17 BEST Breweries in Wilmington, NC to Enjoy a Beer

There are some amazing breweries in Wilmington, NC to enjoy. It may come as a shock to you that North Carolina is home to the largest number of breweries in Southern America!

Wilmington has earned the moniker America’s beeriest beach town (it also has some of the best beaches in North Carolina). Enjoy a cold pint with a side of sea breeze. You can easily walk from one brewery to the next, so it’s an ideal landscape for a craft beer crawl. 

There is a pint to please every palate, and we are here to help you choose your own beer adventure. Below are the best Wilmington breweries.

Best Breweries in Wilmington

Wrightsville Beach Brewery

Wrightsville Beach Brewery is a nice departure from your everyday brewhouse and a great stop after visiting one of the best Wilmington beaches. Situated just a 5 minute drive away from Wrightsville Beach, this Wilmington brewery is dedicated to being stewards for the community and the earth. They aim to educate consumers about environmental impact and donate proceeds to non-profit partners from their rotating Beer of the Month. 

With a 20 barrel system and 40 taps, they are sure to have something for everyone to imbibe under the live oaks in the picturesque beer garden. The Wilmywood Wit is the ideal coastal Carolina brew, light yet hoppy with fresh floral, citrus, and spice notes. 

The menu at this Wilmington beach brewery surprisingly matches the caliber of crafts. Replacing the typical pub grub with gourmet po’ boys and pizzas. Get the best of both worlds with the po’ boy pizza!

Edward Teach Brewing

Located in a renovated firehouse over 100 years old, this downtown Wilmington brewery gives a nod to the most infamous pirate who frequented the Carolina coast, Blackbeard, whose real name was Edward Teach. Settled in the Brooklyn Arts District, the ship-shaped space has whimsy to spare. 

Steeped in the nautical history of the area, this is a fun and funky way to enjoy Wilmington and a delicious cold one all at once. They offer a slightly smaller selection but each pint pulled is perfection. 

They serve five staple brews, including the clean and crisp Scallywag Session IPA and the Black Spot Black Lager. It’s definitely one of the more unique Cape Fear craft destinations we know and love. 

Front Street Brewery

This is Wilmington’s original brewery and it’s also a fantastic Wilmington restaurant, making its start in 1995 and creating craveable craft concoctions ever since. It’s become quite the pillar of the Wilmington beer community. The brewmaster is a skilled beer savant by any measure, this is reflected in their five year-round flagships, specialty seasonals, and oak-aged series. 

It’s a great spot to get a flight to try a taste from several taps. The Coastal Kolsch is a fan favorite staple, and the Papa Don’t Peach Sour and Java the Hut Porter are some of their sweetest seasonals. They offer free tours with tastings to give a peek into their impressive microbrew process. 

It’s also open late and serves a full menu. They have extensive offerings of all the classic Carolina cuisines. 

Flytrap Brewing

Located in the historic downtown district, this microbrewery is a unique treat for the taste buds. The owner began by home brewing in his garage, and creates balanced beers full of flavor. It’s named after the official state carnivorous plant, the Venus Flytap, and their beers are bringing just as much bite. 

Incidentally, the only native habitat of the Venus Flytrap in the world is close to Wilmington, so you can add that to the list of special attributes of the city. They aim to educate their patrons on the plant and how to best protect it. 

Flytrap focuses on American and Belgian Ales; feel free to order a full or half pour to maximize your beer choices. Everything is small batch, ensuring freshness every day. 

The interior is adorned with rotating exhibitions of work from local artists, creating a familiar and funky feel. The beer garden is a charming and serene setting to relax with a pint and hear some local live bands perform. Check their events calendar for all regular Pints for a Purpose happenings. The food truck on-site serves up tasty bites to complement your microbrew. 

Waterman’s Brewing

If you are heading to Wrightsville Beach make sure to stop at Waterman’s Brewing. Just off of Eastwood Road is this wonderful brewery in Wilmington. They have a revitalized beer selection with awesome brews like Lil’ A’s Juicy IPA and the Citrus Samurai.

They also have a great brunch menu on weekends and a lively dinner menu where you can try their amazing tacos and burgers.

Ironclad Brewing

Set in a revitalized historic building from the 1920s, this Wilmington brewery, and very popular event space, is named for the class of ships hand-forged in Wilmington during the Civil War. As much as possible was preserved or reused from the renovation, and the brick walls remained intact, keeping the original charm of the establishment. 

