You are invited to the grand opening of Deep River Brewery on April 6th.

Event: Deep River Brewing Company's Grand Opening
Date: The evening of Saturday April 6, 2013
Where: 700 W. Main St, Suite 102, Clayton, NC 27520
Ticket includes; Samples of all beers on draft, 3 drink tickets for 16oz pours, special cask conditioned ales made specifically for this event,·a souvenir glass,·a 22oz bottle of JoCo's first legal batch of beer, raffles, delicious local food, and live music from Nash Vegas The event will also include guided tours of the facility with plenty of time to ask the brewer and team members as many questions as you would like. Tickets are limited to 250.

Learn More About Johnston County's First Brewery.

Deep River Brewing Co was founded by Paul and Lynn Auclair. Paul is a Civil Engineer that has had a passion for home brewing for the past 9 years. He utilizes a one barrel system to “engineer” new and unique flavored beer that includes locally sourced ingredients such as watermelon, sweet potatoes, cocoa nibs, and lemongrass. His wife Lynn is a logistics and supply chain ninja who has an equal passion for craft beer.

One unique thing to mention about DRBC is that we will be the first brewery in Johnston County. JoCo (as we fondly refer to it) is located about 20 minutes east of Raleigh. It has historically been a dry county but we can tell you first hand that the residents of JoCo are VERY excited to get a brewery!· Johnston County has quite a bit to offer. It is a large farming community which gives us the opportunity to buy fresh ingredients for our beer right from our neighbors. It is also home to 168,000 people.· In 2010, it was ranked the 58th fastest growing county in the US by the US Census Bureau. 58 out of 3,000+ isn’t bad! Of those 168,000 JoCo residents, 33,000 live within Clayton.· All of those people have no brewery to call their own.

The brewery is a 15bbl brewhouse 2 vessel brewhouse designed specifically for Deep River Brewing Co. The brewery will be located at 700 West Main St in downtown Clayton, NC, with plans to open in early 2013. The building was built in 1902 and was originally a cotton spinning mill. We chose the building because of its location and its rich history. We are in the process of cleaning, painting, and general renovations. The brewery will feature a 1600 sq ft tasting room that will be open Friday and Saturdays. We will also offer tours during tasting room hours. Customers that come to the brewery will have a chance to try experimental beers and provide feedback and also taste new beers before they hit the market.

We plan to have two flagship beers; Riverbank Rye-it which is a Rye Pale Ale and Twisted River Wit which is a Belgian wit. The seasonal brews will be JoCo White Winter that is made with JoCo white sweet potatoes, 4042 Stout which is aged with locally sourced cocoa nibs, Backcountry Black IPA is hopped up with six hop varieties, Double D’s Watermelon Infused Lager is a bright light bodied lager with a hint of JoCo watermelon flavor.

We have been doing tastings around the Triangle for the past year and the feedback on the beers has been incredible. One of the most common things we hear is “I don’t usually like this style of beer but this is awesome!” That to us is a huge compliment and makes this whole adventure worth it. We have a funny story about a tasting we did at a festival back in February with the 4042 Stout. One lady came to the table and mentioned she did not like Stouts but we convinced her to try it. After her first sip, she made some very strange… uhhh... borderline inappropriate noises (but so funny!) to express her love for the stout. The next guy in line says, “I will take whatever she is having.”

Opposition to I-95 tolls fuels coalition, lawmakers

By Jon Jimison | Wilson Times Editor

“I have to fight for this road because the DOT is fighting against it.”

Those words drive Ernie Brame, new chairman of the No Tolls on I-95 coalition, a grassroots alliance of residents, businesses and local governments fighting to keep an N.C. Department of Transportation proposal to toll Interstate 95 from coming to fruition. The fight is ongoing as the coalition continues to grow, Brame said.

"We are building it from border to border, from Robeson County to Northampton County,” Brame said. “Our petition has 4,500 signatures.”

The group also has a candidates’ scorecard on this issue and “no one is coming out in favor of it,” although not every elected official and candidate has responded.

“We are going to get double-taxed,” Brame said. “There is a lady I know who lives in Wilson and drives south of Smithfield to work each day. It will cost her $4 to drive to work.”

