Cape Fear Wine & Beer

Bar, Beer-to-go

139 N Front St
Wilmington, North Carolina, 28401-3944
United States

(910) 763-3377 | map
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Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Ratings by kowala0351:
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Rated by kowala0351 from New York

4.23/5  rDev -7.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Aug 22, 2015
More User Ratings:
Rated: 5 by Bad_Attitude_Brews from South Carolina

May 24, 2019
Rated: 4.75 by Captain69 from Illinois

Jul 11, 2018
Rated: 4.75 by Beerbuddha from Florida

Dec 29, 2017
Rated: 4.3 by George1005 from Connecticut

Aug 06, 2016
Rated: 4.88 by Ryan15237 from Pennsylvania

Aug 03, 2016
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Reviewed by Gyranthir from Illinois

4.78/5  rDev +4.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5
Tons of beer on tap, some growler service available. It's setup like a bar but it is also a bottle shop. The bartender was super nice and asked us where we were from and what we were after. He had 1 can left that he gladly sold us. We asked if he had any special things and he told us not a lot, but was able to provide us with a treat that we hadn't had before. He let us sample anything we were interested in that was on tap, and made suggestions on what we liked and what we were interested in, he also made suggestions on other places to visit and try.

We will be back when we are in the area again.
Jul 25, 2016
Rated: 4.07 by MasterRigger from North Carolina

Jul 13, 2016
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Reviewed by DCgolfpro from Maryland

4.7/5  rDev +2.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5
Vibe - Clean and comfortable with an extremely friendly staff. Felt like it was transplanted from Portland, Oregon

Quality - If it hits distribution, they're going to get it. Prices were good as well

Service - Couldn't ask for anything more

Selection - They do as well as they can. Compared to my home town and surrounding areas, the abv content they're allowed to carry prevents them from getting some stuff, but that's certainly not their fault.

Overall, the only thing that could make this better is if you could see the bottle selection itself instead of a menu. For me personally it feels easier to miss things they have in stock when I'm looking at a menu instead of being able to actually see the selection. I'm not sure that's legal for a beer bar in NC but it would have made me happier.
Sep 19, 2015
Rated: 4.59 by zimm421 from Ohio

Apr 05, 2015
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Reviewed by Brewstradamus from West Virginia

4.86/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5
Great bar with amazing tap/bottle list. I made it on their "beer class" night where you get a draft of their featured beer style and you get to keep the glass. Had some cool bar games- darts, arcade, pool. Despite what it says here you can get beer to-go. I stocked up on some local beers to take home while I was in. The bartender was helpful and nice.
Feb 06, 2015
Rated: 4.79 by karleymilburn from North Carolina

Jan 18, 2015
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Rated by EverettHervey from North Carolina

5/5  rDev +9.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5
A Wilmington staple, don't come for a visit without stopping by. It's not by accident that they get such high ratings.
Dec 30, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by Devil_Doc from Texas

Oct 05, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by Highbury09 from North Carolina

Aug 13, 2014
Rated: 3.5 by Ohiovania from Ohio

Jun 03, 2014
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Reviewed by GJ40 from North Carolina

4.22/5  rDev -7.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4
A truly authentic and impressive beer bar. They offer quite a few on tap and lots more in the bottle. They had a sour promo going on and we got to sample several from Cascade. I also putchased a couple of bottles to take home. Technically it's a bottle shop too but everything's behind the bar so it's not really set up for that. This is a fantastic place and a must stop in historic Wilmington!
May 24, 2014
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Reviewed by Mantooth from North Carolina

4.44/5  rDev -2.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4
Hands down - the best place to grab a beer in Wilmington. It's got that great dive bar vibe that I love, especially when you get to the back and see a stellar lineup of drafts. The bartender was a blast to talk to - every bit the beer geek I am. Killer beer. Killer service. Killer vibe.
May 07, 2014
Rated: 4.75 by kristougher from North Carolina

Mar 27, 2014
Rated: 5 by kvnklingler from Ohio

Feb 10, 2014
Rated: 5 by sonnydeezy from North Carolina

Feb 02, 2014
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Reviewed by Ainjyll from South Carolina

