Front Street Brewery

Front Street BreweryFront Street Brewery

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

9 North Front Street
Wilmington, North Carolina, 28401
United States

(910) 251-1935 | map

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Reviews: 40 | Ratings: 72
Photo of logicalparadox
3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.25

Vibe: pretty good mix of a cozy/friendly atmosphere, with open space and lots of fun going on. Plenty of seating. My wife and I went with our 2 year old, who wasn't entirely well-behaved, and it wasn't an issue at all, so I would call it family friendly.

Quality: Meh. I tried all the beers on the menu. The beers range from not very good, to good/OK, to 2 that hit or exceeded the 4 mark. So, I'd call it inconsistent. All the beers were drinkable, but with so much good beer out there mediocre has become a hard sell for me. There were so many other breweries in Wilmington that I wish I would have tried instead. They seem price-focused (blessing, to be sure, but possibly also a sign that they are less concerned with quality). $1.99 mug of the day specials are hard to beat. I'd rather pay more and get better beer and food.

Service: The staff are all young, but very attentive and high energy. Service was very good overall. Our server even hooked me up so that my beer selections cost me less (I ordered custom flights and just ended up getting everything on the menu anyway, whereas she saved me a few bucks by charging me as though I'd purchased the pre-planned flights. Unfortunately, our server didn't seem to really know beer at all.

Food: pub fare. We ordered all apps and just snacked more than ate a proper meal, but that's because nothing else on the menu that was calling out to us. Most of the menu is sandwiches and burgers. Of our appetizer buffet, most everything was fried, but fried well. Pickle chips were good. The fries were nice and crisp, but covered in a fake butter sauce that seemed like the sauce pizza chains give you to dip your bread sticks. The fries did come with a truffled aioli, though, which was nice even though I knew all they did was put a drop or two of truffle oil into premade mayo. The grit cakes were very tasty, and the beer nuggets were a novel item. The pretzel was OK, but I've had better.

Overall, an OK brewpub; but, considering the other local options, I'm amazed they aren't getting out-competed.

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Photo of dvmin98
3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.25 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.25

Right on Front Street (duh). Basically a full blown restaurant with taps of their own beer. Family atmosphere. In fact, three kids were sitting at the bar. Yep. I think they had 12 drafts. Some were good (BA Tripel), most were average, and some horrible (non BA Tripel). Service was good. Beertender let us know where we should visit next. Food was good. Great Cuban sandwich. Overall, an ok place. Food was better than the beer.

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Photo of bigkingken
3.06/5  rDev -17.7%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 2.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3

I wasn’t expecting much when I went into the sole brewery in the beach town of Wilmington, North Carolina, partly because NC’s brewing scene is still developing and partly because, well, it’s a small beach town. And it’s a good thing I wasn’t expecting much, because that’s exactly what I got.
As it was, I was pretty content.

The location is pretty standard for what I’ve come to expect in a small-but-tourist-laden town. With a large number of historic brick buildings to choose from in Wilmington—after all, it is a port city in one of the original colonies—the site was sure to be charming. And it was. Lots of woodwork and unpretencious beer-inspired decorations made for a pleasant atmosphere.

The World Beer Cup awards hanging on the wall didn’t hurt either.

It was crowded on the Saturday evening we stopped in. No surprise there—it’s a family restaurant in a tourist town. There were a few more children running about then I would prefer in a brewery, but then again, there were a few more children running around then I would prefer anywhere. Despite the bustle, the two of us were seated immediately and a beer flight came not long after.

The selection was pretty decent. There were more beers than spots on the flight, so we just started working our way down the list. Nothing jumped out at me, and none of the styles were surprising. The blonde was actually pretty tasty for the style, the IPA had a nice finish, and the amber was, as always, palatable.

By the end we had ordered our food and had a second flight delivered, with all new beers except one. There again weren’t many surprises, except for their recent award-winning spring ale, which definitely lived up to the billing. I don’t usually go in for spring ales, but this one was different somehow. It had depth and layers of flavor rather than just being crisp and refreshing.

