Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Cape Fear Beer Tracker: This week in craft beer Dec. 17 – 23

Broomtail Craft Brewery's Heaven's Stairway IPA, brewed with locally harvested yeast. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
Broomtail Craft Brewery’s Heaven’s Stairway IPA, brewed with locally harvested yeast. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)

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 Sunday and update throughout the week as information comes along.

Remember, because schedules can fluctuate inside the brewhouse, check the breweries’ links for updates on their Facebook pages. Brewers, taproom managers, and owners — keep us informed at pcd@localvoicemedia.com.

This week in craft beer Monday, Dec. 17 – Sunday, Dec. 23

Brewery in Spotlight | Wild yeast at Broomtail

For three years Broomtail Craft Brewery’s team of fermentation scientists have been harvesting, isolating, and propagating local yeasts. Until now, they have only released small batch beer brewed with their wild yeast strains.

“Three years of diligent work on hundreds of samples have resulted in seven local yeast strains that are delicious, proprietary to Broomtail, and are now banked by White Labs,” owner and mastermind of the project Barry Owings said.

On Friday, Dec. 21, they’ll release the Heaven’s Stairway — their first IPA fermented exclusively with yeast harvested from the Middle Sound Loop area of Wilmington, and the first beer of their new Plumbum series.

Bill’s Brewing Co. | 4238 Market Street in midtown Wilmington

Keep your eyes their Facebook page for the release of Jim’s Breakfast Stout, brewed with a hefty 9 percent ABV.

  • 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

Along with their first IPA brewed with locally harvested wild yeast (see above), they also just released their first cans around Wilmington. “Our much loved Rappe’ Foreign Extra Stout is now available all around the city. Be sure to get a can or a six-pack before they are all gone,” owner Barry Owings said.

Upcoming yeast strains they will ferment with over the next year include: 

    • Spon Barn: initially a spontaneous fermentation batch from Owings’ barn. 
    • Pindo Palm: harvested from local Pindo Palm fruit.
    • Poplar Grove: harvested from Poplar Grove Plantation.
    • Japanese Garden: harvested at the NHC Arboretum
    • Pineapple Guava: harvested from locally grown fruit
    • 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

The Tanker Coffee Porter and Flight School Citra IPA (with grapefruit) returned last week. Stay tuned on their Facebook page, link above.

  • 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

They celebrated their 1-year anniversary on Saturday, Dec. 15.

New releases include their Winterfest Lager, Southern Cross Belgian Dubbel, and Callisto Double IPA, plus a limited re-release of their Peach Wheat Ale and Oktoberfest!

  • 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

Limited crowlers — the new brewery’s first hand-packaged release — of their 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

Brewers at Flytrap Brewing bottling their Belgian Chocolate Stout all day Monday for a Tuesday, Dec. 18 release. (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy Flytrap Brewing)
Brewers at Flytrap Brewing bottling their Belgian Chocolate Stout all day Monday for a Tuesday, Dec. 18 release. (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy Flytrap Brewing)

Bottling all day Monday their Belgian Chocolate Stout — releasing on draft and in bottles Tuesday, Dec. 18.

  • 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

Just released 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

After re-releasing their crowd favorite Raspberry Molay (a Kölsch), raspberries were seen being added to their Dark Strong ale on Monday morning.

  • 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

New Anthem's So Desu Né double dry-hopped IPA.
New Anthem’s So Desu Né double dry-hopped IPA.

Last Friday, Dec. 14, they made a can-release of a trio of American IPAs: the Steez, So Desu Ne, and Five Thieves; plus a draft release of the Roadside Prophet Stout.

  • 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

New release: the Christmas Ale, brewed with local honey from a farm in Burgaw, plus cinnamon and sugar. This is an ode to their production manager’s Midwest roots. “When Christmas came around every year, Great Lakes Brewing has this Christmas ale that people just go crazy over,” owner Dan Callender said.

  • 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

Released last week: 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

New release: the Chocolate Milk Stout. “Think adult-chocolate-milk. Warm up with our newest beer, Chocolate Milk Stout, 5% of smoothness brewed with liquid cacao nibs, now on draft.”

Also a new can-release of their collaboration New England Double IPA with Colorado’s Weldwerks Brewing. 

  • 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

Wrightsville Beach Brewery's Airlie Amber Ale was infused with a sweet potato pie mixture for last week's Tap It Tuesday specialty batch.
Wrightsville Beach Brewery’s Airlie Amber Ale was infused with a sweet potato pie mixture for last week’s Tap It Tuesday specialty batch.

Last week’s new Tap It Tuesday was the Sweet Potato Pie Airlie Amber: their Airlie Amber Ale infused with a special sweet potato pie mixture! Stay tuned on their Facebook page for this week’s specialty batch.

  • 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

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