Wooden Robot Brewery closes two taprooms after co-owner dies in an accident

A co-founder of the popular Wooden Robot brewery in Charlotte’s South End died in an accident, prompting the closure of both taprooms, co-founder Josh Patton said Tuesday.

“It is with an extremely sad and heavy heart that we share this news,” Patton said on Instagram Tuesday afternoon. “Due to an accident that occurred today, we lost one of our founders, co-owners, and friend, Dan.

“We ask that you respect the privacy of his loved ones in this incredibly difficult time. We are all still in shock and need time to process everything, but we will do our best to keep everyone in the loop for when we open up our taprooms again. Your thoughts and prayers for Dan’s family, his wife, and his son are much appreciated at this time.”

[HOW TO HELP: Here’s how to support the family of Wooden Robot Brewery co-owner who died in accident.]

Dan Wade is listed on the brewery’s website as one of the Wooden Robot’s co-founders and the director of operations.

Earlier Tuesday afternoon, the brewery announced the indefinite closure of both locations “due to unforeseen circumstances.”

Shortly after Wooden Robot’s announcement, Medic confirmed it had responded to a fall in the 1400 block of South Tryon Street, the brewery’s South End location. One person was pronounced dead by paramedics, Medic said.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officers were at the scene. Police have not released any details by 5 p.m.

In a statement to WSOC, the North Carolina Department of Labor said CMPD notified the department’s Occupational Safety and Health Division “of an accident at that location. A compliance officer has been assigned to begin investigating the report.”

Condolences from brewery community

Condolences from numerous breweries soon were posted on social media.

“All of us at LKN Brewery are deeply saddened by the devastating news of the loss of Dan Wade,” Lake Norman Brewery in Denver, N.C., posted on Facebook. “His passing is a profound loss to the entire brewing community.

“We wish to convey our sincere condolences to Dan’s wife, son, extended family, and friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with them all.”

Wade was “a pillar of our brewing community,” Destiny Jerdee of Weathered Souls Charlotte brewery in South End said on Facebook. “He was more than a friend; he was a mentor, husband, father, son and sibling whose impact will be felt for years to come.”

Aaron Gore, a craft beer industry consultant in Fort Mill, called Wade “a fantastic human, a fantastic father.”

“He touched my life in many ways, and was such an incredible source of support and mentorship for many others within the industry and beyond,” Gore said on Facebook.

Triple C Brewing Company wrote: “His legacy will continue to shine bright and forever be remembered in our hearts. Thank you for our amazing beer collabs and spending those days with us! We appreciate you helping make the Charlotte craft beer scene a better place, especially so close to us.”

In addition to the location on South Tryon Street, the brewery also operates The Chamber by Wooden Robot on East 36th Street.

Helping the Ward family

Wade and his wife, Samantha Fulton, had a son who was born on New Year’s Day.

“Dan was a dedicated husband and father, beloved uncle to six nieces and nephews,” his colleagues said on a GoFundMe established for his family on Wednesday afternoon.

“He was a remarkable friend,” his colleagues said, “a hardworking and beloved member of our Charlotte community.”

In three hours, 450 donors had contributed over $31,200 to the fundraiser.

Staff Writer Catherine Muccigrosso contributed.

This is a breaking news story, please check back for updates.

CMPD and the CSI unit are seen outside Wooden Robot Brewery on S. Tryon St. in Charlotte, NC on Tuesday, February 20, 2024. Wooden Robot Brewery closed earlier today amid an ongoing investigation after a deadly fall at the South End location, officials said.
CMPD and the CSI unit are seen outside Wooden Robot Brewery on S. Tryon St. in Charlotte, NC on Tuesday, February 20, 2024. Wooden Robot Brewery closed earlier today amid an ongoing investigation after a deadly fall at the South End location, officials said.