WILMINGTON — As the Wilmington area continues to grow its reputation as an “Asheville East” of craft breweries — there are now 17 in the region — we’ll be here to keep you in the loop.
The craft beer tracker is a place to keep up with scheduled beer releases, festivals, special casks, and more for the week ahead. We’ll publish every week and update throughout as information comes along.
Remember, schedules can fluctuate inside the brewhouse, so check the breweries’ links for updates on their Facebook pages. Brewers, taproom managers, and owners — keep us informed at email@example.com.
This week in craft beer Monday, Dec. 24 – Sunday, Dec. 31
For three years Barry Owings and a team of fermentation scientists at Broomtail Craft Brewery have been harvesting yeast found in different areas of Wilmington. They’re now set to begin brewing batches of beer fermented with wild, local yeast strains.
Listen to Owings and his fermentation scientist, Mike Murphy, explain why they are spending so much time in the lab, and how the process works.
Bill’s Brewing Co. | 4238 Market Street in midtown Wilmington
This week they’ll be releasing their Bourbon Barrel Aged Breakfast Stout aged in Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels for a year. No worries if barrel-aged is not for you: their regular Breakfast Stout is on nitro and C02.
- Brewing Philosophy: “We strive to create beer that everyone can enjoy, from the craft beer connoisseur to individuals new to the craft beer scene.”
- Brewers’ Top 3: Dog Haze of Summer NEIPA, Schwarzbier, and Wave Break IPA
- Founded: June 2016
Broomtail Craft Brewery | 6404 Amsterdam Way, King’s Grant area of Wilmington
Go check out their first IPA brewed with locally harvested wild yeast (see above), they also just released their first cans around Wilmington.
Upcoming yeast strains they will ferment with over the next year include the Spon Barn (initially a spontaneous fermentation batch from Owings’ barn) and Blue Clay Road (harvested from the bike trails off Blue Clay Road).
- Brewing Philosophy: “To enrich the world by using scientific art coupled with the natural resources and living organisms provided by Mother Nature developing unique, high-quality beer for all to enjoy.”
- Brewers’ Top 3: Galloping Gose’ – series of light sours using natural lactobacillus and brewers yeast in fermentation to develop smooth, refreshing, true to style Gose’; Acerbic Ecstasy – flagship IPA, a hybrid English / West Coast IPA; Moe Beer – signature brown ale, highly crushable and pairs well with almost any dish.
- Founded: 2014
Keep up with their souring/barrel aging facility and taproom in Ogden, The Sour Barn (7211 Market Street).
Check Six Brewing Co. | 5130 Southport-Supply Road in Southport
They’ve re-released their seasonal Tanker Coffee Porter and their Fox 2 Chipotle Ale. Closed Christmas Eve but open on Christmas Day.
- Coming Soon: Handley Page Scottish Ale (14.5 percent ABV)
- Brewing Philosophy: “Make the finest ales and lagers possible, using local ingredients whenever possible.”
- Brewers’ Top 3: Harley Pope Vanilla Porter, Aerial Aggression Double IPA, B-17 Bock
- Founded: June 2016
Edward Teach Brewery | 604 N 4th Street in downtown Wilmington
Three new beers on tap to finish the year: Belgian Blonde, Southern Cross Belgian Dubbel, and Winterfest Lager.
- About:: “Set in a historic firehouse in Wilmington’s Brooklyn Arts District, we craft beers for everyone. Try our German or Black Lagers, Peach Wheat Ale, and IPAs.”
- Founded: December 2017
Flying Machine Brewing Co. | 3130 Randall Parkway in midtown Wilmington
Go pick up a few crowlers of the Polar Byrd Winter Warmer Ale only available in the taproom. “Inspired by the Yule Teas of old, this 7.4% English style Old Ale is brewed with cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and cardamom.”
- About: The new 16,600-square-foot building has a 10,000-square-foot brewhouse, taproom, two-story outside patio, and inside and outside bars.
- Founded: June 2016
Flytrap Brewing | Located at 319 Walnut Street in downtown Wilmington
Check out last week’s draft/bottle release of the Belgian Chocolate Stout.
- Brewing Style: “A neighborhood brewery specializing in small batch American and Belgian style ales that are guaranteed to be at the peak of freshness.”
- Brewers’ Top 3: Our Saisons, our Rotating House IPA, and our Kettle Sour Ales
- Founded: October 2014
Front Street Brewery | 9 N. Front Street in downtown Wilmington
New releases coming Tuesday, Dec. 18: the Black Razz Barrel Aged Sour (limited sour dark ale with raspberries aged in a bourbon barrel; 8.5 percent ABV) and the Brewmaster’s Special Reserve (using their brewmaster’s favorite recipe made public for the first time; a “rare and nuanced” English Strong Ale)
- Brewing Style: “Specializing in American and Belgian style ales and small batch brews.”
- Brewers’ Top 3: Amberjack ESB, Napoleon Rye-namite, Tiny Tim’s Christmas Ale
- Founded: 1995
Good Hops Brewing | 811 Harper Ave in Carolina Beach
Dec. 20 release of their Resilience IPA as part of a nationwide collaboration brew led by Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, all proceeds going to victims of the Camp Fire in California.
