by Donna Byrd
Ok guys. We’re getting down to the wire. December 25th is almost upon us and it’s time to take a look at your Christmas “to do” list.
Let’s see…You’ve finished decorating the house, which by the way, looks marvelous! Check. Gifts are wrapped and under the tree. Breathe a sigh of relief! Check. The stockings are hung on the mantle waiting for Santa’s magic touch. The Christmas turkey and ham are in the refrigerator, ready to go into the oven early Christmas morning. Little Johnny’s favorite sugar cookies are cooling on the counter and that family favorite, Aunt Sarah’s coconut cake, is hiding in the buffet cabinet waiting until the moment it makes its grand entrance at dessert time at the Christmas dinner table. Check, check and check! Oh no…did you forget something?
The wine and beer? How can you “make merry” without your favorite spirits to fill your cups of good cheer? And where can you find someone to give you the right advice about what kinds of beer and wines to pair with the special dishes you have planned for that meal from which memories are made?
Don’t panic! I have just the right place to send you to for specialty wines and beers! Swing Bridge Beer and Wine! It’s on Topsail Island, right in Surf City and it’s been serving the local islanders and vacationers for the past eight years. I stopped by this jewel of a wine and beer shop a few days ago looking for a little something different for a special dinner. The owners, Tim and Gerry Horner’s granddaughter, Sara Kenna, happened to minding the shop that day and I was happy to find out that she was well acquainted with the merchandise.
“We have three to four hundred types of wines, some made at wineries right here in North Carolina. We also carry California and west coast wines, South American, Australian, Italian, French, German…Well, really we have great domestic AND international selections! And, if we don’t have what you’re looking for or if it’s a hard to find wine, we’ll track it down and order it for you. If you want it, we’ll get it!”
Sara then pointed out that they had a large selection of $10.00 – $20.00 bottles of wine. “Those are the table wines most of our customer’s order for regular type meals, but of course, we have more expensive bottles for very special occasions and more expensive budgets.” I was happy to realize that they catered to folks like me – a person who enjoys drinking different wines and learning about them as I try them, one bottle at a time. Sara was happy to teach me as I asked about different varietals and how to pair them with my menu.
My husband, Bill, was impressed with the selection of beers and asked Sara about them. “We have several hundred beers on the shelves. There are lots of North Carolina brews but also many other domestic and imported beers to choose from. Believe me, if you are a beer aficionado, we will have your favorite!
The average specialty six-pack is about $12.00, but look at what else we have,” she pointed out. We always have twelve to fifteen beers on tap!” We walked to the back of the shop and saw that you could buy beer by the glass – wine too (there are eight wines always on tap.) Sara said you could have your glass or take a bottle of your favorite spirit out on the patio to enjoy if the weather is nice. They even have a small selection of fine cigars to enjoy with your favorite beverage.
She also let us know that they often have beer and wine tastings. These events draw pretty good sized crowds. Usually, they have special live music from some local favorites, Jason Murphy or Donna Pietrogiacomo for their tastings or every other weekend on Friday and Saturday nights. Sounds like The Swing Bridge Beer and Wine Shop is also a gathering place for people who like to have fun.
Speaking of fun…New Year’s Eve is going to be a big night: The Customer Appreciation New Year’s Eve Party and Oyster Roast is a happening event for the beer and wine shop! There will be live music and a champagne toast at midnight! The Horner family loves their customers!
Now, that you know about the Swing Bridge Beer and Wine Shop, you can visit and pick out your holiday party beers and wines. Go ahead! Check that off of your “to do” list. Donna’s making it easy for you!
The Swing Bridge Beer and Wine Shop is located at: