BrewTag battle yields record-setting beer flight

By on October 29, 2019

By Kip Tabb

A perfect launch by Team Late For Work and a shattering of the old world record for beer keg flight. (Kip Tabb)

For the Fifth Annual BrewTag at Nags Head on Saturday Oct. 26, conditions seemed as good as they could be. There was a steady breeze from the east; the temperatures hovered around 70. The beer was flowing; the Kid’s Zone was filled with kids; and the music was great.

All of it designed to answer the one burning question — if mankind can fly, why not beer?

BrewTag is a competition like no other. The object is for a team to construct a glider that will, with a small keg strapped to its frame, soar into history from a 20-foot tower.

A key point — the kegs are empty. Probably because it would make the kegs too heavy, or even more likely, because no one wants to chance wasting that much beer.

Team Toy Story 4 revving the crowd up. Teams were encouraged to celebrate their flight. Toy Story 4 took home top honors in team spirit. (Kip Tabb)

There were 15 teams this year — a record number of contestants. Some were spectacularly unsuccessful — the 2019 shortest flight was 12’6,” barely edging out the second-shortest flight at 12’7”.

Kitty Hawk Kites sponsored and organized the event and Kitty Hawk Kites owner John Harris explained why it is so difficult. “It’s really hard for the team to launch at the right angle of attack,” he said.

Launch too high and too much air gets under the wings and the nose lifts straight into the air in a stall. Gliders cannot recover from that. Too low, and the aircraft plummets earthward ending its life in a frame-shattering crash.

But…get the angle of attack right on a day like Saturday, and there is real competition.

Team Blue Crab Tavern, representing the bar perched along Colington Road, showed their skill. Their 66’4” flight was a new world record for beer keg flight and the team celebrated with abandon.

The joy was short-lived.

Three flights later, Team Late For Work smashed the Blue Crab Tavern record with a flight of 96’7”, a distance that left even the experts stunned

“I wasn’t surprised by the 66’4” flight. We’ve had flights in that range before. I was surprised by the 96’7.” I was very surprised by that,” Harris said.

The Bruce Goose takes flight. (Kip Tabb)

One of the more pleasant moments of the day was the flight of the Bruce Goose, named for Bruce Weaver who was VP of Recreation for Kitty Hawk Kites until he and his wife moved to Colorado earlier this year.

The glider, designed by Weaver and patterned after the Wright Brothers biplane design, has flown every year, but never very successfully.  The fifth time, evidently, was the charm

It didn’t set a record, but it’s grace in flight and soft perfect landing was beautiful.

“It did fly well. That one surprised me, that it did have such a good flight. It always had the potential for that,” Harris said.

For all the fun, BrewTag is a fundraiser, and this year especially what was raised will have an impact on people’s lives.

In the past the Rogallo Foundation has been the beneficiary of BrewTag. A NASA engineer, Francis Rogallo, with his wife Gertrude, invented the Rogallo wing that is used in hang gliding, paragliding and modern parachutes. The goal of the Rogallo Foundation is to preserve his papers and research as well as publicizing a remarkable life.

“He would have really gotten into it. He would have been excited by the designs, people’s approaches,” Harris observed.

This year, though, because of the needs in Ocracoke, half of the proceeds will be going to disaster relief there.

A final figure is not yet available, but Harris is confident it will be the most ever raised.

“We hope to report a really good number by the end of the week,” he said. “It will definitely be better than all the years past.”


Barnhill Building Group has been selected as the Construction Manager @ Risk by the College of the Albemarle and is seeking to pre-qualify construction trade contractors to submit bids for the furnishing labor, materials, equipment, and tools for the new College of The Albemarle – Allied Health Sciences Simulation Lab (COA Health Sciences) located in Elizabeth City, NC. Please note: Only subcontractors who have been prequalified by Barnhill will be able to submit a Bid.

The project consists of the new construction of a 38,000-sf, 2-story expansion to the existing Owens Health Sciences Center and will house classrooms, labs, and a simulation lab. The site is just over just over 4.5 acres and is located on an active campus. This new construction will be a steel structure with a brick and metal panel veneer, curtainwall, and storefront glazing with a PVC roof membrane.

Principal trade and specialty contractors are solicited for the following Bid Packages:

BP0100: General Trades

BP0105: Final Cleaning

BP0390: Turnkey Concrete

BP0400: Turnkey Masonry

BP0500: Structural Steel & Misc. Steel

BP0740: Roofing

BP0750: Metal Panels

BP0790: Caulking / Caulking

BP0800: Turnkey Doors/Frames/Hardware

BP0840: Glass & Glazing

BP0925: Drywall

BP0960: Resilient Flooring

BP0980: Acoustical Ceilings

BP0990: Painting & Wallcovering

BP1005: Toilet Specialties / Accessories / Division 10

BP1010: Signage

BP1098: Demountable Partitions

BP1230: Finish Carpentry and Casework

BP1250: Window Treatment

BP1400: Elevators

BP2100: Fire Protection

BP2200: Plumbing

BP2300: HVAC

BP2600: Turnkey Electrical

BP3100: Turnkey Sitework

BP3290: Landscaping

Packages may be added and/or deleted at the discretion of the Construction Manager. Historically underutilized business firms are encouraged to complete participation submittals.

HUB/MWBE OUTREACH MEETING: Barnhill Building Group will be conducting a HUB/MWBE Informational Session. You are encouraged to attend the following session to learn more about project participation opportunities available to you. These seminars will help to: Learn about project and scope; Inform and train Minority/HUB contractors in preparation for bidding this project; Assist in registration on the State of North Carolina Vendor link; Stimulate opportunities for Networking with other firms. Location and time TBD. Please visit our planroom at for more information.

Interested contractors should submit their completed prequalification submittals, by July 22, 2024, to Meredith Terrell at or hardcopies can be mailed to Barnhill Contracting Company PO Box 31765 Raleigh, NC 27622 (4325 Pleasant Valley Road, NC 27612).


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