4.69/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4
This was the place where I really cut my teeth on craft beer. Originally located on Water St. (1 block behind their current location) in a place that could best be described as a walk-in closet full of awesome beer and awesome people, since their move to Front St. they've only grown by leaps and bounds. More awesome beers, more awesome people (Yeah, Low Lifes!), more awesome music... if you're anywhere near Wilmington you should definitely stop by and have a few beers.
Jan 21, 2014
Rated: 5 by flipdog0 from North Carolina

Dec 18, 2013
Rated: 1.25 by chippo33 from Vermont

Dec 04, 2013
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Reviewed by northbayrugger from Maryland

4.31/5  rDev -5.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4
Brilliant visited over the Fourth of July holiday ... Everything I wanted that week! Great beer selection, top notch stuff there. Got to finally pull the trigger on some stuff I'd been looking to have. Loads of local stuff and loads of international choosings. Overall brilliant
Oct 03, 2013
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Reviewed by hellhammermario from North Carolina

5/5  rDev +9.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5
What can I say about CFW&B that hasn't already been said? If it were possible, I would just move my things into the bar and live out of there, haha. They ALWAYS have multiple taps worth trying. I have literally never walked into the bar and said "Eh, nothing that cool today." However, when I am not feeling a tap offering, I can choose another new classic from their bottle selection.

I could go on about the righteous tunes they play, or that Godzilla or Cool Hand Luke might be on when I go in, but the bartenders... They're just top damn notch. Megan has been recognized multiple times as THE best bartender in Wilmington, and there's certainly a reason for it! Not to knock Kris, Kelsie, or anyone else working the bar, because they are equally as great at their jobs. When they're not geeking out on beers, they'll make you laugh and just feel among friends.

I will always give my money to Cape Fear whenever I can, and so should you.
Aug 25, 2013
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Reviewed by obiwantedj from North Carolina

4.9/5  rDev +7.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75
I wandered into CFW&B in late 2009 looking for a German beer I had while traveling in Baveria. It was a life changer. Their 19 rotating taps are constantly changing and always interesting.
It's the people that work there that makes the place so enjoyable. They laid-back, friendly and often hilariously funny. But they are all walking encyclopedias of beer knowledge as the cicerone certs on the wall attests. They are not only smart but they love to talk about beer. Most are home brewers. I guess you could say they are passionate about and enjoy sharing that with others. If you add some of my favorite quirky movies and a range of punk music, it's just a cool place to be. In fact I feel beer-thirty time coming on. I'm headed down there now!
Aug 22, 2013
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Reviewed by BeahDrinkah from South Carolina

4.04/5  rDev -11.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5
An afternoon visit, a couple of pours while perusing the beer availability list and tourist info rags. We're listening to punk tunes and hanging out in front of the entrance - a great perch to people-watch from. It's a bit dark inside, but take your time, let your eyes adjust and zero in on your brew of choice - they likely have it!
Aug 16, 2013
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Reviewed by KitesBeer from North Carolina

4/5  rDev -12.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4
Good spot to drink good beer. beers are however pricey as they are in most well established places. the offer mostly draft beer, but do have a small to medium size selection of bottles to take home with ya. overall a good place to drink at! Make sure to sit outside on the back porch overlooking the wilmington harbor!
Jul 29, 2013
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Reviewed by youradhere from Washington

4.78/5  rDev +4.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5
Ambiance is dark wood basement, but in a nice way, punk rock decorates the walls, cold refers with beer to go face you as you sit at the bar. I got to pick out TSOL, Misfits, and DK on the jukebox, with plenty more of the same caliber available. The Young Ones was on TV. Fuck, this is the type of bar I would like to have if I were to do it. Choice of beer was the only thing I dinged the place for, and that goes hand in hand with quality, as to be outstanding in that area you have to seriously blow me away. This place is a must visit, and I didn't feel the least bit bad for dropping 50 bones. Service was top notch, dude behind the counter was knowledgable without it turning into a dick measuring contest to prove your worthiness of being there. I will definitely revisit before I leave, and hope to return again some day!
Apr 11, 2013
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Reviewed by writteninwax from North Carolina

5/5  rDev +9.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5
This place is essentially my "third place" as in , its not home where I sleep, or the office where I work, but its someplace I go to every week and usually 2 or 3 times. The atmostphere is good and always slowly evolving as it should, This location didnt open up all deocrated perfectly, its probably its imperfections and that it sort of grows and changes as the owners add or tinker. When I usually go its not crowded, but it can get really busy later at night and on the weekends for sure. The jukebox is punk and ska and the regulars range from heavily pierced and tatted, to the business man in khakis and ties and regardless of the rest of the atmosphere, its really about three things, the beer, the people and the beer.

