March 5, 2024

    The Top 24 Breweries & Distilleries in Wilmington

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    Wilmington boasts a thriving and diverse brewery scene with a landscape that is a dynamic tapestry of craft beer creativity, with each establishment contributing its unique flavors and experiences. From historic downtown locales like Ironclad Brewery, set in a charming building with ample event space, to the riverside charm of Waterline Brewing Co. nestled under the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge, the options are as varied as the brews they offer. The city’s breweries often showcase a blend of hoppy IPAs, rich stouts, and refreshing ales, embodying a commitment to quality and innovation. Many of these establishments, such as Wilmington Brewing Company and Wrightsville Beach Brewery, are not only havens for beer enthusiasts but also serve as family-friendly spaces with diverse menus, live music, and engaging events, contributing to Wilmington’s vibrant and inviting brewery culture.

    Here are the top 24 breweries in Wilmington, NC:

    1. Broomtail Craft Brewing

    Broomtail Craft Brewery offers a rotating selection of finely crafted brews, ranging from hoppy IPAs to rich stouts and everything in between. The brewery’s commitment to quality and innovation is evident in its experimental and creative approach to brewing, resulting in a lineup of distinct and flavorful beers. The inviting taproom provides a welcoming atmosphere for patrons to savor freshly brewed pints while soaking in the vibrant and communal energy. Whether you’re an avid craft beer enthusiast or a casual drinker exploring new flavors, Broomtail Craft Brewery stands as a local gem, showcasing the artistry and dedication of Wilmington’s craft brewing scene.

    2. Brunswick Beer and Cider

    Brunswick Beer and Cider has a carefully curated taps that offer everything from hoppy IPAs to rich stouts and refreshing ciders, catering to a variety of tastes. Complementing the enticing drink offerings is a delectable food menu featuring savory appetizers like loaded nachos, crispy chicken wings, as well as hearty sandwiches, burgers, and handcrafted pizzas.

    3. Brunswick Beer XChange

    Brunswick Beer Exchange boasts a diverse range of both local and international flavors, this craft beer haven offers an inviting ambiance for beer lovers to embark on a journey of discovery. The knowledgeable and passionate staff enhances the customer experience by providing recommendations and insights.

    4. Catawba Brewing Company Wilmington

    Catawba Brewing Company, originating in Morganton, North Carolina, has grown into a prominent brewery with a 30-barrel brewhouse. Renowned for its White Zombie White Ale and an array of other delightful brews, Catawba Brewing Company offers a diverse selection of beers on tap. Beyond beverages, the brewery provides a family-friendly environment with enticing food options. Strengthening its ties to the local community, Catawba Brewing Company collaborates with regional entertainment and hosts live music performances monthly, creating a vibrant and inclusive space for beer enthusiasts and families alike.

    5. DrumTrout Brewing Company

    DrumTrout Brewing Company stands out as a welcoming neighborhood brewery and taproom, where patrons can savor an array of delicious craft beers. The brewery takes pride in its diverse beer selection, offering both indoor and outdoor seating options. With a patio featuring picnic tables, adirondacks, outdoor heaters, and fire pits, DrumTrout creates a comfortable and inviting atmosphere. While being family and dog-friendly, it doesn’t have its own kitchen; however, it regularly hosts food trucks, enhancing the overall experience for visitors seeking a delightful combination of flavorful brews and communal enjoyment.

    6. Edward Teach Brewing

    Edward Teach Brewing, situated in historic downtown within the Brooklyn Arts District of Wilmington, is a prominent local brewery. Boasting a 20-barrel vessel system, it stands out as one of the larger and more modern brewing establishments in the area. Named after the notorious pirate Blackbeard, the brewery embraces a pirate theme that extends from the facility’s decor to the character of the brews. Housed in a meticulously renovated 100-year-old firehouse, the interior mimics a ship’s rigging, creating a unique and immersive atmosphere.

    7. End of Days Distillery

    End of Days Distillery, a local craft distillery, takes pride in producing exceptional gin, vodka, and rum. Beyond its acclaimed spirits, the distillery offers an unparalleled cocktail experience at its cocktail bar. Expert mixologists lead patrons through personalized tasting experiences, ensuring a journey of flavors tailored to individual preferences. Adding to the vibrant atmosphere, End of Days Distillery hosts weekly live music and entertainment, featuring performances by beloved local bands. The combination of expertly crafted spirits, innovative cocktails, and a lively entertainment scene makes this distillery a must-visit destination for those seeking a dynamic and flavorful experience.

    8. Flying Machine Brewing Company

    Flying Machine Brewing Company in Wilmington’s midtown is a local treasure celebrated for its expansive taproom featuring over 30 beers, wines, ciders, and Counter Culture Coffee. This family-friendly establishment offers indoor and patio seating, fostering a warm and inclusive atmosphere. Occupying a sprawling 10,000-square-foot facility, the brewery’s two-story taproom showcases a thematic decor inspired by flying machines. Beyond beverages, Flying Machine collaborates with rotating food trucks to provide a diverse culinary experience. The brewery stands out as a vibrant community hub, hosting local events, live music, and exercise classes, creating a dynamic and engaging destination for all.

