Best Breweries in Wilmington, NC

Get ready for an incredible journey across Wilmington’s fantastic breweries, where each one delivers the goods with scrumptious beers and unmatched friendly vibes. With its wealth of creative and exciting breweries, this coastal city certainly notches up your beer-tasting experience a few levels.

Best Hoptastic Breweries in Wilmington, NC - featured

Wilmington is renowned across the state and even throughout America for having some of the Best North Carolina Beer, so much so that you’ll be drinking until the cows come home! From crisp Pale Ales to enticing Hefeweizen, and creamy Milk Stouts, Wilmington’s breweries cater to all tastes.

Wilmington, North Carolina, is a city that offers a rich historical experience, picturesque scenery, and a laid-back beach culture. The Battleship North Carolina, the breathtaking Airlie Gardens, and the historic Bellamy Mansion are just some of the many historic attractions that await you in Wilmington.

It’s considered a small city, with a population of around 123,000, but has made a remarkable impact over the past few years, earning a reputation as one of America’s Beeriest Beach Towns. And thanks to its prominent education institution, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, the city has been attracting young, energetic crowds that make it an ideal location for a beer-cation!

With a large influx of youths arriving every year and businesses including health care, technology, retail, and finance, Wilmington is now teeming with breweries and eateries catering to students, young professionals, and locals alike.

Each brewery has its own unique personality and a different beer experience to offer, with a mix of small-batch brews, seasonal spins, and signature ales. All these breweries come together every year, showcasing their unique craft ales at the annual Cape Fear Beer and Wine Festival and Lighthouse Beer & Wine Festival.

Though there are 16 breweries in Wilmington, NC, we’re going to narrow them down to only the best breweries that capture the spirit of Wilmington’s vibrant beer scene and produce amazing craft beers.

Readers Favorite: Broomtail Craft Brewery

The owners of this establishment, Barry and Lisa Owings, are amazing people and have gone above and beyond in Wilmington to make visitors feel at home and welcomed with every visit. The 3 breweries are all amazing and offer something different, but the pub and arcade brewery on Market Street offers everything you need for families, dog owners, entertainment seekers, and non beer drinkers. 

Best Breweries

Best Hoptastic Breweries in Wilmington, NC - Wilmington Brewing Company

Wilmington Brewing Company

Kicking off our list is Wilmington Brewing Company, an establishment that began as a humble home brew supply store but soon transformed into a leading name in the local craft beer scene.

Most famous for its Tropical Lightning IPA, this brewery offers 15 rotating drafts brewed on the premises and a huge list of cans, bottles, kegs, and growlers to take home from their in-store shop right next door.

They are also known for doing weekly brewing demonstrations for craft beer enthusiasts and run clubs to help the local community get in shape. Their taproom provides a place for families to relax with lots of games, monthly events, and rotating food trucks to grab a bite to eat.

Location details:

Beer Recommendation: Tropical Lightning IPA

Best Hoptastic Breweries in Wilmington, NC - New Anthem Beer Project

New Anthem Beer Project

Whether visiting their two breweries on Dock Street and Greenfield Street, Wilmington, or Glenwood Anex, Raleigh, New Anthem Beer Project prides itself on giving back to its community with its wide range of craft ales and lively location atmospheres.

The downtown Wilmington location is the perfect place to chill around the circular seated bar area while chatting with the friendly staff. The interior is full of awesome record covers hanging on the wall and has many comfy sofas available to relax with friends and family.

With weekly live music bands, trivia nights, and music bingo to keep guests entertained while making their way through the expansive list of more than 100 delicately crafted ales – it’s a beer lovers paradise!

Location details:

Recommended beer: It Loves Me IPA

Best Hoptastic Breweries in Wilmington, NC - Catawba Brewing Company

Catawba Brewing Company

Founded by two brothers, Catawba brewing company started from humble beginnings with a home brewing kit and grew its empire to be a major player in the craft beer industry, now employing over 130 people and selling its delicious ales in bottle shops and brewpubs across 8 different states.

This dog-friendly brewery is one of Wilmington’s largest breweries offering delicious beers on tap, including their highly-demanded White Zombie white ale. It’s a popular choice for locals and tourists alike with its stylish taproom and sunny beer garden.

It’s a popular choice for locals and tourists alike with its stylish taproom and sunny beer garden.

Location details:

Recommended beer: Blackberry Zombie White Ale

Best Hoptastic Breweries in Wilmington, NC - Broomtail Craft Brewery

Broomtail Craft Brewery

With a creative approach focused on sustainability, Broomtail Craft Brewery, founded by husband and wife Barry and Lisa Owings in 2014, brings together scientific methods and artistic flair to craft unique beers. Their Acerbic Ecstasy IPA is a crowd favorite, offering a bold hop-forward taste.

With 3 locations nestled in Wilmington, all offering something different, like their newly revamped pub and arcade down on Market Street that offers guests a full bar of craft beers, wines, sours, and liquors, arcade games, and a beer garden with fire pit and stage for local musicians to play their uplifting music.

It’s also kid and pet friendly and has a bottle shop for visitors to take their favorite beers home. Whether you visit their taproom and brewery or pub and arcade, you can guarantee a refreshing cold pint and a chilled atmosphere, perfect for hanging with friends and family.

Location details:

Beer Recommendation: Acerbic Ecstasy IPA

Best Hoptastic Breweries in Wilmington, NC - Waterline Brewing Company

Waterline Brewing Company

Set within a 1940s warehouse, this family-friendly brewery offers visitors an equally beautiful assortment of craft beers and mesmerizing views of the Cape Fear River and the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge.

