Alison Levine has summited every continent’s highest peak, guided the first all-woman team up Mount Everest and journeyed to both the North and South Poles.
She’s gone to the ends of the Earth, but she’ll soon boast one more accomplishment — a beer brewed in her honor.
After speaking at the Craft Brewers Conference in Washington, D.C. last April, Levine was approached by Carol Waggener, founder of Bold Missy Brewery. The beers at the brewery — which opens at 610 Anderson St. in NoDa on Saturday, May 13 — are named after “bold missies,” and Waggener wanted to brew one in tribute to Levine.
While Conquer the Routes Chocolate Stout won’t be ready for the grand opening, you will find a lineup that celebrates women like astronaut Sally Ride (Rocket Ride IPA), long distance swimmer Diana Nyad (Find A Way Wheat), Annie Oakley (Git Yer Gun Golden), aviator Amelia Earhart (Solo Flight American Brown) and even Oprah Winfrey (And You Get A Lager).
“We want to be a celebration of women’s accomplishments,” said Waggener. “There are so many great things to feel good about.”
Waggener is no stranger to the beer industry. She worked in sales at Anheuser-Busch for a decade before being laid off after the company was acquired by InBev. A job with Snyder’s-Lance pulled her away from beer, but a craft beer crawl through South End three years ago sparked in her a desire to return to the industry.
“I was sitting at Triple C and had really been wanting to get back into the beer business,” said Waggener. “It was the most fun I’ve ever had in my career, just being in beer.”
She started homebrewing with a friend, and even that first beer — an American amber — was wrapped in a rudimentary label bearing the Bold Missy Brewery name. Now three years have passed and Waggener is ready to open her own brewery, with niece Lybbi Roth running the taproom and Dan Baker behind the 15-barrel brewhouse in the back.
While the brewery will specialize in approachable styles, Waggener has also given Baker free reign to experiment through his Brewer’s Batch beers (the first, On Pointe Hibiscus Sour, will be on tap for the grand opening). Baker has worked at SweetWater Brewing Co. in Atlanta; Deschutes Brewery in Bend, Ore.; River Dog Brewing Co. in Ridgeland, S.C.; and Monday Night Brewing in Atlanta.
“We’ve got an opportunity to do a little something for everybody,” said Waggener.
The brewery is located just north of the heart of NoDa, surrounded by brick buildings in a formerly industrial area that’s undergoing a revitalization. Divine Barrel Brewing will open later this year just across the street, and comic book store Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find, a coffee shop and Thai restaurant will be coming in as well.
Waggener is excited about the synergy that all of these new businesses will bring, as well as the new residential properties in the area. One of the biggest changes to the neighborhood will be the Sugar Creek Station stop off of the Lynx Blue Line Extension, which will eventually connect uptown with UNC Charlotte.
“It’s going to look completely different in three years,” she said. “Which makes it a really exciting place to be.”
Bold Missy Brewery will also have its own kitchen, where it will prepare a menu that features flatbreads, pretzels and a variety of gourmet “Bruno Dogs,” which are named not after women but after Waggener’s dachsund.
And the beers?
“We’re open to naming them after bold misters, too,” said Waggener.
Want to go?
Bold Missy Brewery’s grand opening will be from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, May 13. After the grand opening, the brewery’s regular hours will be 4-10 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, and 1-7 p.m. on Sunday.
Photos: Daniel Hartis