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Chicago Bound!

Monday started an eight day marketing trip from Asheville to Chicago. Monday was a bit damp with lots of rain and hail, made the drive along one.

The first event Oowee is attending is a trade show for promotional products companies. This is our first time displaying our products for this group so it is very exciting. We are promoting our ethically manufactured products made right here in North Carolina. If you can’t buy local, at least buy American made!

Oowee Inc display at ASI Chicago Trade Show

Oowee Inc display at ASI Chicago Trade Show

Coming up this weekend we are participating in the Sheffield Music, Art and Beer Festival. Stay tuned for more pictures and updates.

Springing into Festival Fun!

They say it is officially spring. The weather may be a little confused, however, we know what time of year it is…FESTIVAL TIME! We kicked off festival season this past weekend in Charlotte, NC at the Ale to the Queen Festival.The guys had a great time drinking beer and posing with the Charlotte Beer Girls.

We have some other great events coming up…maybe even coming to a city near you!

April 11th – The Thirsty Orange in Johnson City, TN

May 16th – America on Tap in Tuscaloosa, AL

July 18th – Chicago Craft Beer Festival in Chicago, IL

We are always looking for new festivals and events to be a part of. If want us to bring Oowee Products to your event, just email us with the details!!!

Ale to the Queen Beer Festival, Charlotte, NC

Ale to the Queen Beer Festival, Charlotte, NC

Chicago

chicago city from river Oowee Products made it’s way to the Windy City last week. Mixing a little family, craft brewery time, museums tours, and navigating the city, Gabriel had a packed schedule! Lots of craft beer, art and travel.

There are so many great breweries in The Windy City it’s hard to mentioned them all but here are a few that you shouldn’t miss if you are up that way:

Revolution was the 1st brewery on the agenda. Oowee met with Kim, head of merch. She was nice and had never seen anything like our awesome leather koozies before. Oowee really enjoyed Pipeworks, This brewery has a cool website, worth a looksie. After that, Oowee checked out The Beer Temple. Chris, the owner was super nice.Chris is recognized by the Siebel Institute of Technology, America’s oldest brewing school, as a Master of Beer Styles and Evaluation and his knowledge is abundant! We loved Half Acre! They have fantastic graphics on their cans.In April 2010 Half Acre became the first brewer in Chicago to can beer and they went with the classic “tall boy” as their canning preference. They actively collaborate with other s to create tasty craft beers for your drinking pleasure.

Argus BreweryAnother brewery that we really enjoyed was Argus! Byron, the head brewer was awesome and really enjoyed our leather koozies. Argus Brewery bottles their beers and has growlers available. Oowee Products is working on leather growler holders. The design is coming along and should be housing tasty growlers of craft beverages soon! Prototypes are already in use!

IMG_20140508_153029184Sonia, head brewer with 5 Rabbit Brewery was super sweet. This brewery has a unique Latin influence. They boast cuisine and craft beer that is rooted in the history of Central and South America.

At Buckle Down Brewing, Oowee met up with owner, Ike, and bartender, KChey. Everyone there made Oowee feel very welcome! They were very receptive to our leather koozies, and the work we do with the Autism Society of North Carolina.IMG_20140509_122603535_HDR

After a week of bouncing to various breweries, Oowee landed at Soldier Field for the American Beer Classic. This was a full day of incredible craft beverages at the famous Soldier Field in Chicago. The day was all about showcasing and samplingsome of the finest craft beers in America.Oowee Products had a tent set up with a variety of leather koozies and got to meet a lot of local patrons as well as brewers and brewery owners. Oowee had a great trip to Chicago and is looking forward to going back!

chicago beer festival

Greenville/Spartanburg

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Porter

Greenville-Sp.burg RJR

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Brewery 85

Oowee Products had a fun trip to South Carolina last week. Gabriel visited several different locations. He showed his support for the local craft beer scene and delivered some Oowee leather sleeves. The day started at RJ Rockers in Spartanburg. Everyone was so enjoyable.What a great way tostart the day!

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After that, he ventured on to Brewery 85. This newer brewery is definitely worth a stop! Their 864 Weizen is a perfect mid-day craft beer. Some of the other stops were Thomas Creek, Quest, Greenville Beer Exchange, and the Community Tap. Everyone was hospitable and had a great selection of delicious craft beers!

