The Wilmington Ale Trail Passport is an opportunity for visitors and locals to receive vouchers at participating local breweries, bottle shops, and craft beer-focused bars and restaurants. Our weekly Passport Picks blog post will focus on the “best bang for your buck” at one of our participating venues.
7250 Market Street
Voucher: $5 off beverage, food, or merchandise
If you have not been to Fermental, it is a must stop on your Wilmington Ale Trail journey. With live music every Friday and Saturday, a free wine and beer tasting on Friday, and a general house party atmosphere in their expansive beer garden, Fermental is a great place to grab your favorite craft beer or glass of wine.
Your Wilmington Ale Trail passport includes a $5 voucher and I think the best time to use would be on “Mediocre Mondays”. All drafts are $3. All day. The goal is to kick the kegs left over from the weekend and can include local favorites from Waterline or New Anthem to a heavy hitter like Founder’s KBS. It’s just a luck of the draw.
Purchase a passport, and receive a $5 voucher to Fermental and additional vouchers at over 20 area locations.
Photo Courtesy Mike Donohoe
Behind Bars is BACK and this time we’re chatting with Mike Donohoe from Session Beer Market, on the south side of town. Session just celebrate their two year anniversary. They’re a bottle shop with an extensive selection in bottles and cans, and a humble but impressive draft list. Go say hi to Mike!
AT: What is your favorite thing about bartending?
MD: The metal bottle opener thing has a loop at one end and I’ve gotten pretty good at spinning it around my finger. I’m pretty sure I’m the first person to do this, and it’s pretty fun. Oh and the people you get to connect and make memories with over the years are pretty rad too. Last week I actually performed a wedding ceremony for two people that I met doing this.
AT: Do you have any advice for current or future craft beer bartenders?
MD: It’s really cool to develop that dynamic with a patron where you can guess what they’re going to order every time, but they’ll almost always be more appreciative if you can open up new styles and ideas for them. It’s fun and rewarding to help people find new “usuals”. Its really satisfying (for both you and the patron) when you can get someone to go all the way from Miller Lite to barrel aged stouts.
AT: If you were a beer which one would you be?
MD: Tough one. I would probably be Bells Hopslam. Bitter, still has a few long-time fans, and every year you think “it was probably better last year”.
It’s Wilmington’s OG craft beer bar’s sweet 16! Join Cape Fear Wine & Beer on Sunday, July 7th for their weekly Beer Church and help them celebrate with Moody Tongue Brewing our of Pilsen, Chicago, Illinois. There will be commemorative glassware (with both CFWB & Moody Tongue logos), t-shirts, and a very delicious beer list.
We got to talk to Maaike Brender à Brandis, co-owner and President, about the day.
AT: 16 years! How exciting. What have you learned?
MBàB: In 2003 neither of us had been in the beer industry. So we basically had to learn everything. Everything about beer, about permits and payroll. But a left-brain partnered with a right-brain can accomplish anything. Now it’s more like maintaining a well-oiled machine.
AT: Why did you decide to pair up with Moody Tongue:
MBàB: We decided to partner with Moody Tongue because we had a great relationship with the sales rep, Brad Davis, from the years he was with Shmaltz. And, of course, the beer is great!
AT: What new things can we look forward to from you guys in the coming year?
MBàB: We’ve recently replaced our old school chalk draft boards with tv’s synced with our Untappd beer list. A goal is to continue providing our customers with the best beer list in town, with the freshest hazy IPA’s, the funkiest sours, the crispest pilsners. We’re also partnering with local and regional charities for our beer churches.
Visit their website capefearwineandbeer.com, and keep an eye on Facebook for current and future event updates!
While the Port City is becoming more and more well known for its breweries, did you know that its comedy scene is just as dynamic!? And since beer and laughter go hand-in-hand (or pint-in-hand), naturally the two have married up in Wilmington.