The open beamed spacious setting feels bright and airy. Their beer roster runs the gambit, in addition to the other brewed beverages available, such as kombucha and hard seltzers. The Navigator Double Bock and Smoked Honey Lager are sure to bring a smile to any beer lovers face.  

New Anthem Beer Project

If you’re afraid of flavor, New Anthem is not for you. Gearing toward the hop heavy and dark end of the beer spectrum, New Anthem loves to push the brewing boundaries.

It’s the perfect craft draft hotspot for any aficionado who appreciates a nuanced shift in a beer, as they are constantly evolving and perfecting their efforts. 

It’s a laid-back atmosphere, great for a low-key catch up with friends or some quality alone time cozied up with a pint. With names reflecting popular pop culture phrases, such as Throwing Shade or Hold My Beer, this brewery takes inspiration from traditional tendencies and newer styles, where nothing is off limits. They are always fermenting something funky over at New Anthem. 

Flying Machine Brewing Company

Flying Machine is an expansive paradise for beverage lovers. It’s almost 17,000 square feet, with two floors, a gaming area, 22 taps, and a spacious outdoor patio. The beers are brewed with innovation in mind. 

They blend the old world with the new age through creative and traditional techniques, making a diverse arsenal of yeast-driven delights. Through mixed culture fermentation, they put out everything from sweet stouts to hazy IPAs to pale ales. 

Flying Machine also has a barrel and sour program as well as an in-house coffee program with Counter Culture. If you’re feeling adventurous try the frozen sour Oops, All Raspberries or their peanut butter jelly beer Bag Lunch. If you’re searching for something more simple and just as scrumptious go for the Plane Arms Helles or the Dreamy Eyes cream ale. 

It’s located right across from the Cross City Trail, so bike, hike, or run on over to Flying Machine for a pint you won’t soon forget. 

Wilmington Brewing Company

Set in the heart of the city, this Wilmington brewery started as a small home brewing operation, and is now serving Charlotte fresh pints in a laid-back and cozy taproom. They offer weekly brewing demonstrations and an on-site homebrew supply shop, to encourage your passion for craft creating. 

There are 15 drafts on tap, always rotating in new and exciting selections, and options for every need—take a pint, growler, crowler, or keg home with you or to the nearby beach. The Tropical Lightning IPA is a crisp classic and the Jalapeno Saison is a surprisingly satisfying seasonal. Tantalize your taste buds with any brew at WBC. 

There are food trucks on the weekends, a quaint outdoor area for sunny sipping and friendly games of cornhole, and feel free to bring a furry friend with you for this refreshing respite. 

Waterline Brewery

breweries in wilmington

Waterline boasts an array of well-balanced beers “brewed under the bridge.” This credo refers to their historic location in a restored warehouse just under the majestic Cape Fear Memorial Bridge. 

Their beer garden is big and beautiful, one of our favorite settings for sipping in the city. Whether you’re in the mood for traditional or experimental, light and refreshing or bold and dark, they’ve got it all on tap. 

With six flagships that span the spectrum, we love the Waterline Kolsch. For a delightful departure from the norm, try the Coffee and Cream Ale. Take a tour of the facility to learn more about their brews and the area’s history. 

Hole up with a pint to catch the sunset over the Cape Fear River, is there even a better way to end the day? They also regularly host live music and events such as farmers’ markets or yoga classes. 

Broomtail Craft Brewery 

breweries in wilmington

On a constant mission to carefully craft the perfect beer, Broomtail is truly one of the best breweries in Wilmington, NC. It’s a warm and friendly taproom, churning out clean lagers and ales with scientific precision.

They use locally harvested yeasts and bacteria to form wild cultures and spontaneous fermentations. The Smashing Grapefruits IPA is a treat to taste, and the Elysium is the stuff of libation legends. 

They use sustainable practices to support the earth and offer its inhabitants the best beer possible. They respect and passionately explore the art form that is brewing in their state-of-the-art facility. 

Their off shoot, the Sour Barn, serves to house their souring and barrel aging production. Sours are actually the oldest type of beer in history, as they are made through a more natural process. The beer garden here is worth a visit, spacious with a gazebo and fire pit; they host food trucks and live music as well. 

Mad Mole Brewing

breweries in wilmington

Brewed by the sun, this is one of the best breweries in Wilmington, and not just for their solar powered set up, which covers the whole seven barrel system. Their 12 taps host a revolving roster of craft creations. They use science and technology to explore the most sustainable ways to brew. 

Mad Mole provides an airy and open atmosphere and sunny beer garden, for a refreshing and comfortable drinking experience. Many of the city’s favorite food truck fares, such as Salty Sistas and Trolly Stop, are dished out here. 

