The Best Taproom In Wilmington, NC is The Sour Barn
by Dianna Dames
Located on the outskirts of Wilmington, in a suburb called Ogden, I’ve passed The Sour Barn many times and thought about stopping there. The parking lot is always packed, a variety of food trucks are frequently on hand and I’ve heard nothing but good things. I decided Saint Patrick’s Day was the perfect day to visit.
This venue is separated into three areas: the taproom, a bottle shop and a spacious beer garden. The Sour Barn is best known for their Tuesday night trivia, which is how I first heard about the brewery – though friends who participated. They also have music bingo night on Mondays. Depending on the night, you might catch a live music performance on the patio.
The beer for the Sour Barn is brewed about a mile down the road at Broomtail Craft Brewery. Broomtail is open to the public and offers a place to relax and drink, while the Sour Barn is where the barreling process occurs. As for the beer options, there were four sours, an altbier, four types of ales, a bock, and two stouts. They all ranged from $6 to $12 per glass. They also have an extensive kombucha and Belgium beer collection.
This is the perfect place to try out sour beers if you’re new to this class of ale. Beer that’s sour… sounds strange, right? But here’s the thing. Sour beers are actually the oldest type of beer, and yes, they are an acquired taste. But you can usually find a type of sour beer to fit your palate.
Sours are tart-tasting and made with wild bacteria and yeast, while typical beers are made in sterile environments with specific yeast strains. Wild organisms give sour beers complexity and interesting flavors. Taste-wise sours run the gamut from lip-puckering sour to heavy and musty to fruity and light. Some of the most famous sours come from Belgium, where they’re often aged in oak barrels that let the beer breathe and let microorganisms build communities. The Sour Barn ages their beer in wine barrels from 3 months to 3 years.
My boyfriend opted for the Black Currant. He described it as deliciously tart. What did I order? Well, now might be the time to admit that I’m not a beer drinker. I could never get past that hoppy taste and the bloating! Lucky for me, the Sour Barn offers amazing wine slushies that are less than $5. I ordered the strawberry-peach Sauvignon Blanc slushie, which was purposefully green for the holiday. I am a red wine lover, but this was very easy to sip on and it had a nice kick. There are usually two slushie options per day and they switch out the flavors regularly.
You can also purchase your favorite beverage to go in the Beer and Wine Cave, the Sour Barn’s bottle shop. The Sour Barn is a must-stop location for the craft beer lover in Wilmington.
They are open Monday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 12 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., and Sunday 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.