Nothing completes a getaway quite like an experience you can’t recreate anywhere else. In Carolina Beach, there are plenty of unique craft drinks and brews you won’t find elsewhere. Discover island flavors, fresh ingredients, local brewers and ocean views on your next trip to our laidback beach town.
A Side of Ocean Views
What complements a cold drink better than the ocean breeze and breathtaking views? Not much in our opinion. Ocean Grill & Tiki Bar, standing on the remnants of the Center Pier overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, offers brews, wine and craft cocktails. Try a tropical drink like the Mummy with rum, passion fruit, Falernum and lime; the Surfer Rosa crafted with rum, coconut water and guava nectar; or the Suckapunch, featuring a variety of tropical rums and juices with an overproof rum float. Frozen drinks are available seasonally, so make sure to ask your server what’s on the menu.
Featured on PBS and the Food Network, Carolina Smokehouse is known for its hardwood-smoked brisket, pork, ribs, chicken and barbecue sauce, but the family-owned smokehouse also serves up a full menu of craft cocktails paired with exceptional ocean views from its rooftop bar. Try a featured cocktail like the Peached Whale, Mermaid Water or Beach Please as you gaze out over the ocean.
Enjoy two levels of beautiful ocean views at Hurricane Alley’s, an oceanfront bar and grill serving up seafood and light snacks complimented by beachy beverages, local craft brews and microbeers. Whether you dine on the indoor ground-floor bar or on the rooftop deck, you’ll be able to soak in the beautiful views.
Fresh and Unique Cocktails
Check out Salt Fish Restaurant and Tiki Bar for Caribbean-inspired craft cocktails served out of fun Buddha-shaped glasses. Try unique rum-based drinks like the Big Belly Buddha, Blue Ring Octopus or the Two Beaches, featuring flavors like coconut, pineapple, lemongrass, guava and cinnamon. Or, go all out and order the Pineapple Royal, a tropical drink with three different rums served in a whole pineapple.
You’ll taste the freshness in each sip at Soul Flavor Kitchen & Bar, where specialty cocktails are mixed with fresh-squeezed juices and scratch-made syrups and bitters. Whether you’re looking for something fruity, sweet, spicy or unexpected, you’ll find it freshly made at Soul Flavor. Plus, the beer menu features craft brews from the Carolinas.
Four Hounds Distilling, the island’s first distillery, was opened by two best friends and named for their four dogs. Using aroma baskets filled with organic tropical fruits, figs and locally roasted coffee beans, Four Hounds puts a unique twist on barrel-aged rums. Their signature rum, Porch Dog, is aged in French oak barrels, and Sea Level Rum is infused with port wine and vanilla. Stop by to sample the spirits and take some home with you.
To Hop or Not to Hop
That is the question. At Good Hops Brewing, a family-owned and -operated small-batch brewery, there are plenty of brews to discover. Enjoy a flagship beer, like the flavorful easy drinker, Good Hops Pale Ale, or the truly hoppy Southern IPA, Flip Hop IPA, in the dog- and family-friendly outdoor beer garden. On the rotating tap, you may find a seasonal release like the Blood Rose Belgian in Spring or the Georgia on My Mind Peach Jalapeño in June. While you’re there, try your hand at Trinity Disc Golf Course located behind the brewery.
One of the most unique bars on the island is The Fat Pelican, which boasts a gigantic walk-in cooler stocked with more than 350 beers. While you sip, snack on free popcorn and enjoy foosball and arcade games. Just beyond the back door, find “Pelican Beach,” where you can wiggle your toes in the sand as you enjoy your brew.
Escape to Ireland for an afternoon by visiting Hoplite Irish Pub and Restaurant. Enjoy brews originating in Dublin like the Guinness Stout, Harp Lager and Smithwick’s, as well as classic Irish spirits like Jameson Irish Whiskey. Snack on traditional pub fares like fries and burgers or try Irish-inspired favorites like Bangers and Mash, Corned Beef and Cabbage and Shephard’s Pie.
Nearby in Wilmington, embark on the Ale Trail to discover more than 30 unique craft breweries and bottleshops. Sample a Scallywag Session IPA in a pirate-themed brewpub, relax on the dog-friendly patio at the coastal city’s original brewery, sway to live tunes in an outdoor beer garden and more.
No matter what flavors you’re looking for, they’re sure to be fresh and local in Carolina Beach. Get your fix of craft cocktails and brews from talented bartenders and local brewers with the ocean as your backdrop.