    9. Flying Machine Oyster Bar

    The Flying Machine Oyster Bar, Wrightsville Beach’s inaugural taproom and innovative eatery, stands out as a hub for local coastal cuisine and craft beer enthusiasts. With a full bar featuring 10 rotating taps of Flying Machine beer, the menu is a dynamic reflection of seasonal offerings sourced from local farmers and fisheries. This culinary haven invites patrons to indulge in a diverse array of favorites, from burgers and oysters to fresh seafood, salads, and beyond. Adding to its allure, The Flying Machine hosts a delightful Sunday Brunch special, making it a go-to destination for a harmonious blend of craft beverages and delectable bites.

    10. Flytrap Brewing

    Nestled in the heart of the Brooklyn Arts District in Historic Downtown Wilmington, Flytrap Brewing beckons beer enthusiasts with its inviting atmosphere and plush beer garden adorned with enticing taps. Renowned for its expertise in crafting American and Belgian style ales, as well as small-batch brews, Flytrap Brewing has become a local favorite for those seeking a diverse and flavorful beer experience. The brewery’s commitment to excellence extends to its to-go offerings, allowing patrons to enjoy their favorite brews in the comfort of their homes with convenient growlers. Flytrap Brewing stands as a cherished destination where the artistry of brewing meets a vibrant community spirit.

    11. Front Street Brewery

    Front Street Brewery, Wilmington’s original and historic restaurant and brewery, is a culinary and craft beer haven. The extensive menu encompasses appetizers, lunch, and dinner, complemented by a diverse selection of over 20 local beers on tap. For aficionados of bourbon and whiskey, Front Street Brewery boasts a collection of nearly 400 options, offering delightful tasting experiences. The establishment’s whiskey flights provide a curated journey through these spirits. Catering to families, the menu includes kid-friendly food and beverages. Front Street Brewery also welcomes furry friends, providing a dog-friendly environment with outdoor patio seating. Whether savoring craft beer, exploring a vast whiskey selection, or enjoying family-friendly offerings, Front Street Brewery stands as a historic and inviting destination in Wilmington.

    12. Hi-Wire Brewing

    Situated in the Soda Pop District of downtown Wilmington, Hi-Wire Brewing offers a diverse menu of craft brews brewed onsite in a welcoming beer hall setting. Ideal for families, friends, and anyone seeking a social beer-drinking experience, Hi-Wire hosts weekly live entertainment and events, fostering a lively community atmosphere. Adjacent to the brewery, an Italian restaurant serves delicious pizza that can be conveniently delivered to your table as you indulge in the vibrant and communal ambiance of Hi-Wire Brewing.

    13. Ironclad Brewery

    Ironclad Brewery, situated in Wilmington’s historic downtown, offers an extensive selection of beer, wine, spirits, and more in a unique setting. Housed in a historic building with over 10,000 square feet across two floors, the brewery provides an ideal space for events and weddings. Serving a range of original brews, including beer, kombucha, and seasonal specials, Ironclad Brewery welcomes patrons, and it’s a dog-friendly establishment.

    14. Leland Brewing Company

    Leland Brewing Company beckons both beer enthusiasts and locals to a warm and inviting space, embodying a dedication to exceptional brews and innovative offerings. Featuring a diverse selection of beers and culinary delights spanning from hoppy ales to rich stouts, the brewery’s taproom stands as a lively focal point for community interaction and delightful experiences. The relaxed ambiance, enhanced by outdoor seating, creates an inviting environment for enjoying freshly brewed beers and connecting with friends and family.

    15. Mad Mole Brewing

    Mad Mole Brewing stands as Wilmington’s inaugural solar-powered brewery, located adjacent to the Bradley Creek Marina near Wrightsville Beach. Offering a diverse selection of beers on tap, including rotating IPAs, stouts, ales, and kolsch, Mad Mole Brewing caters to various tastes. Beyond beer, the brewery presents a curated collection of 10 wines, featuring their unique signature, Molehawk: a Black Currant Seltzer. Welcoming both dogs and families, Mad Mole collaborates with local food trucks and hosts live entertainment, creating a vibrant and inclusive atmosphere.

    16. Mannkind Brewing Company

    Mannkind Brewing Company’s taproom in Leland offers a social haven where patrons can revel in the artistry of craft brewing. Featuring a diverse spectrum, from hop-forward IPAs to rich stouts and refreshing lagers, the brewery exemplifies a commitment to quality and innovation. Actively engaging the community, Mannkind Brewing Company hosts various events, nurturing a strong sense of camaraderie among beer enthusiasts. With a focus on craftsmanship, community involvement, and a rotating array of distinctive brews, Mannkind Brewing Company stands out as a premier destination for those seeking a dynamic and enjoyable craft beer experience in Leland.

