This brewery opened in 2018 and is one of the most fun breweries I have ever visited. It is quickly becoming a Wilmington favorite.
Mad Mole is a mission-driven brewery that hasn’t lost its sense of humor. The brewery is entirely powered by the sun, sporting a seven-barrel, solar- powered brewery system to make some great beers. The way I figure it, in order to do your part to reduce your carbon footprint and stave off climate change, it is a moral imperative to drink beer at this brewery. Otherwise you might as well go outside and kick a squirrel or bunny because you hate nature. Okay, well, that might be harsh, but this is a brewery with a purpose.
What I love about this place, though, is that even while being good stewards of the environment, they don’t take themselves too seriously. The Mole theme is fully committed. I’ve always complained that few breweries fully commit to their theme but I can have no complaint here. They use the theme in the logo, name of the beers, on the shirts, signage, the bar and even the bathroom door. But, this is more than a cute theme: the bar top has a cartoon-like graphic on it that looks like tunnels. Within in the tunnels is a murder mystery, complete with a dead mole, suspects, clues and weapons. You can solve this murder, naming the assailant and the weapon used. This is about the coolest thing I have found at a brewery! Maybe I’m a sucker for solving cartoon mole crimes.
The brewery is in a flex-space facility, kind of across the street from Wrightsville Beach Brewing. The taproom is bright and open to the brewhouse; an outdoor space is beside the brewery. They don’t serve food and on the day we were there, they didn’t have a food truck, but I’m sure some days they do. The staff was cheerful and enthusiastic. We rolled in with five of us in our brew crew and while we all really liked the place, one of my buddies really took to the beers here.
So, lets talk about the beers. It appears that they favor New England IPAs and Belgian beers. Both styles are great beach brews.
Dearth Mole (Stout) – Besides having a name I can totally nerd out to, this was not the typical chocolate stout we have come to expect. I enjoyed this stout, but I just couldn’t place the taste I got on the finish (maybe tobacco?)
Marilyn MonMole (Belgian Blonde) – This is a good Belgian style beer with a great nose, lots of floral, I really like this beer.
Molevolence (Belgian Strong Ale) – Sweet… very sweet with a raisin and fruit flavor. This is a fun beer to taste.
Tunnel Digger (New England IPA) – This was a fan favorite within our group. We really like this beer. Since our brewery visit, we have had growlers of this beer more than once as one of our brew crew makes regular runs to Wilmington and comes back with more for us to share.
Boston Mole Party (New England IPA) – Known within our group as the “other” NE IPA. That is not to say that some of us don’t prefer this NE over Tunnel Digger. I would say that Tunnel Digger simply has a more passionate fan base among my friends.
If you are a fan of clean air, cute rodents, Belgian beers and/or mystery solving… this is your type of brewery. It is amusing and fun with beer well suited to be drunk on the beach. I look forward to a return visit.
Michael Cole lives in Sanford, NC, and loves great food and beer. He likes all styles of 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