New guide to local craft beer scene hits stands

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'Wilmington Ale Trail,' a print publication and website, offers up details on the Port City's growing number of breweries and bottle shops. Photo courtesy Jeremy Tomlinson.
‘Wilmington Ale Trail,’ a print publication and website, offers up details on the Port City’s growing number of breweries and bottle shops. Photo courtesy Jeremy Tomlinson.

A new publication dedicated to all things craft beer has hit local newsstands.

Jeremy Tomlinson, co-owner of Port City Brew Bus, and his wife, Emily, a graphic designer, recently launched “Wilmington Ale Trail,” a print guide and website aimed at promoting the Cape Fear’s burgeoning brewery scene.

“Every major town that has ‘x’ amount of breweries has some sort of ale trail publication or website so people can look and see what there is,” Tomlinson noted.

His magazine is just the same. The first edition of the “Wilmington Ale Trail,” as well as future installments, will include information on the area’s eight breweries and as many bottle shops, plus news for brewmeisters and connoisseurs alike.

Tomlinson said he also plans to regularly update content on the website, including a soon-to-go-live series on the history of beer in the Port City.

The aim with “Wilmington Ale Trail” is much like that of the recently formed Brewers Guild: to market the area as a vacation spot for avid beer drinkers.

“We feel that we can become not only a destination for our beaches and the downtown area, but people can come here to go to breweries, as well,” Tomlinson said. “I do that. When I’m looking to go somewhere, I look to see what breweries are there…We already have a lot of visitors that come to town and this is just one more thing they can do.”

With 22 breweries, Asheville is leading the market in North Carolina. But Tomlinson said Wilmington, which is on track to have 14 breweries total within the next two years, isn’t far behind.

“Funny how this just exploded,” Tomlinson said.

He plans to put out “Wilmington Ale Trail” twice a year. The fall/winter edition can now be found at area breweries, bottle shops, the Wilmington Visitors Center and some hotels.

Tomlinson said ahead of tourist season, he will try to place the spring/summer edition in more hotels, as well as rental agencies.

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