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Trip to Raleigh

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Oowee Products just had a wonderful trip to the Raleigh, NC area! We got to show off our custom leather sleeves to many of the breweries in that area. We got lots of great feedback. Here’s a little recap of our journey:

Fortnight Brewing Company just opened up to the public this past weekend.It was ourfirst stopon Sundaynight starting out with a 30 barrel system and plan to grow by adding another 30 barrels or more.Carolina Brewing Comapny photo (3)

On Monday,we stopped at a Carolina Brewing Company in Holly Springs, NC. Next, we headed to Aviator Brewing Company in Fuquay-Varina and met with Buddy who gave usa tour of the brewery and showed off their new tasting room.

Natty Green'sWe enjoyed lunch at Natty Greene’s Brewing in downtown Raleigh with Bob High, sale rep for the brewery.

After lunch, Oowee checked out Crank Arm Brewing in downtown Raleigh. Travis enjoyed the Eat Sleep Bike English Ale ESB. They have a pretty cool rickshaw business that now runs out of the brewery.

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Next door to Crank Arm Brewing is the Tasty Beverage Company which is retail store for craft beer bottles and cans. We had a few spare moments to check out their beers. Then, we headed out to Smithfield, NC to check out Double Barley Brewing. On the way back to Apex we made a pit stop at Aviator tap house which is an old railroad station for the town of Fuquay-Varina. Travis tried a pint of Saison DeAviator and Gabriel enjoyed the Crazy Pilsner. Buddy was super nice and showed us all around the brewery. He really liked out custom leather sleeves!photo (5) Double Barley (2)Double Barley

The next day, we met up with Bob High to check a smaller new brewery in downtown Raleigh called Trophy Brewing Company. It has a 3 barrel nano system with a full service restaurant

 

Trophy BreweryWe Stop in at Big BossBrewing Company then ventured close by to the Five Point Area to check out a brewery thatnot opening till spring 2014 called union square brewery whichwill house a 20 barrel brewsystem.

We also stopped into Gizmo Brew Works which currently has a 2 barrel system and plan to grow to 7 barrel system by this summer.

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White StreetLater that day, we journeyed out to Wake Forest, NC to pay a visit to White Street Brewing Company. We met up with Harmony VanGundy,director of Sales and Marketing, and Ian VanGundy, director of Brewery Operations, they house a 10 barrel brew system with plans to expand to a warehouse nearby with a large production facility soon. We enjoyed the Hoptimist IPA and Kolsch-Style, the sample of Belgian Dubbel was amazing! They totally dig the leather sleeves too!

We stopped into RaleighBrewing Company. They also have the largest home brew shop. Close by there was Bottle Revolution, a local craft brew shop.

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We got to meet the owner Ted. They have a great selection of craft brew bottles and cans plus a great rotating draft list!

Raleigh is definitely becoming a hot spot for craft breweries. We had a whirlwind of a trip, but met lots of great folks in the craft beverage industry!

 

Gadsden and Birmingham

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Noccalula FallsOowee navigated through the Southeast last week.My first stop was Gadsden I had a great time at Back 40! My meeting with Carrie went great! We both think that they need some custom leather sleeves. I got to sample all their beers.Delicious! Carrie also directed me to this amazing 90′ waterfall that is right in the middle of town! There is a park there that has a trail down, caves, an old pioneer town, a petting zoo and some other fun things to see and do.

Nocc_fallsWord is that this mega-falls has even been run by some pro kayakers once in 2011! There was an extremely large amount of water in the river that year and it gave the bottom of the falls enough depth for the kayakers. This is NOT something that is normally safe to embark on. Those bad asses have gone down in the kayak hall of fame. So glad I stopped by this beautiful park.

After Gadsden I moseyed on to Birmingham. I hooked up with Hunter from Avondale. They have a pretty cool thing going. They are revitalizing a part of town that could use some TLC. Their back story is really interesting that incorporates some Alabama folklore. You should check it out on their site.Avondale-Brewing-logo

 

Of course, their logo would look rockin’ on a custom leather pint sleeve! I love the elephant! Also, I have to share this killer car with y’all cuz’ it’s pretty pimp! Dig the bright green!

avondale car

 

I visited Cahaba Brewing too. When I stopped in they were having a home brewers club gathering. The brewery was started by a few guys, Taylor, Andy and Eirc, who love to home brew. They have great craft beers on tap and host regular meetings for other home brewers.

