Beer Tour of Wilmington: Waterline Brewing Company

Y’all, is there anything more exciting than a new brewery opening in town?

If you think there is, feel free to stop reading. You’re probably not going to be that interested in what I have to say.

There’s a new brewery in town! I have been waiting for this day for quite some time. A couple months ago my coworker informed me that her husband was doing some work (he’s a contractor) on a brewery set to open up before the end of the year. I immediately started driving around trying to find it. Okay, not immediately. I waited until work was over.

Walking into the building was a little confusing. We walked into the Art Factory entrance by accident and weaved through aisles of baskets and small handcrafted goods until we found ourselves among a furniture collection. It was there I realized the line between brewery and the Art Factory was very blurred. You might get your beer from the bar and take to a table you’ll consider purchasing. It seems like a great business plan. The more beers sold, the more gifts sold.

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The brewery area is fantastic. Exposed brick walls lead your eye to rough cut pine ceilings and beams. Their colorful, retroWaterline Brewing taps have a fun, upbeat feel anchored at the other end by their sleek, guest tap companions. The bar area is bright and cheerful, offering an atmosphere that lends itself to afternoon drinking rather than a late-night last call destination.

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There’s quite a few tables inside but there’s picnic tables outside for the drinker that prefers sunshine with their beer. With corn hole, kan jam, tables-a-plenty and hopefully more food trucks (loved that 2 Bros Coastal Cuisine!), it’s a pretty good spot to soak in the afternoon sun.

Okay, the most important part. My drinking companions and I were all concerned this would be Ironclad 2.0: beautiful location but lackluster beer. Breathe easy friends. The beer is good. It’s not change your life good, but it is refreshing and tasty. During our time there yesterday, they were offering their Red Ale, Oatmeal Stout, IPA, Pale Ale and Kolsch. The verdict:

The Red Ale is not too hoppy, like “running into an old friend”. (I asked my companion for this description. She may have been a little buzzed.)

Oatmeal Stout was rich without being heavy. It was not sweet and contained a deep roast flavor.

I’d describe the IPA as easy drinking. It was hoppy without being overwhelming and not particularly distinct in hops or notes. Very smooth.

The Pale Ale was also very easy to drink- perhaps a little too easy. It lacked much body or distinction.

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A beautiful, easy to drink IPA

Unfortunately no one at my table tried the Kolsch or the Tripel which was offered later in the day. We were running out of sobriety and needed to call it quits.

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The grand opening was packed and fun for everyone. Live music, food trucks, a beautiful day and cold beer! They could have used a couple extra bartenders but it was their grand opening- would you expect anything less? I look forward to coming back for more!

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