WILMINGTON — The craft beer tracker is a place to stay in the know on what’s going on with microbreweries in the Cape Fear region: beer releases, can-release parties, festivals, tastings, special casks, and more for the week ahead. We’ll publish every Sunday, and update throughout the week as information comes along.
As the Wilmington area continues to become an “Asheville East” of craft breweries — there are now 17 in the region — we’ll be here to keep you in the loop.
Remember, things often don’t go exactly as planned in the brewhouse, so check the link to each brewery as most breweries post updates on their Facebook pages. Brewers, taproom managers, and owners — keep us informed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week in craft beer Monday, Dec. 3 – Sunday, Dec. 9
Bill’s Brewing Co. – “From the emerging craft beer scene of Wilmington, NC, we offer an expansive variety, never compromising on quality. Always dependable, never domesticated.”
Their signature New England IPA — the Profusion 3.0 — returned last Friday in 4-pack cans and on draft. Look out for the return of one of their flagships this week: the Roundabout ESV.
- Located at 4238 Market Street in midtown Wilmington.
Broomtail Craft Brewery / The Sour Barn – “Every batch is brewed true to style. We also harvest and cultivate our own yeast using local resources for some special brews … The Sour Barn is our sour aging site in Ogden. We offer 12 taps including our clean beer as well as sours.”
Last Friday saw the release of the Jolly Elf Winter Warmer, just in time for the cold spell hovering over the people of Wilmington.
- Broomtail located at 6404 Amsterdam Way in the King’s Grant area of Wilmington.
- Sour Barn located at 7211 Market Street in the Ogden area of Wilmington.
Check Six Brewing Co. (Southport) – “Our aviation inspired brewery produces unique high-quality ales and beers, each named for a historical WW1 aircraft or aviators.”
Their coffee porter (Tanker) hits the taps on Tuesday and their German bock (B-17 Bock) will come out later in the week. “Bock means ‘goat’ in German. We make a damn good Bock,” owner Noah Goldman said.
Located at 5130 Southport-Supply Road SE in Southport.
Edward Teach Brewery – Named after the pirate, Blackbeard: “The downstairs bar is built to look like the front of a pirate ship, just like the “Queen Anne’s Revenge,” with curved lines, large windows, and hanging lights giving guests the feeling of being at sea.”
Their Much Respect Veteran’s Pale Ale made its timely release on Veteran’s Day. But beertender Steve Brennan is even more excited about the Cannon Fire Amber Ale, a red ale/amber style beer. “People have been digging that,” Brennan said.
- Located at 604 N 4th Street in downtown Wilmington.
Flying Machine Brewing Co. – “Now open and ready to get weird with beer AND coffee. Proudly serving Flying Machine Craft Beer and Counter Culture Coffee. Coffee pours every day starting at 9A with beer and wine opening up at 10A.”
Their Sunday Surprise Cask (Dec. 2) is the Vimana Kölsch Beermosa (pictured above): a blend of their Kölsch and a “myriad of fresh fruit juices. Think orange, pomegranate, mango, and peach.”
- Located at 3130 Randall Parkway in midtown Wilmington.
Flytrap Brewing – “A neighborhood brewery located in the Brooklyn Arts District of Historic Downtown Wilmington. Specializing in American and Belgian style ales and small batch brews.”
Beers here are named after the style and main ingredients, simple as that. Their latest is the Cranberry Saison, released just before Thanksgiving.
- Located at 319 Walnut Street in downtown Wilmington.
Front Street Brewery – “Wilmington’s Original Brewery and Restaurant serving fresh local craft beer and made-from-scratch food daily until Midnight. North Carolina’s Largest Whiskey Bar with over 400 premium whiskeys on the shelf. Family-friendly with a kid’s menu.”
Their Christmas seasonal brew is Tiny Tim’s Vanilla Java Imperial Porter: “Cure all your humbugs with our irresistible Christmas creation,” a batch of dark porter was brewed with 24 gallons of French Vanilla coffee.
- Located at 9 N. Front Street in downtown Wilmington.
Good Hops Brewing (Carolina Beach) – “Innovative palate-able beer in the English Style Session Ale. Slightly sweet, less bitter with true balance of malt and hops, and lower carbonation levels, so the great flavors come through. We embrace the simplicity of beer history — water, yeast, hops and malt.”
