Steve McCrossan, Executive Director
The local craft beer scene has always supported NourishNC (NNC), but we began to ferment real relationships by serving together at the start of the pandemic. It all started when we teamed up the Cape Fear Craft Beer Alliance to help provide service industry folks who were suddenly out of work with free groceries during the early days of COVID-19. NNC offered our facilities and technical guidance, and the Craft Beer Alliance went on to serve 150 families who were struggling while out of work – special shout out and thank you to Ellie, Jeremy and Zac from the Alliance.
Shortly thereafter, Jud and the Wrightsville Beach Brewery team brought their food truck to NNC’s pandemic-relief grocery drive thru. We had almost 1,700 kids on the program then, and the kids and their families received piping hot grilled cheese sandwiches and curly fries while they waited in the drive thru line for their food boxes. The kids loved it! Who doesn’t love a good grilled cheese?!
Not long after that, Edward Teach brewed up the delicious “First Responders Pale Ale” to honor front line workers with proceeds benefiting NNC. We bought a tremendous amount of nutritious food for our kids with the proceeds.
As nonprofit fundraisers were cancelling left and right, we too had to recreate how we would host our annual fundraiser. NNC pivoted to our “Gala to Go” so we could continue to raise funds for our programs at a time when the need for them was soaring. We were fortunate to have 10 local breweries team up to brew three special beers just for our fundraiser. Thank you New Anthem, Waterline, Salty Turtle, Wrightsville Beach Brewing, Flytrap, Front Street, Mad Mole, Bills, Broomtail, and Edward Teach!
During all of this, we started to design and build our new home which opens this Spring! Fate led us to meet our future new neighbors, Grant, David, and the Flying Machine team, whom you can often find volunteering in our warehouse (Hey Molly and Cara!). Flying Machine helped make our dream of a new home come true by committing to our kids with a generous capital campaign donation. Thank you, Flying Machine!
Oh yeah! I can’t forget about when Hi-Wire Brewing moved to town and debuted the ever-so-awesome “Donate to Wilmington Kids by Drinking this Beer” tropical IPA with proceeds benefitting our kids. The Hi-Wire team hasn’t stopped helping provide nutritious food to our kids since then. Even as recently as a couple of weeks ago, they held an Adult Spelling Bee with beer sales benefitting NourishNC. Thank you, Hi-Wire!
If you’re out and about this week and find yourself thirsty, swing by Wilmington Brewing Company to try their Red Ale. $1 of every pint sold will benefit NourishNC in support of the Wilmington Fire & Police Charity Hockey Game. Want some more fun? Grab your tickets for “Cape Fear Craft & Cuisine” at the Fort Fisher Aquarium held on April 2nd. The best beer and food at the perfect venue. Period.
It’s clear that our local brew community hates hunger and will continue to find so many creative ways to make it possible to drink good beer and feed hungry kids while you’re doing it.
PS Keep an eye out for the next Craft Beer Alliance collaboration – Low Bones IPA benefitting NourishNC!