Once overshadowed by Asheville to the west, Charlotte has become a vibrant craft beer destination that’s now attracting visitors from all over the United States… And here’s why it’s become such a draw…
The Charlotte Basics
Primarily known as a major banking center, Charlotte was once just a lunch stop for travelers heading south to Atlanta. But the city has grown in sophistication (and size) over the years attracting new resident’s fleeing the Northeast grind, for a more temperate climate and a better quality of life.
The most populous city in North Carolina, Charlotte is home to the NFL’s Panthers, the NBA’s Hornets as well as the Bank of America and Wells Fargo. And with its central south eastern location it’s attracting businesses looking to expand their base…And breweries like Victory and Southern Tier who having joined forces under the Artisanal Brewing Ventures (ABV) umbrella , have moved their corporate operations to the Queen City.
Charlotte Craft Beer
It’s been nearly a decade since Charlotte’s first craft brewery, Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, opened in early 2009.
Like many cities in the south, Charlotte was a little late getting into the craft beer game but over the last decade its craft beer scene has exploded. There are currently about 30 breweries operating within the city’s metro area with a multitude of exciting options just a short scenic drive away and all kinds of new players working to come online soon.
For the established players, 2018 is all about growth and expansion. According to Andre Dunn at the Charlotte Agenda “at least four big projects are underway from popular Charlotte breweries.”
Wooden Robot Brewery is opening a new location in NoDa Charlotte’s popular arts district, complete with a designer rooftop beer garden. Legion Brewing will be opening first brewery with a taproom and event space this year.
And then there’s Southern Tier’s & Victory’s soon to open 28,000 sq. ft. space that’s taking shape in what was once a mostly an industrial neighborhood dominated by warehouses and small factories that has transitioned into a booming entertainment district.
Under the Artisanal Brewing Ventures banner the new Victory & Southern Tier facility will feature a full production brewhouse, fermentation cellar and packaging lines, a fully equipped quality assurance lab.
The new space will offer visitors an expansive experience complete with a contemporary tasting room, a patio overloooking the Charlotte skyline, an indoor/outdoor private event space as well as a beer garden. It will also house ABV’s corporate offices.
Built to accommodate nearly 700 guests, ABV’s new beer destination is expected to open in May.
‘Must Visit’ Breweries in Charlotte
There are so many great breweries in Charlotte that showcasing a few does an injustice to the many…But still there are three that you don’t want to miss.
Wooden Robot Brewery – Founded by Josh Patton and Dan Wade, two beer lovers who’ve been friends from middle school, Wooden Robot is the talk of the town. Brewery ‘Must’ Beer: Rosemary Grisette
NoDa Brewing – One of the Queen City’s most exciting and dependable breweries. Brewery ‘Must’ Beer: Hop, Drop ‘n Roll
Heist Brewery – What began as Charlotte’s only craft brewpub has now grown into a 30 barrel production brewery which smartly remains focused on small-batch creations. Brewery ‘Must’ Beer: Blurred Is the Word IPA