While you visit breweries for the beer, it is nice to have the option to extend your stay and order food while enjoying your beer or tasting flight. Wilmington has an incredible brewery scene, but not every brewery has a restaurant onsite. Though many offer a great rotation of food trucks, a few breweries in the area also serve as restaurants with weekend brunch, lunch, and dinner menu options. Here are the top five recommended breweries in Wilmington with restaurants.
Serving Wilmington for over 25 years, Front Street Brewery is a staple in Wilmington’s brewing scene. Located on Front Street in Wilmington’s historic downtown, it was the 7th craft brewery to open in the state and has since won hundreds of awards for their brews. Front Street Brewery also doubles as Wilmington’s largest Whiskey bar, offering over 450 Bourbon and Whiskeys, which is the largest selection in North Carolina. What pairs with beer, whiskey and bourbon? Front Street’s southern-inspired fare! Try the Shrimp-N-Grits and order pub favorites like FSB’s famous Pulled Chicken Nachos and Beer-Battered Fish and Chips. They also have a slew of sandwiches and burgers and look for the suggested beer pairings with select dishes. Front Street Brewery is a family friendly spot offering a kid’s menu and accommodations for family seating.
As Wilmington’s only kombucha and beer brewery, Panacea Brewing Company is a unique offering in the Wilmington brewing scene. After opening in 2016, the brewery expanded to its current location on Oleander Drive and opened its restaurant in 2020. Come here for the fermented beverages – which include both non and alcoholic kombucha, beer, and hard sodas – and stay for their incredible vegan-friendly menu. Snack on the Gnarly Nachos or Cauliflower Wings or try one of their burgers – the Trash Burger is one of their most popular offerings along with the Nashville Hot Fried Cauliflower. On Sunday, Panacea offers a can’t-miss, southern-style brunch menu to enjoy alongside your ‘booch or brew.
Waterman’s Brewing Company offers something for beer and cider lovers alike. Head Brewer Alexis Scrivani crafts 10+ brews that are available on the menu daily, like the Sandblaster Blonde Ale and the Citra Salute! Hazy IPA, and offers both sweet and dry-style ciders. This local watering hole has cultivated an inviting atmosphere with the restaurant offering a family and pet-friendly environment, with lunch and dinner menus are offered daily and brunch on the weekend. The Loaded Tater Tots and Seared Ahi Tuna appetizers are popular, and the Shrimp Tacos and Waterman’s Angus Steak Burger are favorites. Waterman’s Brewing Company offers a slew of events, from pop-up weekend markets, a stop on the Carolina Surf Film Festival circuit, and Waterman’s first annual Wintergrass Festival coming in March 2022.
An incredible beer selection, delicious food, and great atmosphere make Wrightsville Beach Brewery a can’t-miss stop on Wilmington’s Ale Trail. This family-friendly spot offers a variety of options on their lunch and dinner menus, but they are best known for serving fresh seafood and wood-fired pizzas that can be enjoyed in either their indoor dining space or, when the weather is nice, outdoors in the beer garden. Wrightsville Beach Brewery is also known for supporting the local community – they donate 11% of proceeds from their revolving “Beer of the Month” to a different non-profit partner each month. The brewery also hosts a slew of events – from live music to the upcoming Lagerfest 2022 – there is something for everyone to enjoy at Wrightsville Beach Brewing.
Founded in 1999 by brothers Scott and Bill Pyatt in Glen Pine, North Carolina, Catawba Brewing Co. has since expanded with outposts in Morganton, Asheville, Charlotte, and Wilmington. The brewery offers a number of beers available year-round, like the White Zombie White Ale and CLT IPA, and variety of seasonal and specialty releases, like the Peanut Butter Jelly Time Raspberry Ale and Peach of Mind Farmhouse Ale. Catawba Brewing Co.’s Wilmington taproom has an expansive dog-friendly patio that can be enjoyed during the warmer months and regularly offers live music entertainment. The brewery offers a small but mightly pub-style menu – snack on a soft pretzel dipped in beer cheese and fried zucchini chips, try the Brasstown Beef burger if you’re on the hungrier side, or enjoy the hummus appetizer, grain bowl or farmer’s salad which can be tailored to Gluten-free and Vegan customers.