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 as information comes along.
Schedules can fluctuate inside the brewhouse, so check the breweries’ links for updates on their Facebook pages. Brewers and taproom managers: keep us informed at email@example.com.
Cape Fear Beer Fest: Saturday, March 9 (1–5 p.m.) featuring nine regional breweries: Bill’s, Broomtail, Edward Teach, Ironclad, New Anthem, Red Hare, Salty Turtle, Wilmington Brewing Company, and Wrightsville Beach Brewery. Tickets can be purchased here.
Topsail Island St. Patty’s Day Pub Crawl: The pub crawl’s organizer expects 300 to 500 participants after last year’s big showing. The route will include at least four bars on Topsail Island while two in Snead’s Ferry consider participation. Read about it here.
This week in craft beer Monday, Mar. 4 – Sunday, Mar. 10
Bill’s Brewing Co. | 4238 Market Street in midtown Wilmington
In the Brewhouse: brewing the summer seasonal Orange Blossom Wit this week.
Also, husband-and-wife team Donnie Stone and Brookes Musser brewed the Light Urple Belgian pale ale for the Biere de Femme at Highland Brewing in Asheville last Saturday.
- 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
Newest Release (Friday, Mar. 1): the Ducktail bourbon barrel imperial stout, aged in Maker’s Mark barrels, with notes of charred oak, vanilla, chocolate, and of course, bourbon. Comes in at a healthy 10 percent ABV. Available for 12-oz. $8 pours; cans and growler fills also available.
- 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
Come visit their booth at the Cape Fear Beer Fest at the Wilmington Convention Center, Saturday, March 9.
- 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
Newest Release: the Peach Wheat Ale.
- 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
Newest Releases: Raspberry LZ1 Berliner, Electra (a “tropical, modern” IPA – pictured at top), Milko (“pretty much a glass full of foam, old way to drink pilsners”), Cinnamon Toast Crunch porter cask, and the Electra IPA and coffee cask.
- Brewing Philosophy: “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
New Release (Sunday, Mar. 3): Sour BlackBerry Saison.
- 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
Recent Release (Feb. 19): The Original IPA (also known as the O.G. IPA). “Ever wonder what IPA tasted like when it was first invented? We’ve brewed a beer exactly like the original IPAs shipped from England to India,” sales manager Ellie Craig said. “Authentic 1830s recipe, aged in oak barrels for a whole year, just like when it arrived on the subcontinent. It’s surprisingly bright, dry, and refreshing, with a golden color and a bold bitterness. 8.8 percent ABV.”
- 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
Recent Release: Broken Hearted Chocolate Stout for Valentine’s.
- 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
Come visit their booth at the Cape Fear Beer Fest, Saturday, March 9 (1–5 p.m.).
- 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
New Release (Feb. 27): Pop Gose the Mole, a gose that is “salty and sweet with an effervescent pomegranate.” Gose is a top-fermented beer style that originated in Goslar, Germany, that is brewed with at least 50 percent of the grain bill being malted wheat.
- 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
Upcoming Release: the Ula Ula Irish Red Ale will make its comeback on St. Patrick’s weekend.
- 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
Draft-only Release: Dirty Magic Show, a double dry hopped sour pale ale.
They also announced they’ll be pouring at the Boulevardia urban street festival in Kansas City on June 15.
- 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
Fresh cans of About Last Night Brut IPA are out in the Shallotte taproom. At 7 percent ABV and 28 IBUs, taproom manager Byron McSweeney calls it a great rendition of the brut style. “Very dry with a pleasant hop addition,” McSweeney said.
Recent Release: Peach Wit. “Brewed with tons of wheat and a funky Belgian yeast … Fermented out then aged on local Indigo Farms peaches,” McSweeney said.
Keep your eyes on April 20th for their 1-year anniversary party.
- 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
Recent Release: “The Old North American Stout, brewed with malt from Epiphany Craft Malt in Durham.
Special Release: “Muddy Buddy” Peanut Butter Chocolate Stout will return in celebration of Cape Fear Craft Beer Week, Tuesday, March 26.
- 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
The Big Shakey Black IPA is back on tap, hopped with Citra and Simcoe – “a well balanced, easy drinking IPA at 6.7 percent ABV.”
Read about head brewer Dani Bearss’ quick rise from bartender to head brewer here.
- 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
Nothing new to report here. Keep up with their Facebook page (link above) for any updates.
- 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: Key Lime Pie Gose on tap as of Sunday, Mar. 3. Can-release (Mar. 1) of the Tropical Lightning West Coast 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
New Release: Lame Street Hoppy Lager, hopped with citra, azacca, eureka, and pekko.
Also, throughout March, 11 percent of every order of an Oysterman’s Stout will go to the N.C. Coastal Federation and their mission to protect and restore the coastal water quality and habitats of the N.C. coast.
- 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