By : Liz Eagle
Most of us here in Charlotte are dubbed by natives as “transplants”. And let’s be honest: the majority of people you meet probably fall into that category. But the best thing about all these “transplants” around the city is the spirit of newness and vitality they bring to various communities, well-know or not.
One community that is thriving, thanks in part to newness, is the Villa Heights/Optimist Park/ Belmont area, also known as the EcoDistrict. Neighboring both Plaza Midwood and Noda, the group of energetic individuals growing there-both as residents and business owners, old and new- are contributing quite a bit of vigor to these long-standing neighborhoods.
Partnering with Villa Heights and various others, while located in Optimist Park, is Noda Brewing Company. It is incredible to see them contribute to a they continue to come together- often around a pint of freshly-hopped brewskies. Suzie Ford, co-owner of the brewery, has done an outstanding job connecting to the neighborhoods, though she claims that it’s thanks more to the neighborhood than to the business itself (but that’s debatable).
With dog biscuits and water bowls for the pups, juice boxes and high chairs for the wee ones, and nightly food trucks for the foodie/craft beer crowd the brewery draws, it is no wonder the community has felt so graciously supported by this growing business. But what most locals-transplants and natives- find the most intriguing is the spirit of pride and responsibility in this community/business relationship. Suzie, a resident of Randolph Park, consistently outdoes herself by frequent donations of $1/beer to local non-profits. Through this business model that has practically molded itself, Noda Brewery is sure to receive continued support and growth and they dive into the local culture that is quickly transforming here in Charlotte.
As a transplant myself, I have such gratitude and pride knowing that our city, unlike so many others in a world of big industry and corporations, is taking steps to unite the business and residential worlds, as they were “back in the good ol’ days”. Being a part of sustainable partnership is an honor, and honestly invigorating.
You can be a part of this growth, as Noda Brewery hosts Villa Heights’ Neighborhood Night Out, the 3rd Thursday of the month. Nevermind if you’re not a resident of the specific community. It’s just another opportunity to see the goodness brewing around the city.