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Monday, May 20, 2024

Cape Fear Beer Tracker: This week in craft beer June 3 – June 9

Beer Picture of the Week: Front Street Brewery's Wheat Hot American Summer Ale. (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy Front Street Brewery.)
Beer Picture of the Week: Front Street Brewery’s Wheat Hot American Summer Ale. (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy Front Street Brewery.)

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

In the news

Sunday, May 19: Flying Machine hits Wilmington craft beer market with new cans, eyes westward expansion

Wednesday, May 22: Southport Tap and Cellar getting ready for June opening, bringing craft beer and more to the area

Friday, May 24: Brewery owner: Noise citation at charity concert sets unhealthy precedent for Wilmington music scene

This week in craft beer Monday, June 3 – Sunday, June 9

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

Release (Thursday, June 6): It’s Gon’ Grain, a hazy IPA brewed with the 2019 Pink Boots Hop Blend, 11 malts and 7 hops. “Sometimes we like to get wild,” according to a Facebook post.

Re-Release: Sometime this week, the Scotch Ale returns. “We are really excited to bring this beer back,” co-owner Brookes Musser said.

  • 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
I'ts Gon' Grain hazy IPA release this Thursday at Bill's Brewing Company. (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy Bill's Brewing Co.)
It’s Gon’ Grain hazy IPA release this Thursday at Bill’s Brewing Company. (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy Bill’s Brewing Co.)

Broomtail Craft Brewery | 6404 Amsterdam Way, King’s Grant area of Wilmington

Latest Release: A version of their Galloping Gose infused with tangerines and “bursting with citrus,” according to co-owner Barry Owings.

  • 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

Craft Beer Tuesday: the week’s featured beer is the Harley Pope Imperial Vanilla Porter. “This amazing porter is one of Check Six’s premiere ales. Dark brown in color, the roasted malt leaves you with a nice coffee and chocolate taste. Finished with Madagascar vanilla beans, the sweetness from the vanilla complements the roasted flavor,” beertender Terra Meenan 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

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

“Something is brewing,” according to a Facebook post. A collaboration is in the works with Wilmington Brewing Company, Ancillary Fermentation (Raleigh), and Wooden Robot Brewery (Charlotte). Stay tuned on their Facebook page, link above, for the can and draft release. “If you want a hint at both the beer and event, let’s just say, ‘It’s scurvy prevention,'” according to a Facebook post.

  • 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

Recent Release (Wednesday, May 15): Sour Guava Saison, brewed at 6.2% ABV and served on draft and 375-ml bottles. “[This is] our house Saison soured with lactobacillus and aged on over 40 pounds of guava,” owner and brewer Mike Barlas said. 

  • 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: the Wheat Hot American Summer (pictured at top), an American wheat ale with a “light and fluffy texture of wheat [that] combines with the perfect touch of citrusy hops.”

  • 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 (May 24): Donna Pineapple, a golden ale brewed with chunks of pineapple for a refreshing summer beer.

  • 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

Recent 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. 

  • 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 (Friday, May 19): the Mole Hefner, a Hefeweizen brewed at 5.2 percent and low bitterness (IBU 13).  

  • 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

Latest Release: there’s still some Loggerhead Lager remaining after its release party to help benefit the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehab Hospital, Sunset Beach Turtle Watch, and Ocean Isle Beach Sea Turtle Protection Organization

  • 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
Inside the brewhouse at Mad Mole Brewing Co. (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy Mad Mole Brewing Co.)
Inside the brewhouse at Mad Mole Brewing Co. (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy Mad Mole Brewing Co.)

New Anthem Beer Project | 116 Dock Street in downtown Wilmington

Draft Release: Castles in the Air IPA, double-dry hopped with Centennial and Citra hops. “Pulpy orangey citrus and fresh cut arrangement,” according to a Facebook post.

Can Releases: Ba’al double dry hopped IPA, Lexington Queen double dry hopped IPA, Dance Floor Heater Pilsner.

  • Brewers’ Choice: Rusty Cage, Five Thieves, Hillbilly Prophet
  • Founded: 2016

Red Hare 34 North Experiment Station 4802 Main St in Shallotte

Release: Re-Wired IPA on drafts and in cans to go. “This west coast meets east coast IPA has a ton of tropical, stone fruit flavors and a slight dank aroma,” taproom manager Byron 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

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

Keep up with their current beer list.

  • 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

Latest Release: Wicked Mojo. “This dank pale ale was brewed with Centennial, Cascade and Amarillo hops, providing a floral aroma,” according to a Facebook post. “A mildly bitter finish is perfectly balanced with a taste of zesty citrus.”

  • 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

Brew day with Bill's Brewing Company, Ancillary Fermentation (Raleigh), and Wooden Robot Brewery (Charlotte). (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy Wilmington Brewing Co.)
Brew day with Bill’s Brewing Company, Ancillary Fermentation (Raleigh), and Wooden Robot Brewery (Charlotte). (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy Wilmington Brewing Co.)

A collaboration beer is in the works with Flying Machine Brewing Company, Ancillary Fermentation (Raleigh), and Wooden Robot Brewery (Charlotte). Stay tuned on their Facebook page, link above, for the keg and can release.

  • 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

Latest Release: Strawberry Vanilla Berlinerweisse.  “An awesome early summer beer made with local strawberries picked by own staff at Lewis Strawberry Farm,” 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

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