We knew we didn’t have time to visit all 9 of the Wilmington-area breweries, particularly since we were there on a Monday and Tuesday night when several of them were not open. So, after our arrival night visit to Bill’s Front Porch, which was pretty close to our campground and a suitable spot to watch the UVA game, we narrowed our focus to the ones that seemed to fit our taste based on a brief bit of internet research. Basically, we look for a good atmosphere, either no food or an interesting menu, and a beer rotation that seems to fit our generally hop loving taste. A trip to the first of our highlighted breweries, New Anthem Beer Project in downtown Wilmington, confirmed our web research. In addition to loving the open, dog-friendly atmosphere and tasty beer at New Anthem, the bartender told us that the other breweries most worth visiting in the area were Flytrap Brewing and Home Brew, aka Wilmington Brewing Company.
After New Anthem, the three of us sat on the cool patio at the also dog-friendly (including indoors) Flytrap Brewing. We loved the atmosphere there, inside and out, and had a nice chat with husband-wife owners of this new brewery. The beers were solid, but tilted toward the Belgian style that we generally don’t favor as much as we once did. Still, it was definitely worth a visit.
We learned from the Flytrap owners that Wilmington Brewing Company is owned by the Flytrap wife’s brother and, not surprisingly, they affirmed how great it was. It did turn out to be, in fact, our favorite brewery in Wilmington. Wilmington Brewing Company is attached to Home Brew, a brewing supply business that was the precursor to the brewery. We enjoyed a couple of their awesome, hop-heavy beers in their little tasting room, but also took a tour of the attached store and learned a bit more about home brewing from the friendly staff while we sipped. On the other side of the little tasting room from the store is a large room reserved for game playing and, when we were there, a yoga class. Great vibe at Wilmington Brewing Company and spectacular beer. We highly recommend a visit.
Aside from our three favorites, we also hit Good Hops Brewing on our way back from Carolina Beach; we didn’t love it, but are happy we stopped by. As for the aforementioned Bill’s Front Porch, it was, in fact, a great place to watch a game and the staff was very friendly, but we found the beer to be only satisfactory and the food dreadful.
The brewery we were saddest to have missed was Broomtail’s The Sour Barn, particularly since it was less than a mile from our campground. Unfortunately, we missed them on Sunday and Monday and they are not open on Tuesdays. They’ll be on our list for next time.