Cheers To Craft Beer


In 2015, Wilmington was on the map as a destination for craft beer lovers. There’s a growing number of breweries popping up all over town, and a healthy list of bars and restaurants offering a rotating selection of locally brewed, seasonal, and hard-to-find beer. Walking tours and pub crawls go to show that there are plenty of folks on the lookout for new and unusual beers to try, and here at Tidal Creek, we’ve got a mighty fine looking beer section sure to intrigue anyone in that crowd.

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Otter Creek Brewing Co., a Vermont based brewery, has some instant eye-catchers. Their beers are cleverly named, with loads of personality in the designs, and a wide range of flavor profiles and levels of drinkability. The brewers want to lead the charge to a  “renaissance of rad, a rebirth of cool–throwing a bit of kind into the kettle whenever possible.” Their laid-back, chill attitude comes across in the brand, and, as if we needed another reason to love them: sustainability is a major priority for them. Their spent hops and yeast are donated to local farmers for use as an alternative fertilizer, and their spent grain feeds local dairy cows. 

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Thomas Creek is another relatively under-the-radar brewery hailing from Greenville, South Carolina. Most of their beers are named with respect to bodies of water or landscapes, and the look and feel of their logo transports you to a cozy, wood-panelled pub, warming up by the fireplace with a nice, refreshing beer after a long day of hiking. Maybe that’s just us, but it sounds nice, right? 

(We’re not crazy, though. The artistry behind label design has more effect on the end product than most drinkers realize.)

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Speaking of being transported, jump on to Bold Rock Hard Cider’s website and you’re instantly greeted by a sweeping shot of the lush, green Blue Ridge Mountains. With locations in Virginia and North Carolina, Bold Rock offers naturally gluten-free hard ciders made from apples grown in the mountains of North Carolina. With options like Carolina Draft and an IPA (India Pressed Apple), Bold Rock appeals to the gluten-intolerant drinker with a craft beer-lover’s heart. 

Large Format Beer

The visual appeal of large format is impressive, with some labels leaving a lot to the imagination, lacking any words or brand name and letting the art of the design speak for itself (Keep reading for a chance to guess the brand of one of these mysterious labels!)

Looks aside, some nice things about buying beer in a big bottle are:

  1. The beer tastes better. The way to drink a beer like this is to open the bottle and pour the beer in to a glass, letting the dynamic bouquet of flavors open up in the air. (There are actually a plethora of different glasses appropriate for beers of different styles, but we won’t geek out to that extent right now.)
  2. You get to share! Pick out a couple of large format brews and play beer taste-tester with a friend. It makes for a fun and romantic date night, especially if you don’t care for wine.
  3. You get to try the craftier craft beers. Smaller batches of a brewery’s more experimental ideas usually end up in large format bottles. 

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Evil Twin Brewing is a good place to start on your foray into large format. Based out of Brooklyn, they have a vast selection, all with unique looks and flavors to suit any taste. The way they describe their beers is sometimes tongue-in-cheek snobbery and sometimes clear passion. For example, of their American Wheat they say, “Inspiration can come from many places. A favorite song or even a favorite cocktail can get the creative juices flowing. Sprinkle in saffron, honey, ginger and lemon. It’ll start you up.” It’s playful; and playing is fun and so is beer, so we’re okay with it.

Now it’s time for what you’ve all been waiting for, the “NAME THAT BEER” game! 

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A simple label. No words. Post-modern, would you say? We say it makes us excited for summer nights on the beach, sharing an IPA (that’s a clue!) with someone we love while the moon rises over the ocean. 

We plan on continuing to find beer that is new, unique, local, and interestingly labeled, so check out our shelves regularly so you don’t miss out on something truly special. And, if you just can’t make up your mind, you can always build your own 6-pack!

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