Our Top 10 Favorite Breweries for North Carolina Beer Month

Our Top 10 Favorite Breweries for North Carolina Beer Month

Our Top 10 Favorite Breweries for North Carolina Beer Month

 

Your North Carolina Beer Month Tour Starts Here!

April is North Carolina Beer Month, and dozens of NC breweries are participating in the month-long celebration. What better time to plan a statewide brew tour, right?! North Carolina is exploding with breweries, from the coast to the mountains.

With so many breweries to choose from, the folks organizing NC Beer Month have put together their own lists of beer tour ideas based on location. Here are Our Top 10 Favorite Breweries for North Carolina Beer Month to put on your Beer Tour Map.


Greater Wilmington Area

Our Top 10 Favorite Breweries of North Carolina Beer Month

Front Street Brewery

Address: 9 N Front St, Wilmington, NC 28401

Our Favorite Brew: Tiny Tim’s Christmas Ale (So sad you can only get it once a year)

 

Our Top 10 Favorite Breweries for North Carolina Beer Month

Ironclad Brewery

Address: 115 N 2nd St, Wilmington, NC 28401

Our Favorite Brew: Mango Pineapple Pale Wheat

 

Our Top 10 Favorite Breweries for North Carolina Beer Month

Good Hops Brewing

Address: 811 Harper Avenue, Carolina Beach, NC 28428

Our Favorite Brew: Black Wheat

 

Our Top 10 Favorite Breweries for North Carolina Beer Month

Waterline Brewing Company

Address: 721 Surry Street Wilmington, NC 28401

Our Favorite Brew: Waterline Kölsch

 


Kinston

Mother Earth Brewing

Address: 311 N. Herritage St. Kinston, NC 28501

Our Favorite Brew: Second Wind Pale Ale
Our Top 10 Favorite Breweries for North Carolina Beer Month

 


Raleigh

Our Top 10 Favorite Breweries for North Carolina Beer Month

Natty Greene’s Brewing Company

Address: 505 West Jones Street Raleigh, NC 27603

Our Favorite Brew: Buckshot Amber Ale

 


Mooresville

Lake Norman Brewing Company

Address: 159 Barley Park Lane Unit B Mooresville, North Carolina 28115

Our Favorite Brew: Pontoon Pale Ale
Our Top 10 Favorite Breweries for North Carolina Beer Month

 


Granite Falls

Our Top 10 Favorite Breweries for North Carolina Beer Month

Granite Falls Brewing Company

Address: 47 Duke St, Granite Falls, NC 28630

Our Favorite Brew: Castle Stormer Scottish Ale

 


Ashville

Highland Brewing Co.

Address: 12 Old Charlotte Highway Suite 200, Asheville, NC 28803

Our Favorite Brew: Black Mocha Stout w/ cacao nibs & chipotle peppers
Our Top 10 Favorite Breweries for North Carolina Beer Month

 

Wicked Weed

Address: 147 Coxe Ave. Asheville, NC 28801

Our Favorite Brew: Amorous
Our Top 10 Favorite Breweries for North Carolina Beer Month

 


 

Blog Author - Avatar
 

About the Author

Kellie – Head of Content Creation

Creative Director | Web Designer | Blogger | Sake Enthusiast | Resident Ginger

 

About the Author

Chelsea – Content Curator

Editor | Cocktail Connoisseur | Pinterest Pinner | Social Media Fanatic

Chelsea, cocktail blogger at Brio Smart Life
Heading to the NC Azalea Festival? Be sure to check out these Wilmington Establishments while you're here!

Port City Establishments to Visit During the Azalea Festival

Planning to visit the Port City for the Azalea Festival?

There will be a lot for your to do and see while you are here in the Port City! And if you are of age, Wilmington has a host of Bars and Breweries for you to sample from.

