Meet the Brewers | Charlotte's got a lot | Charlotte NC Travel & Tourism
The official travel resource

Meet the Brewers

 Ever wondered about the creative minds behind your favorite craft beers? We chatted with six local brewers to find out the methods to their craft madness and their thoughts on the Queen City’s suds scene.

  • What is your opinion of the Charlotte beer scene? How do we stack up to competitors? Relative to other big beer cities around the country, there still aren't many breweries in Charlotte, which leaves a lot of room for growth. However, Charlotte is well on its way to being a beer city that can hold its own with some of the top cities in the U.S.
  • Where do you see the beer scene going in future years? With the way trends are going now, it can only get hoppier from here. It seems that people just want more and more hop flavor and bitterness in the beer.
  • What's your favorite beer your brewery serves and? My favorite beer that we serve is Foxhound American Ale. It's an American ale that's amber in color with a lot of maltiness and a very slight bitterness on the backend.
  • What sets your brewery apart? Our view at Sycamore is not to be constrained by the usual lineup of styles; we try to make as many different beers as we can, and that's what sets us apart from a lot of other breweries.
  • What other beer-related establishment besides your own would you suggest that Charlotte visitors explore? If you're coming to Charlotte, you really need to visit Triple C Brewing Co., Lenny Boy Brewing Co., The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, The Unknown Brewing Co., Wooden Robot Brewery, Birdsong Brewing Co., Craft Tasting Room & Growler Shop, Good Bottle Co. and Brawley's Beverage.
  • What would your perfect beer-filled day in Charlotte look like? My perfect beer-filled day starts with Craft Tasting Room & Growler Shop for lunch, then Good Bottle Co. for an in-between drink. Then end the night with Bakersfield on East Boulevard, and maybe throw in a margarita or two while you're there.


Brett Battista, Head Brewer, The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery

  • What is your opinion of the Charlotte beer scene? How do we stack up to competitors? The Charlotte beer scene is relatively young, but the quality of the brews you can drink in the Queen City is easily comparable to (if not better than) any classic brewing city. 
  • Where do you see the beer scene going in future years? Before the Charlotte beer scene can advance any further, the North Carolina 25,000-barrel cap law needs to be increased. Without an increase, several local breweries will have to restrict their growth to avoid the forced outsourcing of their brand rights and path to market.
  •  What’s your favorite beer your brewery serves and why? I love Hornet’s Nest! It’s brewed with a different yeast strain than any of OMB’s other beers, giving it a unique flavor profile (delicious hints of banana and bubblegum) and appearance (yellow and cloudy). I dare you to find a better hefeweizen in the world.
  • What sets your brewery apart? We use time-tested, old-school brewing methods, quality ingredients and high-end equipment. On our weekend brewery tours, we explain in depth several brewing techniques that make us special, including our decoction mash, lager tanks and filtration process.
  • What other beer-related establishment besides your own would you suggest that Charlotte visitors explore?  For a true Queen City experience, attend a Charlotte Knights baseball game in Uptown. The Knights have an outstanding selection of craft brews. OMB even has its own “Bierhut” at the (BB&T Ballpark) stadium!
  •  What would your perfect beer-filled day in Charlotte look like? A LoSo (Lower South End) tour, including lunch outdoors at OMB. LoSo includes: OMB, Great Wagon Road Distilling Company, Sugar Creek Brewing Co., Red Clay Ciderworks, Three Spirits Brewery and Doc Porter’s Distillery; that’s three breweries, a cidery and two distilleries!
  • What is your opinion of the Charlotte beer scene? How do we stack up to competitors? I feel that the Charlotte craft beer scene is one of the most exciting beer scenes in the country. North Carolina itself is one of the fastest-growing craft beer scenes, state-wise, and Charlotte has shown a recent push that is setting a new standard as far as brewery openings and expansions.  
  • Where do you see the beer scene going in future years? I believe there will be continued expansion in the Charlotte beer scene, not only in numbers, but also in production expansion.  
  • What’s your favorite beer your brewery serves and why? I have to say our new session IPA, Par 4, is a constant beer on my list for the evening. It's fun and full of IPA hoppy goodness without hitting you with the higher ABV that most IPAs have, and it also doesn't finish as dry as a lighter 4 percent beer typically would.
  • What sets your brewery apart? I think our brewery is mostly defined by our approach to offering our own modest twist on American craft beer.
  • What other beer-related establishment besides your own would you suggest that Charlotte visitors explore?  I would suggest any local brewery, to be honest; the diversity of size, style offerings and overall atmosphere of each Charlotte brewery is all over the board.  
  • What would your perfect beer-filled day in Charlotte look like? Get a table and food at a well-regarded spot in one of the areas you want to explore. If possible, take tours at each brewery and see how the beer is made.