That adds up to $100 a month, he said.

In some ways, the coalition is waiting to see who is elected governor -- Republican Pat McCrory, who is leading in polls, or Democrat Walter Dalton.

“I have zero faith in the current governor and transportation secretary to do the right thing,” Brame said. “That’s why we are mobilizing.”

When asked if litigation was being considered, he said it is always an option.

“We hope it doesn’t get that far,” Brame said. “We are building a coalition showing a united front that there is no one for this. The next thing that needs to happen is the governor needs to be elected.”

Brame said in an interview that he’s expressing his personal views.

He contends that state fuel taxing policies have led to some truckers avoiding the state so they don’t have to buy fuel.

If tolls are passed, “there will be truckers who will avoid 95 altogether,” Brame said.

The state DOT just launched a six-month economic assessment study on Interstate 95 and the effects of tolling.

“The $1.6 million is a waste of money,” Brame contends, for something that will obviously reveal a crippling economic impact. “You are burying part of this economy.”

Brame lives and works in Kenly. He’s general manager of Kenly 95 Petro.

The coalition, which first showed signs of life with billboards many months ago, continues to grow with corporate members and local governments, according to Brame. The seed money came from the North Carolina Northeast Commission.

“Tolls are nothing more than taxes that will burden the residents of North Carolina as well as deliver less business to our state, translating into lower tax revenues,” said Brame. “They will create road congestion and divert traffic to roads less suited to handle cars and trucks. We need to attract and retain business along I-95. We can’t do that if nearly 30 percent of cars and trucks start to avoid the I-95 corridor because of tolls.”

Brame notes that state Sen. Buck Newton has been a big supporter of the anti-toll movement.

“My understanding is they are trying to raise awareness along the corridor and beyond and find a broad-based coalition to find alternatives,” Newton said. “That’s the way things normally get done, to bring awareness to lawmakers and others.”


The DOT was given a directive years ago to look at tolling, Newton said.

“DOT’s view of what needs to be done and paying for it isn’t always a creative approach,” he said. “We have to find some alternatives to this whole thing. It’s going to be a mess for Wilson, Rocky Mount, all along the corridor.”

Newton, R-Wilson, successfully added an amendment to the state budget that would block tolls on I-95 for two years. Newton is concerned about the impact on economic development and businesses that transport goods along the interstate.

He was also a primary sponsor of a Senate bill that requires a study on the effects of tolls on I-95 and requires approval from the General Assembly before tolls are permitted.

That bill didn’t pass, but it could become part of a future strategy.

Newton said for now, he’s trying to work with those chairing the transportation committees and DOT to find alternate methods of road improvements other than tolls. The Currituck Bridge project, for instance, has questionable value versus Interstate 95, which needs improvements.

“I’m against tolls other than perhaps for brand-new roads,” Newton said. “That’s our history in this state.”

Other interstates in North Carolina received improvements without tolls, Newton noted.

“I want people to understand the gravity of that and singling out part of the state to suffer the tolls,” Newton said. “We’ve been paying our gas tax like everyone else.”

Newton fears costly tolls could jeopardize the future of a valuable company such as Firestone in Wilson. “We want the facility to grow,” Newton said. “I don’t want conditions to lend itself to having them move.” The toll proposal has already inflicted damage on this region, Newton said.

Sheetz considered Middlesex in Nash County for a distribution center that could have brought 150 jobs. “After tolls came up, Nash County was struck from the list,” Newton said. “They ended up going to 85 kind of near Burlington. They stated tolling was an issue for them.”

Newton concedes that Interstate 95 needs upgrades, but he questions whether more than $4 billion along with the DOT’s timetable are needed.

“I am reasonably confident in the two years we will find an alternative, “ Newton said. “We have a good coalition in the General Assembly opposed to tolling I-95. We need to grow it.”

The DOT’s job is to build roads, not to figure out how to raise the money, Newton said. “It’s up to us to come up with the answer,” he said. “I-95 is one of my top priorities.”


The DOT study is in response to questions raised from residents during previous public hearings on tolling I-95.

