Wooden Robot co-founder dies in tragic accident at South End taproom

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February 20, 2024

Wooden Robot co-founder Dan Wade, via Wooden Robot's Facebook.

Members of the craft brew community, friends and strangers have demonstrated an outpouring of love and support for Dan Wade’s wife and newborn son, as well as his Wooden Robot family since the accident on February 20.

When Wooden Robot Brewery, with popular taprooms in South End and NoDa, shared via social media that its co-founder passed away following a fall at the South End location, the reaction was heartfelt and immediate.

In a post on Instagram, friend and co-founder Josh Patton wrote:

“It is with an extremely sad and heavy heart that we share this news. 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.”

Published reports from multiple news outlets at the time said there was an ongoing police investigation due to a deadly fall at the South End taproom at 1440 S. Tryon Street. Few details had been released to the public.

As soon as word spread about Wade’s passing, tributes and condolences started populating social media. Many of the posts showed a heart around Wooden Robot’s logo.

Many remembered Wade as a friendly, passionate brewmaster who dearly loved his wife and newborn son. Friends started this gofundme to help Wade’s widow with immediate and ongoing expenses as she navigates her way through the loss and cares for their son.

Wooden Robot was founded by Patton and Wade, who met in middle school, in 2015 as an urban farmhouse brewery. They opened the South End location with a focus on craft brewing and using local ingredients whenever possible. In 2022, the brewery expanded with a full-service kitchen. In 2019, Wooden Robot expanded to NoDa with the opening of The Chamber, a taphouse with a rooftop patio and food trucks.

Wooden Robot immediately closed both taprooms. It’s unclear when they will reopen. SP

Featured image via Wooden Robot on Facebook.

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