Sup Bräu: 4.9% A super crispy crusher that’s extra light with a hoppy kick on the finish.
The Grind: 7% From the brewery, “We know the daily grind. So does Port City Java. We’ve both been brewing tasty beverages in Wilmington for 25 years. So we teamed up at what we do best. This brew is for people who take their coffee black. Roasty depths of cold-brewed Sumatra coffee beans permeate the dry malt richness of our oatmeal stout, whose hops help keep it fresh.”
Midnight Sunroof: 7.3% An American IPA brewed with Cascade and Citra hops.
Falconer’s Flight: 5.9% A traditional pale ale brewed with Falconer’s Flight hops.
Cape FEAR Beer: 6% From the brewery, “Fermented with yeast harvested from Middlesound Loop, isolated, cleaned and banked now by White Labs -then “dry spiced” with local Jalapeño. Super delicious, perfect flavor and not too much heat. Taste True Local Flavor!”
Chocolate & Toasted Coconut Porter: 5.7% From the brewery, “Think of the box of chocolates, except this is the one you want to get!!”
Full Disclosure: Wilmington Ale Trail is a sponsor of Marchtoberfest and the owner of the Ale Trail is one of the organizers for the beer festival. This is a puff piece.
If you have seen the videos you may be a little confused as to what Marchtoberfest actually is. Well, at its core it’s a beer festival . We talked to Ellie Craig, the marketing director at Front Street Brewery and one of the organizers for Marchtoberfest.
AT: So what is Marchtoberfest?
EC: Marchtoberfest is a beer festival based on the German Fruhlingsfest, in Munich. Traditionally, they celebrate in late April or early May when the weather turns warmer. It is really just a smaller version of Oktoberfest with the same costumes, games, and rides just on a smaller scale. We wanted to throw a Spring beer festival and use that as the theme.
AT: Do we really need another beer festival?
EC: There was a beer festival called Cape Fear Beer and Wine festival during this time in previous years. We found out that the owner was not going to continue so we approached the convention center about Marchtoberfest. It will be a very different type of festival. All our breweries are from NC and they will all be bringing at least one “German-style beer”. We hope everyone will dress in their finest German festival attire and come ready to have a great time!
AT: Who benefits from the festival?
EC: ILM Beer is our charity partner. They host local beer-based events to raise money for charitable organizations and local people in need. The beneficiary of this year’s Marchtoberfest is the Steve Haydu St. Patrick’s Day Lo-Tide Run. They are an all-volunteer organization that donate 100% of their proceeds to cancer patients in New Hanover county. They put on a great event and are a great organization that has helped some of our local beer peeps.
There will also be a smaller donation to the NC Brewer’s Guild. They are integral in ensuring that our craft beer industry continues to grow. We are grateful for their support and they will be on hand to sell some cool NC Beer merch as well.
AT: What’s up with the Oktoberfest Trip Giveaway?
EC: Being a first-year festival, we knew we were really going to have to catch the public’s attention. We partnered with, AwayBug Travel, to plan an awesome Oktoberfest adventure. The owner, Angie, has been to Oktoberfest several times and lived in Germany. She was instrumental in our planning to make sure we got the best deal possible.
We are giving away two trips to Oktoberfest 2020 in Munich. If you have a VIP ticket, you will be entered into the pool of VIP ticket holders. We are only selling a maximum of 600 VIP tickets.
We are doing the same for General Admission ticket holders. We can only sell a maximum of 2000 general admission tickets. The trip itself includes airfare, hotel, and a reservation in one of the beer halls. Check out our website for the details. Angie will help you addon any extra days, tours, or excursions you want to do.
AT: Bottom-Line, why should people come to Marchtoberfest?
EC: Well first off, the beer. Over 40 NC breweries, including all your local favorites as well as breweries from Asheville, Charlotte, Triangle, and other parts of the state. Many of these breweries don’t distribute to this area so this might be the first-time people get to try them.
We are also going to have the HarborTowne Fest Band which is amazing. They will pump up the crowd and get people dancing. I just met with Ken, the band leader, yesterday and he is really excited for the event.
Finally, we are going to have games. We will have around ten carnival-style games for people to win small prizes. We are also working on a couple larger surprises.
It’s going to be a great time and we are looking forward to turning it into a multi-day event in the future.
Aletrail fans use code WILMALETRAIL to take off $5.
Shopping for the beer drinker in your life can be tricky. Their tastes are fickle. They’re constantly purging glassware, but the next time you turn around they’ve bought four new ones. You may as well forget about t-shirts, hoodies, and other wearables. As a pain-in-the-ass beer drinker myself, I’m here to tell you what I’ve found a lot of us look forward to these days—experiences.
Here’s what I might like if I were asking for anything. (*ahem* Santa? Are you listening?)
Wilmington Ale Trail Passport
This website disguised as an app is the coolest way for your out-of-town buddies or relatives to explore the area. The passport has three options: 24-hour for $15, 3-Day for $20, or the annual option for $40. Whichever option you choose, you will receive $5 vouchers at over 22 local breweries, bottle shops, bars, and restaurants so you and your friends can experience all of the great craft beer that the greater Wilmington area has to offer.
