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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Grab a beer, help a turtle: Surf City brewery set to open in December

Owners of the Salty Turtle Beer Company Daniel Callender, Zack White, and Dean Kelley are aiming for a December opening in Surf City (Port City Daily photo/MICHAEL PRAATS)
Owners of the Salty Turtle Beer Company Daniel Callender, Zack White, and Dean Kelley are aiming for a December opening in Surf City (Port City Daily photo / MICHAEL PRAATS)

SURF CITY — There’s a new reason for craft beer lovers in the Cape Fear Region to get thirsty — the Salty Turtle Beer Company is getting ready to open in Surf City. The brewery and taproom is located just off Roland Avenue, about a mile away from the beach, and its owners are shooting for a December opening.

The Salty Turtle is owned and operated by Daniel Callender, Dean Kelley and Zack White. Both Callender and Kelley served in the United States Marine Corps; Callender is still on active duty.

Callender began home-brewing in 2014, but the Salty Turtle Beer Company will be his first time selling his beer commercially.

I started out home-brewing and giving beer to friends … then I started doing competitions locally and I started placing, so then I realized ‘maybe I do make a good beer,'” Callender said.

In 2016 Callender and Kelley met after living in the same neighborhood and realized they shared the same passion for home brewing and from there, the dream began.

White was born and raised in North Carolina but moved to Las Vegas, where he worked in the craft beer industry. In May of this year, White partnered with the duo and the Salty Turtle Beer Company was born.

White was originally going to be a silent partner in the company, but after meeting with Kelley and Callender he decided to become a co-owner, Callender said.

Guest of the Salty Turtle Beer Company can purchase growlers and crowlers for to-go, or enjoy a pint at the taproom (Port City Daily photo/MICHAEL PRAATS)
Guest of the Salty Turtle Beer Company can purchase growlers and crowlers for to-go, or enjoy a pint at the taproom (Port City Daily photo / MICHAEL PRAATS)

Something for everyone

Guests to the brewery can expect a range of beers on tap but, Callender said, since the brewery is located in a beach town, the focus will be on session beers for patrons to enjoy. Session beers are typically lighter beers with a lower alcohol content, which is good for the beach, he said.

Callender said, because there is a shortage of craft beer in the Surf City area, offering the lighter beers can help introduce people to craft beer that is locally made.

Just because the brewery will focus on session brews does not mean guests should not expect to see some IPAs or other heavier beers, Callender said. He plans to have a rotating tap and, once the brewery is more established, he plans on having a couple flagship beers.

“We want to have at least six beers on tap, we won’t have any guest taps we just want to focus on our beer. We are going to do white and red wine as well as a local cider,” he said.

The Salty Turtle Beer Company is a community focused brewery Callender said, and will be partnering with The Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center. While he is not sure exactly how, whether it be a monthly beer with profits going to the turtle rescue, or some other way, the company will raise funds for the rescue organization.

The Salty Turtle will be dog friendly when it opens, for now, Callender's dog Axle helps man the shop while the finishing touches are put on the storefront (Port City Daily photo/MICHAEL PRAATS)
The Salty Turtle will be dog friendly when it opens, for now, Callender’s dog Axle helps man the shop while the finishing touches are put on the storefront (Port City Daily photo / MICHAEL PRAATS)

The taproom is not only people friendly, but dog friendly as well. The brewery and taproom will offer outside seating as well as bar area seating inside with TVs to watch sports. Callender said Salty Turtle also plans on having live music and other activities for guests to enjoy.

The Salty Turtle Beer Company is located at 103 Triton Lane, Surf City.


Michael Praats can be reached at Michael.p@localvoicemedia.com

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