Skøl! in Scott’s Hill

by | Jun 6, 2024 | Bars, Business

Thanks to Kimberly Rhine, Scotts Hill has its first beer garden and gathering spot, Freya’s Haus.

You gotta love the Vikings. Their culture has given us many things: most of our weekday names, mead, the toast Skøl! and even the concept of a honeymoon.

You know the days of the week, and you’ve likely heard of mead (a fermented honey wine). Skøl was a toast when those lusty Vikings drank out of an actual enemy skull, but you probably never heard the honeymoon connection (see the note at the end of this article if you are curious …)

So why am I going on about the Vikings?

Easy. I met a Viking Goddess.

And I met her in Freya’s Haus, Scotts Hill first craft beer garden and bottle shop, a few days after she held a most successful grand opening.
Of course, her name is not Freya (from whence we get Friday) — it’s Kimberly Rhine. But she shares enough of the goddess Freya’s characteristics that the comparison is most apt.

Freyas Haus Scotts Hill Rhine

In Old Norse, Freya means “lady,” and there’s this Wikipedia entry: In Norse mythology, Freyja is a goddess associated with love, beauty, fertility, sex, war, gold and seiðr (magic for seeing and influencing the future). Freyja is the owner of the necklace Brísingamen, rides a chariot pulled by two cats, is accompanied by the boar Hildisvíni, and possesses a (magic) cloak of falcon feathers. By her husband Óðr, she is the mother of two daughters, Hnoss and Gersemi.

Rhine, also a mom of two, has led quite an interesting life. She has experienced both the very high highs and the very low lows of it at various times. She has been a successful international model and has worked in the service industry at many places in Wilmington, including a gig where she traveled with the PGA. It is, therefore, no surprise that her new venture is named Freya’s Haus. Rhine got the idea to open Freya’s Haus after visiting the world-famous Oktoberfest celebrations in Munich, where she was impressed by the conviviality of the community.

Freya’s Haus occupies the space that was the old Crab Shack next to Poplar Grove, and Rhine is the driving force of its success — and she opened this new venture as mom to a three-month old. And because she, like Freya, can divine the future, she has even greater plans for the acre on which Freya’s Haus sits.

The purpose of my visit to the place on Veterans Day was two-fold: chat with and get to know Rhine and witness the Veterans Day Beer Pong Event that she concocted along with Jeff Washington from ILM’s Mission Fit gym.

Scotts Hill Freyas Haus

The father of Freya’s two daughters was supposedly Odin, a renowned warrior God (and from whose name we get Odins Day, or Wednesday). A Marine with MARSOC is the dad of Rhine’s two girls, and if you need to learn what MARSOC is, Google it and be impressed. Suffice it to say that Odin would be proud.

Rhine decided that all the proceeds from the Beer Pong event would be donated to the Marine Raiders. That there is a place in Wilmington called Eagles Dare owned by a former Marine Raider named Joe Apkarian is no coincidence. Apkarian has been a great friend to Rhine, and in fact she used to work at the Pour House in ILM, which Apkarian now owns. But her experience is much wider than that.

Rhine has tended bar at many places in the Port City, but she reserves a special place for the Goat and Compass and its owner Scott Wagner. In her five years behind the bar there, she learned how to make exciting, creative craft cocktails — for just five bucks. She was “big into presentation,” adding that, “The aesthetic was just as important as what was in the drink.”

And Wagner also encouraged her to broaden her beer horizons. Rhine says, “Scott Wagner had a beautiful beer selection, and he was really cool about letting us try the beers and just kind of seeing how they can have a different taste.”

The drafts and bottle offerings at Freya’s Haus do the same. During Freya’s Haus open house, Sierra Nevada did a tap takeover to great reviews. The beer coolers and takeout products are wide-ranging, as the packed house took advantage of many of them during the Veterans Day event.

Kimberly Rhine Freyas Hause

Freya’s Haus, a 2,500-square-foot space that is at once both cavernous and cozy, is both pet-friendly and child-friendly, and there is plenty of outdoor seating.

“It’s like a communal center,” Rhine says. “Come drink or don’t drink. Bring your kids and your dogs. Play disc putt or corn hole. I want everyone a place where everyone is encouraged to be themselves.”

Rhine has secured a standing contract with Tackle Box Kitchen Mobile Food Truck to be on site seven days a week. Tackle Box is the food truck project from James Beard Award finalist and owner of Catch, Chef Keith Rhodes. The menu features local seafood sandwiches, bowls, tacos, gumbo and more. Rhine previously worked for Chef Rhodes and is a huge fan of his food, which is a blend of seafood, Southern and Gullah culture.

Look for Freya’s Haus to offer even more food, drink and offerings once Rhine gets settled, including coffee, live music events, mercantile and charity events.

Freyas Haus Kimberly Rhine

The Goddess Freya, as you read earlier, is associated with gold. I learned that the winners of the $500 first prize at the Veterans Day event donated their winnings back to the Marine Raider Foundation, adding to whatever the overall take was.

I’ll drink to that — Skøl! And to Kimberley Rhine’s future success!

And because she’s Freya’s daughter, that’s something she can probably see already.

*Ever the pedagogue, I offer this tidbit: The origin of honeymoon can be traced back to the ancient Norse term “hjunottsmanathr,” which translates to “honey month.” During this month of seclusion, the newlywed couple would often indulge in mead, a sweet wine crafted from fermented honey, believed to bring good fortune. Originally developed by monks for medicinal purposes, it was quickly recognized for its aphrodisiac qualities, enhancing marital bliss. Friends and family would often gift the bride and groom with a month’s supply of this special honey-based elixir, accompanied by exquisite goblets. – from E&M Gold Beekeepers. 

Freya’s Haus
55 Scotts Hill Loop Road, Wilmington
(704) 577-2949

Photography by Matt McGraw

About the author

Kurt Epps (aka The PubScout)

Kurt Epps (aka The PubScout)

I am a retired English teacher, a veteran of 37 years in the high school classroom, and I have also served as an adjunct professor at the college level. I'm a multiple award-winning writer and have won national recognition for my coverage of the craft beer industry, in which I've been immersed since 1996. An expert at beer and food pairing, I emcee dinners, host public and private tutored beer tastings and evaluate and review beer bars, breweries, brewpubs and pubs, as well as restaurants with good beer menus. I encourage the responsible enjoyment of beer, and my favorite quote comes from Jim Koch of the Boston Beer Co.: "All beer is good; some beer is better.” My mission as The PubScout’s is to locate and write about the "better.”