Craft Brewery Industry Launched in Manteo, 1986

The entrance to Weeping Radish’s current location in Grandy. Image from Weeping Radish Brewery.On July 4, 1986, North Carolina’s first microbrewery opened.

Weeping Radish Brewery in Manteo was the first in what is now a long list of craft breweries in the state.

Founder Uli Bennewitz came to North Carolina in the early 1980s and decided to open a microbrewery similar to those he had seen in Bavaria. At that time, it was illegal in North Carolina for a brewery to sell beer directly to consumers. Working with state leaders Bennewitz helped change the law to allow microbreweries to sell their beer onsite.

Since its beginning, 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.

As North Carolina’s craft beer culture has grown, so has Weeping Radish’s business. A new, larger location opened in Grandy in 2001 and includes a restaurant, butcher’s facility, and farm as well as a larger brewery. Though the original Manteo location closed in 2007, the Grandy brewery continues to be a popular stop for visitors heading to the Outer Banks.

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