The beer is really of good quality, variety and selection is fantastic. Hundreds of bottles and about 20 rotating taps. Unless you are looking for a bud light (which you can only get on April 1st) they probably can find you something to drink you will love. You really just have to go and see...

The people are awesome too, one of the barkeeps was voted best in wilmington and they all really know their stuff about beer and really wine too. They dont have food, but its cool to get pizza or a sub from nearby and eat it there!.

I would just score it a 5 across teh board but im guessing they will just get better as time goes on and I may want to review them again.
Jan 09, 2013
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Reviewed by Onenote81 from North Carolina

4.3/5  rDev -5.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5
Was in town this last weekend and this place was on my "must-stop" list. Went down on Friday afternoon and most of the bar area was full already. Maybe it was the sunny day outside, but this place seemed really dark. The large cooler section behind the bar was a little difficult to see. A huge chalkboard greeted us with all of the taps listed though, so that was nice. Service was friendly and helpful. They carried a great number of bottles in addition to their taps, and from what I hear, you can purchase for carry-out. Very cool. We didn't get anything to go this time, but nice to know we can do that. A great bar for sure, one of the best I have been to in NC.
Apr 03, 2012
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Reviewed by Burnsy22 from North Carolina

4.8/5  rDev +5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5
I've been to Cape Fear Wine and Beer around a half-dozen times since moving to NC. I wish I lived a lot closer to Wilmington so that I could go a lot more.

The first few times my wife and I went to Wilmington, we walked right by the place. The crowd looked a little younger than us, and generally resembled a punk rock rabble. I'm so glad we actually decided to go in. We have been in love with the place ever since.

The bar is beautiful and the beer selection is enough to simultaneously bring on anxiety and joy to most beer lovers and dabblers alike. The selection rotates often, but generally a sampling of most beer types is available even if it isn't your current favorite. On most occasions I walk in looking for my “old standby” and leave with several new favorites.

The vintage looking posters on the walls and dim (yet not too dim) lighting also bring some wonderful atmosphere to the interior. I especially like the poster referencing prohibition in NC as tyranny. This place oozes character with the décor, the staff, and the local crowd.

The best part of the bar is the staff. The bartenders know their beer. Every one of them takes their job seriously and knows the products they sell. At the same time, they are very fun and friendly people. Even though they are extremely knowledgeable, they never come off as beer elitists or talk down to the less knowledgeable. I always feel like I am learning when I go there and am introduced to a new beer. But, it is far more like a good friend suggesting a great beer than a math professor force feeding you advanced calculus while staring down at you over his spectacles.

Even if Wilmington was a backwater ghost town, I would still paddle on down the Cape Fear just to come drink a few rounds at Cape Fear Beer and Wine. I give it my highest recommendation and suggest you stop in for a pint if your in the Wilmington, NC area.
Dec 28, 2011
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Reviewed by VaterRoss from North Carolina

4.7/5  rDev +2.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5
This is quite simply my favorite place to drink in Wilmington.

The atmosphere is great: punk music from the jukebox, wood everywhere (cedar bar!), variety of beer related signage. Brings in a nice mixed crowd that tends to be in late 20s range. Appropriate amount of lighting dim, but not seedy. There is a nice, but somewhat limited section of seating that includes bar-style outdoor seating on the entrance patio and booth-like table for larger groups. Only during peak hours in the summer will you find yourself standing.

Bartenders know what is on tap and in bottles and can make recommendations based on first hand knowledge. They are also friendly, never have I gotten the vibe of beer snobbery. In the summer it can get a bit busy but I've never had problems getting to bar or waiting longer than a few minutes to be served.

There are usually 19 beers on tap and hundreds of bottles in the coolers, did I mention that you can also buy beer to take-away? Selection of draft beer is highly seasonal and always rotating, often daily. Rarely will you see the same beer on draft twice, and I have yet to encounter a stinker. This is not a mega-bar with hundreds on tap and thousands of bottles: the difference is that Cape Fear only has good stuff.

