Ten Carolina Beach businesses will host hundreds of visitors on Nov. 19 for the Carolina Beach Wine & Beer Walk.
The event is back after two years off due to the pandemic and resulting staffing issues that prevented the island’s eateries and drinkeries from hosting. While the curated selection of beer, spirits and wine samples at participating locations is a draw, event organizer David Grace of Cool Wilmington said the highlight of the event is meeting like-minded people.
“It’s not just about going out and drinking. It’s a social gathering,” Grace said. “You’ll meet a lot of new people that day.”
Grace is co-owner of Cool Wilmington, which worked with the Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce to organize the walk.
Participants will check in at the stage at the Carolina Beach Boardwalk between 1 and 3 p.m. on Nov. 19, where event organizers will check IDs in exchange for a wristband and map of stops.
“From there, they head out to the course,” Grace said.
Most of the participating businesses are within half a mile of the boardwalk: Carolina Smokehouse, Crush and Grind, The Dive Food & Spirits, El Cazador, Fork n Cork, Four Hounds Distilling, HopLite Irish Pub and Restaurant, Hurricane Alley’s, Island Beverage and Stoked Restaurant.
To accommodate Four Hounds, which opened its new location earlier this year about a mile from the boardwalk, two golf carts will be used as a shuttle for participants. The golf carts will depart from HopLite and carry patrons about half a mile to Four Hounds and back to HopLite to resume the walking tour.
At each stop, participants must show their wristbands to receive two 2-ounce samples of beer, spirits or wine selected by the venue. With five hours slotted to visit all locations, Grace said participants can pace themselves accordingly.
“You can go as fast as you want, or as slow as you want,” Grace said, adding that participants are encouraged to schedule time for lunch or dinner at one of the stops throughout the afternoon.
Cool Wilmington has organized beer and wine walks in the Wilmington area for more than a decade. Two similar events were held downtown earlier this year. Grace said the organization has refined the event over the years so that it’s now “down to a decent science.”
A key component of a well-run event is a unique starting point for every participant. When participants receive their map at check-in, it designates a first stop of the day, which Grace said ensures that everyone is well-disbursed among the 10 locations.
“We encourage everyone to go to their starting point and then they can go wherever they want,” he said.
Tickets, which cost $16, can be purchased online
. If the event isn’t sold out, tickets can also be purchased at the check-in location on the day of the event.
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