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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week in craft beer Monday, May 6 – Sunday, May 12
Bill’s Brewing Co. | 4238 Market Street in midtown Wilmington
They have two small batches out now — the Belgian Strong Ale with Plums (10 percent ABV) and a Session IPA with Simcoe and Amarillo hops (4.5 percent ABV). They are also kegging a fresh batch of Orange Blossom Wit.
- 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
Beer Release: for Cinco de Mayo they released the Margarita Galloping Gose, brewed at 5 percent ABV and loaded with salty, tangy, lime flavors and served with salt on the rim.
- 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
And 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
Beer Releases: the Aerial Aggression IPA and Harley Pope Porter.
- 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
Check out their most recent beer list here.
- 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
New Releases: the Tangerine Pomegranate LZ1 and Lemon Rosemary Lactose Helles.
The LZ1 (photo below) is the next iteration in their rotating fruited Berliner Weisse series. “Inspired by the cocktail ‘Tequila Sunrise’ this treat boasts a tartness from the base and pomegranate yet is cut slightly by the sweetness of tangerines giving this beer a necessary slot on your Spring/Summer beer menu,” according to co-founder David Sweigart.
- 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
Latest Release: the Blood Orange Gose (4.2 percent ABV) brewed with a heavy dose of blood orange purée and zest.
- 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
Beer Release: the Saison du Front (5.7 percent ABV). “Every year, we transform our light and crisp Condor Pilsner into a remarkably refreshing Belgian Saison, simply by changing the yeast strain in a small batch experiment,” brewery spokesperson Ellie Craig said. “Instead of ordinary lager flavors, expect tangy lemon zest, spicy pepper, and hints of clove, with a punchy noble hops finish.”
- 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
Beer Release: the Triple Belgian (pictured at right).
- 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
Beer Release: the Skuttlebutt American IPA, brewed at 6.8 percent ABV. “[W]e have crafted a beautiful IPA highlighting Columbus for the bittering, Citra for the flavor, and Amarillo to bring all the flavors together,” head brewer Laren Avery said. “Talk about the dankness, Tangerine, and citrus and citrus tones that compliment the earthy bitterness.”
- 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
Latest Release: the Molesieur, a French saison brewed at 6.5 percent ABV.
- 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
On Saturday, May 25, they’re brewing the Loggerhead Lager especially for a fundraising event for the Sea Turtle Foundation of Ocean Isle and Sunset Beach. It’s their first ever lager, and $1 from every pint sold will go towards the two organizations.
- 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
Latest Can Release: Steez, a double dry hopped IPA; and the Neon God, double dry hopped with citra and mosaic.
- 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
Featured Beer: the Farmhouse IPA. “This is an IPA that is very saison-driven,” taproom manager Byron McSweeney said. “Citrusy hops accent a wonderful yeasty saison flavor that pair well with each other. The aroma on this beer is filled with fruity esters and malty goodness.”
- 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
Newest Releases: Summer Sands American Light Lager and Manila Mango NEIPA.
- 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
Latest Beer: their spring seasonal Cream Ale, a “light and refreshing lager, cold conditioned for a smooth, mild flavor with the slightest hints of fruit forward hops.”
- 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
Keep up with their latest beer list here.
- 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
They just brewed a specialty cask for Cinco de Mayo — the Lime Explosion Mexican lager (picture at top).
- 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
Beer Release: the Brewchacha, a Mexican lager that makes its return for Cinco de Mayo. “One of our most popular seasonal beers. Super easy drinking. A great summer-time lager,” owner Jud Watkins said.
- 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