    17. New Anthem Beer Project

    The New Anthem Beer Project stands as a local brewery with dual taprooms, one situated south of downtown and another gracing the waterfront in Wilmington. Renowned for its expertise in hoppy beers and barrel-aged brews, The New Anthem Beer Project crafts a unique blend of flavors that captivates the beer aficionado’s palate. With an unwavering commitment to quality and innovation, this brewery has become a staple in the Wilmington craft beer scene. The dual taproom experience provides patrons with scenic views and a diverse selection of finely crafted beers, making The New Anthem Beer Project a must-visit destination for enthusiasts seeking a dynamic and flavorful beer adventure in Wilmington.

    18. Outer Dunes Brewing Company

    Situated in Porters Neck, The Outer Dunes Brewing Company is a local Wilmington craft brewery and event venue nestled on a picturesque, historic property beneath towering oak trees. The brewery offers a charming taproom with both indoor and outdoor seating, including a covered screened-in porch, providing a delightful setting for enjoying a variety of nine beers on tap and a thoughtfully curated wine list featuring champagne. While food is not prepared onsite, guests can have food delivered, and occasional food trucks enhance the culinary experience. Dog-friendly and family-oriented, The Outer Dunes Brewing Company hosts a range of public events, including live music, movie nights, painting classes, and more, making it a versatile and welcoming destination for beer enthusiasts and families alike.

    19. Panacea Brewing Company

    Panacea Brewing Company is a laid-back brewery and eatery, offering a unique blend of plant-based Southern fare, locally brewed beers, and their signature home-brewed kombucha. Panacea provides a relaxed atmosphere where patrons can savor a range of beverages, including their crafted kombucha and a selection of local beers. The plant-based Southern fare adds a flavorful twist to the menu, creating a diverse and appealing culinary experience. To top it off, Panacea Brewing Company extends its offerings to include a delightful Sunday brunch, making it a versatile and enjoyable destination for those seeking a refreshing and distinct taste of the local brewery scene.

    20. Waterline Brewing Co.

    Nestled under the iconic Cape Fear Memorial Bridge, Waterline Brewing Co. stands as a local gem in Wilmington, occupying a historic 1940s warehouse along the riverfront. This family and dog-friendly brewery offer a relaxed atmosphere enriched with games and family activities. With a focus on local flavors, Waterline Brewing Co. serves a variety of regional beers and complements the experience with lite bites, including hummus and chips. Additionally, the brewery collaborates with local food trucks and live music, ensuring a diverse menu and entertaining ambiance for patrons to enjoy.

    21. Waterman’s Brewing

    Waterman’s Brewing, located near Wrightsville Beach, is an ideal destination for a family-friendly experience, offering some of the finest local beers in Wilmington. With a rotating selection of craft beers and enticing food specials, Waterman’s caters to beer enthusiasts and culinary aficionados alike. The full bar encompasses a variety of wines and spirits, ensuring a comprehensive beverage menu for all preferences. The brewery welcomes families and furry friends, providing indoor and outdoor seating, along with a complete food menu that includes options for kids. At Waterman’s Brewing, the combination of excellent brews, delectable cuisine, and a welcoming atmosphere makes it a standout spot for both locals and visitors alike.

    22. Wilmington Brewing Company

    Wilmington Brewing Company, a beloved local brewery in Wilmington, stands out for its on-site brewing, offering a diverse selection of 15 in-house beers served in a relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere. This brewery goes beyond beverages, featuring a retail location with a connected homebrew store, catering to those eager to embark on their beer crafting journey. To enhance the overall experience, Wilmington Brewing Company has formed partnerships with local food trucks, ensuring a rotating selection of beloved local favorites to complement their exceptional brews. Whether you’re a beer enthusiast, aspiring homebrewer, or simply looking for a welcoming place to enjoy great drinks and food, Wilmington Brewing Company has something special for everyone.

    23. Wilmington Distillery

    Located in historic downtown, Wilmington Distillery is a true gem that embraces the rich history of the area through its craft spirits. Boasting an array of ingenious rums, vodkas, and the renowned Honey Cornbread Moonshine, this distillery offers a unique tasting experience. The venue takes pride in its signature cocktails, meticulously crafted with house-made liquors and premium spirits, promising a delightful journey for the taste buds. Wilmington Distillery transforms into a vibrant hub of entertainment with weekly live music and DJ events, creating a dynamic atmosphere where patrons can savor exceptional spirits while enjoying the lively beats of local talent.

    24. Wrightsville Beach Brewery

    Situated in proximity to Wrightsville Beach, Wrightsville Beach Brewery stands out as a beloved local brewer renowned for its distinctive draft beers and a delectable menu featuring fresh North Carolina oysters and seafood. This family and dog-friendly establishment offers a comprehensive brewpub and beer garden experience, serving lunch, brunch, and dinner with dedicated options for kids. Whether you prefer indoor comfort or outdoor charm, the brewery accommodates both depending on the season. Adding to the vibrant atmosphere, Wrightsville Beach Brewery hosts an array of events, from live music performances and tastings to engaging brewery tours, ensuring a dynamic and enjoyable experience for patrons.