The newest taproom to open in Wilmington, North Carolina is Durham’s Ponysaurus. Before you go, find out What To Expect At Ponysaurus Brewing Wilmington.
If you’re planning a trip to the Port City for the taproom, check out all of our Wilmington, NC posts.
North Carolina isn’t known as North Craftolina for nothing. Seriously. The craft beer industry has its grip on the Tar Heel State, but especially the Port City. There are over a dozen breweries in Wilmington, some that are popular enough to warrant multiple locations in town.
Breweries around the state have noticed and started setting up taprooms in Wilmington.
The latest is Ponysaurus Brewing out of Durham. The Wilmington location had a soft opening at the beginning on January, then an official but equally as informal opening a week later. And we stopped by a week after that. So, it’s still opening and it’s still growing … but it was already packed. We went after church, around 11:45 am and easily got a table. Within an hour, the entire bar was packed.
There is a beer garden, but it’s a bit under construction and it’s kind of cold right now. But Ponysaurus needs to get some heat lamps or its double-sided masonry fireplace going out there (or just advertise its second floor better) to move the crowd because it’s exceptionally packed.
You can attribute it to the newness or you can attribute it to the promise of dinosaurs. But, whatever it is, Ponysaurus’ Wilmington location hit some magic in an oversaturated market and it’s definitely worth checking out.
Also, quick note: The Wilmington taproom is the brand’s second location (the first being the Durham taproom and brewery). The third will open in Raleigh with a sour beer facility (with room for barrel aging) and a restaurant with taproom later this year.
If you’re visiting Wilmington with the intention of checking out the local beer scene, check out The Complete Guide To Breweries In Wilmington, North Carolina.
What To Expect At Ponysaurus Brewing Wilmington
Ponysaurus Brewing opened its Durham brewery in 2015. The brewery’s website boasts that the brand is “forward-thinking and backward-tasting” and I really have no idea what that means.
What I do know, though, is Ponysaurus means horses and dinosaurs and there are a bunch of those on the second story of the Wilmington taproom. Personally, I’d like if there were even more dinosaurs, but maybe they’re on the way.
See, Ponysaurus Brewing’s Wilmington location opened with little fanfare, as far as grand openings go, so I’m imagining they’ll do something large when the beer garden in the back is officially open. Hopefully with more dinosaurs.
We went on Sunday, and there are notes on each table to let you know they’re working the kinks out as they’re starting to open. But, from the way it was packed, you wouldn’t know it just opened. You’d think it was a neighborhood staple that’s been in town for years.
Where is Ponysaurus Brewing Wilmington?
It’s located at 214 Market St. (Market Street, between 2nd and 3rd), in the building that was the former law office of Kenneth A Shanklin (if you know the building). It’s a brick building between the Burgwin-Wright House and Gardens and Coglin’s, in the heart of downtown Wilmington.
What days is Ponysaurus Brewing Wilmington open?
Daily from 11 am to 11 pm.
What’s the best beer?
There are 24 taps at Ponysaurus Wilmington, and we haven’t tried them all (and by we, I mean Pete since I don’t drink).
Pete had a trio of beers when we were there: the pilsner, Biere de Garde (a French farmhouse ale), and Barrel Aged Sour Don’t Be Mean to People: A Golden Rule Saison. He enjoyed all of them, which is rare when you’re trying a new beer from a new (to you) brewery.
The taps will change often and may be different than what’s available at the other locations. So, try a bunch and don’t fall in love with one because it might rotate out by the time you get back.
You can see a list of all of the Ponysaurus Brewing Co. beers here.
Is there food at Ponysaurus Brewing Wilmington?
There is. Ponysaurus has a full menu, including sandwiches, salads, burgers, and pizza (although burgers weren’t available when we went). The pizza was good for bar pizza, but I’m looking forward to trying the rest of the bar snacks.
Let’s chat about that for a minute. There are papers with QR codes on each table that bring you to a Powered by Toast order form. You order everything straight from your phone, then add your credit card number, and pay that way. Your order is sent to the kitchen and then it’s brought out to you. You won’t have a waiter or server.
That’s only how you order food. If you want to order a drink, you can go up to the bar to order it and run a tab at the bar. Your food will not go onto that same tab.
Is there off-street parking?
There isn’t any off-street parking. There was when it was a law office, but those spaces are being converted into the brewery’s beer garden.
There is a bunch of metered parking on the streets around the bar, though.
Pro tip: Any street above 3rd Street isn’t metered. Since that’s just two blocks above Ponysaurus, we suggest you park there and walk a couple blocks. Just make sure you’re not parking in a permit only section of the street.
Is Ponysaurus kid friendly?
We saw kids there with parents, but it’s not as kid friendly as some of the other breweries in Wilmington, which cater towards families. Many of those have board games and large Connect 4 games to keep children entertained. We didn’t see any of those things at Ponysaurus (although it is still new).
Does Ponysaurus Wilmington have outdoor seating?
There are a bunch of tables outside, right when you walk up to the front door (which is on the side of the building).
There’s going to be a large outdoor beer garden that’s accessible from the road between Ponysaurus and the Burgwin-Wright House and accessible from inside the bar itself). That’s still under construction.
Are sports broadcast there?
There are televisions behind the bar. We were there during playoff football and it wasn’t on, so I’m not sure if sports will be shown.
Can you buy Ponysaurus Brewing beer to go?
You can. There’s a full cooler with canned beer to go.
Can you rent our Ponysaurus Wilmington?
In the future, you’ll be able to rent out the second floor of the bar or the outdoor beer garden for your party. Rental fees haven’t been announced, but you can fill out a form here to inquire and get details.
Have you been to Ponysaurus Brewing in Wilmington, NC? Let us know what you thought about it in the comments.