On Friday, Dec. 7 they’ll release their Resilience IPA to support Californians affected by last month’s massive, deadly wildfires.
- Located at 811 Harper Ave in Carolina Beach.
Ironclad Brewery – “Much like the craftsmen that hand forged the Ironclad Class of ships at Beery’s Shipyard in Wilmington during the Civil War, Ironclad’s brewing staff take the same pride in their creations. Our brewers hand forge a wide range of craft beer.”
The milkshake IPA craze is alive and well in Wilmington – try their Mango Milkshake/Juice IPA.
- Located at 115 N. 2nd Street in downtown Wilmington.
Mad Mole Brewing – “Wilmington’s first solar powered brewery! Spun off from a local software company, Mad Mole combines technology and art to brew better beer.”
Monday sees the return of the Penitent — a Belgian golden strong (10.3 percent ABV) — and on Wednesday they’ll re-release the Rasberry Kölsch.
- Located at 6309 Boathouse Road just south of Bradley Creek in Wilmington.
Makai Brewing Co. (Ocean Isle Beach) – An island-themed microbrewery (“makai” is a Hawaiian word that means “toward the sea”) with original craft beers and guest taps.
Keep your eyes peeled for their Belgian Quad to come out next week (they’ll post it on their Facebook page). On Dec. 22 they’ll be serving the Resilience IPA, a collaboration beer spearheaded by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. to support California wildfire victims.
- Located at 5850 Ocean Highway W. Unit 1 in Ocean Isle Beach.
New Anthem Beer Project – Brewing a full range of styles, from IPAs to Belgian and French farmhouse style beers.
Last week’s canned releases were the Namedropper Double New England IPA, the Hand Me Down Pumas IPA, and The Illest Porter.
- Located at 116 Dock Street in downtown Wilmington.
Salty Turtle Beer Co. (Surf City) – “A veteran owned and operated brewery, dedicated to serving the local community by brewing a variety of crafted beer in a relaxing environment.”
They’re set to release their Permuda Island Select Oyster Stout in partnership with Three Little Spats Oyster Co. in Holly Ridge (stay tuned on their Facebook page – link above). “We’re excited about it; it’s the first time we’re brewing an oyster stout,” owner Dan Callender said.
- Located at 103 Triton Lane on the mainland side of Surf City.
Tidewater Brewing Co. – Opening delayed because of roof damages sustained during Hurricane Florence.
The region’s first cooperatively-owned brewery was just a week from opening when Hurricane Florence tore the roof off the building. They’ve started a Gofundme fundraising campaign to help rebuild the brewery. Stay tuned here for the latest updates.
- Located at 1002 Princess St in downtown Wilmington.
Waterline Brewing Co. – “Located in an historic 1940s era warehouse beneath the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge. Expansive tasting room with original concrete floors and rough cut heart pine beams throughout the space.”
This week they’re releasing their Holiday Spiced Gruit, brewed without hops. Gruit is an herb mixture used for bittering and flavoring beer — once a popular brewing ingredient before the modern hop bonanza.
- Located at 721 Surry Street in downtown Wilmington.
Waterman’s Brewing – “Quality craft beers brewed in tribute to all who make life on or in the ocean and served in a comfortable community-oriented setting.”
Stay tuned with any releases this week. Their latest was the Abundant Sunshine IPA out in cans and on draft — their best seller as of late.
- Located at 1610 Pavilion Place a few blocks west of the Wrightsville bridge.
Wilmington Brewing Co. – “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.”
Stay tuned on their Facebook page for their Friday firkin (link above). Their latest was a canned release of the Strawberry Bandit – a strawberry milkshake IPA, not available on draft.
Listen to owners Michelle and John Savard discuss milkshake IPAs and the rise of women in the American taproom.
Wrightsville Beach Brewery – “Hip, contemporary brewpub serving a variety of craft beers, plus brunch, pizza & Southern fare.”
Keep your eyes on their Tap-It-Tuesday, where they take a keg of one of their flagships and turn it into a specialty one-off beer. Last Tuesday’s was the Reaper Kölsch Crush, with added Carolina reaper pepper to their most popular orange creamsicle-flavored Kölsch. “Its one of the hottest peppers around,” GM Rick Grant said.
They have 40 taps, including one rotating guest tap. This week features the Intergalactic Black IPA from Bill’s Brewing.