The food that came out of the kitchen was pretty on par with the food. It was good, fine and decent, but it lacked a wow factor. I got a classic pulled pork sandwich with barbecue sauce and coleslaw on top with a side of mashed potatoes. The sandwich was on par and the mashers were phenomenal. I don’t even want to know how much butter, cream and salt went into those things. My wife ordered a fried green tomato BLT, with chipotle remoulade on grilled sourdough. By the sound of it, the sandwich should have been heavenly. For whatever reason, it was average.

Despite the large number of customers, I felt pretty well tended. I wish we weren’t stuck at a table amongst a ton of families with small children, but I guess that’s what you sign up for in a tourist town.

In any case, the next time I’m in Wilmington, I might stop in for a single beer, but I won’t be having dinner here.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.94/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Been to this place a handful of times. This has a great feel all around. Outdoor seating in front of the entrance, a long L-shaped bar and downstairs booth seating, and an upstairs with additional table seating. This place can pack it in on the weekends, too. Especially in the summertime, or if there is a major sporting event going on. As far as that goes, there are tvs strewn throughout the establishment, so you can never really land in a seat that will cause you to miss anything. Along with their 10-12 beers on-tap, the Front Street Brewery has become one of the top Whiskey bars in NC. A huge, impressive list of whiskey/bourbon/scotch available here. When seated, the service is tremendous. Friendly, attentive, and prompt. At the bar, I've had mixed reviews. At times, it's been spot on. Other times, I have stood there doing everything in my power to grab the bartender's attention short of throwing a stool through the back mirror, and those times have not been particularly busy. Other than that, I have no complaints. They provide brewery tours, and the brewing equipment is viewable opposite the bar when you walk through. They have beer to go in the form of growlers, as well as the occasional rare bomber release, which have been some damn tasty beers. The food is great! Standard pub fare, but quite a lengthy selection. And there are always specials rotating on food, drinks, and beer. If you find yourself in Wilmington (and you should, it's a great town with a rapidly growing craft beer scene) you should definitely hit this place up!

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Photo of Mantooth
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

If you're in the area - definitely check this place out. It's got a nice old world vibe, lots of wood - neat space. Their brews are solid and the food is good. We stopped by several times on our last vacation to the area and we were always glad we did. Great service too.

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Photo of dlj
3.66/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.75

Oldest brewpub in eastern nc. Food is good, Beer is worth the visit and the bourbon selection is very good, I enjoy there wheat and India pale ale,Worth a visit if you are in the area. They are very active in local issues and the atmosphere is very nice.

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Photo of AmitC
4.28/5  rDev +15.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

A very beautiful location in Wilmington downtown with the riverfront on the back side. I tried their sampler and it was presented and served in a professional manner with the rate beer rating sheet. Excellent and timely service. Do try their beers and visit the place if you are in Wilmington. I went for a walk with my wife after trying the beers and it was a great experience overall. Recommended.

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Photo of dredz_126
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4

I've come here quite a few times and every time I really enjoy it. Never eaten here, but i've seen the food they put out, and it looks very delicious. So far, my favorite beer I've had here so far is the sinful stout. It is actually on of the best beers that I've ever had. The bartenders are knowledgeable about what they serve so that is always a plus! I've also had their scottish beer which was very good, but had a bit of an unappetizing finish.

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Photo of hellhammermario
4.41/5  rDev +18.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.75

Another one of Wilmington's go-to spots, especially if you wanna support local brews! Front Street certainly focuses extensively on both beer and food, but the latter never outweighs the former. From Dram Tree Scottish Ale to Brett the Hitman Tart (Wild Ale), there is certainly a lot of creativity going on in the back of house.

Servers/bartenders are friendly and provide good service, and the brewers provide a brief tour and explanation of the brewing process during weekday afternoons (talk to Kelsie or Kevin about getting the REAL tour!). There's always an interesting one-off or seasonal on tap, so check back in often to see what cool new beer they have!

