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From the moment you arrive at Riverwatch Brewery in Augusta, you definitely get an industrial feel. The brewery is in a part of town that I had not been to much, but it definitely has its own unique vibe going for it, one that I think caters to the craft brew crowd, a crowd which is finally catching on here in Augusta. With a nice outdoor deck and a cozy tap room inside, the Sloans definitely did a top notch job making you feel right at home at the brewery.
Riverwatch is a brewery of firsts (first brewery in Augusta since Prohibition, first and only mother-daughter brewing team in Brey and Anne Sloan in the country), but I was struck even more by the story of how they got to where they are today.
From the sounds of it, Rick Sloan never met a person that he didn’t instantly befriend. I’m sad I never got the chance to meet him myself, not only because it sounds like he was an incredible man, but because I know how hard it is to lose someone you love. I’m blessed to be a part of two different families (three I guess if you now count the in-laws), and I’ve had to deal with the loss of two mothers in those families. Simply put, it stings. So, I had an instant connection to Brey and Anne with the loss of husband and father, Rick. It had to take a lot of determination and faith to continue pushing forward toward the family dream of owning and operating a brewery. It certainly shows the character this family has.
In particular, I was really able to connect with Brey on her story about the dragonfly. She says it is Rick, keeping watch over her, Anne, and the brewery. It’s funny how often I see them now too! I don’t know if I took them for granted or if there are a lot of them in Augusta. Maybe it’s a little of both.
My second mother loved praying mantises. My brothers, sisters, and I have seen them all around in different cities in the years since she passed away. Similar to the Sloans, my family says the praying mantises are her keeping an eye on us. My dad rolls his eyes (partially because he feels he has to) but deep down, I think it brings him comfort too just like it comforts the rest of us.
Back to the beer, it is definitely worth a try for sure. I’m a light beer guy, so I had the blonde ale. It’s one of the smoothest most refreshing beers I’ve ever had! It’s definitely now at the top of the list of my personal favorites. The good news is they offer several different beers all across the taste spectrum so there’s sure to be one that you’ll really enjoy too.