We all understand the reference of turning water into wine. The process of tuning air into beer is not as direct and more of a modern marvel than miracle. It wasn’t accomplished with a wave of the hand, but more through months of acquiring permits and approvals by bureaucratic processes. But the fact that the brewing production at this brewery is powered by a windmill (or more accurately a high tech wind turbine) is still unique enough to create wonder. Even without this distinctive attribute, Outer Banks Brewing Station would still be memorable.
After visiting so many breweries, I’ve never found one quite as family friendly as this one. It seems the owner of this establishment understands that Kill Devil Hills is first and foremost a family vacation destination. As a parent, this is a perfect place to take the family for lunch or dinner – where you can enjoy great craft beer and not feel like social services are going to take your kids away.
The beer garden out back is a pleasurable place to sit in the fantastic Outer Banks weather while sampling the craft beers. The outdoor area also boasts a great children’s play area, complete with a pirate ship that gives a nod to the island’s notorious history. You can challenge your friends or family members to a game of corn hole or other outdoor games. Like many breweries, this is a dog-friendly environment and I was told that some days you will find outdoor concerts in this space.
The taproom and dining area is large and open. A lot of natural light provides a pleasant atmosphere. The acoustics were great, the dining area was pretty full at the time of our visit, yet we were able to comfortably have a conversation at our table without feeling the need to raise our voices. In the back area you will find a large bar that is well staffed. The menu is expansive and diverse enough to all but guarantee there is something for every member of your party. My son was excited to find that OBX brewing has a selection of homemade craft sodas on tap. He tried the cream soda and, as an expert on craft soda, he declares this restaurant to have the best craft sodas in North Carolina. Understand that he doesn’t make that kind of declaration lightly. Most of the menu is top shelf pub food. I enjoyed a big flavorful buffalo burger. The service we experienced was excellent; the waitress was very attentive and personable. Just when I thought this was one of those restaurants that brew its own beer, instead of a brewery that serves food, my flight arrived and confirmed that the beer is a priority at this establishment.
I must say this brewery had a large enough selection of quality beers that you are bound to find something you will really enjoy. Some of my favorites were…
Lemongrass Wheat Ale– This was my wife’s favorite here (maybe one of her favorite NC beers). You can’t miss the lemongrass in this beer; a light crisp beer that is a bit tart. On a hot summer day this is a perfect beach beer. I think this beer will appeal to a large number of summer beer fans and my wife is a enthusiast of all things summer. This is the only beer that they can, I believe.
G’Day Mate IPA- This is a very drinkable session style IPA with the typical earthiness you would expect when drinking a beer that is made with Australian hops. This was my choice of beers on the hot day we visited.
Late Game ESB- This year I’ve really gained an appreciation for this English style of beer. I’m really hoping more craft beer drinkers will venture outside of their comfort zone and give this style a try.
Olsch- This Kolsch style beer is this brewery’s best seller. Why wouldn’t it be? It is light and refreshing and has a nice mild pleasant flavor.
Broke Tooth Stout- This is not a heavy stout, but it is very well balanced with a hint of chocolate and a bit of a toasty note.
As we exited Outer Banks Brewing Station, my whole family agreed we would return on our next OBX vacation. I feel certain that the next time you’re on the Outer Banks this would be a wise addition to your visit. Stop by 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. Follow him on Twitter @barbqguy44