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Photo of apr3940
4.35/5  rDev +16.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

Great place to sit and enjoy a nice selection of brew. Just wish the seasonal selections didn't run out so quickly. (Good sign for good brews) I love the environment, and always enjoy seeing the beer out front! I would recommend FSB whenever you visit Wilmington!!!

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Photo of BubbaSteve
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

This has fast become one of my favorite places to eat and grab a beer in Wilmington. The food is always excellent, the beers are always delicious and the atmosphere is warm and welcoming. On our most recent trip, I threw caution to the winds and ordered the grilled salmon. I almost never do this in restaurants anymore as you usually end up with dry, tasteless salmon that has probably spent more time in the freezer than in the water. Imagine my surprise when the salmon turned up perfectly grilled, moist and flavorful. I was already feeling pretty good as I had just finished sampling the Bourbon Barrel Porter and was basking in the glow of this beautifully crafted wonder. The fact that my fish was so well-cooked was the frosting on a particularly tasty cake. My wife was enjoying (immensely) a glass of their Coastal Kolsch along with the Brewery's very nicely done take on Texas Barbecued Brisket. Being somewhat of a barbecue afficianado myself, I convinced her that a small sample of the brisket passed from her generously laden plate to mine was in the interest of the entire brisket eating population. Skeptically she handed a frightfully small sample over which I found to be nicely cooked with a rich full smoky flavor.
Emboldened by the successful tasting of that aforementioned porter, the young lady serving us prevailed upon me to dive into one of their beer samplers. This turned out to be a good decision on my part as I was impressed by every beer I tried. I have been a committed beer geek for over 30 years and I have never had so many beers by one brewery that were so consistently outstanding. What a great place!

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Photo of jcran83
5/5  rDev +34.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Great place! this place hands down is exactly what downtown Wilmington needs. wonderful staff that are managed very well. beer taste extremely fresh with lots of flavor. all the beer can be paired with the food extremely well. very pleased with the friendly and knowledge staff including waitstaff and bar staff. feels good to walk into a place and fee welcomed and not overwhelmed or looked down upon when you ask questions about the beers. the brew tours are very informative in a short period of time too.
Thanks guys i will be back!

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Photo of Burnsy22
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

As an eatery, FSB is pretty good. I tend to eat there at least once, every time I visit Wilmington for more than a day. The food is good, the service tends to be pretty solid, and the prices are reasonable (especially the discounted appetizers during happy hour). I recommend the Shepherd's Pie. It is tasty. The Burgers and the pulled pork are pretty good as well.

As a brewery, I haven't been impressed. The beers are all pretty typical, and any time I have been in there, I've never seen anything too adventurous on the menu. In a world where just about every small brewery does an IPA, a Lager, a stout, etc... you really need to stand out. I never thought any of the beers there have stood out among their peers. Don't get me wrong, every beer I've had is good, but not amazing.

If you are in Wilmington, definetely stop in, if nothing else for the food. It is good, and served up at a good price. However, you are probably not going to stick around to drink all night. There are plenty of options for drinking, even micro and craft brews, in several other drinking establishments within walking distance. I would recommend heading over to the Cape Fear Wine and Beer after dinner to imbibe in a truly great selection of Beers.

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Photo of beerslushy
3.03/5  rDev -18.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3

I was anxious to try this place but left disappointed. I found the beers to be very average and the food was mediocre. The service was adequate but not really friendly. The hostess seemed very put out that we wanted a table. It was crowded for a Wednesday afternoon and there was a 20 minute wait for a table. The IPA was decent, but nothing I would make an effort to drink again. None of their other beers were particularly appealing either. They could have been having an off day, but I found other places close by with better beer and food.

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Photo of jophish17
3.2/5  rDev -14%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 2.5

Visited while on vacation recently. I've had a couple growlers from them, but never been here till now.

Front Street has a great location in what was a surprisingly nice little drinking town. There are some tanks up front kinda across from the bar, with plenty of seating (and more up top). It was a weeknight, so it wasn't packed but the crowds were still lively. Smokers occupied the sidewalk out front.