Conor Robinson, Head Brewer, Birdsong Brewing Co.

  • What is your opinion of the Charlotte beer scene? How do we stack up to competitors? I think the Charlotte craft beer scene is among the most rapidly growing beer scenes in North Carolina, and I think it has quite a bit of potential to keep growing. 
  • Where do you see the beer scene going in future years? I see it continuing to grow at nearly the same rate, as far as new breweries opening. We have seen a new trend in small neighborhood breweries that are more taproom-oriented. I think that will continue to be popular, with a couple larger distribution breweries coming onto the scene.
  • What’s your favorite beer your brewery serves and why? I would say the beer I catch myself drinking the most is our Lazy Bird Brown Ale. It is the only recipe that we haven't tweaked over the four years we have been brewing it. It’s also easy to drink any time of year. 
  • What sets your brewery apart? I would say that we differentiate ourselves by making balanced beers that may occasionally have a weird ingredient (jalapeños) that is kept in check. We also promote a friendly taproom without a TV, so people can come meet us as well as others. 
  • What other beer-related establishment besides your own would you suggest that Charlotte visitors explore?  I would most likely take them to The Common Market in Plaza Midwood since its close by for me. It has a good beer selection and always offers interesting people-watching.
  • What would your perfect beer-filled day in Charlotte look like? Try to hit some key South End breweries, eat at Futo Buta off the light rail, take a nap, go out to some of the NoDa breweries at night.

Eric Mitchell, Head Brewer, Heist Brewery

  • What is your opinion of the Charlotte beer scene? How do we stack up to competitors? Charlotte is certainly becoming (if not already) a craft beer destination. We have such a vast variety of talented characters brewing beer around here that you would be hard-pressed not to find the style of beer you’re craving at that moment.
  • Where do you see the beer scene going in future years? It’s hard to say. We are experiencing so much growth in this industry right now; I say we just keep riding this wave and enjoy it. That’s not to say I don’t think we will eventually hit a “plateau,” but as long as good craft beer is being produced, this industry should continue to thrive.
  • What’s your favorite beer your brewery serves and why? I really enjoy big, chewy stouts; that’s what we set out to create each year with our Cataclysm series.
  • What sets your brewery apart? That’s something that is becoming increasingly hard to do around here. We do put a lot of focus on big, bold, in-your-face beers.
  • What other beer-related establishment besides your own would you suggest that Charlotte visitors explore?  I’m biased, but I certainly enjoy the NoDa Craft Beer Bar Crawl, which includes lunch and beers at Heist, a trip to Free Range Brewing, Birdsong Brewing Co. and the new NoDa Brewing Company location.
  • What would your perfect beer-filled day in Charlotte look like? Two days would be recommended and would go as follows: one day visiting the South End breweries via the LYNX Blue Line. The second day would be the NoDa Craft Beer Bar Crawl with the addition of taking an Uber ride to Legion Brewing in Plaza Midwood. 

Townes Mozer, Head Brewer, Lenny Boy Brewing Co.

  • What is your opinion of the Charlotte beer scene? How do we stack up to competitors? I think the scene is great and ever-evolving in Charlotte. We have some very established breweries and some new ones coming in and carving out their own space in our market. I think that good beer is what is most important and keeps our industry as a whole growing. 
  • Where do you see the beer scene going in future years? It’s hard to say. I think more brewpubs and smaller operations geared on staying small will arise.
  • What’s your favorite beer your brewery serves and why? Our gold medal-winning Burn Down for What Sour Brown Ale (pale, crystal and chocolate sweet malts intermingle with tasty, rolled, slightly smoked oats to deliver a delicious and mildly creamy brown ale). It won best organic sour beer in the country at the National Organic Beer Competition in 2015! 
  • What sets your brewery apart? We are North Carolina’s only certified organic producer of kombucha, and we serve wild ales traditional beers and our own brews.
  • What other beer-related establishment besides your own would you suggest that Charlotte visitors explore? The Cellar at Duckworth's, Craft Tasting Room & Growler Shop and The Common Market.  
  • What would your perfect beer-filled day in Charlotte look like? Rent a bike from the city (Charlotte B-cycle) and do a South End beer crawl. 
 
This article ran in the April 2016 issue of Charlotte Happenings and was updated in February 2017. For more on Charlotte's craft beer scene visit cltontap.com.
Related Topics
Related Topics