Editor’s note: The following story, unlike the rest of Mountain Xpress’s award-winning coverage of local news and events throughout the rest of the year, is 100% fake.
In the wake of opening new taprooms in Charlotte, Cincinnati and Louisville, Ky., Hi-Wire Brewing has announced plans for its eighth location — on the moon.
Located on the site of a former scientific monitoring station in the up-and-coming Sea of Tranquility, which Hi-Wire co-founder Chris Frosaker refers to as “the lunar surface’s South Slope,” the Crater Outpost marks one small step for beer, one giant leap for intergalactic tippling.
“I’m a huge NASA nerd and love everything about the moon, so to call this a dream come true is an understatement,” Frosaker says.
Co-owner Adam Charnack refers to the latest location as home to “a developing market,” but he “has a good feeling” that colonization will soon be on the way.
“We try to be ahead of the curve. Just like in Wilmington, we’ll set up the circus and let the customer come to us,” Charnack says. “I mean, look: We had two strikes against us at [Hi-Wire’s original] Hilliard [location] — the ghost of Craggy [Brewing Co.] and the Hot Spot. I think we can handle a little lack of oxygen.”
Hi-Wire has also announced a distribution deal with Blue X, the new spacefaring monopoly created by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Tesla’s Elon Musk, thereby cornering the market on technology that prevents beer from freezing on its way out of Earth’s atmosphere.
To commemorate the new taproom, Hi-Wire head brewer and self-professed “lunartic” Luke Holgate is working on a signature beer, which he’ll make with thawed lunar ice. Top candidates thus far include the Dark Side of the Moon Imperial Stout and Neil Armstrong English Ale. “Maybe a Stanley Kubrick-themed lager, just to mess with people,” Holgate adds.
Meanwhile, director of retail operations Christine Weaver is excited about working with her first pressurized taproom but less enthused about the likely initial lack of canine visitors. “Until space tourism treats four-legged travelers with the same respect as two-legged ones, it will never achieve its full potential,” she says.
And considering Hi-Wire’s rapid expansion, it seems unlikely that the brewery will stop at the moon. Asked if Mars might be next, Frosaker replied, “Let’s not get crazy, now.”
He then paused, stroked his beard, and in his best Kevin Garnett voice, bellowed, “Anything is possible!”
I choo-choo-choose you
Already home to Gladys Knight, Tiger Woods (sort of) and Michelle and Barack Obama (prove me wrong), Fairview added another celebrity earlier this month with the news that Whistle Hop Brewing Co.’s caboose taproom has been cast in the reboot of “Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends.”
Fresh off playing the titular role in Asheville Community Theatre’s production of A Streetcar Named Desire, the caboose — who was born with the Norfolk and Western Railway running number 518604 but goes by “Cab” — dazzled the “Thomas” team with his versatility and “iron will.” His reward? The role of Bill the Chartreuse Engine and the chance to carry on a family tradition.
“My uncle was in The Fugitive, and my maternal grandmother was in Buster Keaton’s The General,” Cab says. “We’re also related to two of the boxcars from the original Murder on the Orient Express, but they don’t acknowledge us. Some bad grease there.”
Though Cab has yet to portray an engine in his stage work, he’s confident in his abilities and looks forward to further proving that “cabooses can do more than play stereotypical caboose roles.” Cab describes Bill as “a key member of the Magic Railroad team” and will be joined by a mix of locomotive veterans and newcomers.
Also in the ensemble is Ringo Starr, who agreed to reprise his role as Mr. Conductor after Peter Jackson’s Get Back reminded people how affable he can be. A hologram of the late, great George Carlin will fill in for Starr on occasion.
Whistle Hop co-owner and head brewer Tom Miceli is still in the process of interviewing train cars to fill Cab’s tracks and notes that he’ll miss running lines with his star employee during lulls.
“We’re proud to be the service industry employer for this particular thespian,” Micelli says. “The staff and I are confident that Cab will go on to do great things, but if it doesn’t work out, he’s always got a place out here in the ‘View.”