Staff Highlights

Staff HighlightsAs we raise a toast to commemorate the end of our brewery’s inaugural year, we find ourselves awash in a sea of memories, each one a vibrant thread woven into the tapestry of our journey. From the early mornings filled with anticipation to the late nights buzzing with energy, our first year in business has been a whirlwind of excitement, growth, and camaraderie. As we reflect on the moments that have shaped us, we’re reminded of the laughter shared, the challenges overcome, and the bonds forged amidst the clinking of glasses and the pouring of pints.

“My favorite memory is from opening day Dec 28,2022. I arrived super early to get to work and run some errands. When I returned to the taproom, my bartenders were already there, early and unprompted, with huge smiles and great attitudes. They had jumped right in and divided up the tasks still to complete, without me giving any direction or asking for help. I got a bit teary as I stood in the door just taking all their hustle and positive energy in, realizing the gratitude I felt for this beautiful group of people, and I knew then that I had the most amazing team behind me. They were bringing our dream to life because they wanted to be here and be part of that dream. Hiring people was the most scary part of opening, but this crew proved that there are still great humans out there who want to help and work hard. And I’m so lucky to say those same hard working folks are still with us today, continuing to build our dream and create long lasting memories.” – Harmony

“My most meaningful memory from this past year would be the A Little Hustle Hip-Hop Night. It was the perfect convergence of my two passions, beer and music. The opportunity to both release my first fully executed brew, A Little Hustle West Coast Pale Ale, and my song “Work” with a hip-hop performance was beyond special to me. It was the perfect example of the extraordinary, unparalleled community we have built in our humble taproom.” – Lexie

“I had a hard time coming up with one fav memory but I think my favorite is probably when we all got to have thanksgiving dinner together at blackbird. I also really treasure the laughs we’ve all shared over the past year.” – Mindi

“One of my favorite memories was our first Thanksgiving together as a team. We had a potluck and talked about how things were going so far. Harmony expressed how grateful she was to have us and how proud we should be of what we accomplished. In that moment, I realized that I had made the right decision and that we were a family.” -Rishi

“My favorite memory leads to a lot of things. Working with someone that constantly allows me a space to explore depths of flavor and experimentation, which is the foundation of this industry, has allowed us to flourish. At other places, this exploration can often get smothered by egos. Having a blank canvas to impart and explore flavors in beer is amazing and truly liberating. I might not have the technical science background and name that Ian does, but when pushing the boundaries, Ian has always been supportive, even if science doesn’t back it. Some other memories would be collaborating with some amazing humans such as Dan from Wooden Robot, to the boys at Swellsa (Brad, Mike, Bill & Josh), and our former friends at Heyday: Thorn and Tyler. I hope that we continue to evolve this place and engulf you in a flavor journey whether it be some classic traditional crispy boi’s or some flavor town beers. Also shout out to Rudino’s pizza rolls and Romeo’s pizza; they hit hard when you’re hungry and we love the support from them.” – Mikey

“Hammered Trivia’s first theme night at Blackbird….90’s Trivia. More importantly, my birthday. The turnout was phenomenal. Everyone who was anyone was there. The 90’s soundtrack curated by Thor was powerful and evocative. The trivia questions, shrouded by a genuine Trapper Keeper, were relevant and exciting, and the flannel game amongst the competitors was fierce! But despite all the available cash prizes, the incredible costumes and the vast selection of premium craft brews, I choose to believe that they came to celebrate ME! In all seriousness, however, this night was simply just another example of how, even on a Monday night in the middle of winter, Blackbird has established itself as a popular and exciting hangout for friends and family from Wake Forest and beyond.” – Deke

“These are a few of my favorite things…Fresh new beer…Familiar faces…Lots laughs in familiar spaces…”[Sung to the tune of a few of my favorite things.] “My favorite things are walking in and knowing the names of everyone sitting at the bar and getting a genuine warm welcome from all of them.” – Kenne

“I have loved every minute of helping this brewery thrive and become one of the most popular watering holes in WF ( maybe even THE WORLD!) What I like most is that we aren’t just a team – we’re a family, and Harmony and Ian make sure we know how much we mean to them! From being included in beer brewing & naming, to trusting us to help bring the Birds Nest to life, they treat us like we’re an important part of their dream. My favorite memories from this past year have to be making the awesome reels for our social media (Lex is the creative eye behind the camera – we just get to have fun!).
I’ll never forget how much fun the ugly Christmas sweater reel was to make, and I still laugh every time I think about Harmony dressed up as an elf causing chaos around the brewery in another reel 😂😂 who can forget the STICKE reel with Ian pounding a 14oz in .03 seconds, or Deke running through the woods to promote Big Trees. My favorite by far is our Oktoberfest reel, and I hope we get to do another one for 2024! Can’t forget our regulars who have become friends – Tigers, you’re the OG’s from day 1!! I love this brewery and am so fortunate that I’m a part of it! The passion Harmony and Ian have for their craft is clearly evident in this amazing establishment! Cheers!!!” – Kari

“When asked what is my favorite memory at Blackbird this past year I would have to say…’s not just one it’s ALL of them. Never would I have imagined of working somewhere in just a year and feel like I have known my coworkers all my life. They are like family to me and I have gained so many great friendships with all of them not only inside the job but outside of it as well. It’s times like this that you realize blood is not always thicker than water (I mean beer 😂).” – Bess

As we bid farewell to the chapter that was our brewery’s first year, we do so with hearts full of gratitude and excitement for the adventures that lie ahead. From the friendships formed over shared beers to the dreams realized within these walls, our journey has been nothing short of extraordinary. As we raise our glasses to the memories made and the milestones reached, let us carry forward the spirit of community, creativity, and resilience that has come to define us. Here’s to many more years of laughter, love, and, of course, great beer. Cheers to the memories of the past and the countless ones yet to come!