TowneBank OBX Park
Team: Outer Banks Daredevils
Affiliate: N/A (Tidewater Collegiate Summer Baseball League)
Ballpark Basics: Where you go to feel like a local in the Outer Banks.
After a long day on the beach you can follow the signs that state “Daredevils Game Tonight” to the parking lot of the First Flight Athletic Complex in Kill Devil Hills, one of the northern beaches of North Carolina’s Outer Banks.
The Daredevils play in the Tidewater Collegiate Summer League, a collegiate wood bat league spread out across the Hampton Roads area. Like most summer collegiate leagues, they play in a ballpark that would not fly for affiliated ball. In fact, the Daredevils play in what could be called a bare-bones ballpark. This takes nothing away from the atmosphere.
You enter the ballpark in the left field corner. Lined up under tents along the left field baseline are your food options (food from a local deli was the option on our visit) and local sponsors getting the word out about their businesses. Since the ballpark shares its field with the local school district there is no alcohol allowed at Daredevils games.
The press box resides in essentially a house that sits behind home plate. A small deck extends in front of it and people have brought their own seats for a great view of the game. There are a set of bleachers on either side of the press box (one on wheels) and people would also just stand behind the third base dugout which gave them a place to hold their drinks.
For a tourist town the crowd seemed to be made up mostly of locals. Groups of kids were playing together, one of the coaches was talking to fans in between innings about their families, and players even walked through the crowd for the 50/50 raffle during the game.
Kill Devil Hills lies just south of Kitty Hawk which boasts some of the most famous sand dunes in the states and some are visible behind the outfield walls. When sitting on the third base side, the Wright Memorial is visible in the distance giving this ballpark a one-of-a-kind view.
If you are lucky enough to find yourself on the Outer Banks during the summer months it is definitely worth your time to head to a Daredevils game. While TowneBank OBX Park might not have all the latest features it is quite an enjoyable place to take in a game.
Outer Banks Brewing Station
Brewery Basics: An Outer Banks Original.
In full disclosure, this is a brewery we have visited many times, as it is the original (and once only) brewery on the barrier islands we visit multiple times a year. A large space that is mostly done in medium stain wood and nautical -of course – decor; the Brewing Station seamlessly transitions from family friendly dining and casual hangout during the day to a lively bar scene with live bands and shot specials at night.
Walk in past their iconic windmill to enter, and then you can turn left to be seated in the dining room or right to go to the looong bar. There are bar tables here, an upstairs with additional seating (that isn’t always open) and a boat themed playground out back to climb on if there’s a wait for a table. High ceilings and massive colorful banners (or sometimes rug runners) line multi-story windows that give the front/stage area of the dining room almost a church-like vibe.
The bartenders and wait staff tend to change seasonally, as one might expect from a summer-centered tourist destination, but there are some regulars who have been around for years. Whether new or old, most staff we have interacted with have clearly taken the time to try the food, learn the beers, and are happy to point you in one direction or answer questions.
They have some mainstay choices which are almost always on tap, and then several that rotate through based on season, ingredient availability or brewer’s whim. Not every beer they have has been a hit with us, but for the most part they are pretty solid beers across the board. On the specific visit that we decided to write up, we had:
Olsch! (4.8% ABV)- One of the often on hand options, this is a crisp and refreshing beer that is also one of their best. Wheaty up front and with traditional lager-earthy tones and effervescent mouth the Olsch! is just a solid, thirst quenching beach beer.
Hugh Hefeweizen (5.3%)- For a beer of this style, the Hugh was light and see-through golden brown in color. Hefeweizens tend to have a fuller palate, with various hop and yeast peaks, sometimes bready, sometimes with a hint of fruit. With the Hugh, overall we found it to be unbalanced, just thick and wheaty. Our least favorite of today’s choice board.
Farm Town Brown (5.9%)- The Brewing Station refers to this as their “hot weather brown”. Light, smooth brown sugar front. The flavor pops malted, and slightly nutty but it’s brewed with a saison wheat that added an grainy, rye-ish twist to the flavor profile. Highly drinkable, and not typical.
Last Stop “Stout” Porter (5.4%)- Another interesting one, which is their late spring/early summer “stout-porter”. This is a coffee colored beer with thinner viscosity but strong flavor profile. Honeyed smell upfront, with a hint of smoke and a flavor that is somehow light but chestnut roasty at the same time.
Lemongrass Wheat (5.3%)- Picked this one up in a can (cans are tall and typically range in the $5-7 range). Another miss for us, opened it up and immediately smelled like some kind of lemon cleaning agent. Surprisingly, this light yellow, pungent beer actually ended up having more more flavor in the swallow (mostly lemongrass and wheat notes) but upfront all you really get is carbonated lemon. Others we know have enjoyed this one, so we are wondering if this was an off or ill-stored batch.
Santa’s Little Sledgehammer (10%) – Another bottle pick up on one of our late fall trips to the Outer Banks. This is a seasonal bomber in the Belgian strong ale style. Nut brown in color, that’s malted and spiced. Specific notes of allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon and even juniper add to the holiday feel. Higher ABV than many of their others, which is concealed in the taste by the spice, but felt in the warm burn as you wash it down.
600 South Croatan Highway
Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948