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Going to college in Asheville (commonly known as “Beer City USA”) inspired young Wilmington natives John and Michelle Savard to begin a homebrew equipment shop that expanded to one of North Carolina’s finest brewpubs by summer 2015.

In a tan 11,000 square-foot industrial building with three barrel system and cozy beergarden, WILMINGTON BREWING COMPANY just began kegging its homemade beers as of my two-hour June ’16 sojourn. Within walking distance of North Carolina-Wilmington University, its family friendly tap room features 15 draughts at the wood-topped aluminum bar, five small tables, various games, childrens’ toys and 32-ounce crowlers to go.

First up, refreshingly dependable Bier Garden Kolsch balanced sweet honeyed malts with orange-dried tartness and lemony sourness

Splendidly balanced Tropical IPA matched floral-perfumed citrus hops to sugar-spiced crystal malts as the fresh-watered medium body gathered tangy grapefruit-peeled lemon, mango, guava and peach illusions above mild resinous pine astringency.

Dried cocoa, black chocolate and sour coffee inundated Damn Good Brown Porter, gaining a walnut-seared hop char to increase its latent molasses-dried cola nuttiness.

Dark-roast coffee and menacing charred hop bittering overwhelmed vanilla bean sweetness for rich Vanilla Coffee Porter.

Creamy Blair’s Breakfast Stout let dark-roast Focal coffee take center stage over soothing chocolate cake and vanilla tones as subtle cappuccino, toffee, hazelnut and espresso illusions wavered.

Here’s more Wilmington Brewing beers yet to be tried: Raspberry Saison; Jalapeno Saison; Beach Banger Session IPA; Midtown Swank Double IPA.

On my next Carolina trip, I will venture to Wilmington’s Dutch Square Industrial Park to peruse Broomtail Craft Brewery and then hit downtown’s Good Vibes and Waterline breweries.