As we wind down and reflect about all the tasty local beers that we enjoyed in 2018, it’s hard not to get excited about all of the good things to come in 2019!

Three breweries will be breaking ground on and opening up new facilities in the new year—Bill’s Brewing Company, New Anthem Beer Project, and Wilmington Brewing Company.

Photo Courtesy Brian Lantz Photography

Bill’s has a production facility opening up right behind Captain Bill’s (And Bill’s Front Porch) at 107 Cinema Drive that will include a new 20-barrel brewhouse so that local taps can keep Bill’s beers flowing all year long. There will also be a new taproom and beer garden where folks can sip some suds and keep an eye on the action at the volleyball courts.

 

Photo Courtesy Brian Lantz Photography

 

 

New Anthem Beer Project has been working at a nice clip to work on their new space at the old Capp’s building at the corner of Front and Greenfield Streets, located in the burgeoning South Front District. Their new 30-barrel system will keep New Anthem fans across the state in cans and the second taproom will provide a new place for a pint for friends who don’t want to trek downtown. We can look forward to a more established barrel program and some mixed culture sours, as the Dock Street space will be used for more experimentation.

Photo Courtesy Brian Lantz Photography

Wilmington Brewing Company is sticking close to their original facility, opening an event space right next door! (If you’re facing the Kerr Avenue brewery, it’s to the right.) The space will be used for special events only—think can releases and private parties. It will allow the brewery to expand their existing location to accommodate more friendly faces in the taproom, and more room for their brewers to do their thing. Ever thought about having your next birthday/engagement/retirement party at Wilmington Brewing? Well, soon you can.

Of course what we’re really looking forward to are all of the new beers that we get to drink next year!

Flytrap Brewing launched their new bottle program on the celebration of their 4th Anniversary, so we can’t wait to try what they’ve got in store. The word is that it’s going to be even more fun, funky, and fruited. (And if you haven’t been by to try what they already have—run, don’t walk.)

Flying Machine Brewing Company, our newest member of the Cape Fear brewing family, has lots of fermented creations in store. You can expect to see them flex their creativity with their ever-growing cask program and get ready for barrels—lots and lots of barrels. Soccer fans should also get excited, as the new brewery hosts Soccer Sundays. They open at 9 am daily and have a strong coffee program featuring beans from NC company Counter Culture; the beer and wine start pouring at 10 am.

Have you heard of a Rosé IPA? Well, you have now and you should be really excited. Wrightsville Beach Brewery is rolling out their Rosé IPA to kick off the year with bright, bubbly effervescence and a hint of strawberry. They’re also bringing back their local honey lager. Both will be taproom only releases, so go ahead and make a lunch date. Fried oysters and honey lager? Done and done.

Other fun beer releases from the Cape Fear region include the Peach Pucker Peach Sour from Front Street Brewery, the new Operation Bumblebee barrel program from Salty Turtle, Beer de Garden from Skytown Beer, plus all of your faves at Waterman’s and tons of Belgian goodness from Mad Mole. You’re gonna want to budget a little extra money for Uber in 2019.

Photo Courtesy Brian Lantz Photography

And while we’re looking ahead, you’ll want to go ahead and put Makai Brewing’s 1st anniversary into your calendar—it’s Saturday, January 26th.

 

If you’re looking for a place to host your next event, the team over at Ironclad has you covered. With a full bar featuring lots of taps with house-brewed beer and plenty of space for catering AND a dance floor, your next office party could be, as the kids say, LIT.

Waterline Brewing is coasting into 2019 with a slew of events featuring local musicians, artists, and makers to benefit local charities. Keep an eye out for their weekly markets! It’s a great place to sip a fresh, local beer and shop for someone special or just treat yo’self.

The guys at Broomtail are talking nerdy with the first locally harvested yeasts of the region. After three years of harvesting and propagation, they’re brewing with the new yeasts to create beers that quite literally feature local flavor.

Make 2019 the year of new experiences! Have you been to Southport lately? It’s probably been too long since you’ve had a tasty crab cake from Provision Company and definitely too long since you’ve visited Check Six Brewing and enjoyed a Dugan’s Chocolate Stout. Go do that! You’ll be glad you did.

And if you’d like to indulge in libations from all of these places at once, go ahead and buy yourself a ticket to the third annual Cape Fear Craft & Cuisine. I’m a little biased because I’m one of the event coordinators. It’s one of my favorite events and I’ve never even attended it, only worked it. It’s a 25-course pairing menu featuring 25 NC breweries and 25 local restaurants at AIRLIE GARDENS at the end of March. If you don’t think that’s the perfect combination of things…well, I just can’t even. It’s the perfect way to spend some time with friends and family and welcome spring to the beach.

Whew! Okay! That’s it for now. Cheers to a new year and new beer!