Beer Tour of Wilmington: Copper Penny

Sometimes you have big aspirations of taking an out-of-towner to try the best beer Wilmington can offer. And sometimes a torrential downpour and half-price bottles of wine lead you somewhere very close by- the Copper Penny.

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I have to admit something. I did not think I was going to like this place. From the outside it reminded me of… basically any pub/bar on Sixth Street in Austin, Texas. I don’t mean that it looked like a place that someone would have a bachelorette party at or where trashy frat boys would throw up there. It just looked generic.

I readily admit that I was wrong. The half price wine we bought? Absolutely delicious. The service? Our server checked on us regularly and was very friendly. The atmosphere? Dark and cave like. It was perfect for the non-stop storming outside. The food? We shared spin dip and nachos which was fine although not anything to write home about. It was ample food for a good price. I’ve heard their wings are fantastic so that’ll be next time!

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Overall Copper Penny ranked pretty high in the Beer Tour of Wilmington!

Beer Tour of Wilmington: Wilmington Wine

Um, beer tour got a little confused and ended up a wine night instead. If you’re going to have this happen, Wilmington Wine is the best place for it. You might not see it at first glance. It’s nestled in with all the cutie antique and art stores on Castle St. We stopped by on a Friday just as the free wine tasting began (as it does every Friday). It was pretty packed in the tasting area so we sampled for only a short while before heading to the back porch to drink our wine in the cool shade.

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My favorite part of the wine tasting (other than the free part) is the atmosphere. Everyone is incredibly friendly and chatty in the shop, making room for one another and making suggestions. It felt very welcoming, but when you’re ready to dive into a deep and meaningful conversation with your companions the patio outside is cute and shaded.

This is one of my favorite places to share a bottle of wine. There’s not many places you share a $10 bottle of wine at the establishment. When you bring a friend with you (or more) it is very reasonable.

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This was my second time at Wilmington Wine and I can’t say enough good things about it!

Beer Tour of Wilmington: Goat and Compass

This stop was badly needed. It was after a shockingly bad day at work that we set out for a beer. We went to the nearest place we could.

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From the outside Goat and Compass looks like an English pub. Once inside it seems more like a neighborhood dive bar. I don’t say that in a bad way. It was small, a little dark and very casual. The beer selection told a different story. The draft and canned selection had plenty of local, craft beers. It was more than enough to please all of tastes (some like it light, some like it floral and some like it hoppy!).

Music started about an hour into our visit and was pretty pleasant. It wasn’t loud enough to drown out our conversation but added nicely to the atmosphere. We were too caught up in our work drama to think to check out the outside beer garden but I wouldn’t hesitate to go back to do so next time! Plus Goat and Compass offers open mic nights and a corn hole league in addition to its live music nights so it’s pretty much got something for everyone.

Beer Tour of Wilmington: Palate

Despite a large covered porch, Palate isn’t a destination for rainy days. Nonetheless on a rainy, stormy evening we sat in Palate’s beautiful covered seating area. If you make the same choice, sit away from the windows. That rain is coming in.

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Palate is a gorgeous bottle shop and bar that features a lot of… you guessed it… pallet wood. The outdoor area is nice in the colder days as they crank up the gas fire pits in each seating area. The service is great with patient bartenders who are glad to help you figure out your choice. It’s beer and wine only with a grab-your-own area for bottles and cans. Draft beer and wine are behind the bar. Draft beer is primarily served in goblets rather than pint glasses which makes Palate lose points with me. I realize they’re supposed to be served that way.  I realize they’re typically high in alcohol but I think it’s important to have a few beers intended for the pint glass on tap as well. It takes away from the beer snob feeling and gives the atmosphere more of a “for every palate” feeling (see what I did there?!).

The selection for purchase to take home is also great. It offers a great many choices and it’s convenient location to my work makes it very tempting for the way home.

This may not be my favorite bar in Wilmington but it does make me feel fancy and relaxed which I greatly appreciate. I’ll be sure to be back soon!

Beer Tour of Wilmington: Flytrap Brewing

I love playing tour guide. I’m not saying I’m great at it, but I really enjoy it. Five weeks ago, my department got a Masters level fellow who is working with us for the summer. Being the kind, welcoming souls that we are another coworker and I started taking her to the finest spots in Wilmington…of the drinking variety. Wilmington may be small but it does not lack for watering holes.

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The first stop on the list happened on a sunny day with relatively low humidity so I took us to a place we could sit outside. Flytrap Brewing uses its parking lot for picnic tables rather than parking as well as for food trucks a few nights a week.  We sipped on the Hoppy Tripel (delicious but if your last meal was a few hours ago… one is enough), Gose (tasty with a tiny tinge of sour) and the Saison (new to me and I’ll be back for more!).

Flytrap is hard to beat. The service is always excellent with patient, well-versed bartenders and the atmosphere is simple and welcoming. The artwork is always fresh and different and the beer is too.

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If you’re new to Flytrap try a $5 beer flight on Tuesdays.

Thanks Flytrap!