Sunday, November 27, 2022

Midtown bottle shop to close this December

A Wilmington bottle shop will close Dec. 31, 2022. Hey! Beer announced its closure Monday on social media. (Courtesy photo)

WILMINGTON — After serving the Wilmington region since 2015, Mike and Kristy Duffy have decided to close their midtown bottle shop, Hey! Beer.

The husband-and-wife team moved to the Port City eight years ago to open the business, in hopes of creating a more stable work-life balance. They both traveled in their former film industry careers.

READ MORE: Hey Beer Bottle Shop to open in midtown Wilmington

“We took a look at a map of the city and saw a number of great bottle shops here in the area. At the same time, there did seem to be an opening for this sort of thing here in midtown,” Kristy told Port City Daily ahead of its opening.

The Duffies launched Hey! Beer at 4405-A Wrightsville Ave., at the intersection of Kerr and Wrightsville, near Double Happiness Chinese restaurant with a vast inventory of of bottles, crowlers and growlers. They also serve a 10-tap draft menu.

The entrepreneurs declined to comment on the business closure and instead pointed to their social media post, which officially announced their departure from the business.

“[A]s the saying goes, all good things must come to an end,” they posted to Hey Beer!’s Facebook page Monday, announcing the retail store will shutter Dec. 31, 2022. “It has been our absolute honor and joy to be part of this community for almost 8 years. But now, it’s time for us to move on.”

Hey! Beer built a reputation for procuring worldwide rare and unique finds.

“We really wanted to put together a store that was based on the way that we like to shop for beer,” Mike said in 2015. 

Often, they collaborated with Wilmington’s craft-brewing industry, which has evolved tenfold since the bottle shop opened — now featuring over 20 breweries in New Hanover County. In 2019, for its four-year anniversary, Hey! Beer worked with Wilmington Brewing Company to create a personalized sipper “She’s a Marshmallow,” a “cereal milk” IPA featuring locally handcrafted marshmallows from Mallowdoos. It also carried numerous one-of-a-kind flavors from other area breweries, such as Bill’s Brewing Co. ghost pepper pale ale, Flying Machine Mexican “wedding cookie” stout, and New Anthem double dry hopped berliner weisse.

The Duffies turned their shop into a hub for community engagement, pairing up with other local businesses to cross promote. For instance, Wake n Bake Wednesdays focused on pairing craft beer and craft donuts. It also hosted movie nights and had a Sunday running group.

Hey! Beer will continue scaling events until its final send-off. This weekend it has a Green Bench Tap Takeover planned. The St. Petersburg, Florida brewery will have select brews on tap and packaged to go, plus there will be free pizza; it takes place Saturday, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Follow Hey! Beer for more updates on closing events and sales here.

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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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