Only negatives I can think of is that the price is a bit more (dollar or two) than other bars in town. I find that the selection, quality bartenders, and awesome atmosphere more than make up for the extra dollar or two you pay per pint. There are no other bars of this caliber in SE NC.
Dec 19, 2011
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Reviewed by Piersendcraftbee from North Carolina

5/5  rDev +9.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5
My girlfriend and I are very frequent customers of Cape Fear Wine & Beer. We really enjoy the selection of beers and the knowledge of the staff is incredible. The staff members are always friendly and willing to offer suggestions when we aren't sure what we want to drink. The various events that take place throughout the week keep us coming back. On Tuesday nights there is trivia where you can win beer. Thursday nights are Randall Infusion night, Lector always has a tasty concoction to try. Sundays are Beer Church, we really love this one. You get to keep the glassware of the featured beer. We have quite a nice collection at home.

Overall Cape Fear is in our opinion the best craft beer bar in Wilmington. Thanks to Maaike, Lector, Chris, Megan, Josh and TC. Keep up the good work guys.
Dec 06, 2011
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Reviewed by SactownChad from California

4.7/5  rDev +2.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5
My wife and I made it a point to stay near Cape Fear Wine and Beer on our recent summer Vacation to North Carolina. Being within stumbling distance we were free to sample the beers and the atmosphere at this wonderful establishment.

The first thing I noticed about CFW&B when compared to our local (Sacramento, CA) tap houses is how dark it is. This I like! I don't want to drink beer in a coffee house or a cafe, I want to drink beer in a bar with punk rock and ska on the jukebox! This is just what you get at CFW&B!

The staff are friendly, knowledgeable and are generous with the tastings. The beer selection is fantastic and always changing. I was introduced to a few beers here that I can't get back in California. They even had more Stone brews than we can get back home, and they are a California brewery!

Favorite beers we tried: Duck Rabbit Milk Stout, Flying Dog "Horn Dog" and Bell's "Two Hearted" which we can't get at all back home.

I can't recommend this place enough. I only wish there were something similar near me!
Sep 19, 2011
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Reviewed by Culturalremedy from North Carolina

4.7/5  rDev +2.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5
Outstanding place. Went on vacation to Wilmington this past weekend and stumbled upon this gem. I'd say close to 20 taps (including mead) and a cask selection as well.

The bottled selection filled two large coolers and they offer a "make your own six pack" carry out. The don't offer everything under the sun, but the selection is wide and varied and you'll always find something new and interesting to try.

The atmosphere is great with plenty of room and great conversation going on. The staff was amazing and knowledgeable. Even remembered our names and favorite beers when we returned the second night.

If you're in Wilmington and you're looking for a place to get your beer fix, this is the best choice.
Aug 08, 2011
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Reviewed by beerslushy from Ohio

4.74/5  rDev +3.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5
A very straight forward craft beer bar. Huge selection of top shelf brews. A few local beers on tap. Old Rasputin on a cask. Lot's of taps and a large bottle selection. Very knowledgeable bar staff. Quite reasonably priced. Three pints and a bottle of water were $14. It make no pretentions about what it is. The atmosphere is strictly beer and wine. I don't believe they even sell BMC. Beer conversations were both interesting and infomative. There's no food and no fancy decorations. Fantastic jukebox if you like old punk and ska. This is a "must try" place if you are in the area.
Jul 01, 2011
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Reviewed by Gootch78 from North Carolina

4.88/5  rDev +6.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5
My wife and I were in Wilmington for the weekend. As we usually do, we surfed Beer Advocate before heading out on the town. When we saw a place with an A+ rating with over 30 reviews, it was a no brainer.

The bar tender, Megan, lit up when she realized were were real beer lovers. She even allowed for a 9 flute sampling (typically a Thursday night thing) and then wrote down all the names of each beer while tending a full bar.

I even found a new favorite summer beer, the Weeping Radish, by Black Radish. Don't forget to buy a mixed sixer of your favorite selections before leaving, their carry out selection of bottles is impressive. Oh, and if you're looking for mead on tap, they even have that too!

Apr 25, 2011
Cape Fear Wine & Beer in Wilmington, NC
Place rating: 4.57 out of 5 with 70 ratings