If you subscribe to our email newsletter, then you’re already aware of the opportunities to go check out comedy at Wilmington Breweries. And if you don’t subscribe you should, and take a peek at the Wilmington brewery and bottle shop comedy round up we made for you.
Bombers Beverage Company
108 Grace Street, Wilmington, NC 28401
Every Friday Bombers hosts an open mic at 9p so that local comedians can flex their funnies and customers can get their giggle on. It’s called Bombs Away! and hosted by The Regretful Villains. If you stop by Bombers between 6 and 8p on Fridays, you can get in on the weekly wine tasting to further lubricate your laughs.
Waterline Brewing Company
721 Surry Street, Wilmington, NC 28401
You can join the folks at the Brewery Under the Bridge one Wednesday a month for Gruff Goat Comedy. It’s a free show featuring three comedians under the bridge (no trolls, please). Customers can sip a delicious, local brew, enjoy a food truck, and laugh the night away. It’s a great mid-week pick-me-up.
Check 6 Brewery
5130 Southport-Supply Road, Southport, NC 28461
The North American Comedy Brewery Tour regularly stops at Check 6 Brewery in Southport and you should, too. There’s a $20 entry fee (so make sure to pick up tickets before, in case it sells out), but the laughter to follow is priceless.
Port City Brew Bus
Comedy not enough to entice you? What if we add wheels? Jump on the Port City Brew Bus with three local comedians and cruise to Wilmington Breweries where you can sip local suds. The comedians will do their best to lift your spirits (and if they don’t do it, the Wilmington beer sure will). You can expect some fun & games on the bus and then quick 10-15 minute sets once you land at the breweries.
Skytown Beer Company
4712 New Centre Drive, Wilmington, NC 28405]
Slack’s Stand Up show will be returning to Skytown Beer Company on Saturday, July 13th at 8pm. The last one was standing room early, so make sure to get there early. Skytown’s beer is the real star of the show, but their food is also not to be missed. Never had deep fried gravy balls? Well you’re not getting any younger, so now’s the time.
This week we’ve got Amanda Bowman joining us from Fermental! Check out what she has to say about being a Wilmington craft beer bartender.
AT: What’s your favorite thing about bar-tending/selling beer?
AB: I like being able to pick just the right beer for someone, even if they weren’t exactly sure what they were looking for. Figuring out what they do and don’t like, making suggestions, then watching them try, and like, something out of their comfort zone is rewarding.
It’s also fun when you get to know what your regulars like and they trust you to just pour them something you know they’ll love.
AT: Do you have any advice for current or future craft beer bartenders?
AB: I would say familiarize yourself with as many different styles and flavors as you can. Taste everything, even if you don’t like a particular style, as it will help to make recommendations.
Staying on top of trends is also helpful.
AT: If you were a beer, which one would you be?
AB: A fruited gose–a little sour, a little sweet, and a little salty.
Beach Boots: An Evening with the Pink Boots Society
This Friday at Fermental, join the Wilmington Chapter of the Pink Boots Society for an evening of celebrating women in beer!
I’m a little biased this week, since I’m one of the Chapter Leaders of PBS Wilmington, but I can also guarantee the event is going to be great. We’ve got some beers coming from the Biere de Femme festival, which happened earlier this year at Highland Brewing in Asheville, and was hosted by Pink Boots NC. We’ll also be featuring several beers from local area breweries that are either brewed by women or at breweries owned by women.
My personal favorite is Light Urple–a collaboration beer that I had the privilege of brewing with some of the ladies from The Crooked Lotus in Sneads Ferry, and Bill’s Front Porch in Wilmington. It’s a Belgian pale ale brewed with honey, butterfly pea flower, and the proprietary Pink Boots hop blend from this year. It’s dry, hoppy, and a beautiful, rich purple color.
Come hang out with me and the other ladies at Fermental from 5-10p this Friday. Trust me–we’re a hell of a good time.
If you’d like information about Pink Boots Society, or have questions about joining, please visit pinkbootssociety.org or reach out to me, Joan, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is a link to the Facebook event