Thanks to BEER NC, a complete roundup of North Carolina’s breweries is just a few taps away on your mobile device. This summer, we’re making the experience even more fun with our regional Brewery Adventures series. Find out about some of the best places to explore across the Old North State — and where to grab a cold craft brew afterward — in our monthly roundups.
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Good Hops Brewing
Take a hike along the Flytrap Trail at Carolina Beach State Park and look for the Venus flytrap, a carnivorous plant native to a 60-mile radius around Wilmington. Just be sure to keep your distance — disturbing the delicate plant is a felony in North Carolina. When you’ve finished exploring, walk over to Good Hops, just a stone’s throw from the park entrance, and park yourself beneath a colorful sunshade on the patio. Try the Flip Hop, a hoppy Southern IPA with a dry finish.
1718 Brewing Ocracoke
You won’t find much better red drum fishing than in the waters around Ocracoke Island. Head out and drop a line — with any luck, you’ll catch dinner. Or simply set up an umbrella on the beach for a long day in the sun and sand. In the evening, return to the village and head to 1718 Brewing, the island’s first (and only) craft brewery. Go straight to the upstairs deck for a bird’s-eye view of the island — and the sunset. Settle into an Adirondack chair and chill out with a cold beer. Try the Notorious F.I.G., a wheat beer infused with legendary local figs.
Koi Pond Brewing Company
Spend your day paddling the Tar River Paddle Trail, which has 10 canoe and kayak access locations on more than 20 miles of the Tar River and Stony Creek. Then, take your boat out at the ramp near Sunset Park and take a 20-minute stroll over to Koi Pond Brewing. (For a different perspective of the river, take a scenic detour on the Tar River Trail before doubling back via the Falls Road Bridge.) Head inside the historic 180-year-old millhouse to get your brew before finding a seat on the lawn. Try the VooDoo Haze, a summer-only watermelon witbier.
Outer Banks Brewing Station
Kill Devil Hills
A trip to Jockey’s Ridge State Park in the Outer Banks can feel like you’re on another planet. Or in the Sahara. If you can take the heat, sand-board down the tallest dunes on the East Coast, or fly a kite in perfect conditions atop a mountain of sand. If things get too hot, go to the Roanoke Sound in the southwestern corner of the park, unload your kayak, and get paddling. When you’ve worn yourself out, make the eight-minute drive over to Outer Banks Brewing Station, the first wind-powered brewery in the U.S. (you can even spot the turbines from up on the dunes!), and enjoy nightly live music. Try the Lemongrass Wheat Ale, a zesty, refreshing hefeweizen.
34° North — Experiment Station
Beat the heat by swimming at Ocean Isle Beach. Once you’ve cooled off, try landing some sheepshead fish off the Ocean Isle Beach Pier. Then, wrap up a perfect summer day with a funky craft beer from Red Hare Brewery’s 34° North — Experiment Station in Shallotte, just a 10-minute drive from Ocean Isle Beach. The brewery’s location was chosen because of the area’s unique wild yeast — which means you’ll find some one-of-a-kind beers. Try the SPF 50/50, a citrusy IPA mixed with sparkling tangerine soda. It might even take your mind off your sunburn.