Port City Establishments to Visit During the Azalea Festival

The North Carolina Azalea Festival brings people from far and wide to the City of Wilmington, for a fun packed week of concerts and events. Wilmington wasn’t voted one of the best places to live in North Carolina for nothing. Our bars and breweries can be found from the heart of downtown Wilmington all the way out to Carolina and Wrightsville beaches.

These Port City establishments make great places to visit during the Azalea Festival, especially once you get tired of all the hullabaloo and just want a good drink. Some bars in Wilmington, like the Barbary Coast, have been around since the days Pirates roamed the Port City. We even have a haunted pub crawl for those looking for a spooky story to go along with their pint, and we highly recommend it.

This is in no way going to be an exhaustive list. We’d need a lot more space and time to cover all the amazing establishments we have here in Wilmington. So in the meantime, enjoy this sampling of our favorites that we recommend you go to while you are here for Azalea festival. Cheers to an awesome visit, and don’t forget to tip your bartender!

Downtown

Port City Establishments to Visit During Azalea Festival

Front Street Brewery

Address: 9 N Front St, Wilmington, NC

Specialty Brew to try: World Beer Cup Gold Award-Winning Spring Brew
Specialty Cocktail to try: Buffalo Crush

Located in the heart of Downtown Wilmington, Front Street Brewery, Wilmington’s Original Brewery, has been operating here in the Port City for 21 years. Their World Beer Cup Gold award winning brews, 5 flagship beers and other seasonal selections are sure to tickle your fancy, while taking a break from the Azalea Festivities. If you consider yourself a Whiskey aficionado, Front Street is home to North Carolina’s Largest Whiskey selection, with over 340 premium whiskeys, bourbons and scotches for you to chose from. Enjoy a fantastic lunch, dinner, or late night snack with their full menu available until midnight, and don’t forget to go on the free brewery tours from 3-5 pm. Come celebrate 21 years of brewing excellence at Front Street Brewery this Azalea Festival, you don’t want to miss it.

 

The Copper Penny

Address: 109 Chestnut St, Wilmington, NC

Specialty Cocktail to try: The Penny Pear Mule

Located in historic downtown Wilmington, the Copper Penny is a must go-to establishment while you are here for Azalea Fest. If you aren’t looking to dine on street food at the River Front, the Copper Penny has some of the best affordable food in Wilmington, and boasts an extensive selection of cocktails and beers. Their rotating taps feature Breweries from all over North Carolina, including Good Hops Brewing which we featured down below. Voted Wilmington’s Best Lunch, Best Sports Bar, and Best Waitstaff for seven straight years, the folks down at Copper Penny will take great care of you.

Port City Establishments to Visit During the Azalea Festival

 

Port City Establishments to Visit During the Azalea Festival

The Pour House

Address: 103 Market St, Wilmington, NC

Special Feature: Their Bingo Thursdays 😉

Take the stairs on the corner of Market and Front street, and grab a glass of the downtown-underground at one of Wilmington’s subterranean bars, the Pour House. The Pour House is very laid back, and they like it that way. This is the place you’ll want to hang out after the concerts let out. This basement dive bar has something going on every night, and is home to sex toy bingo Thursdays. The staff is awesome and so are their drinks. They run different specials pretty much daily, so check out their twitter feed. You might get lucky with some $3 Fireball shots, just don’t get too crazy. If you are looking for a cool, laid back place to hangout for the night, head on down to the Pour House.

 

Ironclad Brewery

Address: 115 N 2nd St, Wilmington, NC

Specialty Brew to try: Mango Pineapple Pale Wheat

Take a walk up to North 2nd Street, just around the corner from Chop’s Deli, to try some of Wilmington’s Hand Forged Craft Beer at Ironclad Brewery. Ironclad is a brewery & full bar, serving up craft beer, wine, & spirits in downtown Wilmington. The Ironclad hosts live music and events in its 10,000 square feet historic building, that was built in 1925. They painstakingly worked to restore the space, and kept the interior brick walls and roof intact. Their Mango Pineapple Pale Wheat beer was brewed by all the women that work at Ironclad, as part of International Women’s Day and the Pink Boots Society Big Boots Brew Day. $1 of each pint sold will go to benefit the Pink Boots Society. So if you want to experience some of how Wilmington’s historic district is being renewed, and want to grab a pint of local craft beer, head on down to Ironclad Brewery.

