Wilmington makes it easy to support local artists and business owners with its diverse selection of local breweries, restaurants and boutique shops selling a variety of unique handcrafted products. Take home a one-of-a-kind piece to remember your fall getaway or share a piece of our coastal city with family and friends back home.
Wilmington’s first craft distillery, End of Days (EOD) Distillery, creates ultra-premium and limited-release spirits like its Port of Entry series featuring vodka, rum and gin or its Castaway Series of barrel-rested rum and gin. Reserve a space in the lounge to enjoy a hand-crafted cocktail, local craft beer or a glass of wine, or make an appointment for a tour and tasting to experience the process from start to finish.
Blue Shark Vodka, the “world’s smoothest vodka” produced right here in Wilmington, has garnered Platinum awards from the international SIP Awards and the San Diego Spirits Festival. The spirit comes in beautiful, hand-blown glass bottles with a small three-dimensional shark perched at the bottom. Recently, Blue Shark Vodka began expanding distribution nationally.Someday, the spirits brand hopes to see the bottle on shelves everywhere. In the meantime, you can sample the locally produced spirits by purchasing Blue Shark Vodka in a local liquor store when visiting the Wilmington area.
Local Favorite Brews
Sip something new at one of Wilmington’s many local breweries. Front Street Brewery, Wilmington’s first restaurant and brewery, serves up delicious bites and craft beer at a great price in the dining room, taproom or on the dog-friendly patio. With 10 beers on draft and a variety of seasonal selections, you’ll find whatever kind of brew you’re craving. Try the Rip Currant Wheat Ale with black currant for something fruity but not too sweet, or sip on the award-winning Amberjack English Ale. You can even take a growler home to enjoy coastal ales after your vacation.
Flying Machine Brewing Company, an enormous yet inviting brewery, has a two-story taproom featuring both an inside seating area and an outside patio bar. While you appreciate the intriguing Steam Punk décor, including a free-standing staircase and parts of flying machines adorning the walls, lighting fixtures and taps, sip on Ink Jet, a double IPA dealing out notes of passionfruit, tangerine and lime, or try Sea of Tranquility, another unique option that blends together five different beers resulting in flavors of green apple and peach with a smooth finish. Take Flying Machine home with you to share with friends by grabbing some of their canned beer on the way out.
Waterline Brewing Co., located in a preserved 1940s warehouse with views of the iconic Cape Fear Memorial Bridge, focuses on six flagship ales. Sample one or all of them on a tour of the taproom that will take you through the historic building. Savor the rich, creamy finish of the Oatmeal Stout, with sweet flavors like dark chocolate and toffee that aren’t usually found in such a dark beer. Experience the essence of Germany with the signature Kölsch, smooth and crisp with the perfect blend of hops and citrus.
Or, embark on the Wilmington Ale Trail to explore all the breweries Wilmington and Beaches has to offer on your next coastal beer-cation.
A Taste of Local Flavors
Noni Bacca, a boutique winery that produces its 70 varieties of wine on-premise, is owned by Toni and Ken Incorvaia. Their knowledge of the trade comes from traditions that have been passed down through generations in their families, with a modern twist. Earning 111 international medals in their 14 years of producing wine, the Incoravaia’s product speaks for itself. Stop by the tasting room to experience their world-class wines for yourself and make sure to take a bottle home.
Founded in Wilmington in 1995, Port City Java now has a dozen locations and two roasting facilities, allowing cafes to serve the freshest coffee from beans roasted just days before. Sip on a fresh cup of joe while munching on one of the baked goods or sandwiches, and get a bag of ground coffee to brew your own Port City Java at home.
Discover aromatic spices from all over the world at the locally owned Cape Fear Spice Merchants. Browse hand-mixed spice blends, oils and vinegars. You’ll also find a collection of more than 185 different loose leaf teas and single-origin, blended and flavored coffees as well as dips, cocktail accouterments and soup stocks.
Handcrafted products make for the most unique and special gifts – whether they’re for you or someone else. Find thoughtful, uncommon and handmade clothes, shoes, jewelry, gifts and accessories crafted by emerging and independent designers at Edge of Urge. The popular one-size-fits-all beverage insulator established in Wilmington, the Freaker, is also sold here. Fitting a variety of drinking vessels from water bottles to wine glasses, the Freaker comes in designs including animals, colleges and comics.
Candles Etc. is an eclectic shop filled with artistic finds and home of The Old Wilmington Candle Company, making 100 percent pure soy candles with no additives on-site. Enjoy the intoxicating scents in-store as you shop, like apple orchard, berries and champagne, Cape Fear breeze, earl gray, hazelnut mocha, key lime splash and so much more.
Browse the selection of handcrafted home goods at Airlie Moon, a locally owned shop with an appreciation for vintage finds that have a story. The boutique offers fine linens, home décor, jewelry, candles and more in its ever-changing curated collection of products.
Shop ‘til you drop at Blue Moon Gift Shops, where over 100 artists, craftsmen and retailers bring their own wares to each unique shop, all under one roof. See the latest in home décor, furniture, art, pottery, women’s accessories, jewelry and lots of local food products.
With so many opportunities to indulge in craft brews and unique shopping opportunities, it’s never been easier to support local businesses in Wilmington.