Thursday, June 13, 2024

Cape Fear Beer Tracker: This week in craft beer Dec. 31 – Jan. 6

Beer picture of the week, the Molicious IPA poured at Mad Mole Brewing Friday afternoon. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
Beer picture of the week: the Molicious IPA poured at Mad Mole Brewing on Friday afternoon. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)

WILMINGTON — Here’s what’s new in the beer scene as we kick off 2019.

The Wilmington area continues to grow its reputation as an “Asheville East” of craft breweries — there are now 17 in the region — and we’ll be here to keep you in the loop.

Our 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

This week in craft beer Monday, Dec. 31 – Sunday, Jan. 6

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

They just released 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

Over the next few weeks, Barry and the crew will be releasing two in their Plumbum Series: Lotta Love Strong Blonde Ale (fermented with one of their new house yeast blends) and a small batch of Kashmir Cream (fermented with yeast harvested in the Middlesound Loop area). 

Also keep your eyes out for the Woofgang Amadoggus, an oatmeal stout brewed with a recipe by Daniel Pesavento in memory of their friend Woofer.

  • 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

Coming soon, by the end of January, will be their “very limited Handley Page 1500 Scottish Ale, with a stout 14.5 percent ABV.”

And back on the tap line is their Coffee Tank Porter, an Imperial Porter brewed with dark roasted malts, some hops, and coffee beans roasted specifically for the brewery – “expresso in a pint glass.”

  • 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

Hitting the tap line soon: the Smoked Oyster Porter (house smoked grain with local oysters from Middle Sound Mariculture cooked directly in the boil) and Rye Pale. 

  • 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 include 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

Last Friday (Dec. 28) they released their Birch Brown Ale, made with pure Alaskan Birch Syrup.

Plus a 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.

  • 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

Their latest release: the Sea State 9 (New England IPA): “melon and passion fruit on the nose, flavors of citrus and coconut with a smooth subtle finish. Hopped with galaxy, cashmere and motueka in the kettle and double dry hopped.”

  • Brewing Philosophy: We strive to provide each beer enthusiast with a unique experience by infusing traditional styles with unexpected ingredients: Fermentation of the Imagination!”
  • Brewers’ Top 3: Smoked Honey Lager, Cukes of Hazard, and Navigator Double Bock
  • Founded: 2015

Mad Mole Brewing | 6309 Boathouse Road near Bradley Creek in Wilmington

They released their Tootsie Mole on Christmas Eve, a “crisp, clean, chocolaty-up-front brown ale with caramel bitter finish.”

Stay tuned for a trio coming out the next few weeks: a new release of an imperial stout, a Belgian strong dark ale with blackberries, and the return of one of their flagships, the Liter Molson pilsner.

  • 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

A batch of their Carolina Tropical IPA is in the works. Stay tuned on their Facebook page (link above).

  • 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

Coming soon: the Seaview Belgian Saison, a Belgian spelt saison with “hints of spice, pepper, tart, and tropical fruit.”

  • 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

Two recent can releases (photos below): the Tropical Milkshake IPA and the The In-Laws IPA.

  • 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

Wrightsville Beach Brewery | 6201 Oleander Drive near Bradley Creek, Wilmington

This week they’re releasing “one of their most popular seasonals,” the Coastal Honey Lager (made with more than 100 pounds of local honey — “bees pollinate with sparkleberry!”).

Also out this week: the Rosé IPA, a “beautiful rosé-colored IPA with a hint of red berries and lots of bubbles.”

  • 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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