Hip to the Hops
Wilmington’s Hops Supply Co. pours a strong passion into its bar program.
They’re serious about their beer here. At Hops Supply Co., you can not only order a craft beer, but also drink in the knowledge from Hops’ bar staff, who can help you pair your pour with the most complementary fare in flavor, spice and panache.
“We’re always thinking about how each dish will pair with certain types of beer,” says Executive Chef, Rex Horrell of Hops Supply Co. “So when anyone comes into Hops and tells our staff their favorite kind of beer, whether it be a wheat, stout, or IPA, we can help them pair a dish to complete their meal. Or, vice versa.”
Besides their 24 taps of craft beer (10 of these that rotate out fresh from local breweries), the gastropub is also known for its high-end, pub-like food, which ties nicely into Hops’ tagline that combines both: “Locals Know … Crafty Eats, Crafty Drinks.”
“Our chef takes a lot of care into putting together recipes that have bold flavors, and sometimes incorporating beer into the recipe” says Virgil Wade, General Manager of Hops’.
For instance, Hops’ eclectic, homegrown lunch and dinner menus feature “Hopshead Favorite” dishes such as Mac ’n Cheese with Shrimp and Andouille Sausage (stirred in with roasted tomatoes, poblano peppers, jack cheese, parmesan and bread crumbs) and the Fried Chicken and Grits piled over poblano grit cakes and collard greens and topped with smoked ham gravy. And, for starters, put your hands on the Tostada-Style BBQ-Braised Short Rib Nachos heaped with jalapeños, sour cream, jack and cheddar cheeses, pico, black bean corn salsa, green onions and barbecue sauce.
There’s even one creation that changes daily incorporating beer into the preparation.
For brunch on Saturdays and Sundays (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.), in addition to the full menu, choose from these special creations that are each changed by the chef each week to keep your taste buds on their toes: Local Honey Baked French Toast, quiche of the day and waffle of the day.
Or opt for a Liquid Brunch to start the day. Hops muddles wildly inventive cocktails, like the Cucumber Mary (Rain Organics cucumber lime vodka, house-made tomato juice, Old Bay and olives), the Flirtini (champagne, infused vodka, triple sec and pineapple juice), the Spiked Stout (Tröegs Javahead Stout, pinnacle whipped vodka and coffee concentrate) and many more. All of this is served while you’re serenaded by a regular schedule of acoustic artists playing in the bar as part of Hops’ Brunch Unplugged.
The bar program’s creativity flows beyond the kitchen and beer taps each season into the lengthy selection of red and white wines, including a lineup of keg wines on tap, sangrias, spritzers and its collection of craft cocktails, like the Hopsco Mojito, blended with Naked Turtle Rum, sugar, fresh mint, lime and soda; Daddy Issues, a fun, funky mix of Catdaddy Moonshine, pineapple and cranberry juices; and many more.
“Overall, we really have a strong focus on local Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach partners and breweries, staying ahead of the trends and bringing in only the best,” Wade says. “We want to be that place that people can go to, to get a flavor for it all.”
Hops Supply Co.
5400 Oleander Drive, Wilmington
For more info on upcoming beer-themed events and to sign up to be on Hops’ email list, visit HopsSupplyCo.com.
Laura Glantz Photography