WILMINGTON — The Wilmington area continues to grow its reputation as an “Asheville East” of craft breweries — there are now 18 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week in craft beer Monday, Jan. 28 – Sunday, Feb. 3
Bill’s Brewing Co. | 4238 Market Street in midtown Wilmington
Stay on the lookout for a collaboration batch with the brewers at Red Hare 34 North Experiment Station sometime in February. And cans of their newest release, This is What Space Smells Like, are available at Bill’s Front Porch.
- 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
“In honor of our fallen friend and taproom good boy, Woofer, we are proud to present WOOFGANG AMADOGUS, an oatmeal stout created by Daniel Pesavento and brewed on our big system to share with everyone that loved Woofer,” Broomtail announced on their Facebook page (link above). A portion of the proceeds will go to the Canines for Service chapter of Wilmington.
- 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
On Friday, Jan. 25, they released the Handley Page 1500 on the birthday of Scottish poet Robert Burns (as they do annually). Adapted from a 400-year old Scottish recipe, they brewed it and aged it in barrels for a year.
“Interestingly, it took almost a year to translate the 400-year old Scottish and English recipe into modern English. The words and units of measurement were very different then. But with the help of a friend who was born in Scotland, we pulled it off,” brewmaster and CEO Noah Goldman said.
- 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
Their newest releases are the Belgian Blonde, Southern Cross Belgian Dubbel, Winterfest Lager, and a new Belgian Double Wit.
- 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
Three new releases on Saturday (Jan. 26): the Broadwick (a Carolina Bock using malts from North Carolina’s Riverbend Malthouse), the Tiki Treat Kölsch (with orange, lime, passion fruit, pineapple, cinnamon, and nutmeg), and a Blueberry Cobbler Bock (with blueberry, graham cracker, and vanilla).
- Brewing Philosphy: “We want to mix new age ideas with old school techniques to bring a new era of innovation to the marketplace.”
- Brewers’ Top 3: Vimana (a Kölsch), Hollow Bones (a Roggenbier), and Hollow Wolf Lord (a double New England IPA)
- Founded: June 2016
Flytrap Brewing | Located at 319 Walnut Street in downtown Wilmington
Last Thursday (Jan. 24) they released the Citrus Saison with kumquat puree and hand-zested lime and limon, brewed at a 6.8 percent ABV with bright citrus flavor and aroma.
- 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
Three releases this week include the If You’ve Got It – Braggot, the Neapolitan Ice Cream Stout, and the Scott’s Gone Nuts Scottish Ale .
“No one else in Wilmington has made a braggot yet and we are excited to introduce the style to Wilmingtonians,” sales manager Ellie Craig said. The braggot is a beer and mead hybrid, she said, made with raw Amazonian honey.
The Neapolitan Ice Cream Stout hasn’t been released since 2013, “when the planets aligned and three of our seasonal selections were on tap at the same time,” Craig said. The small batch experimental beer from their “Wort Shop” blends chocolate stout, vanilla porter, and raspberry wheat.
The Scotty’s Gone Nuts Scottish Ale is also a small batch beer featuring the Dram Tree Scottish Ale as a base beer and using local cold brew from Lucky Joe’s Coffee, blended into the beer with coconut extract.
- 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
Brave Hop Scotch Ale is back on tap with the Black IPA coming soon.
- 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 is the Pablo Escobier Stout (6.3 percent ABV): “Nice milky start, sweet middle and a dark chocolate hoppy finish…Pablo would be proud!”
- 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
Their recent small batch of the Imperial Stout was brewed with 20 ounces of cold brew coffee that they made in-house. Then they added a house-made vanilla extract using fresh vanilla beans from Fresh Market.
“We are also currently brewing a Lemon Zest Hefeweizen,” taproom manager Molly B. “The lemons were given to us by local customers who have a lemon tree in their backyard. We will zest them and make an extract to add later on in the process.”
- 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
Their latest: the Nightingale Coffee Porter, Fire Knife Imperial DIPA, and the “long-anticipated” Carolina Tropical IPA hit the taps just in time for their one-year anniversary party on Saturday, Jan. 26.
In other news, their Island Falls Cream Ale won third place in the Beer Army Beer Wars Commercial Beer Competition, a national competition judged by BJCP-certified judges.
- 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
Their latest release: four-pack cans of Kill the Headlights – “maybe a touch of Calypso in the dry hop this time around” – and Thought Police IPA.
- 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
Red Hare 34 North Experiment Station | 4802 Main St in Shallotte
“We want to feature small batches of funky experimental beers, inspired by wild yeasts and bacteria coming off the coastal winds,” taproom manager Byron McSweeney said. “We brewed two batches using the coolship in December. One was a collab with Makai Brewing. In February we will be using the coolship again with Bill’s Brewing Company.”
Their latest: the Island of Misfits IPA, an “old school west coast IPA, malts balanced by copious amounts of hops crating that dank, resiny, pungent IPA from way back when,” McSweeney said.
- Brewing Style: “Our style is fun, approachable beers. Specialize in lagers and crushable IPA’s to experiment wilds and sours, all usually with a classical and historically accurate base but with our innovative spin.”
- Brewers’ Top 3: Soft J IPA,SPF 50/50 Tangerine, and Putin’s Paradise Russian Imperial Stout
- Founded: 2012 (Shallotte location opened April 2018)
Salty Turtle Beer Co. | 103 Triton Lane in Surf City
Their latest: CocoRum, a barleywine with a “chocolate and roasty malt presence rounded with a hearty dose of toasted coconut,” co-owner Dan Callender said. This one sits at a roasty 12.3 percent ABV.
- 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
Waterline Brewing Co. | 721 Surry Street in Downtown Wilmington
Their newest is the 2019 Waterline Wee Heavy Scotch Ale, brewed at an 8.7 percent ABV.
- 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
Their latest, the Morning Glass Guatemalan Imperial Coffee Ale, is named for the “quite beautiful early morning time on the water” and features Guatemalan coffee beans from the Antigua Region roasted locally by Pine State Coffee.
“The roasted beans were introduce to the finished beer in a traditional cold brew process,” owner Craig Gee said. “The coffee beans were ground, sacked, and hung in the fermenter all on the same day to allow the fresh coffee aromas to really impart their fruity qualities to the beer.”
- 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
In a shake-up of their usual IPA releases, two stouts are now available in cans: Blair’s Breakfast Stout (using locally roasted coffee from Rooster And The Hen Coffee made specifically for their stout) and Big Ole Stout (an Imperial Stout) are out on limited runs.
- 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
The latest is their anniversary beer, Ancient WortHog, a Scottish style wee heavy aged 15 months in Jim Beam bourbon barrels.
Read about their latest collaboration with Tama Cafe, who used their brewhouse to create a line of carbonated green tea cans.
- 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