Naming the brews at Mad Mole is the new dream job we never knew we wanted. The Marilyn MonMole Belgian Blonde Ale, the Molesiac Monster IPA, and the Raspberry Molay Kolsch are among the top-notch stand outs for title and taste. 

You can spy the shiny tanks working hard to brew your favorite beverages behind the gleaming mole bar top. Don’t miss a chance to support this hoppy haven and sun powered sanctuary. 

Bill’s Front Porch Pub & Brewery

breweries in wilmington

You’ll feel right at home with a beer in hand at Bill’s. The inside is adorned with recycled wood, creating a cozy cabin feel. They use a seven barrel steam system to brew; take a peek at the exposed tanks while you’re deciding on your draft. 

The selection is varied, with four flagships and an assortment of seasonals. They pack flavor into each pint, for pallet pleasing perfection. The Bizznass in the Front Hoppy Lager is something to write home about, the Wave Break IPA is especially juicy, and the Mankini Sour Blonde made a believer out of us. 

The full menu incorporates the beer into each homemade dish. The fried chicken is famous amongst frequent guests of Bill’s. It’s a fun and friendly atmosphere, the kind that makes you want to stay and order just one more refreshing pint. 

Bill’s invites local artists to perform regularly, so stop by to see who is sharing their skills on stage. Play a game of pinball or settle in to watch what’s on the projector screen. It’s also part of Capt’N Bills, one of the best places to play beach volleyball in all of Wilmington. So a great thing to do in Wilmington is head out for a beer before playing a game in the sand.

Hi-Wire Brewing

breweries in wilmington

New to the craft scene in Wilmington but not North Carolina, this long time Asheville favorite recently opened their fifth branch right in Queen City. They make balanced drafts that are approachable and drinkable daily. They brew in traditional styles but love to experiment in small batches. 

The 21 taps serve up all the staples and specialties. The Hi-Pitch IPA is a popular pick, while the cool and creative Black Pils is just as delicious. The session sour series has amassed quite a following of fruity beer lovers. Try a flight to taste test the taps and find your new favorite brew. 

They pride themselves on cultivating a culture of community and always strive to use local ingredients and local artwork. With a huge warehouse to call home in the Soda Pop District, there is plenty of space for gathering and playing games such as foosball, ping pong, and of course the Carolina classic cornhole.

The atmosphere is vibrant and funky, ideal for a good time with friends and family. This new brewhouse has already made a name for itself as one of the best breweries in Wilmington. 

Good Hops Brewing

breweries in wilmington

Good Hops is not technically a Wilmington brewery, as it’s located in Carolina Beach. However, this awesome brewery to hang out at is just over Snows Cut Bridge. Good Hops has an amazing outdoor space and they are dog friendly!

Besides the beer their main highlight is the small disc golf course – the perfect activity to enjoy at a brewery.

Panacea Brewing Company


Panacea Brewing Company not only has beers on tap but also specializes in craft kombucha brews, a probiotic living beverage.

They sell their brews out of a classic 1975 Volkswagen Westfalia bus, and create an inviting environment for everyone in Wilmington to enjoy on a gorgeous sunny day. Some of the best brews are the Pineapple Hops, Peach Basil, and my all time favorite – Lavender Hops!

If you’re more of a beer person, try their Saisons or Cream Ales! Beyond drinks, Panacea offers some fantastic lunch items like Cauliflower Tacos and a Pimento Burger! If you happen to visit on a Sunday, you’re in for a treat as they have a special brunch from 11-3.

DrumTrout Brewing Company

DrumTrout Brewing Company

DrumTrout is new to the Wilmington breweries scene. Located in Fulton Station on College Road, this unique taproom has inviting elements to make you feel as though you are home as soon as you walk in.

DrumTrout brews small batches that allow them to experiment and create fun seasonal beers. They use a 3 BBL direct fire brewhouse and have just about everything on rotation, including stouts, IPAs, porters, lagers, and sours!

Best Breweries In Wilmington, NC Map


We hope this list of the best breweries in Wilmington helped you decide on the perfect place to grab a cold one. For more travel around the area, see below:

About Natasha

Natasha moved to North Carolina for college years ago (but she's not trying to age herself here). Her days were spent reading a book on the beach and enjoying a cold glass of sweet tea in between classes at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Upon graduation, she met her partner, Cameron, and they traveled the world together crossing 85 countries and seven continents. After, many years of international travel they settled down a bit and launched Lost in the Carolinas to share their experiences about and travel tips on South Carolina and North Carolina.

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