Wooden Robot Brewery has signed a lease on a 5,700-square-foot location at 1440 South Tryon Street, Suite 110, about a block away from Common Market in SouthEnd and a quick walk from the Bland Street light rail stop.
Here, they will have a 1,500-square-foot taproom and a 15-barrel brewhouse (for comparison, this is the size of NoDa Brewing’s current brewhouse).
The name “Wooden Robot” is a bit of an oxymoron. In a press release, president and head brewer Dan Wade explained the meaning behind it.
“Wooden Robot represents the blending of seemingly disparate elements into a wonderful union,” Wade said. “The wood represents the brewing tradition that inspires us: high quality ingredients, expressive yeast strains, and extended aging in oak barrels. The robot represents innovation: the unique, creative beers that we craft using these traditional methods and ingredients.”
Wade was previously employed with Swamp Head Brewery in Gainesville, Florida. Before this he worked for Rogue, where he heard lots of stories of one Brad Shell, who had left Rogue a few months prior. Brad founded The Unknown Brewing Company, and now these two ships in the night will be working right down the road from each other.
I recently met Wade at a North Carolina Craft Brewers Guild media event, and he described the brewery’s focus as “urban farmhouse.” It’s a term that Asheville’s Burial Beer Co. also uses, showing that even a brewery smack-dab in the middle of a city can still take a rustic approach to brewing.
The brewery will take much of their inspiration from Belgium, drawing upon that rich tradition to brew “drinkable saisons, unique hoppy Belgian ales, and innovative wood-aged and wild beers.”