Craft in German means hand, do something with your hands. And that is where the skill sets are for our community. It's with our hands, we brew with our hands, we cook with our hands, we cut meat with our hands we make breads with our hands.
Uli Bennewitz drafted SL 1985-596, legalizing brewpubs in North Carolina and launching North Carolina's craft beer culture, in order to open the Weeping Radish in 1986, the first brewpub in North Carolina. Bennewitz discusses his history as an immigrant in the United States, the process he went through in changing North Carolina law, the work and unique challenges in opening the first brewpub in the state, and the importance of creating a local food economy in North Carolina.