Beer Trip Ideas★ ★ Take a trip to the taps. ★ ★
Charlotte: Brews in the Queen City
From craft breweries and brewpubs to specialty bottle shops, the Charlotte area’s got a lot of craft beer. And there’s no better time to sample some than during NC Beer Month. North Carolina boasts more craft breweries than any other state in the South, and Charlotte’s hops are among the top with more than three dozen breweries in operation or in the works.
The historic NoDa neighborhood, an old textile center reborn as a vibrant arts and nightlife district, is riding the crest of Charlotte’s craft beer wave. Multiple breweries are located here, including NoDa Brewing Company – named one of the South’s best breweries by Southern Living – Birdsong Brewing Co., Heist Brewery, Divine Barrel and Free Range Brewing. At nearby Growlers Pourhouse, you can try a cask ale from a refurbished hand-pump beer engine, and Salud Cerveceria is the perfect place to pick up a local growler or try a rotating brew crafted in the spot’s nanobrewery.
On the other side of the urban center, South End commands attention with its concentration of restaurants, beer shops and breweries, including Mac’s Speed Shop, Bulldog Beer & Wine, Craft Tasting Room and Growler Shop and more. This high-energy neighborhood offers light rail service with stops near Triple C Brewing Co., Sycamore Brewing, Wooden Robot Brewery and Lenny Boy Brewing Co., the Southeast’s only producer of certified organic kombucha. Further south, you’ll find Sugar Creek and The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, whose Mecktoberfest is a European Beer Star International competition gold medal winner.
Beyond these hubs, other Charlotte-area enclaves are filling. South Charlotte is home to Three Spirits Brewery and Pintville. North of the city, the Lake Norman-Cornelius area touts D9 Brewing, Ass Clown Brewing Company, Eleven Lakes and Primal Brewing.
Beer mixes well with other aspects of a Queen City visit. A shopper’s paradise, Charlotte has a wealth of bottle shops, including Brawley’s Beverage. At the AvidXchange Music Factory entertainment complex, VBGB Beer Hall & Garden boasts 30 taps with a selection of local brews. The U.S. National Whitewater Center, a first-rate outdoor adventure mecca, features craft beer at the River’s Edge Bar & Grill and the Pump House Biergarten.
For a more behind-the-scenes view of beer in Charlotte, sign up for a guided tour with Trolley Pub Charlotte, Charlotte Brews Cruise, Charlotte Brew Tours or Brew-Ha-Ha tours for Charlotte and Lake Norman. Charlotte NC Tours offers a Bikes & Brews tour through NoDa or South End. Tap into other places on the Charlotte beer front at www.charlottesgotalot.com/craftbeer.