Filled with new breweries and bottle shops, there’s no doubt that Charlotte’s bear scene is hopping. This month kicks off the fourth-annual Charlotte Craft Beer Week featuring 10 days of brew-focused festivities. But craft-lovers can find a cold pint – and like-minded companions – any night in Charlotte at these leading spots.
A beer list offering hints for craft novices (“If you like Blue Moon or Shock Top, you may like Allagash White or Franziskaner”) and a casual menu on which the cheesesteak is the star have made this family-friendly place a favorite. There are three local locations and while all are popular, you’ll find the most convivial crowds on Thursday nights when the 60-tap Park Road version offers $ 3 drafts.
This laid-back bottle shop in the city’s South End neighborhood presents an ever-rotating selection of beers on tap. Pull up a stool at the bar where you’re likely to get a lesson on local brews from friendly co-owner Chris Hunt, or grab a growler to take home. Either way, you’ll be sampling some of the more creative crafts in town, with names that say it all – eg Terrapin Moo Hoo Chocolate Milk Stout and Birdsong Jalapeño Pale Ale.
You’ll want to linger over your drinks at this sleek Central Avenue bar that doubles as an art gallery. Exhibits from local and national artists change monthly, while the selection of microbrews on tap rotates even more frequently. With tastings, gallery openings and even figure drawing sessions, there’s no lack of entertainment at this small spot.
Sure, the creative, over-stuffed sandwiches – such as the Old Scratch (turkey, havarti cheese, carrots, cucumber, red cabbage) or the Evil Homer (turkey, bacon, cheddar cheese, dill pickle, tomato, onion, lettuce) – here occasionally steal the show. But with a beer selection as eclectic as the crowds it draws, this hip shop’s bar is ideal for kicking back with a pint. There are two local locations (Commonwealth Avenue and South Tryon Street), but the Commonwealth Avenue original offers more than 200 hard-to-find beers as well as free tastings most Wednesdays.
As you may have guessed from the name, the 1,500 vinos offered at this South Charlotte restaurant tend to be the focus. But a selection of more than 400 microbrews and 16 taps from around the world means you can indulge in the swanky wine bar atmosphere and artisanal fare offerings with ale in hand.
Photos Courtesy of Twenty-Two