We’d like to introduce you to Robert Poitras, founder and CEO of Carolina Brewery! With locations in Chapel Hill and Pittsboro and with products on shelves throughout the Carolinas, “Carolina Brewery stands beside anyone who wants to see what’s out there, to dream big, to make the most of their ‘Carolina Life.'” We are grateful for Robert’s partnership and his passion for Cape Hatteras National Seashore!
Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your brewery.
I am a lifelong avid surfer having spent every summer and other school holidays on the Outer Banks. My father did real estate development in Duck and grandfather was a founding member of the Hatteras Marlin Club. My family has had houses in Duck, Nags Head, and Hatteras Villages throughout my life. I am a fourth-generation University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill graduate who decided to open Carolina Brewery the year after college in 1995. I still oversee the sales of our craft beers and BBQ sauces in the Outer Banks market which brings me back there often.
How did you decide on the name “Carolina Brewery”?
It told the story of our commitment to and passion for the Carolinas.
Why are our Outer Banks national parks important to you?
As a lifelong Outer Banks national parks visitor, some of my favorite memories are from the parks. There have been many changes to the parks in my lifetime and helping improve the parks’ experience means a lot to me to provide these wonderful experiences for future generations.
What is your favorite way to enjoy our Outer Banks national parks?
With my family and posted up at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse all day for surfing and comradery with friends.
What is a favorite memory you have from visiting our Outer Banks national parks?
Seeing in-person the moving of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in 1999 was a spectacle I’ll never forget.
Why did you choose to support Outer Banks Forever?
My good friend Trip Forman from REAL Watersports told me about the group and how he was involved and asked if I was interested in helping the cause. My answer was a resounding, “Yes; When can I start and how can I help?!”
Is there anything else you would like people to know about you, your brewery, or our Outer Banks national parks?
Outer Banks surfing is my lifelong passion. I competed in the ESA (Eastern Surfing Association) -Outer Banks district for over 20 years and that took me to two U.S. Surfing Championships and various surf trips around the world. Surfing the Easterns when they were in Buxton was a bucket list for me and watching firsthand the pros come through there like Kelly Slater, the Hobgoods, and the Lopez brothers, was very memorable. The Outer Banks is a very special place to me and my family. I got married there and love seeing my kids excited about still going there very regularly. Some of my best friends still live in the Outer Banks and I talk to them every day and am always planning my next trip back there.