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EAT, DRINK & PLAY   -   THE DISH
Another Year, Another Beer
Wolf Creek Raises A Glass to Growth
April, 2020 - Issue #187

With a beloved restaurant, booming brewery and years of steady expansion, it may seem like Wolf Creek Restaurant and Brewery has reached the top, but as co-owners Rob and Laina McFerren celebrate Wolf Creek's 23rd anniversary this month, they continue to dream up big plans for the future.

Or, as the restaurateurs put it: "Another year, another beer!"

There's plenty in store for 2020, starting with an anniversary party at the brewery. In addition to live music from TRAXX Band and food from Mad Scientist BBQ, the birthday bash is welcoming a new cutting-edge lawn game that's sure to hit the mark. "We just launched Celtic Axe Throwing as a new activity," Laina said, noting it will be available at the party and permanently on-site afterward. Commemorative glasses and special release cans will also be available for purchase. Over at the restaurant, patrons can join anniversary celebrations with three days of Wolf Creek's 23-cent specials in honor of the location's 23 years.

In traditional Wolf Creek style, the rest of the year will bring more delicious eats, award-winning pints and community fundraising. "This year, we'll be releasing a Chardonnay barrel-aged BBB - Big Bad Belgian - with guava," she said, "as well as a new version of our Alpha Wolf Double IPA."

Spring will bring another bounty of fresh Wolf Creek hops as they release their citrusy Tangerine Honey Wheat Ale at the Brewery, as well as a new seasonal menu at the restaurant.

Though there's always more to love about Wolf Creek's new releases, we're glad some things never change. Since its inception, Wolf Creek has been a family-owned and -operated business that invests in the community at every opportunity, starting with their staff. "We have so many long-term employees and families who work together," Laina explained. "Over the years, we've employed several families from which every single sibling works their way through school at the Creek!"

And in an industry as demanding as the restaurant business, that focus on others is what keeps the McFerrens passionately innovating and growing year after year. "We love having a business that allows us the opportunity to make people happy!" she said. "I mean, come on - beer and food. What's better than that?! Being able to use our business to give back to the community is truly rewarding."

Then & Now
Whether you've known them then, now or always,
here's a quick look at Wolf Creek's growth over time.
Then: A 3,600-square-foot restaurant and new brewery with a 10-barrel system and 30-barrel fermenters.
Now: A 4,800-square-foot restaurant and brewery with a 30-barrel system and 60-barrel fermenters.
Then: Four beers on tap.
Now: Eight to 10 beers on tap, more than 100 beers brewed, over 2,500,000 pints and 20,000 growlers sold.
Then: Pastry Chef Meghan Launier joins the team.
Now: More than 500 chocolate cakes baked each year.
Then: Giving back whenever possible.
Now: Donating more than $200,000 to local nonprofits - at $25,000 per year for the past five years - and hosting three to four charity fundraisers each month, as well as Community Pint Nights.

The Story Behind
the Magic Purple Dip
Let's get one thing straight - Wolf Creek's signature tapenade is what dreams are made of. Who doesn't want to know how that mysteriously addicting purple dip came to be? Well, as with most things in life, it all started with a little advice from mom.

"While we were getting ready to open the restaurant, my parents - who lived up in Washington State - were full of 'helpful ideas,'" Laina explained. Insisting the menu needed a "hook," Laina's parents started raving about a purple tapenade they'd tried. "She described it to us over the phone," Laina said. "Rob, being Rob, whipped up something that was absolutely delicious, and while it turns out our version wasn't anywhere close to what my parents tasted, the Wolf Creek tapenade was born!"
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