The study will examine what the economic impacts, both positive and negative, will be to adding lanes on I-95 and paying for them with tolling or using other funding that may exist, according to the DOT. It will also examine the economic impact of not adding the lanes or making any significant improvements outside of what can be funded with existing funding sources.

“This study is in response to the people and businesses of North Carolina and their concerns voiced during the first stage of our study process,” Roberto Canales, NCDOT project executive, said in a statement. “We want to make the right decisions for the citizens of North Carolina as we move forward.”

Cambridge Systematics of Atlanta, Ga., will conduct the study. It is being funded with federal transportation money. Once the study is complete, the state will determine the best way to proceed with the improvements to I-95, according to DOT officials.

The DOT received conditional approval to toll I-95 from the Federal Highway Administration earlier this year. DOT proposes tolling the highway in North Carolina to help pay for $4.4 billion in improvements and repairs to meet future transportation demands.

More and more organizations, community leaders and elected officials in Wilson have taken a stand against the tolling effort.

Newton isn’t the only lawmaker to propose bills against tolling.

U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-Wilson, has filed a bill requiring more public input before tolling projects are approved, U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-N.C., introduced a standalone bill, the No Tolls in North Carolina Act of 2012.

The Wilson Chamber of Commerce is concerned that 30 percent of drivers will be diverted to other rural roads to avoid the tolling charges and that the economic impact needs further study that will explore the cost burden of tolling residents, businesses and communities in Wilson County and along the I-95 corridor.

The Wilson Chamber of Commerce board of directors voted in favor of a resolution that opposes the tolling of I-95 until the state DOT fully investigates alternative sources of revenue to finance future improvements and studies the resulting economic impact of tolling Interstate 95.

The Wilson County Tourism Development Authority and the Wilson City Council have also taken a stand against the tolls.


Road improvements to I-95 are estimated to cost up to $5 billion, but the DOT only has $450 million in funding available for the project, Ted Vaden, deputy secretary for internal and external affairs with the N.C. Department of Transportation, previously said.

The I-95 tolling proposal involves widening I-95 from four to eight lanes from Exit 31 south of Fayetteville to Exit 81 in Johnston County and from four to six lanes on the remainder of the highway, starting at the South Carolina state line to Exit 31 and from Exit 81 to the Virginia border.

The first phase, 50 miles from Exit 31 to Exit 81, would be paid for through a $2 billion bond. The improvements would take about three years. Gantries would be placed along the entire interstate and tolls collected to help pay for phase two. Phase two includes the remaining 132 miles of the highway, including Wilson County, and would take close to 13 years to finish.


In addition to Brame, Scott Aman, New Dixie Oil Corp., was announced as treasurer. The No Tolls I-95 Coalition Inc. also announced the board appointments of: Kimberly Bracy, Kapstone; Will Mahone, Halifax Regional Medical Center; Russ Saputo, Carolina Eagle Distribution; Scott Turner, Rocky Mount Travel and Tourism; Lori Medlin, Halifax County Tourism Development Authority; David Edwards, Coastal Wholesale Grocery of Kinston; and Crystal Collins, North Carolina Trucking Association. | 265-7813

Johnston County Visitors Bureau Wins Four Awards

The Destination Marketing Association of North Carolina (DMANC) is the trade association for over 40 Convention & Visitors Bureau from across the state. The Annual Meeting was held recently in Raleigh with over 120 travel professionals learning from speakers, networking and exchanging ideas on how best to promote our destinations in North Carolina.

One of the annual highlights is the Destination Marketing Awards banquet and the Johnston County Visitors Bureau has received over 40 awards in the past ten years. This year the Johnston County Visitors Bureau received four awards: two platinum and two gold.Receiving recognition this year with Platinum Awards was our Johnston County Visitors Bureau Visitors Guide and the Ava and Frank Leisure Advertising Campaign for the Ava Gardner Festival in 2011.

Receiving Gold Awards was the Muscadine Heritage Wine Trail Brochure and our Girlfriend's Getaway Promotion featuring deals and coupons from local businesses and area hotels offering special rates.

Donna Bailey-Taylor, Executive Director of the bureau attended the conference in Raleigh and accepted the awards on behalf of the bureau.  For more information on the Johnston County Visitors Bureau, our programs and general visitor promotion for the county, visit our web site.

