One of the main things that attracted me to Wilmington was the sense of having the best of “all” worlds. You have the beach, a cute downtown, and a million and one locally owned restaurants and businesses. On top of that, the sense of community here was always so obvious and welcoming, why would you not want to call it home?
This sense of community has even flowed over into the booming craft beer scene that has found it’s way to the coast in the last year. It’s not exactly a secret that the Wilmington beer scene has more than blown up. It seems like everywhere you look there’s a new brewery or bottle shop opening. The most amazing part about Wilmington being the up and coming beer town, is the sense of community that all of these business owners share. On first thought, you would think all of these places opening up as direct competition to each other, but that’s not what’s happening at all. Wilmington brewery and bottle shop owners have formed into a pretty tightly knit Craft Beer community that is making it so that more and more breweries are making Wilmington the place to open up shop. Each brewery or bottle shop that has opened in Wilmington all have their own special flare and uniqueness that sets them apart.
Front Street Brewery– Front Street Brewery is the OG brewery here in Wilmington. Front Street has been here for just about 20 years now, and was the only brewery in Wilmington for a pretty long time. Another cool fact about Front Street is that they currently employ one of the first female head brewers in the state! Who is also a former Lighthouse Employee! Woot woot!
Wilmington Brewing Company– Wilmington Brewing Company makes some of the best beer I have ever tasted, hands down. Their Tropical Lightning IPA is my favorite by far, but they are never afraid of trying new ingredients and experimenting. Along with they have a homebrew supply store, homebrew classes every Saturday, a beer garden with growing hops surrounding it, and a super cool covered space with ping-pong, card games, and corn hole.
Flytrap Brewing– Flytrap Brewery opened its doors in the beautiful Brooklyn Arts District of downtown. Flytrap sets itself apart besides from their own awesome beers, and also an awesome sour beer list, but by always having awesome musical guests, and a local food truck on site to keep the beer drinkers happy. They have outdoor and indoor seating, and even serve wine as well!
Ironclad- Ironclad takes the cake with one of the most beautiful brewery locations in Wilmington. Located in the heart of Downtown, Ironclad is over 10,000 square feet and was renovated from an old automotive repair shop. Ironclad has two bars, one upstairs and one downstairs, and is an awesome place to house business meetings, parties, or just large groups. Besides their own beer, Ironclad makes sure to serve up an array of North Carolina beers.
Don’t forget to make your way out of downtown and checkout Good Hops Brewing in Carolina Beach, and also Broomtail Brewing to try some beers that literally were brewed inside of a barn! Also, Keep an eye out for a few NEW breweries making their way to Wilmington soon: Waterline Brewing Company, and 4/3 Brewing Company.
We can’t forget about our beloved bottle shops that bring the beer we crave from any and everywhere right into our homes, or beer gardens! Bottle shops have been popping up around Wilmington at almost the same pace as the breweries. My favorite part about all these bottle shops is that anywhere you seem to be in Wilmington, there’s a bottle shop near-by!
It’s pretty obvious that the craft beer craze isn’t going to slow down anytime soon here in Wilmington, and I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely okay with that. We may not be where Asheville or Charlotte are, but I don’t think it’s going to be too long before we get there.