Port City Establishments to Visit During Azalea Festival

 

Port City Establishments to Visit During the Azalea Festival

Blue Post Billiards

Address: 15 S Water St, Wilmington, NC

Special Feature: Awesome Game Room

The inside of this Port City bar has been seen on both TV and Silver Screens, as part of the sets of One Tree Hill and Tammy. Blue Post Billiards is hands down Wilmington’s favorite bar and pool hall. Enjoy a beer or cocktail while you shoot some pool, play some skee-ball, air hockey, darts, and old school video games in the Blue Post’s game room, or why not just hang out with some friend over drinks in the “ally way” that connects the bar from the game room! You can even get your name on the wall by finishing the extensive Beer Club list, it takes a while to complete so you’ll be coming back for more. The Blue Post has something for everyone, and that’s why we locals love it!

 

The Husk

Address: 31 S Front St, Wilmington, NC

Special Feature: Outside Patio Bar

Front street hosts a slue of bars and restaurants, and you’ll find The Husk right on the corner of Front and Dock across from City Limits Saloon. The Husk is pretty popular spot to go to after the Azalea Parade on Saturday. You can even bring your dog inside if they aren’t too busy, or hang out on the outside patio around the back. With a decent selection of craft beer and bar food, The Husk is a place to stop by for a quick beer. Be forewarned, The Husk get’s packed fast, so get there early.

Port City Establishments to Visit During the Azalea Festival

 

The Beaches

Port City Establishments to Visit During the Azalea Festival

22 North

Address: 22 N Lumina Ave, Wrightsville Beach, NC

Specialty Cocktail to try: Berry Blossom Martini

If Wrightsville Beach is more your style, 22 North is the place for you. This bar and restaurant is a bit more upscale compared to some of downtown’s local dive bars. 22 North is home to the Official Drink of the 2007 North Carolina Azalea Festival, the Berry Blossom Martini. 22 North also features 20 signature martinis on their newly expanded drink menu, and a daily menu of eclectic Southern Comfort food. Be sure to give their Moscow Mule a try when you are there, you can’t go wrong with vodka and ginger beer. It’s no wonder the “best kept secret on the beach” has been awarded so many accolades over the years. If you are staying in Wrightsville beach during the Azalea festival, put this spot on your map. Your taste buds will thank you.

 

Good Hops Brewing

Address: 811 Harper Avenue, Carolina Beach, NC

Specialty Brew to try: Black Wheat

Special Feature: Disc Golf Course

Take a drive down to Pleasure Island, to sample some drafts from Carolina Beach’s only Craft Brewery. This newest brewery on the block supplies many of Wilmington and Carolina Beach’s bars and restaurants. Their last stout of the year will be an Imperial Russian stout, which is coming out April 15th. Love disc golf? Thanks to the help of the Pleasure Island Disc Golf Club, Good Hops has a 9-hole disc golf course on the brewery property. Good times and great beer are just a couple of minutes from the Carolina Beach Boardwalk at Good Hops Brewing.

Port City Establishments to Visit During Azalea Festival

 

Port City Establishments to Visit During the Azalea Festival

Jerry Allen’s Sports Bar

Address: 38 N Lumina Ave, Wrightsville Beach, NC

Specialty Cocktail to try: Wrightsville beach tea

Started by UNCW student Jerry Allen in 1995, Jerry Allen’s Sports Bar is a popular spot on Wrightville Beach’s main drag. Jerry Allen’s has an outdoor patio, where you can bring your canine best friend, and sports both Foosball and skee ball machines inside. Anyone up for some Margaritas and Pina Coladas? This beach bar wouldn’t be complete without its frozen drink machines! Famous for their $3 cheeseburgers, their menu is full of sandwiches, Katy’s wings, burgers and other goodies to munch on. They have an assortment of craft beers on tap, and are open until 2 am for all of you night owls. If you want to grab a bite and a drink after coming off the beach, check out Jerry Allen’s.

