Melanie Wiesen




This year, a lot of you showed up in a big way for our home teams. We saw the Wye Hill taproom flooded with support, eyes glued to the TV. The blended cheers of guests and staff reminded us how much the city has to offer in the way of athletics – and just how complementary beer is to that experience.

So, it is our absolute pleasure to be partnering with the NC Courage this summer. A Division 1 professional women’s soccer team based in Cary, the Courage are National Women’s Soccer League champions, and are widely considered one of the best professional soccer clubs in the world. 

NC Courage home games at WakeMed Soccer Park (one of the premier soccer complexes in the United States) will feature our Sky Child (Belgian-style wheat beer) and Acres & Acres (American cream ale).


For Wye Hill Brewing, this collab is particularly special in the sense that we are a locally grown brewery. The CEO & Co-Founder of Wye Hill and Wye Hill Hospitality, Sara Abernethy, was raised in the Triangle. Although she has lived/worked as a performer in New York City and San Diego, Sara became immersed in the Triangle food/wine/beer scene as a restaurateur when she moved back several years ago. This partnership holds a particular weight for her, because she watched the progression of the stadium that now houses the Courage.

The story goes back for me, growing up a stone’s throw from where the stadium is today. I remember seeing them build it as a little kid– driving by and thinking it was so exciting that we were getting this facility in the area,” Sara said. “Then, when I was in high school, I got the opportunity to go there and sing the national anthem before one of the games, which was so fun.”

Last year– being a woman in leadership at WH Brewing– Sara reached out to the NC Courage. The collab seemed like a no-brainer, as women in sports and hospitality are erroneously viewed as underdogs. It is also harmonious in the sense that our product is immensely locally rooted in both ideology and ingredient. And, the NC Courage is a locally grown team.

“As a lady-business-owner, I’m always looking out for opportunities for collaboration with other organizations that support similar values and support women’s empowerment,” Sara said, “I have been to a few Courage games since I moved back to the area, and I’m always so amazed at the ladies’ performances and their sportsmanship and their power. It’s really really wonderful to watch.”

For WH Brewing, Acres & Acres has experienced the most intricate evolution of any beer on the menu. From “lawnmower beer” when it first made its appearance on the patio years ago, to the subsequent Red Acres and Green Acres (depending on the corn adjuncts). Overall, it has remained the most quaffable offering whenever it appears– which makes it the perfect beer for NC courage home games this summer.

It’s an amazing opportunity for us. We really see our brand flourish in the warmer months, and it’s very joyful to think about sports, longer days, that smell of grass and life that’s so prevalent in the summertime.” Sara said. “Then, having really cold Acres & Acres in your hand just really complements the whole sensory experience. And, that really is what we do best.” 


It is extremely important to Sara that WH Brewing brand has legs outside of the patio experience in Raleigh (which we’ve been so very known for). 

“Our beer product is something really special. We have an incredibly talented team. The thing that gets them out of bed in the morning, their ‘deeper why’ is being connected to the holistic creative process of making beer, and how it really can be very poetic and intentional in every single piece of the process.” Sara said. “From sourcing the ingredients, to creating the thing, to understanding what tweaks need to be made organically throughout the process and ultimately putting out a really really high quality product.”

Observing the love, care and scientific tact that goes into making our beer amazes her on a daily basis.

“We are one of the few craft breweries in town that sources our ingredients entirely from the state of North Carolina. That is really special, given that the whole reason I was so passionate about jumping into this project six years ago as a Raleigh native was basically writing a love letter to my city” Sara said.

All things considered, for Sara, this feel like the ultimate “summer of Wye Hill.”

“We’re turning five in June. I’m leaning into the potency of summer. This location being such an iconic Raleigh spot, now being able to put out beer into the world that reflects the bounty of our state is so fulfilling.”