Most of the 1,400 breweries used ingredients shipped out by Sierra Nevada’s suppliers, but Good Hops used their own to contribute to the cause.
- Mission: “To make and drink damn tasty beer, offer a comfortable neighborhood gathering place and support all things local.”
- Flagships: Donna Golden Ale, Flip Hop IPA, Stanky Yankee Hazy IPA
- Founded: 2014
Ironclad Brewery | 115 N. 2nd Street in downtown Wilmington
“Long live bacteria! Ironclad’s first batch of Kombucha is out now. Kombucha is good for your body and helps you live a #healthy lifestyle.”
- About: “Two floors and over 10,000 square feet of craft beer, bar seating, and event space; craft beer, wine, and spirits.”
- Founded: August 2014
Mad Mole Brewing | 6309 Boathouse Road near Bradley Creek in Wilmington
Check their Facebook link (above) for any new updates after Christmas.
- About: “Wilmington’s first solar-powered brewery. Spun off from a local software company, Mad Mole combines technology and art to brew better beer.”
- Founded: June 2018
Makai Brewing Co. | 5850 Ocean Highway W. Unit 1 in Ocean Isle Beach
This Thursday, Dec. 20, they’ll be serving the Resilience IPA, a collaboration beer spearheaded by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. to support California wildfire victims.
And they’re releasing a Sour Cran-Apple Blonde on Saturday, Dec. 22.
- Brewing Philosophy: “Extending the reach of North Carolina craft beer ‘toward the sea’ with consistent flagships and diverse small-batches inspired by the Hawaiian Islands, the Carolina Coast, and our local community.”
- Brewers’ Choice: Carolina Tropical IPA, Nightingale Coffee Porter, Fire Knife DIPA
- Founded: 2017
New Anthem Beer Project | 116 Dock Street in downtown Wilmington
Out now is the Bend & Snap, a hoppy IPA brewed with Citra and Amarillo hops. “Small run. Limited distro.”
- Brewing Style: “Diverse and recognizable hoppy beers with a sidecar of barrel-aged dark beers and traditional styles from the UK and Belgium.”
- Brewers’ Choice: Rusty Cage, Five Thieves, Hillbilly Prophet
- Founded: 2016
Salty Turtle Beer Co. | 103 Triton Lane in Surf City
On tap now is their Talos Barleywine, part of their Operation Bumblebee Big Beer line-up. “This barleywine clocks in at 11.4%. Half of this batch is currently aging in a bourbon barrelpic.”
Come celebrate their 1-year anniversary Dec. 29.
- About: “Veteran-owned brewery located in Surf City, consisting of 10 rotating taps and a family friendly taproom featuring food trucks and live music. “
- Brewers’ Choice: Coastline Kölsch, Hey Zay NEIPA, Swingbridge Breakfast Stout
- Founded: Dec. 2017
Read about the brewery’s plans to expand.
Waterline Brewing Co. | 721 Surry Street in Downtown Wilmington
Their most recent release is the Big Boi Bold Waterline West Coast Double IPA.
“A light bodied 8.4 percent West Coast Double IPA with a citrus nose featuring all American hops and a lingering bitterness that enlightens the senses.”
- Brewing Philosophy: “Brewed Under the Bridge with a focus on traditional, easy drinking beer styles with the occasional twist.”
- Brewers’ Choice: Our top-selling Kolsch, awarding-winning Coffee and Cream Pale Ale, and the annual release of our Whiskey Barrel Aged Tennessee Tripel.
- Founded: 2014
Waterman’s Brewing | 1610 Pavilion Place near the Wrightsville bridge
Stay tuned on their Facebook page (link above) for any new releases for the week ahead.
- Brewing Philosophy: “Love your liquid!”
- Brewers’ Choice: Abundant Sunshine IPA, Knothead ESB, Makin’ Me Hazy IPA
- Opened: July 2017
Wilmington Brewing Co. | 824 Kerr Avenue in midtown Wilmington
Four-packs of their Tropical Lightning are back, available at the brewery only.
- About: “Homegrown from a small home-brew shop to an 11,800 square-foot facility. WBC includes a 3bbl and 25bbl brewery, tasting room, and a home-brew supply store.”
- Brewers’ Choice: Tropical Lightning IPA, Blair’s Breakfast Stout, Jalapeño Saison
- Opened brewery/taproom: 2014
Listen to owners Michelle and John Savard discuss milkshake IPAs and the rise of women in the American taproom.
Wrightsville Beach Brewery | 6201 Oleander Drive near Bradley Creek, Wilmington
Their Penguin Suit “Emporial” Stout came out last Thursday, featuring “big, bold malty flavors with lots of cocoa and 8.5 percent ABV.”
Still on tap is their Sweet Potato Pie Amber Ale – their Airlie Amber Ale infused with a special sweet potato pie mixture.
- Brewing Style: “Wide variety perfect for sipping on the beach, including a year-round selection of lagers.”
- Brewers’ Choice: Carolina Harvest Ale, Raspberry Berlinerweisse, bourbon barrel-aged Masonbarrel Barleywine
- Founded: 2016