 

The Fat Pelican

Address: 8 S Lake Park Blvd, Carolina Beach, NC

Special Feature: Large Walk In Cooler

Right near the Carolina Beach Boardwalk, you’ll find the Fat Pelican, Carolina Beach’s favorite dive bar. Ranked one of the top 25 dive bars in America, over the years the Fat Pelican has become a favorite of island locals and vacation goers from all over the country! This establishment lives by the motto ‘Beer is Love,’ with their massive walk in cooler, that sports 350 beers and a selection of wines and non-alcoholic drinks. Come out around back and be a beach bum at ‘Pelican beach,’ where you can enjoy your brew outside with music, fun, and a fire pit. Be sure to check out this unique bar while you are here.

Port City Establishments to Visit During the Azalea Festival

 

There is a lot of merriment to be had in the Port City during Azalea Festival, and we are glad you are here. Keep in mind you can drink smarter and party better by drink responsibly: Assign a designated driver or grab a cab (we have a lot of them here & Uber is available), and always practice drink safety.

We hope you enjoy your trip to our fair city, and come see us again soon.

Blog Author - Avatar
 

About the Author

Kellie – Head of Content Creation

Creative Director | Web Designer | Blogger | Sake Enthusiast | Resident Ginger

 

About the Author

Chelsea – Content Curator

Editor | Cocktail Connoisseur | Pinterest Pinner | Social Media Fanatic

Chelsea, cocktail blogger at Brio Smart Life





What to Drink When You’re Drinking on a Diet

What to Drink When You’re Drinking on a Diet

What to Drink When You’re Drinking on a Diet

 

This warm weather means beach season is finally near!

It also means it’s time to get your body ready to squeeze into your swimsuits from last year. The best way to shed those winter pounds is to cut alcohol out of your diet…which if you’re anything like us, it is one of the saddest things to do. While drinking on a diet might seem like a fantasy, when done in moderation with a healthy diet and exercise, it is possible to splurge on a cocktail now and then. If you want to lose weight, but not cut out your favorite after work and weekend activity, we’ve put together a list of drinks you can still have when you’re drinking on a diet. After trying these tasty libations, all 170 calories or less, water and fruit will be your new go to mixers!


Drinking on a Diet: At the bar

 

Vodka and Water

Calories: 64

If you’re not a fan of drinking your liquor on the rocks, add in some water or Seltzer water. It helps cut down the burn from the alcohol, making it easier to drink. The great part is that there are only 64 calories in a single serving of vodka and 0 calories in water/Seltzer water – meaning you can have way more of these drinks versus a sugary cocktail. The water also helps hydrate you, to cut down the hangover pains the next day. This isn’t the tastiest drink, but squeeze in some added flavor with a lime wedge to make it more enjoyable.

 

Craft Beer

Calories: 81 – 150

Craft beer is all the rage right now. While most craft beers are high in alcohol and calories we found a few that are still tasty but not packed with all those calories.

Evil twin brewing Bikini beer– subtle hints of candied fruit and citrus, 81 calories

Boulevard Brewing Co, Pop Up IPA– one of the lowest calorie IPA’s you’ll find out there, notes of grapefruit, orange and pine needles, 139 calories

Harpoon Summer Beer– 148 calories, honeysuckle, honey, lemon

Don’t be afraid to ask your bartender if they carry any low calorie craft beers, but having one already in mind might make them like you better on a busy night. There are also plenty of low calorie beer alternatives from well known brands to choose from.

