With spring comes fresh beginnings and an abundance of sunshine, and spring flowers. It also means the brewing of new flavors over at Flytrap Brewing. Flytrap will be releasing new brews, including a West Coast IPA as part of their core lineup. A blood orange gose and a raspberry saison with hibiscus can be tasted in bottles and draught as part of their third annual Bloom Boom on Sunday, April 28. It’s a celebration of local flora, local makers, and environmental sustainability.
Owner-operator Mike Barlas is excited about their non-profit partner for this year’s Bloom Boom, Skywatch Bird Rescue. “We are going to have some feathered friends there,” Barlas tells. “Learning about what they do is super awesome because it’s so niche. It’s part of what makes Wilmington.”
According to Barlas, Skywatch rescues birds and is integral in outreach and education. Our local ecosystem is unique because of the beaches, in addition to the river, so local organizations being proactive about preservation of flora and fauna keeps the area thriving, which is exactly what Flytrap is supporting with the annual festival. Bloom Boomers will be able to learn about Skywatch and how to get involved in the efforts, plus a portion of proceeds from the day will be donated to the bird rescue.
Ashley Arnold, market-curating extraordinaire from Artisan Locale, is part of the sustainability team behind the Bloom Boom. “My craft is connecting people,” she says.
Arnold started out with her first market at Terra Sol Sanctuary, a yoga studio on Castle Street. She reached out to Flytrap about doing one of her signature “Crafts & Drafts” workshops, which includes local makers hosting tutorials for an afternoon, to teach others how to create and sell a product. It was only the beginning of a blossoming relationship between the brewery and the curator.
“Emily and Mike just want to foster everything that comes their way,” Arnold gushes. “They want to help everyone around them and have the same philosophy I have. Every time I do something [at Flytrap] it feels like coming home.”
A major focus for the Bloom Boom market is artists with sustainable practices, so Arnold has a screening process when curating. She asked the makers, “What are you doing to give back to the Earth?” She’s excited about quite a few vendors, including Celestial Surf Studio’s Stephanie Washburn. Washburn is a local potter and instructor at Pineapple Studios in downtown Wilmington, who draws her inspiration from the resources Earth provides. Washburn also dedicates free time to advocating for our planet by organizing beach cleanups, among other activities.
Two other artists include Nicole Lyddane of Solstice Woodworks and Rachel Frey of Rachel Frey Art. Lyddane uses reclaimed wood from old homes to create works of art. Her pieces include landscape-inspired wall art, geometrical wooden trays, and even commission work. Frey is new to the Wilmington art scene. She’s a felter who creates gorgeous pieces of varying shapes, sizes, and practicality (see: lamp shades!). The works are perfect for homes and businesses.
A spring celebration wouldn’t be complete without fresh, local eats and some feel-good music.
“Paleo Sun will [bring] good vibes,” Barlas says. “Plus, CheeseSmith will be there—good people doing a really good job.”
Looking toward the future, Barlas and his team have big plans dreamed up for the Bloom Boom. For now, it’s all about fine tuning. “The recipe is there,” Barlas remarks. “Right now it’s more about how we can add things to keep it new and fresh.”
“I think a lot of us in Wilmington are trying to do the same thing,” Arnold tells about the convergence of art, beer and sustainability. “And that’s why it’s catching on so much. We’re all having the same mindset, currently. I don’t know what spurred it, or what’s going on in the drinking water, but hopefully something good! And I’m glad to be a part of it.”
More information about the event can be found on both Flytrap and Artisan Locale’s Facebook and Instagram. The event is family friendly.