A guide to Charlotte area Tap Rooms
words & photography by: Amanda Dickinson
All cities with a strong beer culture are also known for having great tap rooms and bottle shops. Charlotte certainly has its fair share. I ventured around Crowntown and the Lake Norman area to check out a few. Putting some miles on my car and adding to my beer gut was well worth it. All of these shops go out of their way to ensure they stock some of the best beers from all over the states and globally. There is one in just about every neighborhood around town.
Located in a restored house, in the heart of Huntersville, Crafty Guys is truly a neighborhood spot. Established in 2013, they have brought much needed beer culture to a once small town. The beer selection is handpicked by Certified Cicerone Christopher Westgard stocking around 450 bottles, 14 beer taps (two are nitro), and two wine taps. One of the things that sets Crafty Guys apart is the home brew supply room. You can stock up on your beer brewing supplies and grab a drink in the same spot. If you are interested in learning to home brew, you can attend a class there. They are taught on the second Saturday of every month and the cost is only 15 bucks. Some of you may recognize the name from seeing the logo around town at other pubs and breweries. This is because Crafty also does tap line instillation, builds custom bars, and draught line cleaning for most of the breweries in Charlotte. They offer their services to Sugar Creek Brewing Company, Triple C Brewing, Wooden Robot, BB&T Ballpark, and a long list of many others. Crafty Beer Guys are open seven days a week and their hours vary daily. They host beer tastings every Tuesday, wine tasting every Wednesday, and occasionally host live music, and food trucks. Look them up on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for events and tastings.
Owners, Shelly Stevenson and Dan Johnson, relocated to North Carolina via Castle Rock, Colorado under a year ago. Being submerged in Colorado’s amazing beer scene, they had to bring a little of that with them to our fair state. Both started out as avid home brewers and they originally wanted to open a brewery. Shelly tells me, they will be brewing out of the tap room in the future. One of the things that caught my attention, while visiting, was their beer and chocolate pairings. Yes, please! Patrons can choose from a flight or a single serving with each chocolate and beer chosen for compatibility. Chocolates are supplied by 20 Degrees Chocolates, located on Selwyn Avenue, Charlotte. Bottled and Tapped boasts 16 taps, 4 wine taps, and one nitro cold-pressed coffee tap. They also stock around 150 bottles and are pleased to fill growlers for you to take home. They are open seven days a week with occasional live music and food. Specials include $2.00 cans on Wednesday and half price wine on Thursday. Check their events calendar for more information.
Located just down the road from Bottled and Tapped is Cornelius Drafthouse. Also opened under a year ago, they are already a go-to place for great beer in the Lake Norman area. They stock lots of cans and fill growlers for the lake crowd in the summer. It’s the perfect place for grabbing some craft beers to take on the boat or for a picnic. Owners, Casey and Wes, try to keep the tap wall filled with mostly North Carolina beers. They have 16 taps and around 200 bottles which rotate seasonally. The interior of the space is decorated with mostly repurposed materials. They built the shelving and table tops themselves utilizing a lot of materials left over from the previous occupant. Wes and Casey wanted to instill a comfy, home-like atmosphere within the shop. They only have one TV, but have a giant Jenga set for entertainment. They run specials throughout the week; Monday: $9.00 mix and match 6 packs, Tuesday: half price wine, and Wednesday: 25% off growler fills. Look for live music coming in the warmer months. Cornelius Drafthouse is open seven days a week from 12-12.
Salud hardly needs an introduction. Owner, Jason Glunt, opened his doors in March of 2012 with great success. Located in the heart of NoDa, Salud has cemented itself as a staple with the serious beer lovers in the Queen City. This place is always hopping, serving up 12 taps and tons of bottles. You can purchase a Crowler , which is a can filled and sealed on site, choosing from any of their taps. If you are hungry, grab a bite from Fud at Salud. Fud, connected to the bar, offers a menu filled with tasty sandwiches, salads, snacks, and the almost famous waffle-whiches. The future holds a Nano-brewery, with beers brewed by local home brewer Danny Deaton. Hours vary seven days a week, but be sure to join them for Sunday brunch.
When you are in the SouthEnd, stop into Good Bottle Company. Owner, Chris Hunt, has 12 taps, and, as one employee puts it, “an a**load of bottles”. They stock one of the best bottle selections in town with lots of beers you won’t see anywhere else. They host a ride club on Wednesdays encouraging people to pedal in. The taps and bottles rotate frequently so they are always fresh. One Saturday a month, Good Bottle holds a monthly breakfast at 9 AM, with cold brew coffee on nitro and treats from Your Mom’s Doughnuts. Check out the sale rack for half off bottles and 6 for $6.00 cans.
Closer to uptown Charlotte, but also located on South Boulevard is, Beer Growler. The unique thing about this shop is that you can only purchase growlers or flights. This allows customers to sample many of the 45 taps in just one sitting. With that many beers to choose from, this is a nice option. The all-female ownership team works hard to bring some of the best craft beers available. They sell custom growlers in house, but you can bring your own to fill as well. Come in on Thursday when featured flights are only $6.00.
Next time you are out, looking to grab a pint, check out one of these spots. You’ll be amazed at some previously unheard of beers. The staff members of all of these shops are well educated on what they serve and will happily help you pick out something tasty. Charlotte is a great beer city and these tap rooms are a big part of it.
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