Let’s face it, not everyone likes to go wine tasting. If you’re a beer drinker, for example, there’s a good possibility that wine just isn’t for you. Now . . . if only someone would just invent beer tastings.
You’re in luck! It’s doubtful this was invented on the Outer Banks, but a few local businesses that are always on the lookout to garner more customers, are offering beer tasting, three of which, are brewing their own beer. To participate in this tour, we’ll start in the south and work our way north.
If there is such a thing as a real downtown on the Outer Banks it’s Manteo. It’s a truly picturesque little town that sits on the Roanoke Sound and at the busiest intersection you’ll find the Full Moon Cafe. This café has wonderful food, an outdoor bar and the specialty beers of owner, Paul Charon. Five 5-ounce flights are offered for tasting and Paul brews everything from classic lagers to massive IPAs.
To proceed on this Outer Banks Microbrew tour, head north and look for the wind turbine in Kill Devil Hills to the west of the bypass. The Outer Banks Brewing Station is probably the best known of the Outer Banks brew pubs. Generally speaking, there are four to five beers on tap and brew master, Scott Meyer, is always experimenting with new brews. Speaking from personal experience, I’ve never had a bad beer and the food is also very good. As a bonus, the owners Eric Reece and Aubrey Davis are constantly bringing in some great bands. Not too much on the acoustic spectrum, but a truly eclectic range of electronic music.
The beer tasting excursion is going to leave the Outer Banks for a short jog up the road. Just across the Wright Memorial Bridge and heading north to the town of Jarvisburg–about 11 miles — is the Weeping Radish. The oldest microbrewery in North Carolina, this establishment has been serving beer since 1986. Folks who’ve been coming to the Outer Banks for some time will remember they began their operation in Manteo, but as they grew the original location became too small.
Ule Bennewitz has been turning out German style beers since he opened Weeping Radish and the beers tend to have a little bit of hop on the finish, but true to their German roots, are very drinkable. The restaurant also makes some true German style sausage, (personal favorite is the bratwurst) which are created on the premises as well.
In an earlier blog we mentioned two wine bars on the Outer Banks that have wine dispensing machines – which we think is a great concept. Both of them – Chip’s Wine and Beer and Trio – also offer beer tasting. Chip’s, located at the MP6 shopping plaza on the bypass, probably has the largest selection of bottled beers on the Outer Banks. They also keep six beers on tap and offer tasting samplers. The tap beers are always rotated so something new constantly shows up.
Just up the road from Chip’s you’ll find Trio in Kitty Hawk, an establishment that keeps 24 beers on tap at all times. Flights of beer, four 3-ounce pours, are available for tasting. With so many beers available, it’s nice that you, the consumer, get to make your own choices.
Finally, in the town of Duck, Sweet T’s offers free samplers on Friday evenings from 5-7pm. Of all the wine and beer shops on the Outer Banks, this is probably the prettiest setting. Located just off Duck Road and providing a shady front deck and intimate indoor seating, Sweet T’s always has five beers on tap to appeal to every person in your group.