SOUTHPORT, NORTH CAROLINA
Settled into a quiet mall with three black steel porch tables and two picnic benches welcoming customers, CHECK SIX BREWING COMPANY gave North Carolina its southernmost brewpub in 2015. Just south of Wilmington in the Cape Fear region of Brunswick County, the family-run business began in 2015.
Inside the epoxy-floored red-brick pub are a constant flow of famous wartime aircraft memorabilia, several hanging propellers, a large Check Six insignia and 2 TV’s. At the 10-stool wood bar are 20-plus tap handles to service a community table, several tables and front-walled counters.
Most of the homemade brews dabbled with stylistically hybridized originality and all were named after fighter pilot’s components and lingo.
For starters on this hazily humid Friday afternoon, August ’17, spritzy moderate-bodied German-styled Broken Prop Pilsner countered lemon-candied sugar wafer sweetness with mild hop astringency.
Just a tad more astringent, Gee Bee Honey Pale Ale brought mild honey-spiced fruiting to the fore over dry-hopped grain malts.
Raw-honeyed orange sourness and a ‘touch of pomegranate’ inundated mild crystal-malted Wendy’s Blonde Ale.
Bustling with rich flavor and a mild coconut adjunct, hybridized Flying Circus Coconut Hefeweizen allowed sour lemon-dropped banana-clove tartness, beechwood-smoked pilsner malting and honeyed Chardonnay tones to coexist (alongside a lemon custard tanginess).
Dewy dry-bodied Mc Elroy’s Irish Red Ale gained a tidy cherry-spiced whimsicality.
Mild peppery heat guided Fox 2 Chipotle Irish Red Ale, a red and orange fruit-spiced medium body with mild earthen hop bittering.
In the same vein, gentle jalapeno peppering heated up lightly pale malted San Philipe Pub Lano Ale.
Dewy English malts gave Hat In The Ring IPA an earthen tone increased by herbal wood-toned hop seepage and countered by tangy grapefruit-orange-pineapple juiciness.
Floral-spiced Aerial Aggression Double IPA let dry-hopped citric juicing take the lead at the mildly bitter finish.
Nutty hop bittering centered Curtiss Jenny Brown Ale, a dry moderation with compost-like dewiness and charred walnut tones.
Nitro-like Wrong Way Corrigan’s Irish Stout brought cola-dried Band-Aid astringency to lemon-wedged black chocolate malting.
Dry cocoa-powdered Flight School Cocoweed Stout gained a light coffee-roasted black chocolate serenity.
Mild milk-creamed chocolate malts gave Dugan’s Chocolate Stout its brownie-fudged Mild Dud/Yoo-Hoo sweetness to contrast wispily astringent hop-charred nuttiness.
Madagascar bourbon vanilla beans led Harley Pope Imperial Porter to its oats-sugared hazelnut center and wood-smoked black chocolate finish.