For the past several months, we all have had some trying times to face and try to rise above and overcome. Many businesses have had to make hard decisions as to the immediate and long-term futures of their company’s. This holds for food service or beverage distributors two-fold. Certainly, falling within those classifications, our neighbors and friends at the Oak City Brewing Company have tried to implement methods to appease their loyal customers and keep their business afloat during the time of the pandemic.
Suddenly Everything Changed…
For just a moment think back. It is the second week of this past March. For Oak City Brewing Company, they are preparing for one of the biggest events of their year. St. Patrick’s Day approaches and that weekend was to be the “Shamrock Shuck” event. Then as the worries and uncertainty mounted, they opted to cancel their signature event as the early stages of what would become unchartered territory for not just the owners at Oak City Brewing Company, but for the entire United States as a whole.
Within a week of the Oak City Brewing Company’s in-house decision to cancel their huge event on account of wanting to be sure their customers were safe; government regulations would be issued. As we all are now aware, these regulations almost four months later are in some form being applied to how businesses are being run.
A Look Back at the History of Oak City Brewing Company
Longtime friends, Blake Cone and Matt Keeler often imagined and even discussed one day opening their own brewery. These initial talks, while at the time not over the top serious, would eventually lead to what is now Oak City Brewing Company. As these talks between longtime pals over a few beers became more serious the two began developing a business plan.
As part of their “stepping it up” in regard to making their dream a reality a location was necessary. After carefully going over their options, looking at prospective budgets, and even brewing initially out of their own garages, the pair settled on a location. That location was the beautiful downtown Knightdale spot that the brewery now calls home.
With much dedication and hard work, not to mention a huge level of risk, Cone and Keeler would quit their jobs in early 2015. This was to put all focus on their dream. That focus and dedication paid off in full on January 2, 2016, when the doors were open for business at Oak City Brewing Company.
Oak City Brewing Company Adds to the Traditions of Knightdale
Since their 2016 opening, Oak City Brewing Company has not only taken part in the town of Knightdale’s traditions, but they created several new ones of their own.
Oak City Brewing Company “Shamrock Shuck“
As we mention above, the Oak City Brewing Company created an annual St. Patrick’s Day themed event, the “Shamrock Shuck.” Held annually on the nearest weekend to the Irish holiday, this has become a favorite among local residents. Featuring authentic Irish music, food trucks, an oyster roast, and of course beer, the Shamrock Shuck would have seen its fifth annual event this past March if not for the pandemic.
“Makers Market” Christmas Shopping Event
Taking full advantage of their great location, adjacent to Knightdale Station Park at 616 North First Avenue, this has become Knightdale holiday tradition. The “Maker’s Market” takes place late each November. It also features the obligatory live music, food trucks, and beer synonymous with Oak City Brewing Company. However, this holiday event truly shows the company’s community spirit. In addition to the items listed above, the Makers Market also brings out 40 local vendors and allows residents to get a jump start on Christmas shopping. Not only do the attendees get a fun day to enjoy shopping, but with all vending coming from the local area, they also support the area business community in doing so.
Oak and Smoke Festival
Yet another great fall-time tradition from Oak City Brewing Company began in 20162. This is the Oak and Smoke Festival, which takes place in October. This is a huge BBQ competition that allows backyard “smokers” and pros alike to have their delicious work sampled and judged. Likewise, this Oak City Brewing Company “fall classic” features live music and their own great brews, too. Food trucks again come out in full force for this event. Likewise, at the Oak and Smoke, though, the company rents tent space to the competitors and attendees, making for a unique atmosphere for the October festival.
Moving Past a Pandemic: What Now for Oak City?
The crew at Oak City has been hard at work since the very beginning of the recent pandemic. They continue to try and appease their public and have since March when restrictions began.
Oak City has kept a constant schedule of food trucks on location. This has been despite their own profits seeing a dip, for the regular customer. The trucks continue their “curbside service” in accordance with the regulations laid out initially on March 17.
Then, finally after much brainstorming, on May 10, the brewery made Oak City brews available once again. Customers were taught to pre-order the brews of their choice online and then pick them up curbside. Each order was made available a business day after the order..
Finally, Oak City was able to re-open in a limited capacity on May 31. With the space to spread tables out they have done all they can to get their product to their customers. Given the down time, your support in ordering from them helps now as much as ever.