CLARKTON — Move over Budweiser, craft beer is beginning to gain in popularity in the region and noplace is that trend more evident than at Kinlaw’s Beer & Wine in Clarkton.
The business, formerly known as Prince Johnson Winery, is now owned by Kendal and Ashley Kinlaw and features different types of craft beers, many of which are brewed in North Carolina. The store also still carries a line of wines as well, including their predecessor, Prince Johnson.
When asked how the couple got interested in the market of craft beers, Ashley Kinlaw said, “Craft beer is interesting — the very science of making it is interesting.”
Ashley Kinlaw said they do not currently brew any of the products themselves. She said they simply sell the beers.
When asked what makes a good craft beer different, she said it is about the flavor. She added that craft beers include flavors such as strawberry, coffee, chocolate and so on.
“We’re not beer snobs,” said Kinlaw.
She said for those who are uninitiated to the craft beer scene, she can help someone to find a craft beer to suit their taste preferences.
“There is something for everybody,” said Kendal Kinlaw of the store’s stock.
He said right now the sour ales are very popular with folks.
Both said that the craft beer scene is gaining in popularity in Wilmington and Fayetteville. Wilmington also several craft beer breweries.
Folks entering Kinlaw’s Beer and Wine Bar will find everything from Pilsners and lagers to ales and stouts. They will also find several varieties of wines including the popular Muscadine wines and ciders.
While craft beers can be a little more expensive than some of the leading national brands, Kinlaw said they try to keep their prices low for their customers.
The store also allows folks to build their own sixpacks and offers “Make It Yourself” beer kits for your home.
The popularity of craft beers is growing. According to the Brewers Association, craft beer sells made up 11 percent of all beer sold in 2014 and the craft beer market recorded $19.6 billion or a 22 percent sales growth in 2014.
The Brewers Association website shows that in 2014 there were 3,418 U.S. Breweries that identified themselves as craft breweries, 135 regional craft breweries, 1,817 microbreweries and 1,412 brewpubs.
Kinlaw’s is open Tuesday through Saturday from 1 until 6 p.m. and is located at 104 N. Elm St., Clarkton.