The Charlotte area is home to more than four dozen breweries in operation or in planning. These brew hubs are certainly known for their beloved signature suds, but they’re serving up much more for guests to enjoy. Here are 10 ways to get your fill at Charlotte breweries in 2017:
Host a hoppy hour. Crops of breweries can be found by the block in hip neighborhoods, like South End and NoDa, where young professionals and millennials abound. Be the office hero by suggesting happy hour at a brewery close to Center City. Try Wooden Robot Brewery or Sycamore Brewing.
Take a selfie in front of Free Range Brewing’s tractor. The Charlotte area’s breweries are filled with selfie and Snapchat-worthy photo opportunities. Pose, pint in hand, with the giant classic tractor that paves the entry way to Free Range Brewing. Or take a seat in the vintage Bojangles’ Coliseum chairs (on which concert goers stood decades ago to cheer on icons like Elvis is Bob Dylan) that Noda Brewing Company has collected and placed in the back of the taproom.
Try something exclusive. Sure, ingredients like sweet potatoes, spicy peppers and coffee make for special pours, but Charlotte’s breweries are doing even more exceptional things with cold ones. Sugar Creek Brewing Company is Charlotte’s only brewery crafting the Biére de Garde style of beer, which is brewed using eight different specialty malts imported from France.
Taste a Great American Beer Festival winner. At the helm of Charlotte-area breweries are brewmasters constantly striving to make works of art of their craft creations. And it hasn’t gone unnoticed; local beers are earning the recognition they deserve. Taste why NoDa Brewing Company’s beloved Hop Drop n’ Roll IPA is a gold medal winner.
Pair a beer with a food truck bite. Charlotte’s breweries know that craft suds lead to savory cravings. Fortunately, breweries and food trucks go hand-in-hand here. Try a killer sandwich or Southern side at one of the food trucks parked out front of Sycamore Brewing on the weekends. And have your pick of trucks-galore on Fridays, when Sycamore is a host location of the city’s beloved Food Truck Friday event.
Play a board game at Birdsong Brewing Co. Gorgeous, picnic table-laden patios, cozy fire pits and taprooms stocked with games of all types are just a few of the extras on tap at breweries in Charlotte. Grab your friends and a few flights and challenge them to a throwback round of giant-size Jenga at Birdsong Brewing Co.
Go behind the scenes at The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery. Visitors of the Queen City’s assorted brew houses can enjoy insider access to back-of-house operations that illuminate the fascinating craft beer creation process. Among the many offered at area breweries, The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery’s tour was named the best in the nation by USA TODAY 10Best readers in 2014.
Go beyond city limits. With brew houses that dot the blocks of Charlotte’s various neighborhoods and craft havens that flow from the city's South Carolina suburbs to the banks of Lake Norman and beyond, beer lovers can tour the city one sip at a time. Go north for a cold one at Cabarrus Brewing Co. or south for one at Full Spectrum Brewing Co.
Perfect your Warrior poses over pints. A handful of breweries, like D9 Brewing Co. and Bayne Brewing Company, host regular public yoga classes right inside their taprooms or on their sprawling lawns. Grab your mat and head to the largest, The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery’s Yoga on Tap event, where hundreds of yogis cheers to moments of Zen.
Hop on a brewery tour. As craft beer continues to dominate more and more of Charlotte’s cultural scene, the city has become a proud host of year-round brewery tours. Take a Saturday Brewery Tour with Charlotte Brews Cruise or climb aboard the Trolley Pub Charlotte to sip and pedal your way through the city’s craft beer scene.