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Where Are They Now: Tim Clapper

Here’s an exciting new project from one of our past faculty, Tim Clapper. Learn more about Oak & Dagger Public House of Raleigh, N.C., and how you can actually get involved.

One of our most popular posts was in January where we explored the current careers of some of our former staff.

At that time, our past faculty members could be found in in 6 different Maine breweries, one brewery out of state, a local craft beer distributor, a few writing gigs where beer is at least part of the focus, and one who has started his own business helping us all enjoy better tasting beer.

Now one of our own is involved in a brand new brewery located in Raleigh, NC. But first, lets learn about Tim’s journey to this point.

Tim Clapper in front of Lenny.

Tim Clapper relocated to the Portland area from North Carolina, where he managed a homebrew supply store and bottleshop, worked at Nantahala Brewing Company in Bryson City, and had also been the head brewer at Duck Rabbit Brewery in Farmville, NC.

He came to work for The Maine Brew Bus while looking for his next opportunity in continuing his brewing experience. We put him to work as a driver, where he was able to learn the Maine beer and brewery scene, and work with our guests talking about his brewing experiences out of state.

Soon enough Tim was working as a Brewer/Cellarman at Baxter Brewing Company in Lewiston, ME. With his past experience he was able to work with the team and help them to set up their barrel-aging program.

Tim on our company staff outing at Mystic Brewing Company in Chelsea, MA.

But we knew that Tim was relocating back to North Carolina to be involved in a new brewery. Here is what I wrote at the time:

Once Tim got back to the Tar Heel State he started working at Draft Line Brewing, now in their second year in Raleigh. The week that he arrived, the company was transitioning to a new head brewer who was now in charge of their 30 barrel system. Tim was able to help with the changes, and provide an experienced hand to keep the beer brewing and flowing.

But at the same time he reconnected with some friends who were starting a new brewery called Oak & Dagger Public House.

Peter McCabe worked with Tim at Duck Rabbit. They day that Pete came to interview, it was Tim’s turn to run the Duck Rabbit tap room. They struck up a conversation and started a friendship.

Pete had moved to NC from Wisconsin with an ultimate plan to open a brewpub. He was planning on bringing with him other partners from their days working at the Great Dane Pub and Brewing Company in Madison, WI.

The brewpub project was mentioned before Tim left NC for Maine. Tim knew that at some point Pete may call for some help brewing, but didn’t expect it to come so soon.

Soon Pete had found an appropriate space in the Capital Park section of Raleigh, in a former beer bar and restaurant called Tyler’s Taproom that also had their own co-located bottle shop.

The space now being converted to Oak & Dagger Public House in Raleigh.

Pete quickly got back in contact with Tim, and soon they were remodeling the 700 square foot bottle shop with the help of some friends.

In North Carolina, bottle shops can also serve draft beer. With the ability to have 15 taps running in the store, Tim and Pete decided to begin brewing test beers on a homebrew setup at friends brewery.

And the Oak & Dagger Research Library was born!

The name Research Library is Pete’s idea, and pays homage to William Peace University whose campus is located directly next door. This first part of their project allows guests to try out the Oak & Dagger beers right alongside well know regional and national favorites.

Meanwhile, the team is working on renovating the rest of the 10,000 square foot space into a full brewpub.

The full layout now under construction.

Featuring a 10 barrel (310 gallon) brew system, they will be playing off of a traditional brewpub concept that features a variety of beers and styles. The plans are for 7 standard offerings, and they are eventually looking to have 14 different beers on tap.

That requires a number of different fermenting and serving tanks, which are now on their way to the brewery. And, holding true to their “oaked” name, they also have already sourced over twenty oak barrels that previously had held wines, bourbon, and local whiskey.

And there is even more wood involved. They are planning to use a large wood foeder. The high beer to wood ratio in a foeder allows beer to mature and develop in creative ways. Also, they are using some oak barrels as casks, with a job crane delivering the casks from a mezzanine to the bar for service.

For the kitchen you can expect some well prepared pub fare with Southern twist. Keeping in mind that there is a clear lineage to Wisconsin, expect some of the dishes to feature cheese as a key component. 

And do you know about the classic Wisconsin tradition: Fish Fry Friday? They are bringing it back at Oak & Dagger Public House!

Tim Clapper will serve as the Brewery Production Manager, and he is excited as he hasn’t worked in brewpub setting before. Brewing a wide variety of beers will be nice, as will be getting direct feedback from guests at the bar as they pair food and beer together.

Oak & Dagger Public House has sourced out their equipment, and are waiting on their Federal license They plan to be brewing within 6 weeks. At this point they are looking for help with the final push, to complete their project and get open to the public.

There is a Kickstarter campaign that has about one week left. They can use some help bringing this to their goal. You can help them by looking to contribute a little or a lot to their efforts. Check out the Kickstarter site here.

You can even become an investor in the project, as they need a few more folks to help them attain their final funding goal. If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about owning a share of a North Carolina brewery, e-mail me and I will put you in touch with the right people.

We are super excited for Tim and the rest of the team, and we plan to be there at their grand opening. Show your support through helping fund them, visiting their website, and following them on social media. Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

Cheers to new beer!


Don Littlefield is the General Manager of The Maine Brew Bus. He last enjoyed a Bissell Brothers Baby Genius while he and Zach were recording Episode 12 of the Plethora Podcast. Twitter: @BeerinME

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