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

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

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

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!

Wilmington Bottleshop series – Fermental

This will be an ongoing series on local bottleshops.  Our aim is to see what makes them different and the  history  and backgrounds of the owners and managers. This series will be in collaboration with the Port City Brew Bus.

Fermental Beer and Wine

7250 Market St.

(910) 821-0362


In March 2013 when Fermental Beer and Wine opened its doors—the doors to a funky little 1940s bungalow, that is—in Ogden, some may have mused that owner Steve Gibbs was taking a risk. After all, Ogden is surely outside the downtown hub of the Central Business District, and his neighbors the barber and locksmith don’t exactly make for good bar hopping. But the bottle shop was swiftly embraced by the growing population in north Wilmington—and then some.
The space inside is quaint. A small bar with three draft options, a cooler with singles, and around the corner a living room with the coziest couch—literally, folks sink the second they sit down. Meander through the other rooms, still laid out like the home it once was, and peruse the to-go offerings. From six packs to bombers to stacks of wine, Fermental has a taste to cover all palates. Outdoors, guests can gather at a picnic table under a canopy of café string lights and stars.

fermental“As one of north Wilmington’s first alternatives to the local bars and restaurants, Fermental continues to grow and cultivate itself to its surroundings,” Gibbs, who spent 15 years in the industry—from retail to wholesaler to supplier—before opening his shop, explains. “As a resident of the Ogden area myself, it seemed like a likely spot to offer unique beer and wine to the community, and I feel a lot of other businesses have joined us along the way. A lot of folks aren’t interested in the downtown scene and some don’t even like crossing Gordon Road after 5 p.m. And if you’re driving, it’s better to stay close to home. Not only do we offer some of the best pricing and selection of beer/wine in town, Fermental is a place to bring your family, your friends or meet new friends. Fermental is family. Many parents bring their children along with them, as well as pets and picnics and out of town guests. We are casual and comfortable and offer a space to relax, congregate, and/or celebrate. Fermental is a fun, quirky, casual space that invites people from all age groups and backgrounds into a general revelry of good beer, fine wine and culture.”

Gibbs shares that the goal for growth at Fermental is to move at a slow and steady pace. “Outside, we started with three picnic tables, a few outside lights, and no stage. What was once barely walked-upon green grass, has now turned into a beer garden of straw and mulch along with various games, seating options, flowers, hop bines and more. Plans to continually grow and improve this area are always in progress. Sometimes people give us things—other times we build, find, or purchase.” Gibbs beckons folks to stay tuned for tether ball and additional landscaping this winter.

Indoors, the aesthetic remains warm, inviting, and comfortable. “My wife, Kristen, picked out all the colors inside, which was sort of a red-wine-meets-barley-and-hops Interior 007theme that transitioned into an earthy, comforting vibe. Focusing on the original wooden floors, we went with several wooden structures inside for display and seating, utilizing old wine crates for shelving and thrift store/Craigslist-ing most of the rest. All of our coolers are secondhand and were quite a feat to get inside the building. Overall, a plan really wasn’t made for design, we just painted and put things where they seemed to fit; and remarkably, it all came together. We are drinkers, not designers, but I guess we have an eye for composition. As a whole, Fermental keeps changing, growing, adapting, building, and pushing along. Honestly, we have outgrown the space but have no plans to move away from our little corner in Ogden.”

Fittingly, the Gibbs recently welcomed  a daughter with his wife Kristen, born October 8, 2015. “As we continue to grow, so has my personal family, which can add a new perspective on things,” Gibbs quips. “But for now, we’re planning on staying where we are and continuing with our current state of affairs, perhaps in larger formats. Look for occasional bigger bands playing in 201; additional taps are currently in planning at what will become a newly designed main bar; possibly a more regular outdoor bar in the beer garden next season; additional off-site events; and we’re still crunching in as much beer as we can into our limited interior, but there seems to always be more room. More food truck rotations, more events, more people, and more amusing attributes to keep Fermental fun.”

In the meantime, Fermental carries on with free weekly wine and beer tastings every Friday evening, and occasionally wine and brewery reps are on-hand to offer detailed education and giveaways. Every Friday and Saturday Fermental hosts live music in the beer garden, “alongside a rotating cast of local food trucks,” Gibbs shares. Monthly events run the gamut, from cheese pairings to book clubs, art shows to rehearsal dinners. “With the introduction of Wilmington Beer Week in October, we have an exhausting library of things to do and things to drink,” Gibbs notes. “It’s all for the love of beer, wine and community.”
2 Anniversary 016“Our largest annual event is Arts & Drafts: a celebration of art, music and of course, beer,” Gibbs begins of his yearly September soiree. “We collect, harbor, order, and beg for some of the best, rarest, oddest, and most celebrated beers from all over; tapping them in an all-day extravaganza of beer accompanied by an afternoon into the evening of live music from multiple musicians. The day begins with a beer garden full of local artists, sculptors, and craft makers spread through every free inch of space in our backyard, selling and showcasing their talents in an endless array of media. Throw in a few food trucks alongside some of the area’s best artisans and you’ve got one hell of an adventure. This may possibly be moved off-site in the future to accommodate a larger group of artists and the crowd, but for now we’re still squeezing in just over 20 creative folks in a welcoming variety of artistic genres.”

So, what beverage does Gibbs enjoy most of all? “Over the past few years this has become a difficult question to answer,” he starts. “There are so many beers available, and there are new releases every day. I love wine too, but my background in wine has driven me to beer. Ask most wine sales reps and they’ll share a similar story: After tasting and selling wine all day, nothing beats a cold beer. But if you include that ubiquitous desert island aspect, it would have to be: a super fresh American IPA. Green, juicy, chewy hops that coat your teeth and gums, cloyingly begging for another sip of that super-ripe goodness. Preferably local, but any brewery that can push it to market with the oily, dank, hop residue still intact is fine with me. A few examples include: Stone Enjoy By, NoDa Hop Drop N Roll, Victory Dirt Wolf, Knee Deep Hoptologist, and Wicked Weed Freak of Nature.”

As for new beers available in our market, Gibbs remains a fan and consumer of Wicked Weed and Knee Deep Brewing. Yet it’s a Midwestern brewery that is making its mark on his tongue as of late. “I am continually amazed by the beers coming from Prairie Artisan Ales out of Tulsa, Oklahoma,” he reveals. “The sours these folks are releasing are by far some of the best I’ve ever poured into my mouth. Their recent series of dry-hopped golden sours are a deliciously funk-driven, tropical mess of flavor and aroma that dances across the palate, inviting another sip, another bottle, another pint. Not to mention their Prairie Bomb!, another classic from Oklahoma, is a big, sturdy, imperial stout aged on espresso beans, chocolate, vanilla, and chile peppers. A top-rated beer across the board, this bottle of blackness is perfect for the upcoming colder months. As Prairie grows, I would expect to see more greatness and deliciousness arriving from these folks in the coming year. We currently have multiple shelves of their products, just ask!”

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