Career Path: From ‘a galaxy far, far away’ to a Raleigh craft beer bar | Crain's Raleigh Durham

Career Path: From ‘a galaxy far, far away’ to a Raleigh craft beer bar

Will Clay, left, and Eric Roth recently opened Dailypint in Raleigh. | Photo courtesy of Dailypint

Will Clay and Eric Roth are expanding their empire in Raleigh.

With impressive resumes in the film industry that include work on blockbusters like “Star Wars,” “Harry Potter” and “Pirates of the Caribbean,” the co-owners of Raleigh-based Dailypint Studios recently opened Dailypint craft beer and wine, serving up some of their favorite craft beers with a side of movie memorabilia and great conversation.

In a conversation with Crain’s Raleigh-Durham, Clay and Roth shared their backstories.

How did you get into the special effects/film business? What about it appealed to you?

Roth: Right out of college, I started as an art director in advertising. I knew that there was more inspiration in film to me than in advertising, itself. I changed my mind pretty fast and I knew I wanted to go down the path of visual effects and animation. I started taking classes in New York, then moved out to Los Angeles to give it a go. I worked my way up in visual effects, and as I started working on more visual effect films in L.A., I interviewed for a job at Industrial Light and Magic, which is George Lucas’ visual effects company in the Bay Area, to work on "Star Wars," which is where I met Will.

Clay: My inspiration started as a child as an artist at heart. I was always drawing and loved character design and creatures. I’ve always been a fan of sci-fi and monster movies and special effects. I went to business school and got a business and computer science degree. I worked in the IT field out of college. I found a computer graphics certificate program and I switched gears. It got me my first job in games, then regional broadcast work here on the East Coast, then with Industrial Light and Magic.

How did you both decide to take on this project of a craft beer destination? Why did you continue with the film theme?

Clay: We decided not to throw away our paths. We’ve worked in production for 20 years each entertaining people. We thought that the world of craft beer had the same roots as film — a great community, great camaraderie — and we wanted to continue to entertain people in a more tactile and hands-on way that still allows us to be creative.

Roth: When we both worked at Industrial Light and Magic in the Bay Area, I started getting exposure to craft beers that I had never seen before. Going from Anchor Steam to Red Hook, to Rogue, that kind of blew my mind a little. Will and I kept exchanging notes about different beers and breweries. And we’re both homebrewers, so we both had an interest in that becoming part of our lives. As he moved back to the Raleigh area from California, we talked about what’s happening in the local beer scene, and it was absolutely exploding.

What can customers expect from Dailypint that they can't get elsewhere?

Clay: As we evaluated the area, we felt there was a hole and a missing component as far as craft beer. We wanted to create something that was more of a true destination or a hang to come out and socialize and have beer and camaraderie.

Roth: Our path is what makes us unique. In our craft beer bar right now, we have all kinds of items we’ve collected from projects we’ve worked on. Our customers love hearing about what we do and why we’re doing it. That extends to the details. Our cooler door is Han Solo in carbonite. And part of it is the storytelling. We share our stories. Our customers share their stories. I love hearing everyone’s experiences about different films.

What's behind the name?

Roth: Dailypint is a word that Will acquired a while ago, and we had talked about it. It just says what it is; it has nothing to do with film. We’ve carried it over because it says something about us. We want to continue exploring beer throughout the planet. That’s really how it boils down in my world.

What's your favorite movie? Favorite beer?

Clay: “Raising Arizona.” I love that movie. My list of favorite beers could just go on to no end. Durty Bull in Durham has a really nice, up-and-coming sour program and their blonde sour is exceptional.

Roth: “Bladerunner” had a huge influence in my life. It was one of those films that got me thinking about filmmaking and composition and design. There are movies I enjoy more as a fun ride and others that visually inspire me. A big inspiration in bringing me into filmmaking, of course, was “Star Wars.” As far as beers, I definitely lean toward IPAs. A company called Knee Deep Brewing in California is blowing my mind right now. If I were to pick a local beer, it’s Trophy’s Cloud Surfer. I was lucky enough to get a pint of it. It’s a fantastic beer.

What was the biggest challenge or biggest surprise you learned during this adventure?

Clay: As simple as a business can appear from the outside looking in, there are definitely a lot of working components — getting permitted, specifically serving alcohol, all the way to creating a social media presence. The biggest learning curve was getting permitted and working with the city and with the Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

Roth: For us the challenge is a little different because our challenge is running two businesses. In the beginning, Will and I were trying to create this rhythm to allow us to realistically split up our days. We’re already starting to have people manage certain aspects of both companies.

Located at 9521 Lumley Road, Suite D, in Raleigh, DailyPint is open from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday; 4 to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Friday; and noon to 10 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information, call (919) 239-4368.

June 22, 2017 - 11:18am