CHARLOTTE BEER FOR THE HOLIDAZE PLEASE
By: Ellen Gurley
If you’re still grappling over what to get that special person this holiday season, stop now. They want beer. They want local beer. And they want it now. Whether you’re lost on the perfect thing to show up with to that holiday party or what to get the people on your list, the answer, my friend, is beer. Charlotte has already given Asheville (the state’s once ‘capital’ for breweries) a run for their money and we are still growing. Not only do we have a lot of wonderful breweries but new stores that carry our locals. Restaurants have quickly adopted several for their taps (from whence Newscastles once poured). Get with the program, my friends. Get someone (or everyone) in your life local goodness. If you’re at a loss of where to go I’d be much obliged to point you in the right direction. Support local, my friend. These are my favourite. So what are you waiting for? Put down this magazine (in a safe place and keep it forever) and go to your local beer spot; buy a growler or a gift certificate (and a beer for yourself for being so thoughtful) and gift away. Have a hoppy, hoppy holiday!
Four Friends Brewing
10913-C Office Park Dr., 704.233.7071
I usually go for their seasonal anything. Weeks ago I enjoyed a brown sugar rimmed glass full of their Punkin Brewster. And after that I enjoyed the heck out of Hot Damn; this one was brewed with peppers. I love the Fultons and their brewery. Check it out for yourself.
Triple C Brewing Co.
2900 Griffith St., 704.372.3212
These guys are very nice. I see them at almost all of the beer festivals in the region. Chris Harker has his enthusiastic partner Scott Kimball running his lines. And I think it’s a fine choice. They are growing quite well.
NoDa Brewing Co.
2229 N.Davidson St., 704.451.1394
What a wonderful part of the beer community NoDa Brewing Co. is. They are in so many local restaurants and the Panther Stadium. I honestly could not imagine a Charlotte without Suzie and Todd Ford’s wonderful brainchild. I constantly order Coco Loco. I used to only drink porters and stouts and though I’ve branched out, Coco Loco is right up my alley.
Birdsong Brewing Co.
2315 N.Davidson St., 704.332.1810
These guys are directly across the parking lot from NoDa; making them not only both members of the beer community here but neighbours, as well. Sometimes they do events together. I think their most popular beer is JP’s Jalapeno Pale Ale. People rave about it.
Ass Clown Brewing Co.
10620 Bailey Rd., Suites E & F, Cornelius, 704.995.7767
I’m in love with Matt Glidden’s Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Stout. When I was there last he was awaiting locally harvested oysters to use in a beer. He tries to use as many ingredients as he can from the region in which we live. That’s no clowning around.
You can buy local and regional beer at the following venues. And unlike the big box stores you will (I repeat will) have people that work there that will help you and want to help you find a good beer for you. Below are my favourites but there’s still Good Bottle, Salud, World of Beer and Brawley’s.
2007 Commonwealth Ave., 28205, 704.334.6209 / 1515 S.Tryon St., 28203, 704.332.7783
With two locations, one in Plaza-Midwood and one in Southend, I would recommend going to the Plaza-Midwood location and ask for Tom Stanfel. He knows his beer (all beer) and he carries locals, too. After you buy your gifts, have a seat at the bar and see what he’s got on tap. You’ll be impressed with how this man runs his beer program.
Bulldog Beer & Wine
2447-B Park Rd., 28203, 980.335.0492
Joe Fortier is the resident beer nerd and he knows his stuff. These guys have a boatload of regional beers on tap and a wonderful painting of a bulldog by My City’s own John Hairston, Jr. Like them on FB and follow them on twitter. They are very active on twitter and on social media. Keep up with them.
Charlotte and the surround can now boast (and keep an eye on) Lake Norman Brewing Company and Unknown. They’re the newest. Let’s not diss them til we try them, friend. Olde Meck., Rock Bottom and Heist are still there. And Lenny Boy has expanded it’s fermented tea brewing to beers with cute names like “Spear-a-melon” that are almost like champagne. Up soon for Charlotte will be Free Range Brewing Company (www.FreeRangeBrewing.com) from the Alexander brothers. I’ve already tried their beer at an event. Now they move into their warehouse. Look very forward to trying them yourselves. And if you aim to brew yourself or have a keg set up in your own home, check out House of Brews (who do demostrations at NoDa from time to time) (www.House-of-Brews.com) or Custom Home Pubs (www.CustomHomePubs.com) (next door to Sankey‘s). Sankey’s Taproom & Grille (11416 E. Independence Blvd., Suite L, Matthews, www.SankeysGrille.com) is run by beer enthusiast and Charlotte native Andy Tritten. It’s a super cute place with large paintings commissioned of lots of regional breweries including our Birdsong and NoDa. The food is pretty yum. I’ve had the Porter (a Portobello sandwich) and a Philly cheesesteak. They also home make some pretty amazing chips. They’re just one of the many area restaurants that serve local beer. Lebowski’s, 300 East, the Diamond and others are also ‘with the program’. I like it. So my point is - tis the season to be jolly and you’d be much jollier on local brew. Fact.
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