Festival at Your Fingertips

by Dec 1, 2023Online Exclusives, Pub Scout, South Brunswick

Shallotte’s only self-pour beer and wine bar, Pour House offers the feeling of a beer festival with the addition of a full bar.

A beer festival has come to Shallotte. And it’s right at your fingertips (or wrist, if you prefer). With a self-pour system that has proven popular in many other places — like Wilmington and Charlotte — Manager Harry Cave is immersed in a labor of love in the former Red Hare Brewing space, hard by the mighty Shallotte River.

Cave, whose life has revolved around beer since puberty (except for a brief, wildly lucrative gig as a Realtor), promises to make the new Pour House into a bona fide destination for beer nuts and pub lovers.

“I’ve managed Wing and Fish next door, worked the Ocean Isle Fish Company on the island and even did a stint at Local on the Water in South Carolina,” Cave says. “I’ve been around the bar business since I was 12, and it’s something I love.”

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Pour House, which took a while to get up and running, is in an old building that required consideration to its refurbishment. The interior has undergone some major alterations, and getting those approved generated some code obstacles. Nevertheless, Cave and the owners for whom he has worked before, Barrett and Stephanie McMullan, are betting that Cave’s enthusiasm and bar experience will be the catalysts for success.

“We’re still working out some of the kinks,” Cave admits. “But when we’re finally fully up and running, it will be on all 12 cylinders.”

The space, which has a full bar stocked with the finest scotches, bourbons, vodkas and tequilas, looks kind of like a giant playroom. Arcade games and a pool table fill the back floor, and multiple TVs and a huge projection screen, which will eventually display real concerts, line the walls.

Pour House

While there is a stand-alone cooler with popular bottled beers and soft drinks, it is the pour-it-yourself feature that is the main attraction. Thirty draft beers fill Cave’s beer fridge, and there are six wines available upstairs to pull yourself through a busy week.

The offerings are categorized on one wall as “Light, Cider, Sour and IPA” with three taps available under each. Cave knows his beer, clearly, as Maine Lunch is one of those IPAs.

Same for the other bank, which features “DIPA, Brown, Dark and Stout.” Be careful on that wall, as a few of the beers, like New Holland’s Dragon’s Milk, Mexican Cake and New Anthem’s If I Stare Too Long, pack a potent punch. You pour and are charged by the ounce, and you have a 48-ounce limit before you are advised to check in at the desk.

Shallotte NC Pour House

“We thought the 48-ounce limit was reasonable, as it equates to three 16-ounce pints,” Cave says.

While that may not be a problem with the lower ABV beers, three 16-ounce pints of the 11% Dragon’s Milk might cause some issues. But Cave is confident that he and his staff are up to such a challenge.

“I’ve only had to cut off two guys who came in to sit at the bar,” Cave says. “They walked in already feeling their oats and wanted to continue, but I told them we were fresh out of ‘oats’ and they left without a problem.”

Brunswick County NC Pour House

Though there is no food — yet — the place is sandwiched by Wing and Fish and Smoke’d, and plans are afoot to allow Pour House patrons to order from either establishment. A simple scan from your phone will set up a delivery from either place, though the insurance details have yet to be worked out.

If Pour House absorbs the excitement and enthusiasm of its Realtor-turned-bar manager, it should be a great place for the locals to gather. And they won’t have to travel far to have a beer festival at their fingertips.

Pour House, 4802 Main Street, Shallotte