Behind Bars: Amanda Bowman

Behind Bars: Amanda Bowman

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.

It’s Beer Week: Beach Boots at Fermental

It’s Beer Week: Beach Boots at Fermental

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 or reach out to me, Joan, at

Here is a link to the Facebook event  

It’s Beer Week!  Free Shuttle to Local Breweries

It’s Beer Week! Free Shuttle to Local Breweries

What better way to celebrate Cape Fear Craft Beer Week than a *free* shuttle to scoot you around and sip local liquid!? The Port City Brew Bus is doing just that this Saturday, March 23 from 11 am to 5 pm. Two different buses will be running two independent routes, both of which are starting downtown.

Read on to learn about the Hop On/ Hop Off brewery shuttle routes and what I would get if I got to ride the buses that day! ( And don’t forget to tip your driver!)

Route A:

Starting/Ending at Bombers Beverage Company: Bombers is arguably one of my favorite bottles shops in town for definitely two, but possibly more, reasons–the selection is great and the people who hang out there are amazing. (To be fair, the owners are two of my best friends…I got married there, after all.) It would behoove you to just pick Kyle or Sunni’s brain and ask them what you should drink. They’ve never lead me astray.

Edward Teach Brewery: I’m a big fan of a fruit beer, so I would definitely go for Teach’s Peaches, a peach wheat ale. It’s perfect for our imminent spring, and the brewery does a great job of introducing fruit without presenting cloying sweetness.

Broomtail Craft Brewery: Get a Moe Beer. It’s a super delicious brown ale named after a very sweet dog, and they’ve had it on draught since day one.

The Sour Barn: The sister brewery to Broomtail is a fabulous mecca for fans of sours. The blackberry gose came out most recently. I only had a pint, but I could have easily (responsibly) had a pitcher.

Flytrap Brewing: My very, very favorite beer (maybe in the city) is Hoppy Tripel. It’s a dangerous one since it creeps up over 8%, but since you’ll be at the end of your tour and I KNOW you’re not driving home, you’ll be fine.

Route B:

New Anthem: I recommend closing your eyes and pointing at the draught board at New Anthem and ordering whatever you land on. You won’t be sorry. I had a pour of The Feels today and loved it.

Waterline Brewing: This tour is going to be great for hop heads. The Waterline Black IPA is awesome. It’s roasty, hoppy, and clean, and I highly recommend drinking it. I think it’s fabulous.

Wilmington Brewing: One of my favorite things to do is drink a Tropical Lightning from the source, but if you’re nervous about it being too boozy, try a Beach Time Session IPA.

Wrightsville Beach Brewery: At the end of a long day (whether or not it includes a long day of drinking) the first and last things I want are the same–a good, crisp lager. The Lame Street Lager from WBB is perfect.

Fermental 6 Year Anniversary

Fermental 6 Year Anniversary

Cheers to six years down and many, many more to our friends at Fermental!

The bottle shop on the north side of town will be celebrating their sixth anniversary on Saturday, March 2nd with a full day of music, food trucks, giveaways, and of course, delicious beer and wine.

We talked to Steve Gibbs, owner-operator of Fermental, and he’s thrilled to be six years in and looking ahead.

“It’s been quite a ride since 2013,” says Gibbs. “Pretty much non-stop every day since opening. Now, with one daughter soon to finish college and another about to enter preschool, my daily life is a hectic one. Coupled with consistent beer releases, an ever-growing wine selection, events, live music, and other such happenings, Fermental is definitely a laborious love and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

We also asked him how he feels about the ever-evolving nature of the beer industry and what he’s observed since opening his doors in 2013.

“The beer industry has changed drastically in six years. Most times for the best, sometimes not so much. I think this year we’ll see some big changes with local brewery expansions as well as larger brewery mergers and closings throughout the US as craft continues to grow. Beer styles will become more diverse and experimental while also returning to its roots as imbibers seek out the classics they once enjoyed.

2019 will be the year of hard seltzers. Watch out. But don’t worry, the hops aren’t going anywhere.”

Here’s the schedule for the day:

Food Trucks

CheeseSmith @ noon

2Bros Coastal Cuisine @ 5pm


Roger Davis @ noon

Jason Ashby @ 2pm

The Blarney Brogues @ 5pm

Boba Funk @ 8pm

So let’s party, y’all!

