Special Collections and University Archives

Our Well Crafted NC project continues to grow! Well Crafted NC is a collaborative project that documents the history of North Carolina beer and brewing through oral history interviews with industry leaders and archiving the records of individual small businesses. The craft beer industry in North Carolina has an annual economic impact of over $2.1 billion and provides more than 12,000 jobs across the state, so Well Crafted NC was created to ensure that the history of this important business sector is preserved.

In Summer 2018, University Archivist Erin Lawrimore received a UNCG Faculty First Award to support a series of oral history interviews with women brewers and brewery owners in North Carolina. Twenty-three women’s stories were recorded for the project, bringing to total number of interviews in Well Crafted NC as of January 15, 2019, to 34. You can read more about this work in the Spring 2019 issue of UNCG Research Magazine (see the article online here). You can also listen to some of the women interviewed during this project talk about the importance of the Pink Boots Society, an organization focused on supporting women in the beer industry, in this video:

Additionally, the Well Crafted NC team received a grant through UNCG’s Community-Engaged Pathways and Partnerships Collective Scholarship Fellows program, which aims to strengthen collective approaches to community-engaged scholarship through the development of sustainable pathways and partnerships that build deep, reciprocal processes to achieve mutually beneficial, community-identified priorities. The team, which includes faculty from the University Libraries as well as the Bryan School, will work with the Triad Brewers Alliance to document the history of local breweries and train local breweries on how to utilize their history to increase marketing and tourism for craft beer in the Triad.

We also received an in-kind award (100GB of digital storage) from Archive-It to create two web archive collections focused on beer and brewing. The Archives of Beer and Brewing will focus on documenting websites of influential craft breweries across the U.S. The Beer Bloggers Archive will focus on prominent national beer blogs. We’re asking the public to help us identify beer blogs for inclusion in this web archive collection. You can nominate sites here.

In addition to the grants and special projects, in November 2018, the Well Crafted NC team set up an exhibit and information booth at the North Carolina Craft Brewers Conference in Winston-Salem. Erin Lawrimore was interviewed by Spectrum News for a piece on the importance of craft beer to North Carolina. You can see that piece here.

There are also a number of upcoming opportunities for folks to learn more about Well Crafted NC through presentations and exhibits.

On Wednesday, January 23 at 4pm at ZSR Library at Wake Forest University, Erin Lawrimore will discuss the original concept for the project, the continued development of the project through strategic partnerships and grant funding, and new initiatives focused on helping breweries integrate history into their individual and regional marketing efforts. You can learn more on the event’s Facebook page. This event is free and open to the public. A reception, with an exhibit of materials from Well Crafted NC, will follow.

On Saturday, January 26 at 7pm at the Beer Growler in Winston-Salem, Richard Cox will join journalist and beer blogger Kat Bodrie for a discussion of the history and future of craft beer in North Carolina. We will also have an exhibit focused on North Carolina beer history. This event is free and open to the public. More details can be found on the Facebook event page.

On Saturday, March 2 at 1pm at Highland Brewing Company in Asheville, Well Crafted NC will have an exhibit focused on the history of women in North Carolina beer as part of the annual Biere de Femme festival, sponsored by Pink Boots Society North Carolina. Biere de Femme is focused on highlighting women in the craft beer industry. 100% of all proceeds go toward scholarships to help women in North Carolina and beyond improve their lives by giving them education and marketable skills in the beer industry. This is a ticketed event, and tickets are currently available here. The event also has a Facebook page you can follow for updates (including a list of participating breweries).

We hope that you’ll join us for one (or more) of these upcoming events! You can learn more about Well Crafted NC and keep up with news about other events and activities on our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

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