Wilmington named among nation’s ‘beeriest’ beach towns

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Bottle shop Bombers Bev Co. is among the new businesses touted in Craftbeer.com's list of best beach towns for beer drinkers. Photo by Hilary Snow.
Bottle shop Bombers Bev Co. is among the new businesses touted in Craftbeer.com’s list of best beach towns for beer drinkers. Photo by Hilary Snow.

Raise a glass–Wilmington has earned another national accolade.

The city that can boast the “Best American Riverfront” and the best outdoor dining, among other recognitions, is now among the top spots in the country to grab a cold brew.

That’s according to Craftbeer.com, an online publication devoted to all things hops. The website recently picked the Port City to be among its exclusive “Top 5 Beeriest Beach Towns” list.

The annual compilation is just in its second year but in as little time, Wilmington has grown to stake its claim as a beer-lover’s paradise, with eight breweries and as many bottle shops… and counting. Five of those breweries have emerged since 2014, and Jeremy Tomlinson, co-owner of Port City Brew Bus, said the city is on track to have a total of 14 up and running in the next two years.

Tomlinson is also the creative force behind the recently launched “Wilmington Ale Trail,” a guide to the local craft beer scene. And brewers united earlier this year to create a guild aimed, in part, at marketing Wilmington as a drinker’s destination.

“North Carolina is one of the fastest-growing craft beer states in the country, and while Charlotte, Raleigh and Asheville in particular continue to grab all the headlines, no city in the past year has been more responsible for the Tar Heel State’s rapid ascension than Wilmington,” Craftbeer.com’s Gary Glancy wrote.

Glancy gave nods to newcomers like Flytrap Brewing in the Brooklyn Arts District, nearby Bombers Bev. Co and midtown’s Wilmington Brewing Company as welcome additions to mainstays like Front Street Brewery, which has held its place on downtown’s Front Street for two decades.

And Glancy noted options outside city limits, including Wrightsville Beach’s Lighthouse Beer and Wine, which offers up more than 400 bottled beers and an outdoor beer garden.

Wilmington shares the list with Honolulu, Hawaii; San Luis Obispo, California; Cannon Beach, Oregon and Bar Harbor, Maine.

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