2011 Visitor Spending Impact for Johnston County Increases 9.2 Percent to $191 Million

The North Carolina Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development announced today that domestic visitors to and within Johnston County spent $191.12 million in 2011, an increase of 9.2 percent from 2010.

Tourism impact highlights for 2011:

  • The travel and tourism industry directly employees more than 1600 in Johnston County.
  • Total payroll generated by the tourism industry in Johnston County was $28.25 million.
  • State tax revenue generated in Johnston County totaled $10.73 million through state sales and excise taxes, and taxes on personal and corporate income. Approximately $4.87 in local taxes were generated from sales and property tax revenue from travel-generated and travel-supported businesses.

“I believe it’s encouraging to see such improvement in revenues for Johnston County. It’s especially gratifying, from the board’s perspective, to see how hard our staff has worked to get the job done and reduce expenses below budget at the same time. Johnston County is a great place to visit and our staff is getting the word out!”, stated Ted Godwin, Johnston County Tourism Authority Chairman.

Gov. Beverly Perdue announced in May that visitors to North Carolina spent a record $18.4 billion in 2011, an increase of 8.2 percent from 2010.
These statistics are from the “2011 Economic Impact Of Travel On North Carolina Counties.” The study was prepared for the North Carolina Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development by the U.S. Travel Association.

Statewide highlights include:
•··· State tax receipts as a result of visitor spending neared $1 billion in 2011 and have increased nearly 52 percent in the last 10 years.

•··· Visitors spend more than $50 million per day in North Carolina and contribute over $4.3 million per day in state and local tax revenues as a result of that spending (nearly $3 million in state taxes and over $1.5 million in local taxes).

•··· The travel and tourism industry directly employs nearly 200,000 North Carolinians.

Erin Bailey Joins the Johnston County
Visitors Bureau Staff

The Johnston County Visitors Bureau is pleased to announce its recent hire of Erin Bailey, who has joined the Visitors Bureau staff as a Communications Assistant. Within this role, Bailey will assist with advertising and publicity of the county, as well as, work on website and email marketing for the Visitors Bureau.·

"I am excited about the opportunity to work for the Visitors Bureau. I look forward to meeting and working with the visitor industry to help promote Johnston County and all it has to offer," stated Bailey.

Bailey, an Appalachian State University graduate, grew up in Clayton and is familiar with the attractions in Johnston County. Bailey earned a degree in Public Relations and has a background in web design.

“We are so pleased to welcome Erin to the Visitors Bureau and finding a native of Johnston County with PR and website experience is certainly a plus for our staff,” stated Donna Bailey-Taylor, Executive Director, “having both skill sets will make for a smooth transition into her position.”

The Johnston County Visitors Bureau is the official destination marketing organization for the entire county. ·The bureau’s mission is to attract and serve visitors to the county, therefore, increasing visitor spending for area tourism-related businesses. For more information, contact Donna Bailey-Taylor at 919-989-8687, email, or visit the Johnston County Visitors Bureau website at

JCVB Holds NC Green Travel Seminar

From a recent trip to the NC Governor's Conference on Tourism, the staff of the Johnston County Visitors Bureau was introduced to NC Green Travel which has established a recognition program for the tourism industry in NC.·

"At least two to three times a year, we invite our visitor industry to meet with the staff to discuss issues facing the tourism industry.· We felt the NC Green Travel program would be interesting and something new to bring to the community", stated Donna Bailey-Taylor, Executive Director.

Mr. Tom Rhodes, Program Coordinator with the NC Division of Environmental Assistance & Outreach gave a presentation to approximately 15 members of the community from town officials, hotels, attractions, event planners and chamber executives.

"If you own or manage a lodging, restaurant, park, entertainment or other travel-oriented business, the NC Green Travel website will provide you with information to help you become more competitive in the green travel arena," informed Rhodes. He went on to show the group the steps a business could take to improve on energy and waste efficiency, recycling, and the importance of competing for visitors in the green marketplace.·

  • 90% of visitors prefer to stay with corporately responsible green businesses
  • 75% of visitors will actively participate in green programs offered in visitor related businesses

The program applications and resources may be found on the NC Green Travel website, and click on the get recognized page for forms.· The program is user friendly and the staff will help your business directly make assessments and help provide resources or vendors to assist your efforts to be more green.

