Cheers to the Beer
Red Hare Brewing Company in Shallotte offers handcrafted beers in a welcoming atmosphere.
You don’t have to be a beer drinker to enjoy Red Hare Brewing Company in Shallotte.
“Breweries are not just about drinking beer,” says Manager Jessica Seipel. “They are also about atmosphere and the community.”
Red Hare offers both at its historic red brick building on Main Street. Since it opened in April 2018, it has also gained a reputation for offering a selection of beers to satisfy every taste. The most popular, Seipel says, is Long Day Lager.
“It’s nice and light and crisp and a good introduction to craft beer,” she says. “I suggest it to get your palate wet and get comfortable with the brand.”
At the same time, Red Hare has a selection of IPAs, stouts and sours. For non-beer drinkers, the brewery offers its brand of root beer and grapefruit soda. “People can bring their kids here, and those are options for them,” Seipel says.
Dogs are welcome at the brewery. Marie and Joe Carini walked in with Riley, a mixed breed rescue. “We’ve been in Brunswick County three weeks, and this is the third time we’ve been here,” Marie says with a laugh.
The couple prefer drinking lagers, and they chose Long Day. “I have the lager because I’m not a beer drinker,” Marie says. “I like a lager,” Joe adds. “I’m not into IPAs.”
Terry and Willis Alston have lived in Shallotte for almost 25 years and prefer dark beers. “Except for the sour, I’ll try anything that they brew,” Terry says. “They’re good. Full bodied.” That day the couple ordered Sticky Stout.
“This is excellent,” Terry says of the chocolate and coffee flavored beer. “This is a great place to stop in for a drink.”
The hospitality is evident as Willis eats a sandwich he brought from a nearby restaurant. Seipel explains that customers are welcome to bring their own food since Red Hare doesn’t serve any, although it schedules food trucks several times a month. Customers can reserve space for a party, and on request Red Hare will arrange catering service.
During off-hours the brewery offers yoga classes with the schedule posted at its website, and on select evenings it has comedy night. Karaoke is every Wednesday evening.
There’s no need for formality here. The decor is simple. Pipes extend down the two-story patched brick walls, and the floor is made of concrete. Picnic tables and metal stools form seating arrangements. The railing upstairs provides a view of the lower level. It also makes visitors aware of the dollar bills stuck to the ceiling. Seipel says a magician started the tradition and told customers how to achieve that feat.
The original Red Hare Brewing is a Marietta, Georgia, microbrewery, so how did it find its way to Shallotte? It happens that North Carolina native Rube McMullan attended University of Georgia and established a career in that state. Eventually, he bought land at Ocean Isle Beach and commuted between the two states.
His daughter-in-law, Stephanie McMullan, who owns Wing and Fish Company, with her husband, Barrett, says Rube knew of Red Hare and made contact with Roger Davis, co-founder of the company. Red Hare is next to Wing and Fish. “They talked for years about bringing it to Shallotte,” she says. “We’re glad they’re here, and we’re glad to bring a brewery to Shallotte.”
Seipel explains that the two locations share a geographic connection. “What makes it special is that Marietta and Shallotte are on the same equatorial plane,” Seipel says.
The company added “34⁰ North Experiment Station” to the Shallotte name, which defines its location on the globe.
The company’s beer that is specific to Shallotte is Soft J, an East Coast IPA. “This is thicker and hoppier,” says beer tender Leanne Berman.
Randy and Susan Walpole of Ocean Isle Beach make Red Hare a regular stop. Randy chose a Soft J and then a Long Day Lager, while Susan drank the SPF 50/50 Grapefruit.
“I like trying different beers,” Randy says. He motions to his glass. “This [Long Day] is still a lager, but not like a traditional one. It has a unique taste.”
Susan adds, “I like coming here because they have an alternative, like the grapefruit. This [place] is very nice, right here on Main Street. It’s local and they do provide varied flavorings.”
The cost of a Red Hare beer runs from $4 for a 10-ounce glass to $8 for a 16-ounce glass. When customers aren’t sure what to order, Seipel asks for their preferences before helping them make a selection. She wants them to feel at home at Red Hare, one of the few breweries in the area.
“There aren’t a lot of breweries in the area,” she says. “People don’t have to go to Wilmington or Myrtle Beach to enjoy good craft beer.”
Want to go?
Red Hare Brewing Company 34°North-Experiment Station
4802 Main Street, Shallotte
(678) 401-0600, ext.4
Open Tuesday through Saturday 1 to 9 pm; Sunday 1 to 7 pm and closed Mondays