It’s been a couple of months since we went to Howard’s, but I would be willing to wager, being a wagering man, that there is still some great beer there! We went there in March during the great Access Control Specialists Outer Banks Tour. Before the main part of the party arrived, Brittany and I ventured across the ferry at Hatteras to Ocracoke Island, in a storm, to see if there was beer on the island. There definitely is! There is beer served at a great restaurant and beer available to go!

Ocracoke ferry in a storm!

Howard’s Pub is beer central on the Outer Banks…why, you ask? After some inquiry we determined that in the early days of Howard’s pub, Hyde County only allowed beer. That has since been remedied and there are mixed drinks as well. Anyway, Howard decided that if he could only serve beer, he was going to serve the best beer available. He made an effort to get as many beers as he could, especially craft beers, for the bar so that there was a good selection for those making the long haul to Ocracoke. Back in the day, it was iffy just to get down Hatteras Island, much less make the ferry and travel down the length of Ocracoke. After a hurricane it was downright impossible. I remember going camping on Hatteras Island with my family and riding on metal grills laid across the sand after we crossed the ferry at Oregon Inlet!

Bottle beer menu at Howard's Pub. Oh yeah, they have 25 really good drafts as well!

Amazingly enough, the food is great as well. Actually, if someone spends that much time making sure they have good beer, it would follow that they would do great food, too. The restaurant is nicely decorated and has a friendly atmosphere with locals and tourists chatting, eating and drinking together. There’s a rooftop bar and dining area with a tremendous view of the ocean and local traffic.

Buffalo Shrimp at Howard's Pub on Ocracoke Island. (And a good draft!)

We had such a good time we took the troops back a couple of days later for a second visit. In terms of logistics, it takes a couple of hours each way from Kill Devil Hills, but there are plenty of opportunities to drive on the beach if you are so inclined, except for the growing numbers of areas blocked off for  some weird bird called the idiot plover that needs several miles to screw, apparently.

Federally Enforced Piping Plover Sexing Area - You are screwed so they can screw in peace!

Every other animal in the world can do it at a moments notice, usually in front of your pastor, but this particular bird needs a mile of uninterrupted beach to “set the mood,” per your Audubon Society and their bed buddies the federal government. We have to raise the debt limit this week, but it’s no problem to spend millions and millions to rope off miles and miles of beach so birds can do the dirty deed! You can’t even drive on the tidal plain to Diamond Shoals from either direction because you might be preforming coitus interruptus on the birds mating habits!  Ok, off the soapbox and back to the story!

Plenty of parking all around, the bathrooms were clean…it was the off season… and the service was good on both visits. Interestingly, we saw our servers both times commuting to work by foot or bicycle!

There’s also a craft beer and wine store on the island called Zillie’s Island Pantry that has a pretty good selection. It was closed the day Brittany and I went but we took some pictures through the windows.

Zillie's Island Pantry on Ocracoke Island.

They had a big selection of beer and some local foods and so forth as well as some wine.

Mrs. Fin and I are planning a weekend trip to Ocracoke to hang out and sample some good beer and soak up the sun soon. Let me know if you want to tag along!

Lassaz les bon temps roulez!


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