In this day and age, face-to-face conversation seems near extinction. Everyone has cell phones in their hands, wearing ear buds and eyes glued to a screen. But if conversation is on the endangered list, then Broomtail is a refuge, a reserve where conversation is protected and encouraged to thrive. This is a small brewery without a lot of distractions, no loud music or crazy crowds. This taproom has a couple of nooks where you and your friends are further encouraged to interact and the staff here has mastered the art of discussion.
As we craft beer enthusiasts know, nothing helps start good dialog like a good beer. Good craft beer is a favorite topic among my friends and me. At Broomtail, if you’re lucky you will have the pleasure of talking beer with Barry, the owner. Barry is a scientist who has a background in water quality, something he takes seriously when it comes to making good beer. Understanding that all beers are mostly water, Barry believes this is one area of brewing that shouldn’t be overlooked. Quality craft beer starts with quality water.
The Brew Crew and I really enjoyed our visit to the Broomtail Craft Brewing taproom. We quickly found that this establishment is much more than immediately meets the eye. There is a traditional brewery taproom that is the main subject of this review, but it should be noted (and must be visited) that they have a Sour Taproom just down the road called The Sour Barn. Broomtail’s sours are still brewed at the brewery, however they are stored at the Barn. Both taprooms are a lot of fun and will enhance your Wilmington visit.
At the time of our visit, they only had three base beers but they played with these in some unique variations. Our favorite Beers sampled were:
Enkindled Smoked IPA (An IPA base “tweaked”) – One of my favorites of this visit. I really enjoyed the smoky flavor in this beer. Yes, it was very noticeable.
Moe-Beer (A brown ale base “tweaked”) – Aged in Makers Mark barrels, well done. Smooth and loved by half the Brew Crew, but not liked by the other half. This is not unusual, it simply means that while this beer is not for everyone it will have a loyal following.
Smashing Grapefruit Imperial Pale (Pale ale base) – This was a wonderful beer, but a Pale? I really loved this selection. It is a must order at this brewery.
Dark HoRyezon (A brown ale base “heavily tweaked”) – They were calling this a Porter, But, I think this was a variation of the Moe Beer. They added coffee and the color was Darker. I believe this is a brown.
Acerbic Ecstasy IPA (IPA base) – Nice IPA, our hopheads in the crew were in heaven. This was a big hit with everyone. Very complex, it has a lot going on, citrus, pine and earthy notes.
Wilmington has been growing its craft beer community, Broomtail Craft Brewing and the Sour Barn are critical to this beer community. For craft beer fanatics, these are must visit taprooms. Please drop in on your next Wilmington visit and let us know your thoughts.
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