In addition to the speaker, the bureau introduce Danielle Hussey with the JCC Workforce Development Center to discuss the Hospitality Heroes program offered to the community free of charge.· The program continues to grow and is a great partnership between the Visitors Bureau and Johnston Community College.· Click here to sign up for the next online class.

To wrap up the session, the staff reviewed the options for visitor industry businesses to package their product to the consumer.· The group discussed the concept of packages including shopping, golf, girlfriend getaways and festivals.· Discussion was had about the two different ways groups could package as partners and the marketing opportunities to compete with online booking companies.· Bailey-Taylor encouraged each attendee to form partnerships with area attractions and to check all online booking sites to see what visitors are saying.

JCVB Releases 2011 Annual Report

The Johnston County Visitors Bureau is required by legislation to submit an annual report to the Johnston County Commissioners on the financial matters of the organization.·Along with a detail summary of the 2010-11 Fiscal Year Financials, the bureau has prepared a web-based Annual Report that is available for all citizens to review.


The Sales & Communications Department Highlights, Awards, and Visitor Inquiries Stats are the key components of this year's annual report with some helpful information on key feeder states and research provided by the NC Department of Commerce.· Visitor Spending in Johnston County in 2010 equaled $175.2 million which was an increase of 6% over 2009.· Trends in occupancy tax collections continue to show positive growth for 2011, as the Visitors Bureau continues to executive the Tourism Strategic Plan to influence traveler's buying decisions to visit the county.

Click here to learn more about tourism in Johnston County and the efforts of the Visitors Bureau to attract and serve visitors to the county!


Officers and Committee Chairs in Place for Johnston County Tourism Authority


The Johnston County Tourism Authority elected new officers for two year terms at the November 2nd board meeting.· Ted Godwin, Sr. Vice President of KS Bank and representing the Kenly Chamber of Commerce on the board was elected chairman.· Godwin had been serving as Vice Chair for two years and fulfilled the vacant Chair position for the past eight months.·

Godwin is a native of Johnston County, having grown up in the Glendale Community. He is an alumnus of North Johnston High School and NC State University. He has forty years experience as a banker in Wilson, Southern Pines, New Bern and Johnston County. He and his wife have three sons and three grandchildren.

“Tourism in Johnston County generated over $175 million in local spending in 2010 and remains an important sector of the county’s economy,” explained Godwin. “The work of the Johnston County Visitors Bureau directly impacts the local tourism industry with publicity campaigns, Hospitality Heroes educational classes with Johnston Community College, and cooperative advertising programs.· The Tourism Authority takes our responsibility to market the county very seriously and in the same vain we remain conservative stewards of public funds in this current economy. The Board has great representation from each area of the county and I’m proud to serve with each one.”

Following the election of Godwin, nominations for Vice-Chair and Secretary/Treasurer were held and Bob Dixon, a retired Smithfield resident was elected Vice-Chair, and Mary Boyette-Daniels, Sales Director for the Sleep Inn and Suites of Smithfield was elected Secretary/Treasurer.· Both Dixon and Daniels have served on the Tourism Authority Board for three years and have been active as officers and committee chairs in the past.

Following the election of officers, Godwin’s first assignment was selecting chairs for both the Marketing and Special Projects Committees.· Paul Boucher, owner of Small World Travel in Benson has stepped up to run the marketing committee while Trish Stewart, who represents the Four Oaks Chamber of Commerce, will chair the Special Projects Committee.

With officers and committee chairs set for 2012, the committee will continue to execute the Program of Work for the current fiscal year.

Visitors Bureau Moving Offices to Downtown Smithfield

The Johnston County Visitors Bureau has leased office space in downtown Smithfield at 235-A East Market Street in the John Lampe Building. Ted Godwin, Chairman of the Tourism Authority Board, stated the move will be a positive step for the Visitors Bureau.

