There has been an explosion of micro-brewers in the Wilmington area over the past year or so and visiting them all looked like a nice little summer project. First stop on the beer trail was Good Hops Brewing on Dow Road in Carolina Beach with my son-in-law Allen.
They have been around for about a year now, longer if you count their affiliation with Lookout Brewing in Western NC. When we stopped by on a Monday afternoon they had four of their own beers on tap, as well as three guest taps.
We sampled all four of their brews and they were all quite good. The smoked ale had a nice taste that almost reminded me of a hint of bacon. I was assured that there was no bacon in it though. The Boardwalk Brown was one of the best brown ales I have tasted. The Pleasure Island Pilsner, and I am not a pilsner fan, was excellent and could make me a convert. It had a nice crisp taste. The Golden Ale was also good.
After introducing myself, and telling them that I was going to write an article, we got a private tour of the facility. I was quite impressed. It was clean and had room for expansion, something they need to do as they are having trouble keeping up with the demand from local restaurants.
The brewery does not sell food, so that allows them to be dog friendly and they are family friendly too. Don't worry, you can bring your own food with you and people have even had a pizza delivery come for them. No distracting televisions here, but they do have board games, a nice outdoor area, and friendly people.
There are even plans to take the back area and turn it into a hall for parties and weddings.
We decided to take home some beer and each bought a quart. I went with the Pilsner and Allen with the Smoked Ale. What they do is charge you for the two pints and add a buck for the mason jar. Cheap since the plisner was only three bucks a pint.
Okay, first stop on the beer trail was a winner. Go there and see for yourself. They have a website for directions and information.