Neil and Anita Gimon opened DreamChaser’s Brewery on May 20th, 2016 in Downtown Waxhaw. Now, one year later, they celebrated with a three day birthday bash! Starting Friday night, DreamChaser’s hosted a Sip and Shop featuring 15 different vendors. Saturday saw a partnership with Waxhaw’s Kaleidascope Fest including a beer garden featuring DreamChaser’s Brewery, Southern Range Brewery from Monroe, and Blue Blaze from West Charlotte. They also released several new and returning brews including Wail of the Ban Sibhe, an imperial milk stout aged in whiskey barrels, a German Chocolate Cake Stout, and their brand new Anniversary Ale, a double IPA released in a can with a cool psychedelic design. Saturday also had a stage featuring Jordan Middleton and The Low End, Moses Jones, and Kevin Marshall and the Jay Walkers. Sunday saw another great day with the Kaleidoscope Fest and the beer garden open from noon to 6 pm.
The last year has seen a lot of growth and challenges arise for DreamChaser’s Brewery. Neil Gimon explains that they have had a lot of bumps but nothing has been insurmountable and they have learned from every issue. Gimon is proud of how far they have come. He likes having a wide selection of beers to offer his customers and has added wines and ciders to the lineup as well. They have started distribution in SC and NC and he enjoys breaking into new markets. But one of his most proud accomplishments is how much DreamChaser’s has been embraced by the community. DreamChaser’s is not a bar or a restaurant but is still very family friendly, or as Gimon likes to say, “Dog, Cat, and Wombat Friendly.” DreamChaser’s is a great place to gather and talk or play one of the games that they keep in the front room. Gimon is working to bring back the lost art of enjoying others company. Another big advance for DreamChaser’s was adding music. Gimon started by adding local music on Fridays but now has live music Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. Bands have started coming to Waxhaw just to play at DreamChaser’s. And Thursday’s Open Mic Night has been great for finding new talent.
One surprising issue Gimon didn’t see coming? “Lipstick. I hate lipstick. We have to hand wash those glasses.” They also had a bump in the road when it came to their tap handles. Originally, he had a friend craft the handles but he wasn’t going to be able to keep up with the demand from DreamChaser’s distribution network. So they retooled the design and now have a larger manufacturer making them so they can supply them as needed.
Over the last year, DreamChaser’s has entered 3 beer contests and have come out with several wins. They received an Honorable Mention in the NC Brewer Cup, two Gold Medals and one Silver at the All About Beer Army in September, and at the Great American Beer Festival, they had one entry make it to second round against 100’s entered. Now they are looking forward to the World Beer Cup with registration later this year.
Gimon has a lot planned for the future of DreamChaser’s Brewery. He will soon seek financing for more fermenters to help keep up with demand. They generally sell three to four barrels of beer every weekend and with their beer now being distributed, he needs to increase production. He also has plans for more types of beers including sours. Gimon is also supportive of the Craft Freedom Movement that seeks to increase self-distribution limits in the state of NC. Even though DreamChaser’s is not near the limit, he wants to aid the industry that his shown him support since he started.