The beer is ok - some styles better than others. Their raspberry hefe and scotish were weak, the kolsch and regular hefe was ok, and I liked their IPA this time around (I did not like it as much from the growler I had last summer). Overall, pretty average brewpub beer if you ask me, some hits and misses alike. I noticed they had some bourbon barrel aged beer available only in growlers, for [gulp] almost $30 a fill.

Food was actually quite disappointing - my bbq sandwich was weak, but I'll chalk that up to the NC style not being my preferred choice. However, my sweet potato fries were inexcusably weak as well. We had a really great, friendly server, which is worth mentioning.

Value was acceptable, and overall, like most brewpubs, I came away enjoying my night, even if neither the food nor beer really impressed me.

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Photo of beer2day
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Located in the middle of downtown Wilmington.

Been going here for the last 12 years or so. Love the bar area. Seating in the front and upper loft is nice. Seating on the upper floor is pretty bad. Noisy and service seems to lack up there. A couple of outside sidewalk tables.

Good selection of drafts, both in quality and quantity. Have had bad luck in going there in terms of getting an IPA, but there Scottish makes up for it.

Very nice selection of apps and lower end entrees. More typical brewpub menu.

Fairly kid friendly, especially upstairs.

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Photo of Klgkenny
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4

When in Wilmington, NC, Front Street Brewery is a must-visit.

The lunch and dinner fare are reasonably priced, better-than-average brewpub food. The crab cakes are great, as are the fried green tomatoes! My wife loved the scottish ale and I love the ipa. We also tried some of the other 8 beers that are on tap. There are four regulars, the ipa, scottish ale, and two others. The other four beers rotate -- organic, belgian, a "dark", and a "german."

The server was knowlegeable and nice. Even my wife liked her, even though she generally dislikes any other females.

Every time we come to wilmington, we make it a point to visit. Actually, my wife makes sure that we go. She suggests it for lunch or dinner every trip. And this trip we've gone twice. I guess I'm just lucky.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5

The m.d.s. sat directly in front of the entry with the copper-clad brewhouse just beyond on the left. Booths lined the right wall with some high tables and chairs along a short wall in center. The copper-topped "L"-shaped bar with its impressive vintage dark wood and mirror back bar ran along the remainder of the right side, culminating with kitchen. A staircase on far left led to an upstairs dining facility. Small bookshelf and benches just aft of brewhouse. Décor had a Victorian feel. Friendly, helpful waitstaff.

Beers: Lumina Lager; IPA (out); Raspberry Wheat; Scottish Ale; Kolsch; Hefeweizen; 80 Schilling; Belgian Brown; Oatmeal Stout.

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Photo of leanne
3.31/5  rDev -11%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 1.5 | selection: 4

Stopped in for a few brews around lunchtime on a Thursday and this place was packed! We stood at the bar (all the chairs were full!) for some time before a table nearby opened and we had a seat. The servers on staff were completely overwhelmed by the number of people and I felt really sorry for them, so I was patient and understanding when it took about 10 minutes for us to get our first round of beers after ordering them.
I had their Oatmeal Stout which was their "brewmaster's choice", meaning it was $1.99 for a mug. The brew itself was good, so I was happy. I also tried their IPA and Lager (tasted from pints others at my table ordered since I didn't want to add to the waitstaff's burden for taste requests) which were both pretty solid beers. When we ordered our second round of beers it took over 20 MINUTES to get them. Despite the lag time, the Scottish Ale I ordered hadn't warmed up any, and was much colder that I'd like. Not sure if it was the temperature, but the Scottish Ale really didn't taste like anything.
This place has a pretty nice selection of beers with several rotating taps throughout the seasons and so I think it's definitely worth a visit, but try to avoid the peak times if you want quality service.

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Photo of Gavage
3.55/5  rDev -4.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 4

Decided to stop in on a Sunday around 1:00 in the afternoon, and the place was a zoo. Every table seemed to be taken and the bar only had two open stools which we took. There are some brewing tanks visible when you first walk in, and there is a second floor with tables. The bar was large and wooden and had about 15 stools.

