Raleigh’s pirate-themed brewery relocating to Wilmington

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Blackjack Brewing Co. in Raleigh plans to bring its small batch beers and tap room to Wilmington. Courtesy photo.
Blackjack Brewing Co. in Raleigh plans to bring its small batch beers and tap room to Wilmington. Courtesy photo.

A pirate-themed brewery in Raleigh is soon setting sail for the coast.

The Triangle’s popular Blackjack Brewing Co. is shuttering its original Five Points location on Whitaker Mill Road and heading for Wilmington in the near future.

Owner Edward Wenda will officially close Blackjack on Sept. 30, he announced on the company’s website. A dentist by trade, Wenda is re-entering the field after receiving a job offer in the Port City–and now that his family has expanded.

“It comes with a heavy heart that we end our journey here in such a supportive community, but when we opened this brewery we weren’t expecting to add to our family two additional crew members when we had twins; with the brewery it’s like having triplets,” Wenda said.

But along with cleanings and fillings, he plans to bring with him a scaled-back version of his nautical night spot.

“I mean, where better to have a pirate brewery than at the coast,” he said. “So that was our decision, to not end Blackjack but to mold it to what could work with our growing family.”

Blackjack came onto the Raleigh craft beer scene in late 2014, serving up small batch beers in a casual bar setting. The brewery’s set-up includes an outdoor beer garden, with Skeeball, shuffleboard, Fuseball, cornhole and other popular drinking games.

While there is no word yet on a Wilmington site, Wenda said award-winning Lynnwood Brewing Concern plans to purchase Blackjack’s Raleigh location in order to expand its company for full-scale distribution.

When Blackjack arrives, it will join an ever-growing list of local breweries. In less than two years, the number of brew houses has jumped from one–Front St. Brewery–to eight. And three more, including the under-construction Waterline on Surry Street by the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge, are set to open in the coming months. Those existing businesses recently banded together to form the area’s first Brewers Guild in an effort to market Wilmington as a craft beer-drinking destination.

Hilary Snow is a reporter at Port City Daily. Reach her at hilary.s@portcitydaily.com.