“We think this location will be more convenient for the staff and other county departments, as well as, being more efficient from a cost standpoint.· This is a great location, and I think more conductive to accomplishing our mission.”

“Around four years ago, the Visitors Bureau moved from the Lee House to offices on Booker Dairy Road, which at the time was meant to be temporary,” explained Donna Bailey-Taylor, Executive Director, “Our first move was based on having adequate office space for staff needs. We still have visions of owning a building one day, hopefully, when the economy turns around we can pursue that option.”

Reasons for the current move include expanding office space, eliminating off-site storage, having a more visual presence, and to operate a visitor center.· “We didn’t think we would be getting visitors to our administrative offices, but we do and our location on Booker Dairy was not ideal for that purpose,” continued Bailey-Taylor.

The Visitors Bureau plans on moving this December and to be completely settled in by the holidays.· For more information on the operations of the Johnston County Visitors Bureau, visit the website,


JCVB Forming a Sports Council to Attract Tournaments to Johnston.


The Johnston County Tourism Authority is forming a Sports Council to bring together Parks & Recreation Departments and other sports organizations. Officials say sports tournaments could bring in thousands of visitors who would stay in local hotels and spend money in local stores and restaurants.

"It's a great way to bring tourism dollars to Johnston County," said Jim Godfrey, executive director of the Clayton Chamber of Commerce and a county tourism board member. "They shop, they eat, they drink."

"A single town or community in Johnston likely doesn't have the facilities to support an event like a national youth basketball or baseball tournament," Godfrey said. "But communities could come together to host such a tournament."

The Cleveland community has baseball fields, as do the towns of Smithfield, Clayton, Benson and Kenly, Godfrey said. Clayton now has a community center with basketball courts. Farther east, the Smithfield Recreation and Aquatics Center also has basketball courts.

"And local schools' athletic facilities could also be a possibility," Godfrey said.

The county's tourism office is always trying to spread the word about Johnston, said Donna Bailey-Taylor, executive director of the Visitors Bureau. Tourism officials collaborate with some local venues and hand out Johnston County gift bags to visitors at weddings and social events. Little trinkets, and even Band-Aid packages, carry the Johnston County logo.

"Sporting events are just another way to promote the county", Bailey-Taylor said.

Several small tournaments already take place here. Clayton even hosts a statewide bocce tournament. But the new committee wants to think bigger. Possibilities could include an AAU basketball tournament or national baseball tournaments for youth. Cycling and hiking events are also an option, Bailey-Taylor said, adding that triathlons are popular. Clemmons State Forest near Clayton and Howell Woods near Four Oaks have plenty of space, she said.

"There's one thing we have in Johnston County - it's land," Bailey-Taylor said. The committee, which will include a county commissioner and other local officials, will coordinate with towns' parks and recreation departments and with community groups such as the Greater Cleveland Athletic Association.

"This council hopefully brings everybody together," Godfrey said.


Johnston County Visitors Bureau Wins Awards

The Destination Marketing Association of North Carolina (DMANC) is the trade association for over 40 Convention & Visitors Bureau from across the state. The Annual Meeting was held recently in Concord with over 120 travel professionals learning from speakers, networking, and exchanging ideas on how best to promote our destinations in North Carolina. One of the annual highlights is the Destination Marketing Awards banquet and the Johnston County Visitors Bureau has received over 35 awards in the past ten years. This year the Johnston County Visitors Bureau received three awards; two platinum and one gold.

Receiving recognition this year were our efforts to build the tourism infrastructure with the new Benson Museum of Local History project which won a Platinum Award for Destination Initiatives.· The Visitors Bureau took a real “hands-on” approach and was instrumental in designing and installing the museum exhibits.· Also receiving a Platinum Award was our Sports Marketing Brochure, which goes out to sports tournament planners and is used in tradeshows to promote Johnston County sports facilities.· Receiving a Gold Award was the marketing campaign the bureau ran for the Smithfield Ham & Yam Festival, which included a website, print and digital marketing.

Donna Bailey-Taylor, Executive Director of the bureau attended the conference in Concord and accepted the awards on behalf of the bureau. ·For more information on the Johnston County Visitors Bureau, our programs and general visitor content for the county, visit our web site,