I couldn’t visit Birmingham without paying a visit to Good People Brewing Company. Their graphics are great! They are Alabama’s older brewery. Really cool place inside.

 

rat custom leather pint glass sleeve

The World of McMenamins !

Ahh McMenamins !

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McMenamins is known for taking old Historic buildings and saving them from destruction. Most of the locations are restored Historic buildings.

IMG_1137I arrived in the Northwest with very little knowledge of McMenamins and what this company was and their impact on this area of the country. Almost instantly, I was told about the history of Mcmenamins and there many, many locations. I first visited the White Horse location just on the West side of the Willamette river. This is one of Portland’s oldest bars, it has served the dock workers since around the turn of the century. This was a very intimate place with a lot of character.

Edgefield

BIGGIE-RAT_pintI do not know where to start! This is their flag ship location! Edgefield is also known as the The Multnomah County Poor Farm and is a full resort. This location is home to the McMenamins Brewery, Winery, Distillery, and also has two restaurants, a pool hall/bar and a full Hotel and a nine hole golf course. There is a saltwater pool and a full spa on location. They also have large outdoor concerts and music festivals at this location.

We are sooooo excited to be making leather sleeves for McMenamins!!

Laurelwood Brewing/Public House

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Stopped by the Laurelwood Public house and brewery to say hello to James and taste a few beers. We went to the Northeast location on Sandy blvd, one of their five locations in Portland. The brewpub had a welcoming feel and great roof top patio with a secret up stairs bar. The roof top was a great place to chillax with friends and enjoy one of their delicious red ales.

 

Portlandia

Lucky Labrador Brewing

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We visited the Lucky Labrador’s Hawthorne location which is their brewpub and one of the four locations in Portland. We met with Hanna who was very nice. She spent a bit of time in our awesome town of Asheville, NC and said she loved it! (Who doesn’t!)

We enjoyed the Super Dog IPA, the Bavarian Crystal Weizen, and the Stump Town Cask Porter.

BasecampBrewing

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We popped into Basecamp on a super hot Monday in July. It was happy hour all day. They sell their beer in aluminum bottles and growlers. They had a cool, modern and open atmosphere. The perfect place to chat about camping, mountain biking, climbing and outdoor activities. We met with Andrea and dropped off some hand crafted, American made can huggers. Outside we met Cindy and Dave who were tasting 10 different Basecamp beers. The India Pale Lager was a crowd favorite, with the NW Fest a close second.

 

Hood River Tuesday

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On Tuesday, I made another trip out to Hood River to visit Full Sail Brewing, one of the regions largest breweries. It’s one of the few breweries that distributes all the way to the East coast. I enjoyed getting to see how big their operation is. Surprisingly, I drank no beer at their brewery, but had a good business meeting in their corporate office, showing off our custom made craft beer products. They placed their order this week! We are so stoked to represent FullSail!

Everybody’s Brewing

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Next, I paid the 1 dollar toll to cross over the bridge into White Salmon to visit Everybody’s, Brewing which “everybody” recommended we visit. Christine was super nice and allowed me to stop in and steal a few minutes of her time. The brewery is located in downtown White Salmon on the main drag of town. Christine’s husband, Doug, is the brewer. He makes some deliciously drinkable beers! I enjoyed their seasonal Indian session ale, appropriately named Little Sister. It was a great summer beer with just the right amount of citrus twist. The food was an additional highlight. I ate a Cuban sandwich that was the best meal that I have had this trip!! This small brewery had 3 IPA’s on tap and is definitely a local up and coming favorite brewery. Christine tells me that they are getting ready to start canning their beer, so keep an eye out for Everybody’s brews in grocery store shelves soon.

 

Fire on the MountainHot Wings and Craft Beer

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This is a very family friendly place with nice atmosphere and outdoor seating. They have a small brew house and had five beers on tap when we visited. I enjoyed the Wondering Rye and sampled a few of there other flagship beers. Hootie, one of the managers, stopped by to fill our water glasses and commented on the nice leather beer sleeves. This sparked a conversation about Oowee Products. We connected with Hootie, a super cool ex-raft guide, through stories of Asheville, North Carolina and Panic shows. He also reminisced about time he spent rafting on Asheville’s French Broad River! Fire on the Mountain is a great place to drink a great craft beer and eat some hot chicken with friends and family.

