Hatchet Brewing is coming to Downtown Selma! The Vault by Hatchet Brewing will open later this month with a grand opening planned for April 6th and we are excited to add them to the Beer, Wine, & Shine Trail! I sat down with Hatchet’s co-owners Greg Walker and Thomas Vincent, and their General Manager Whitney Varner, to talk about Hatchet’s expansion in JoCo, their history, and their commitment to the idea of community. 

The History of Hatchet

It started with Greg.  During his career in the military as a Green Beret, he got into home brewing; a hobby he assumed was a solitary undertaking. He soon discovered that there is a large, active, and supportive community around home brewing. He thought it would be nice to extend that community by opening his own brewery.  So, Hatchet Brewing Company opened their original location in Southern Pines in 2019 (pictured below).

A few years later, he was put in touch with Thomas through a mutual friend - their lawyer. Thomas fell in love with the culture and was invited to be an owner last year. Their original location includes a taproom plus brewing facilities where they brew all the beer and distribute hyper-regionally to some establishments and bottle shops.

Hatchet Brewing currently makes 25 beers, 6 of which are flagship beers and the rest of which are rotating seasonal options. Hatchet’s best selling beer is called Hazy Morning, a hazy IPA with juicy, tropical notes. 

A photo of people gathered outside the Hatchet Brewing Company.

“I think our wheelhouse is classical styles and sours,” says Thomas. “We were a medalist in the sour category at the NC Brewers Cup Awards for the last two years. Most places sour their beer artificially but we use a historic method for souring beer using malts and time, which lends itself to a more complex taste.” 


What’s In A Name?

The name behind Hatchet comes from Greg’s military background. The lineage of Greg’s special ops team leads all the way back to the Vietnam War where a “Hatchet Force” or “Hatchet Team” was used to refer to a specialized unit comprised of Green Berets and South Vietnamese soldiers working together to undertake covert missions, many of which involved locating missing American servicemen across Laos, Cambodia, and North Vietnam. 

“At its core, the meaning of the name and the history behind it is about community and comradery, which is what Hatchet Brewing is built on; it’s why we’re expanding into Selma specifically,” says Greg. “The culture here in Selma is one of friendliness, of welcoming, and of building something together - just like we’ve felt in Southern Pines.”

Thomas adds, “it was also about finding the right building with the right bones and the ability to meet the specific needs of a taproom location. We found that here.”


More About The Vault

The Vault is a taproom and arcade space, using an old bank building at the corner of Raiford and Anderson to create an experience much like a speakeasy. The front taproom is light and airy, high ceilings and big windows. As patrons pass through the old vault and into the back of the building, a darker color scheme and lower ceilings creates the atmosphere of a secret or more hidden area where all the arcade games will be. There will be retro options and a few new games - all mostly geared towards an adult audience. 

A photo of a dog with a can of Hatchet Brewing beer in his mouth.

The Vault will have 12 rotating beers on tap and also canned offerings for sale. In addition, non-Hatchet libations on offer will include cocktails, wine, and non-alcoholic beer. Greg and Thomas will have a Selma-centric beer both on-tap and in cans for sale at The Vault. It will be called Mitchener’s Lager - a nod to Selma’s historic Mitchener Station. The cans will have a QR code on them that will lead visitors to the brewery on a scavenger hunt around downtown with a prize for completion. This incentivizes people to move around the downtown area and get to know Selma. 

“We will have food trucks occasionally, but we will not have food on-site. It goes back to our mission to be good community partners; we’re hoping that people will bring in food from local establishments or will even have it delivered to the taproom to enjoy while they drink. We want our focus to be on the beer, and so we’re open to people bringing in outside food to enjoy,” said Greg. 


Looking Ahead to a Grand Ol' Time

The grand opening of The Vault in Downtown Selma is currently planned for April 6th. There will be food trucks of course, but also other local businesses involved and vendors along the street with sections of downtown closed off to car traffic. It was Greg and Thomas’s intention to share the excitement of the opening with the community at large. 

“JoCo is a growing county, in a growing state,” Greg continues, “and we want The Vault to be a community hub for people to get to know us, get to know each other, and get to know Selma.”

A photo of a glass of Hatchet Brewing beer being poured from a tap.