New brewery plans official opening
BY SAMUEL EVERS
Friday, June 22, 2018
Chazz Oesch and his cousin, Matt Nichols, plus his dad, Ken Oesch — the "loud silent partner" — are all set to open their new brewery in the storefront next to the beer garden at the Rocky Mount Mills.
They had a soft opening a few months ago and have been open on weekends selling various samples of their favorite dream-ups, but the official launch is coming for good on Saturday.
The Raleigh natives, who began brewing their own beer three years ago, chose BDD as their brand's name. It stands for "Bucken da dicey," which means nothing beyond the phrase that came out of Chazz's dad's mouth one night when he was actually trying to say "buckle the seatbelt" in a car's passenger seat after a night of a few drinks.
"We heard that and it stuck. We shortened it to BDD, and all of our stuff is Sasquatch themed," said Chazz, laughing. "That's because of my dad — everyone calls him Sasquatch."
In celebration of such, the storefront features an abnormally heavy ’Squatch statue that an uncle stumbled upon at a yard sale in Virginia. It’s two-feet high, and really ties the place together.
“It’s very heavy. If you steal it, you’re a very strong person,” Chazz said. “It takes a lot to get that thing outside.”
To mark the day on Saturday, BDD Brewing Co. has set up a three-band lineup of live music on a stage to the left of the bar from noon to 10 p.m., an event they're calling StockSquatch, something they hope to turn into an annual event marking the grand opening.
They'll have all the beers they've been selling since the partial opening — eight on tap — along with another craft product making its debut, a peach cobbler draught, which involved dumping 200 pounds of peach purée in a brewing vat.
Where does one find that volume of puréed fruit?
Secrets of the trade.
Chazz works at BDD full-time — "eight days a week," he said, while Nichols has a day job right now with Fidelity Investments, which he hopes to move from once BDD becomes economically sustainable full-time. They began brewing when a roommate introduced them to the idea, and as they picked up a knack for outside-the-box ingredients and ideas — "our first few beers were good, so we figured it was our calling," Chazz said — they began to look for a physical front.
They offhandedly toured one barren warehouse in Bunn but knew what they had when they stumbled upon the Rocky Mount Mills, signing a lease in February 2017. They hadn't heard about the campus going into their search but got in contact with Sebastian Wolfrum, the mill’s executive brewmaster, through a string of people starting with a friend from college.
In all, with the equipment afforded by the mill, Chazz estimated they saved around $500,000.
“We wouldn't exist if it wasn’t for the mill,” Chazz said.
And so all involved have been busy fixing up the 740-square-foot place of commerce, hauling around kegs, cleaning up last-second odds and ends and turning piles of grains into creative and tasty beers in anticipation for what they hope is a long and successful business.
“We’re licensed to sell beer,” Chazz said. “Might as well start selling it.”