Here’s a final message from Steve:

“Thanks again for everyone’s support over the past six years. This will be another challenging, mad-capped year at Fermental and we look forward to many more. Come celebrate with us, as we celebrate with you.”

For more information about this event visit the event Facebook page.

Behind Bars: Kyle Harshner

Behind Bars: Kyle Harshner

The Behind Bars series focuses on those that serve us our favorite libations at craft beer-focused breweries, bottle shops, bars, and restaurants.

First up we’ve got Kyle Harshner, owner-operator of Bombers Beverage Company in Downtown Wilmington.

AT: What are your favorite things about bartending?

KH: Human interaction is very important and the bartender is the hub of social interaction. Helping someone discover a beer they’ve never had or a wine that really blows them away is the highlight of my day. Pointing people in the direction of my favorite places to eat and drink while they explore our ever growing town. Listening to people talk about this that and the other, while offering advice that promptly gets ignored as they drunk dial an ex-lover… So people for the most part.

AT: Do you have any advice for future craft beer bartenders?

KH: Trends come and go. Hazy, milkshake, pastry and brut are just some of the trend words thrown around today, and I can’t even imagine what they will be in the future. Sometimes sticking to the classics is best… A well made IPA or god forbid a lager! But always keep an eye on what’s coming over the horizon.

AT: If you were a beer, which one would you be?

KH: I would be my favorite beer LONDON PRIDE! It’s malty sweetness accompanied by a bitter backbone, in my opinion, really puts together the perfect beer. It’s not too boozy and is absolutely something to be enjoyed in all seasons. I don’t know how it would really describe me in any way, I just think everyone should drink it.

Fun Beer Things to do for Valentine’s Day

Whether you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day or Single’s Awareness Day, you’ll be sure to have a blast at these fantastic events.

Salty Turtle Beer Company

Feb 13 at 11:30 a.m. to Feb 15 at 12 a.m.


Get a jump start on Valentine’s Day festivities with Salty Turtle’s limited release of their Raspberry and Chocolate Porter. Each serving will be paired with a small bite brownie from Sugar Island Bakery.

Front Street Brewery

Feb 14 at 11:30 a.m. to Feb 15 at 12 a.m.

wilmington beer valentine's day


Front Street Brewery’s Annual Valentine’s Day Sinful Stout Beer Release. Celebrate the season of love with their rich chocolatey and deliciously smooth Sinful Stout, brewed with chocolate velvet coffee.

Flytrap Brewing

Feb 14 at 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.


Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a stout flight and donut hole pairing! Four 4oz pours of Flytrap stouts paired with 4 creative and fresh donut holes by Wake N Bake for $15. Enjoy live music by Jared Michael Cline 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. No reservations necessary.

Wrightsville Beach Brewery

Feb 14 at 5 p.m.


Four course meal paired with beer AND wine for only $36. Make a reservation for one, two, three, they will be happy to serve everyone on Valentines! Please call 910.256.4938 for reservations.

Hey Beer Bottle Shop

Feb 14 at 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.


Hey Beer Bottle Shop is partnering with Wake N Bake Donuts for another installment of complimentary donuts paired with delicious dark beers!

They are featuring one of NC’s best limited release stouts…Foothills Bourbon Barrel-Aged Sexual Chocolate!


Feb 14 at 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.


Fermental’s annual holiday Mead Tasting, showcasing a variety of honey wines in different styles from around the world. Celebrate with live swing/gypsy jazz music, a food truck, and mead! Call 910.821.0362 for details.

Bill’s Front Porch Brewery

Feb 14 at 6:30 p.m.


Bill’s Front Porch is curating a delicious 5-course meal with their own craft beer pairings. This event will be closed to the public in order to keep the night special for guests.

Get Your tickets here

The Sour Barn

Feb 14 at 7 p.m.


Treat your Valentine to drinks and dessert at The Barn. They will be featuring Port City Cheesecake’s Râppé Chocolate Cheesecake. One slice of cheesecake and two Broomtail beers for $14.

Check Six Brewing Company

Feb 14 at 7:30p.m. to 10:30 p.m.


Celebrate with their wine and champagne special and enjoy the fabulous Dale Kinner for a special night with your special someone!