Makai Brewing Company | Life In Brunswick County


Inside a bright yellow aluminum shack at a corner of Route 17 in Ocean Isle Beach twenty miles north of Myrtle Beach, MAKAI BREWING COMPANY began its journey in 2017. After homebrewing for 40 years and running a local brew club, entrepreneurial zymurgist Jim Hill decided to ply his talents towards crafting some of the smoothest, soft-toned, easygoing suds for Carolina’s summertime beachgoers.

A wood-boarded sea mascot helps bring a Hawaiian feel to Makai, a sparsely furnished pub with 10-seat lacquered wood serving station in the back servicing the concrete-floored interior. There are strewn wood community tables and a carpeted leather-couched section opposing the glass-enclosed brew tanks and an outdoor side deck provides further seating.  An electric blackboard lists the current draught selections while board games, foosball and pinball machines activate libating guests.

My wife, dog and I make ourselves comfortable after a full day riding waves at Sunset Beach to try eight sessionable goodies.

A mellow collaboration with Lonerider, soft-tongued Coastal Connection Fruited Gose combined dry oaken cherry, salted lemon lime tartness and candied orange licks above soured white wheat breading.

Mild Berliner Weisse, Strawberry Rhubarb Temptress, let lemon-candied strawberry tartness pick up wispy kiwi, rhubarb and celery snips.

Soft lemon-limed pineapple, grapefruit and clementine tanginess relegated grassy-hopped NEIPA, Kamanawnal’ya, a brisk tropical moderation.

Perfumed citrus sweetness and mild herbal hop bitterness guarded dry malted Hoppy Lagerhead, a politely balanced India Pale Lager.

Slightly sharp piney grapefruit-orange bittering settled down for dry West Coast IPA, a tempered medium body.

Dry pine tones caressed dark chocolate malts for Powehi Cascadian, an IPA-based dark ale leaving floral-bound earthen dew and overwhelmed citrus spicing in its wake.

Soothing dark-roast Kona coffee nuttiness and dark chocolate bittering captured Nightingale Coffee Porter, a fine dry mocha sedation setting up Brewers Choice Dry Irish Stout, another mildly hop-charred coffee roasted pleasantry with latent cola-walnut-hazelnut daubs.


Image result for nauti dog brewing


Just south of Greenville in the sleepy rural confines of downtown Winterville, NAUTI DOG BREWING COMPANY opened for biz January 24, 2020. Serving stylishly popular, slightly whimsical beers making use of the region’s natural mineral water, this cozy brick-bound neighborhood pub also serves fine local wines.

Nauti Dog’s ten-seat wood lacquered bar (featuring 12-pus draughts) serves a few right side tables, separate left side space and outdoor patio. A centralized mirror with polka dot-bikini stealin’ Nauti Dog insignia backs the bar. The white ceiling-tiled Edison bulbs light the rustically furnished concrete floored nanobrewery (and 2 TV’s provide sports entertainment).

My wife and I visited July ’21 on the way to Sunset Beach to taste eight shadily straightforward suds.

Lime-rimmed Vienna lager, The Last Girl, brought dried apricot tartness and slight fern-like nuttiness to washed-out dewy rye malting.

Dewy tobacco-leafed mossing crisped amber ale, Chill Out Gary, leaving faded date-fig snips.

Easygoing pale lagered dry body, Rascal Cream Ale, let corn-dried minerality settle below its sour lemon rot swag.

Soft orange-peeled coriander sweetness caressed witbier, Bark At The Moon, overriding its salty herbal spicing.

A whimsical oak-aged beige-hazed gose, Sub-Lime, offered salted lemon-limed zesting to orange-peeled yellow grapefruit tartness and mild agave cologne in offbeat Margarita fashion.

Spiced orange fizz, apple-skinned tannins and pear white tea herbage subtle grazed leafy hop foliage above mild toasted amber graining for Helkamp Irish Red.

Modest grapefruit-peeled orange rind bittering settled alongside grassy pine hop astringency as wispy pineapple-passionfruit-guava-gooseberry souring underscored Lucky 13 IPA.

Vibrant NEIPA, Astro-Nautical Haze, exuded pulpy orange-juiced grapefruit zesting and tangy pineapple-mango salting for its latent piney hop insistence.


Luxurious Rocky Road ice cream knockoff embraces lactose-doused cacao nibs creaming for sweet marshmallow, almond and vanilla adjuncts. Its caramelized chocolate center receives creme brulee, hazelnut coffee, spiced toffee, anise and Amaretto splendor as well as sturdy dried fruiting (black cherry, stewed prune, green raisin and fig) over a Graham Cracker honeyed wheat spine – adding depth to the nutty marshmallow-kissed mocha insistence. A total revelation!



On tap at Capital Craft – East Hanover, well integrated 2020 Imperial Stout fermented with Italian red wine yeast gets barrel aged in bourbon and port for fulsome mocha-bound dessert. Rich dark coffee-chocolate tones seep into sweet red wine insistence to its cookie dough bottom. Wispy anise, blueberry, blackberry, brandy, oaken vanilla and vinous cider illusions stay subtler than tannic port-bourbon wining.

Double Barrel Aged Point of Divergence 2017 - Magnify Brewing Company |  Photos - Untappd