NA1New Anthem Beer Project
116 Dock St
Wilmington, North Carolina
Visited on June 24, 2017

New Anthem Beer Project is one of the many new breweries to have opened in the general vicinity of downtown Wilmington within the past year or so. And as I have found to be the case with nearly all of the others, it’s not stellar.

It’s not bad by any means, but it’s not stellar.

I think my main beef is with the venue itself. It looks pretty awesome as soon as you walk through the rather nondescript white brick facade. It seems like you’re in a small airplane hanger with a ton of old wood and exposed brick. It seems like it’s been well renovated. There’s a big U-shaped bar in the middle with fermentation tanks standing between the two sides.

NA2It looks like it should be pretty awesome. But, at least on the day that I visited, it was dark, dank and musty. That’s a risk you run whenever you put brewing equipment in your actual taproom without any walls or glass to separate the two, especially in a small space. Fermentation requires temperature control, which makes condensation when it gets hot, which makes your bar dank…in a bad way.

So it’s with that gripe that we sat down at the bar on the far side of the front door. We got attention very quickly, but ordering was awkward as we had to stand up and walk to the other end of the bar to see what they had on tap. The only place their beers are listed are on a chalk board that is blocked by the fermentation tanks for anyone sitting on the wrong side of the bar.

Is printing out some 8.5×11 sheets of paper with some descriptions really that hard? Or hanging another board on the other side of the bar?

NA3We eventually got a flight of six beers, and made our way through them. I don’t have a ton to criticize, as I can’t even really recall what we drank, but I suppose that’s a criticism in and of itself. I believe an IPA and Belgian Blond were among my favorites, with a nice showing for an Alt or ESB or something like that.

I will give this place another shot, as I’ve heard good things. Maybe I was just in the wrong mood or something, but I don’t think the beer was necessarily the problem here.

Location: 16
Food: NA
Beer: 17
Service: 17
Overall: 16
Total: 66 (of 80)