 

Champagne

Calories: 85

What to Drink When You’re Drinking on a Diet

There’s a reason why they call Champagne giggle juice. It’s low in calories, but be forewarned – carbon dioxide in champagne speeds up alcohol absorption, which makes you feel drunker faster. The carbonated bubbles in champagne can also lead to a wicked hangover after a few too many. If you don’t like the taste of champagne on it’s own, you can find low calories juices or fruits to mix it with. Low calorie mimosas for brunch, anyone?

 

Red Wine

Calories: 120

We all know that red wine has heart healthy benefits. But did you know it could help you lose weight? A new study from the Journal of Biological Chemistry found that a compound found in red wine can actually block the growth of fat cells. Red wine can range in calories by alcohol volume, so we found two that you might care to sample out at the wine bar:

Light Alcohol (under 13.5% ABV)
Cupcake Vineyards Chianti – 111 calories

High Alcohol (over 13.5% ABV)
Yellow Tail Shiraz – 120 calories

Wine can still be your best friend while you’re on a diet. Everything with moderation as they say.

 

Whiskey Ginger

Calories: 109

Whiskey drinkers rejoice! You don’t have to give up your favorite spirits just yet. Whiskey and ginger ale is a tasty classic cocktail – that also happens to be low in calories. Remember not all whiskeys are made equal in terms of taste, and be careful of ginger ales that have high sugar content. Zevia and Honest Fizz Organic Golden Ginger Ales are great low-calorie ginger ale options to use to make this cocktail.

 

Drinking on a Diet: At Home

 

Coconut Margarita

Calories: 100
via My Crazy Good Life

Did you know most margaritas have around 500 calories?! That will definitely make you reconsider having margarita Monday’s every week. Thankfully we found one that is only 100 calories and is just as tasty, so you won’t be feeling guilty Tuesday morning’s anymore!

 

Strawberry Mojito

Calories: 80
via Everyday Health

What to Drink When You’re Drinking on a Diet

Mojitos are perfect for sipping on, on a hot spring day. The trick to this homemade Mojito is using fruits to sweeten the cocktail instead of sugary syrups. If you want to make this drink a little stronger, we recommend cutting the amount of club soda in half. This cocktail recipe call for a lot of extra lime, so you might want to experiment with it a bit.

 

Pina Colada Cooler

Calories: 165
via fitness magazine

Everyone loves a good Pina Colada on vacation or laying by the pool. Unfortunately Pina Colada’s are one of the highest caloric drinks you can get with about 640 calories in them!! With those calories you might as well be eating a Quarter Pounder from McDonalds! No one wants to reach their caloric limit in one drink so we found an alternative with only 165 calories in them.

 

Cucumber Cooler Cocktail

Calories: 116.5
via Minimalist Baker

This refreshing cocktails tastes like a sophisticated limeade, and is low in calories. Cucumbers and mint are used in detox waters to flush out toxins. They act in the same fashion in this cocktail by adding hydration back into your system, and adding a spa water like effect. If you like gin and tonics you are going to love this cocktail.

 

White Wine Spritzer

Calories: 75
via Weary Chef

This white wine spritzer is a delicious bubbly combination of white wine, seltzer, and berries. You can sip on these all day without the guilt. This cocktail is easy on both your waist line and your wallet for when you’re drinking on a diet.

 

Chelsea, cocktail blogger at Brio Smart Life
 

About the Author

Chelsea – Content Curator

Editor | Cocktail Connoisseur | Pinterest Pinner | Social Media Fanatic

 






Top 5 Munchies to Prevent Hangovers

Top 5 Munchies To Prevent Hangovers

Hangovers don’t make for such a great weekend

Everyone loves going out on the weekend and having a good time with their friends, but the next day…is usually not so enjoyable. We’ve all been there. Saturday and Sunday mornings spent in bed or on the couch with a pounding headache, while trying not to throw up from the night before. Next thing you know you’ve wasted your whole weekend and didn’t get all those things done you needed to do.

