Vacationing at Oak Island or Southport can be quite an adventure. There is so much to do–golfing, kayaking, swimming, fishing, eating great seafood and now visiting an amazing brewery. I’m glad I squeezed a brewery visit into my vacation. Check Six is one of North Carolina’s newest breweries, open only a couple of months this brewery is already producing an outstanding product. Located in an unassuming strip mall, this is truly a hidden gem. When walking in we passed a customer who gave us an unsolicited recommendation to try the IPA, It was at that moment I knew we were in for a treat.
The taproom has an aviation theme as the name (an Air Force term) would imply. The bar is a replica of a old plane wing, and photo and aviation memorabilia are prominent in the taproom. It is a well lit comfortable area with one wall of windows to the outside and another wall of windows that give customers a good view of the stainless steel brew house. The aeronautic decor was noticeable, but not overdone to the point of becoming cheesy or campy.
The day we visited this taproom they were doing a brisk business, but they were well staffed to provide great service to all customers. In fact the staff was friendly, polite, professional and generous with their time to talk about the creations they had on tap. I met the taproom manager, the Master Brewer (whose beers confirm his title is earned) and our very capable server. Everyone was rightfully excited about the business they were helping to create.
Check Six Brewing Company has an impressive selection of beers (nine) especially given they have only been in operation for a couple of months. We had no trouble finding several we enjoyed. As frequent readers know I usually like to only highlight three to four beers I really liked to list in my review; however, I found it easier to write about more beers than to narrow the field.
- Flying Circus Coconut Hefeweizen: A wonderful Wheat Ale perfect for a coastal brewery. It is highly carbonated tropical beer with banana notes and coconut that turns this beer into an island party. In the past I’ve made manly, testosterone driven statements critical of fruit being used to garnish a beer. I will simply say “you will get no complaints from me in regards to this beer”. Well done, Check Six.
- Wendy’s Blonde Ale: A well balanced golden ale. Light, crisp with some nice subtle hops. I like a little more malty flavor, but this is a solid summer beer and a good beer to help beat the heat.
- Hat in The Ring IPA: If your opening a craft brewery it is wise to have a good IPA. Check! This IPA is hoppy enough to get the attention of my hophead friends but has a moderate finish so it can be easily enjoyed by all.
- Brass Ring American Ale: Totally balanced between sweet and bitter this is just a good beer. Just because it is an American ale, don’t mistake this beer for a Budweiser.
- Fox 2: An Irish Ale with a twist. I’m a big fan of Irish Ales. I must say this beer doesn’t fit into the Irish ale mold. It is definitely unusual this beer starts with a malty flavor and ends with a chipotle kick that finishes strong.
I’m looking forward to my next trip to the beach and my next visit to Check Six Brewing Company. I hope you stop in for a pint and share your experience with us.
Michael Cole lives in Sanford, NC, and loves great food and beer. His taste tends to favor malts over hops so he’s an avid fan of ambers and dark beers.