Raleigh’s Gizmo Brewery brews beer on Snow Day, Snowmageddon
When the whisper of snow is in the air, “The Photo” isn’t far behind.
If you live in Raleigh, you know this one. The cars scattered here and there, thrown into the ditches by an icy hand. A car is engulfed in flames, a thick column of black smoke rising in the distance. A woman speaks into a cell phone, her back to the chaos.
The famous photo, taken by Lindsay Webb, depicts the 2014 Raleigh ice storm which left dozens of people stranded on Glenwood Avenue. Since then it has gone beyond viral and over time ascended into the realm of memedom. Photoshopped versions online feature agents of destruction like “Star Wars” armored walkers and the Michelin Man.
It’s even the inspiration for a beer.
Gizmo Beerworks owner Bryan Williams experienced the Snowmageddon photo. The Raleigh Brewery is just off Glenwood Avenue. And when the 2014 ice storm hit, Williams was among hundreds caught in the crawling journey home. He considers himself lucky to be home in two hours.
The following year, Gizmo unveiled Snowmageddon, a cinnamon, nutmeg and clove spiced winter beer inspired by holiday cookies and meant to accompany a few snowflakes outdoors.
“It seemed like a no-brainer to us,” Williams said of placing the image on a beer label. “It happened right outside our brewery, I was stuck trying to get up in Glenwood.”
Gizmo has been pouring beer since 2015 and in the past two years has started packing it in tallboy cans. The artwork continues to toast the blizzard the South will never forget.
“To me, half of drinking beer is the work of art,” Williams said. “You buy with your eyes and taste with your mouth. It really puts you in the mood for a snowy day.
Williams remembers the 2014 storm as an under-reported weather event, catching many Triangle residents off guard for how quickly snow and ice jammed the area’s roads. With snow, ice and rain in the forecast this weekend that has been talked about for days, he thinks people are ready for a day of snow.
“With everyone sitting around waiting for it, that probably means it’s going to blow up,” Williams said. “Anyway, it’s a great day to sit at home and have a beer.”