We’ve come up with a list of foods to eat before you start drinking, to help with those hangover woes and hopefully make your weekends a little more enjoyable. From full cooked meals to easy grab and go foods, these munchies are helpful in preventing that hangover.


Top 5 Munchies To Prevent Hangovers

 

1.) Asian Pear Juice

Top 5 Munchies To Prevent Hangovers

Asian pear celery juice with ginger and mint via recipe renovator

According to a study by Australian researchers, if you drink Korean pear juice before the consumption of alcohol, you will experience a less severe hangover. Professor Manny Noakes, the lead researcher on the study, says, “It appears that the factors in Korean pears act on the key enzymes involved in alcohol metabolism … In particular, reductions were seen in blood acetaldehyde levels, the toxic metabolic thought to be responsible for the hangover symptoms, with pear juice consumption.” About 7.4 ounces of the juice can reduce side effects of drinking up to 20%, such as headaches, memory loss, concentration, nausea, and sensitivity to light.

 

2.) Green Vegetables

Top 5 Munchies To Prevent Hangovers
Ultimate Anti-Hangover Green Smoothie via Mind Body Green

This smoothie is a combination of cucumber, avocado, spinach/kale, lemon and ginger which help to promote alkalinity in the body, hydrate you, and flush out any toxins lingering in your body. Alcohol toxins build up in your system cause hangovers. This smoothie is packed with b vitamins and electrolytes that help lessen headaches the next day, this combination of greens and digestives help to calm and nourish an upset digestive system. While anything green might not look the least bit appetizing to most, this smoothie recipe is surprisingly good.

 

3.) Lean Proteins

Top 5 Munchies To Prevent Hangovers
Caprese Chicken & Roasted Broccoli via HelloHealthy

Proteins are the building blocks of your hangover cure. They take longer to digest, giving your liver enough time to recover from those 5 shots you just took. Proteins break down into individual amino acids – the substance that helps detoxify your liver. Alcohol reduces the amount of amino acids in your system, which will make you feel like crud. Eating lean proteins before drinking slows down the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream, and eating them after helps your body recover from amino-acid depletion caused by drinking. This recipe for Caprese Chicken is a great source of protein, with the added benefit of antioxidants supplied by leafy greens, and delicious cheese.

 

 

4.) Almonds

Almonds are a great portable snack, as well as a preventative hangover cure. Some people say that the Native Americans ate almonds before long nights of drinking to prevent hangovers. Whether or not that’s true, almonds are packed with proteins that help level your blood sugar and are high in Vitamin E and fats that support the liver. If you like dark chocolate, almonds covered in dark chocolate and sea salt is a delicious snack. Dark Chocolate promotes cardiovascular health by improving blood flow to your heart and brain and decreasing inflammation. It also helps replenish magnesium levels that are depleted while drinking. Dark Chocolate Almonds are incredibly easy to make, will help with your hangover symptoms, and you can keep them in your purse or backpack in a plastic container to munch on at any time.

 

 

If all else fails eat this for breakfast

 

5.) Eggs

Top 5 Munchies To Prevent Hangovers
Bacon-wrapped avocado and poached egg via Food Steez

Eggs are a great source of cysteine and taurine, amino acids that help your liver recover after a heavy night of drinking. They also help to mop up leftover toxins from the alcohol. If you are watching your waistline, egg whites will do just the trick, as they are lower in cholesterol than a whole egg. This recipe for bacon-wrapped avocado and poached egg is a food lovers dream. Packed with double protein, lycopene, antioxidants, and potassium, the Rolling Stone from Estrella’s is so much more than just food porn.

 

 

If you remember: Protein + Hydration + Vitamin B = You should be feeling better soon!

 

Chelsea, cocktail blogger at Brio Smart Life
 

About the Author

Chelsea – Content Curator

Editor | Cocktail Connoisseur | Pinterest Pinner | Social Media Fanatic