Waterline Brewing Company is not just famous for brewing craft beer within the Wilmington community, this local brewery is also widely known for its weekly antiques market, comedy shows, live music, Latin nights, trivia nights, and food trucks, making it one of the best breweries in Wilmington to visit.

Location details:

Beer Recommendation: Kolsch

Best Hoptastic Breweries in Wilmington, NC - Flying Machine Brewing Company

Flying Machine Brewing Company

If you love coffee, craft beers, and biking, this new Wilmington Brewery is your go-to destination.

Although Flying Machine Brewing Company is relatively new on the craft beer scene, it’s becoming increasingly popular among cycling enthusiasts and beer lovers alike with its location strategically situated on the Cross City Trail.

Upon visiting this unique space, expect some quality craft beers brewed the old-fashioned way with a large taproom featuring over 30 taps of beer, wine, and cider. Plus, rotating food trucks and an indoor bar and outdoor seating and patio to unwind.

And if you’re looking for a restaurant-style setting to eat and drink their delicious craft brews, check out their cozy taproom and kitchen Wrightsville Beach Brewery on Causeway Drive.

Location details:

Beer Recommendation: Electronic Fog

Best Hoptastic Breweries in Wilmington, NC - Hi-Wire Brewing Wilmington

Hi-Wire Brewing Wilmington

Known for its creative and well-followed barrel-aged beers, Hi-Wire is a fun and inclusive brewery located in Wilmington’s Soda Pop District.

Hi-Wire Brewing boasts an expansive indoor and outdoor seating area, offering 21 easy-drinking taps and a select rotational menu.

Their event space is also worth mentioning with open mic nights, Mario Party & Kart Game Night, Ping-Pong tournaments, Run Club, trivia nights, puzzle challenges, and more, making it one of the best Wilmington breweries to go to for fun and games and great beer.

Location details:

Beer Recommendation: Electric Squeeze Hazy IPA

Best Hoptastic Breweries in Wilmington, NC - FlyTrap Brewing

FlyTrap Brewing

Named after the famous carnivorous plant native to a 60-mile radius around Wilmington, this popular microbrewery is known for its serene beer garden, regular music events, artisan markets, and hoppy Tripel with a clean finish.

The all-American FlyTrap Brewing in downtown Wilmington produces various styles of American and Belgian ales and offers a select list of wines and ciders to satisfy everyone’s taste buds.

Location details:

Beer Recommendation: Hoppy Tripel

Best Hoptastic Breweries in Wilmington, NC - Front street brewery

Front street brewery

Your Wilmington brewery tour would be incomplete without a quick stop at the city’s original craft brewery. This 27-year-old brewery-cum-restaurant is bound to leave you asking for more.

As Wilmington’s original craft brewery, Front Street Brewery has long been a staple watering hole that offers house-brewed craft beers alongside a wide array of delicious food. The brewery is perfect for hosting corporate and private events, as well as engagement and birthday parties, with a guest capacity of 80 and 120 for cocktail parties.

Their famous Pulled Chicken Nachos are a must-try, along with their best-selling flagship beer, Port City IPA!

Location details:

Beer Recommendation: Port City IPA

Best Hoptastic Breweries in Wilmington, NC - Edward Teach Brewery

Edward Teach Brewery

To finish the list of best breweries in Wilmington is a pirate-themed brewery that brings a wave of uniqueness and rich flavors to the Wilmington brewery scene. Edward Teach Brewery pays homage to the infamous pirate, Blackbeard, also known as Edward Teach.

Sip on their refreshing peach-flavored wheat beer and Teach’s Peaches as you explore the pirate-themed interiors decorated with hanging lights, giving guests the feeling of being at sea, large windows, and a curved bar.

There’s also an outdoor beer garden where guests can relax on the comfy chairs and enjoy the Wilmington sunshine!

Location details:

Beer Recommendation: Teach’s Peaches

Expert tip

If there’s one thing you should definitely see apart from the amazing breweries in Wilmington – it’s the USS North Carolina Battleship.

It’s an iconic symbol of Wilmington and a witness to some of the most important moments during World War II. What makes it special is that it was one of the fastest and most powerful warships during that time and featured in every major naval offensive operation.

As a visitor, you have the chance to tour the ship and witness the living quarters of the crew, their combat information center with old-age computers, climb inside gun turrets, and much more. It’s a unique, immersive experience into a significant piece of US military history for all the family.


Which brewery offers brewing demonstrations?

Wilmington Brewing Company conducts brewing demonstrations for craft beer enthusiasts to watch the entire brewing process.

What are some award-winning breweries located in Wilmington?

Wilmington Brewing Company conducts brewing demonstrations for craft beer enthusiasts to watch the entire brewing process.

What local ingredients do Wilmington breweries use in their beer production?

Many breweries in Wilmington source local ingredients to support their community and enhance the unique flavors of their brews. Ingredients like grains of barley and wheat, various types of locally grown hops, and even locally harvested honey.

Related Articles

If you’re feeling inspired to extend your brewery tour, do check out the brew scene in other North Carolina cities covered in our articles on the Best Breweries in Fayetteville, the Best Breweries in Raleigh, and the Best Breweries in Greensboro.

Wrapping Up – Best Breweries in Wilmington, NC

That’s it for this episode on the best breweries around America. Wilmington is certainly worth the journey to explore these amazing breweries and taste their delightful offerings. We’d love to hear about your experiences and favorite brews from your visit to Wilmington’s brew scene.

Rate this post

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *