Smithfield Herald

Shindig to pour local brews

Deep River Brewing Co. owner Paul Auclair gives a tour of the brewery during its grand opening in April 12.
Deep River Brewing Co. owner Paul Auclair gives a tour of the brewery during its grand opening in April 12.

This year’s Clayton Shindig will include a small-scale beer festival.

Three North Carolina breweries will be pouring their beers, including Clayton’s own Deep River Brewing Co. Also coming to the Shindig are Olde Hickory Brewery from Hickory and Aviator Brewing Co. from Fuquay-Varina.

Paul and Lynn Auclair opened Deep River in April, and it has grown quickly. They’re now distributing within 75 miles of Clayton.

Their beers can be found in 80 bars and restaurants in the Triangle, and they are available at every Whole Foods in the Triangle, from Raleigh to Chapel Hill.

The brewery launched this spring with four signature beers. The Auclairs are now serving up some new recipes.

The Oxbow, an India pale ale, takes its name from a word that means where two rivers come together. It’s a session beer, meaning it has no more than 5 percent alcohol by volume. The purpose of a session beer, simply put, is to allow the drinker to enjoy beer without getting drunk.

At the moment, Deep River’s bestseller is the Watermelon Lager, a seasonal brew.

“It’s got a hint of Johnston County watermelons,” said Lynn Auclair.

The watermelon beer will be on tap for another month.

When fall arrives, Deep River plans to begin offering its Johnston County White Winter, a seasonal beer brewed with fresh Johnston County white sweet potatoes, toasted marshmallows and a blend of spices.

“Instead of doing a pumpkin beer like other breweries, we wanted to do something a little more Johnston County,” Auclair said.

For the Shindig, which will take place Oct. 5 on the Town Square on Main Street, the Auclairs are thinking about serving their popular Twisted River Witbier and the Watermelon Lager, but that might change.

Though Deep River has grown, the Auclairs are still the workhorses. They do all of the distributing and all of the bottling themselves.

“It’s a 24/7 job, but it is always fun, and we love doing it,” Auclair said.

She said the goal is to be selling beer throughout the state by the end of 2014.

Guest breweries

Olde Hickory Brewery, hailing from the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, is known throughout the state for its ales and lagers.

Sales director Leif Larson said Olde Hickory will soon be serving its seasonal beer, Oktoberfest. It’s a German lager with a toasty, caramel taste. Also on the brewery’s fall taps are Death by Hops, an India pale ale; Hickory Stick Stout, an American Stout; and Wilson Creek E.S.B., a classic British-style ale with earthy hops.

Olde Hickory began in 1994 as a brew pub on a converted dairy system. It moved to a production brewery in downtown Hickory in 1997.

In North Carolina, Olde Hickory is distributing as far east as Raleigh and hopes to start selling soon at Whole Foods. Olde Hickory is already in some grocery store coolers in the Triad, and its brews can be found at Weaver Street Market in Carrboro.

Aviator Brewing Co., launched in 2008 in an airplane hangar, has since grown to include a full-service restaurant called the Aviator Smokehouse. The brewery’s distribution is wide, stretching west to Kentucky.