Use code CHRISTMASCHEER to take $10 off any passport option through Christmas. Bonus: Redeem 80% of the vouchers and receive a Wilmington Ale Trail t-shirt! https://passport.wilmingtonaletrail.com/
Have you ever been entered to win a trip to Germany just for buying tickets to a beer fest? Heck, when were you last entered to win A TRIP TO OKTOBERFEST at all? Never? Same. The inaugural Marchtoberfest is a good old fashioned German beer festival, featuring 40+ North Carolina breweries, plus German wine and food. Oh! And did I mention you’re entered to win a trip for two to Munich for Oktoberfest including airfare, lodging, and admission to Oktoberfest ? Two trips for two will be given away the day of the festival. One trip for general admission and one for VIP admission.
Use the code STOCKINGSTUFFER to take $10 off – now through Christmas day. https://marchtoberfestilm.com/
Port City Brew Bus
Do you have that friend who’s always been talking about “getting more into beer” or “learning more about beer” or “thinking about opening a brewery/bottle shop/bar”? A great way for that friend to educate themselves is on the Port City Brew Bus. Multiple stops filled with samples, info sessions that cover different parts of the brewing process & ingredients, plus an incredibly knowledgeable tour guide will certainly satiate anyone’s thirst for knowledge…and beer.
Use code SANTABEER to save 10% off on gift card and tour purchases. http://portcitybrewbus.com/
Cape Fear Craft & Cuisine
You have a friend or family member who considers themselves a “foodie.” They are constantly pouring over cookbooks and food-focused instagram content. The friend who is constantly asking questions when you’re out at dinner. That friend deserves to experience the Port City’s premier food and beer pairing event, Cape Fear Craft & Cuisine. A 25-course pairing menu invites foodies and beer connoisseurs alike to explore North Carolina’s prolific beer scene alongside Wilmington’s finest food—all during sunset at the beautiful Airlie Gardens. No code is needed to snag the stocking-stuffer deal which is two tickets and no transaction fees, a savings of $24 off the regular general admission price. This deal is only good through Christmas.
If you don’t recognize Kelly Pickle (yes, that is her real name) then you really need to go visit Salty Turtle Beer Company up in Surf City. She’s been there slingin’ tasty Hey Zay Hazy IPAs and Swingbridge Breakfast Stouts since day ONE! I was excited to interview her for the Ale Trail because I’ve had the honor of tending bar with her for the past six months; she did not disappoint.
Ale Trail (AT): What’s your favorite thing about bartending?
Kelly Pickle (KP): My favorite thing about bartending is meeting new and interesting people every single day. I love building relationships with guests from near and far!
AT: Do you have any advice for current or future craft beer bartenders?
KP: My advice to craft beer bartenders is to learn your audience. Honing in on what types of beers your guests like, as well as their experience in the craft beer world, will help make their trip to your venue an unforgettable one.
AT: If you were a beer, which one would you be?
KP: If I were a beer I would choose a New England IPA: unfiltered, slightly sweet and slightly bitter. *wink*
A weekly roundup of local and craft beer that can be found around the area on tap, in bottles, or in cans. These are not beer reviews and should be used for entertainment purposes only.
Deep Sea Dunkelweizen: 4.4% Dark, mysterious, and full of surprises. This dunkelweizen has a rich malt and clove aroma with slight notes of vanilla. Malted wheat makes for a smooth, medium-light body, while Munich provides a slight sweetness. Although the dark color can be deceiving, the crisp and refreshing Hefeweizen character makes this beer unique.
Collective Illusions: 7.5% A hazy IPA dry-hopped with Amarillo and Simcoe. Think: sweet, red fruit, mango. Available on draught and in cans.
Rye Saison: 6.7% Another delicious variation on their classic house saison, now featuring rye malt and Nelson Sauvin hops from New Zealand.
Sextant Chocolate Porter: 5.8% The latest porter coming out of the North 4th brewery featuring notes of coffee, toffee, and chocolat.e
Fool’s Gold Nitro Stout: 6.7% This strong golden ale looks like a blonde ale but has the body and mouthfeel of a stout. Additions of vanilla bean, Ecuadorian cocoa nibs, and whole bean coffee complete the finish with a light bitterness and strong roasted coffee flavor.
Moletimus Prime: 5.6% A New England IPA that was dry hopped during fermentation, bio-transforming the hops to more aromatic properties.
You may have seen Maria Speaks running one of the many large-scale events at Waterline Brewing Company, the brewery under the bridge. She started as a bartender three years ago and worked her way into becoming Taproom Manager & On-Site Events Coordinator. This week we chat with Maria.
AT: Whats your favorite thing about bar tending?
MS: My favorite thing about bar tending at Waterline is talking about beer with people. I like to nerd out about it and it’s always nice to have a fellow nerd that I can converse with. The other part I enjoy is the social aspect of it. I love the demographic here so socializing with regulars and people who come in is always pretty enjoyable.
AT: Do you have any advice for current or future craft beer bartenders?
MS: Always be open. Be open to try new beers, to try new product period. I love ordering new ciders and wine. I also love that the brewery I work at is all-inclusive when it comes to the beverage of choice. Also, know your beer. Part of the appeal of a brewery for customers is for them to be able to ask you questions about your product or even other craft beer products and for you to have the answers.
AT: If you were a beer which one would you be?
MS: If I was a beer I’d like to be a Gruit. I’d be a Gruit because it’s an OG style of beer. Traditional and original but can taste and look like anything!