 

Hopworks Urban Brewery

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The first thing you notice is the bike themed designs throughout, including Chris King’s headset components being used as tap handles. HUB has a very intelligent layout. It’s a clean, modern facility with a unique design. It’s a well thought out brewhouse that includes special touches such as children’s steps in the bathroom. The minute details in their brewery process make their craft beer extra tasty. All the employees seemed stoked to be there and took pride in their work. Jamie gave an awesome tour, explaining every process in detail. We saw the brew process from start to finish, including the canning system, which ex-rays each can and kicks out the defects. Anyone who is a cyclist is going to love HUB. It is obviously an epicenter of the bike culture in Portland.

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Mash Tun Brewery

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After a failed attempt to visit Gigantic, we drove to the trendy Alberta neighborhood to visitMash Tun Brewery. A small, hard to find, local spot which is somewhat hidden behind the very popular Pine Street Biscuits. We only had a chance to pop in for a few minutes, but they had a great stout. Definitely ask a local to point you in the direction of this cool spot, being that you cannot see it from the road and there is not a sign. Very cool outdoor patio and great vibe. Check it out!

Good times in Hood River !!

This place is awesome! Hood River is located on the Columbia River and is anoutdoor enthusiast’s dream. Hood River is home to some great craft breweries. It’s also famous for windsurfing, kite boarding, mountain/road biking, camping, and hiking.

My first stop was at Double Mountain Brewing, 2013-07-05_14-54-31_760located in the beautiful downtown Hood River. The brewery is full of cyclists wearing bicycle shoes and jerseys and has a wonderful vibe and inviting atmosphere. David was nice enough to stop in the middle of his busy lunch hour to check out some Oowee leather sleeves. We chatted a little bit about making Double Mountain some unique handmade beer gifts. I was very impressed with all the beers that I tried. I enjoyed one of their delicious Dapper Dan nitro infused brown ale with a club sandwich for lunch. I would recommend Double Mountain to anyone visiting the Hood River area.

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Pfriem Brewingis just down the hill from Double Mountain. It’s located right on the beautiful Columbia River, overlooking a park full of families/kids playing on climbing walls and windsurfers getting ready to go out on the river. I meet with Stephanie who was kind enough to give me a few minutes of her time to show her some fine leather products. Pfriem Brewing has a bunch of really great beers on tap, including a super hoppy IPA that any hop-head would be eager to try. They are about to start bottling, so keep eye out for their IPA on you grocery store shelves.

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(On left) Brent, Katie, and Baby Hugo

 

West Coast

Oregon Coast

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Rogue Brewing located in Newport, Oregon. There are two locations in Newport one on each side of the Yaquina Bay on the Oregon coast. Rogue is one the state’s oldest and most well known breweries, established in 1988. The brewery was original started in a basement in Ashland, Oregon and then moved up to a garage in Newport now know as the Rogue public house locate on the north side of the Yaquina River Bay. There is also production brewery directly across the bay. We first visited the production Brewery on the south side of the river where we meet with Brad, who was a supper nice guy, and enjoyed a few of Rogue’s delicious brews. They have a whoppin’ 40 BEERS ON TAP! Brad and I agreed that Oowee leather pint sleeves and leather beer huggers would be a great fit for the brewery. While I enjoyed all the beers I drank at Rogue the Beard Beer was one of my favorites. This beer was made from wide yeast found in the brewer’s beard. After a few beers with Brad we headed over to the Public house to eat some lunch with friends and taste some more beers. We ended up hanging out with Sawyer Mizer who is the Caption of the Mothership according to his business card. The beer, my delicious salmon sandwich and everyone we meet at Rogue were great!

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Pelican Pub & Brewery

We headed north up the Oregon Coast to find ourselves at one of the most beautiful places that I have ever visited. Not only where we looking at an amazing view of the Pacific Ocean, big sand dunes, and surfers catching waves, but we were also enjoying all of this from the patio of Pelican Pub & Brewery. I enjoyed the view while drinking a delicious, easy drinking and appropriately named Surfer’s Summer Ale that was on tap as there seasonal.

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