Sadly there was only one bartender that was working the bar and filling table orders. It took us about 10 minutes to get our initial beer and another 10 to make a food order. The food was good as the lunches we had were tasty and hit the spot.

There were several beers on tap including a lager, stout, porter, scotch ale, 80 schilling, and an IPA. The beers were of decent quality.

This seems to be the place to hit in town for a bite to eat, and the beers are a bonus.

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Photo of russpowell
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I visited this place years ago, so had to revisit since it reopened & I was in the area!

Great old building with tons of character plus some brewania thrown in to boot. Could've done with out the TVs, but they probably make $ for these guys. this place was pretty busy on a Tuesday @ 2PM.

No bad beer here, The Scotch ale was great, the ipa good & the rest not bad at all

The service was pretty stellar, our waitress knew her beer & food on offer & clued us in on the best beer drinking deals, & brought tons of samples (Growlers were cheap, but we passed). Our waitress was pretty cute as were many others, says the old married guy...

An alright selection of beers, 8 total, but nothing mid blowing, the Scotch ale was the star...

Food as great & nice variety, good sea food, better selection than many so called sea-food joints in the area.

Great value for money across the board

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Photo of xhcadamx
3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4

A - Downtown on historic Front St. in Wilmington. Very brewpubsy on the inside. Nice bar and upstairs seating. Family friendly.

Q - The beers that I tried were pretty decent. It's summertime so they seemed to focus on the lighter styles. The IPA was a standout as well as the Scotch Ale.

S - Waiter was very quick and prompt. Very helpful and answered all my questions.

S - I think they had 5 or 6 taps available. Lager, Kolsch, Wheat, IPA, Scotch Ale. I was told they normally have a lot more.

F - had insane deals on appetizers during happy hour and were tasty.

V - reasonably priced. they had a 2 dollar draft everyday which rotated.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.86/5  rDev +3.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

I stopped by here about two or three years ago and the place was closed down. I guess they have re-opened. Large, straight bar on the right with a rather narrow walking area. Upstairs access to the back above the kitchen. Fairly small place but cozy and welcoming. Had a chocolate porter for $2 which is unbeatable. They had about 8 beers on tap with a wide range in styles. Porter, IPA, Dubbel, wheat, Pilsner, Amber, American Lager, and maybe one other. The service was okay but the servers and bartender were all hot. Easy on the eyes usually translates to easy on the wallett. I would certainly revisit.

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Photo of mechamifune
3.83/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Probably my second favorite brewpub in NC, behind foothills.

Very nice atmosphere upon entry, place has always been pretty full on all three of my visits there, which helps with the ambiance. The place has a very intimate feel without really feeling cramped.

Waitstaff has always been attentive and pleasant, though at the same time has never really blown me away in terms of attitude or knowledge of the product. Still, nothing to complain about.

Food is very good, with the menu being far more on the "restaurant" side of things than pub food.

The beer itself is at times the biggest stumbling block for the place. In total i've probably tried about 15 different beers there, and not a single one of them has ever made me think, "better remember to order this one again next time i visit".

To be fair, i've also never had anything that was outright bad. I couldn't say that the quality of beer detracts from the experience, but it doesn't add to it in the way i'd hope it would.

Still, i would highly recommend stopping in if you're in Wilmington, as a visit to front st is always one of the highlights of my visits there. They also seem to turn over beers often as well and have always had a relatively large amount available on tap, so there might be some better stuff there right now than what i remember.

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Photo of Bung
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

Good location in downtown Wilmington. "Woody" interior. The place was busy for lunch and dinner. 8 on tap, wish they would have had more, but I always wish they have everything I see on the website. Brought a growler of the scotch ale home. Beers were solid enough. I would have given the service a 4, but one bartender was knowledgeable, the other was not. The knowledgeable one was quite pleasant and attentive, wile the other was just loaded with personality.(sarcasm) Wilmington seems like it has a lot of restaurant competition, so they have to be descent. Did not eat but the place was full of people that were. Had a few television and some touch screen games for later hours. Worth trying out.

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Front Street Brewery in Wilmington, NC
3.71 out of 5 based on 272 ratings.
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