Uniquely Charlotte Craft Beers
The number of Charlotte-area breweries keeps on climbing. Whether you’re using the Charlotte Brew Badge to get in your rounds or following the NoDa Craft Beer Trail, there are a myriad of ways to explore the local beer scene.
by Liz Logan
With so many CLT beers brewed, some breweries pay homage with beers specific to the city, its neighborhoods, outdoor spaces or Charlotte’s pro-sports scene. Here are 20 brews to help you show your Queen City Pride, from year-round goodness and seasonal brews to seltzer and cider.
Charlotte’s current longest-standing brewery, Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, has crafted this hazy wheat ale with Loral and Mandarina Bavaria hops, perfect for biergarten sipping, the name as an ode to the QC’s area code.
Style: Hazy Wheat Ale | IBU: 25 | ABV: 5.6% | Year-round | Cans Available
All Knight Long
The Charlotte Knights, Charlotte’s Minor League Baseball team and Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, played their first game at Uptown’s Truist Field in 2014. This ballpark brew, with Pilsner and Munich malts and Fuggle and Cascade hops, among others, rounds out the flavor profile of this blonde ale and is a homerun for sports lovers.
Style: Blonde Ale | IBU: 15 | ABV: 4.5% | Seasonal | Cans Available
Free Range Brewing’s 2020 opening at Camp North End came with much fanfare as they became the 76-acre destination’s sole brewery. To commemorate their Camp North End taproom and bar, the brains behind the brews created Camp Beer, an easy-sipping lager perfect for a day at Camp.
Style: American Light Lager | ABV: 4% | Year-round | Cans Available
Carolina Thread Trail Pale Ale
A brewery known for its love of all-things hiking, it’s only fitting for Blue Blaze Brewing to have a beer dedicated to the Carolina Thread Trail, a network of North Carolina trails and greenways with an access point to the Stewart Creek Greenway trail just outside the West side taproom. Light in color and crisp on the finish, this ale is a perfect post-hike refresher.
Style: Pale Ale | IBU: 42 | ABV: 4.5% | Year-round | Cans Available
Made with the Carolina-born cherry soft drink, NoDa Brewing’s Cheerwine Ale provides the perfect blend of wheat notes with the subtleness of cherries. The collaboration of these two iconic area beverage companies ensures drinkers can cheers to an approachable beer infused with a true taste of the Carolinas.
Style: Wheat Beer | IBU: 18 | ABV: 5.2% | Year-round | Cans Available
This malty German wheat beer is part of Sugar Creek’s Bottle Reserve series, brewed by one of the only 19 Master Cicerones in the world. Using 100% N.C. wheat and barley, this bottle-conditioned brew produces aromas of caramel and dark fruit, with the yeast profile of banana and clove.
Style: Weizenbock | IBU: 15 | ABV: 6% | Limited Release | 750 mL bottles available
Eastside Sun Blonde
The beloved Eastside sun graces the can of this crisp, clean blonde ale. Vaulted Oak Brewing shows their neighborhood pride and commitment to keeping the character of East Charlotte alive at one of MoRa’s only breweries. Malts from Carolina Malt House make for a mild bitterness in this classic-style ale.
Style: Blonde Ale | ABV: 5.4% | Year-round | Cans Available
The leader in local comedy tours, Funny Bus has teamed up with Ass Clown Brewing on this easy-drinking lager, perfect for enjoying aboard the Funny Bus on their BYOB tours of the Queen City. Find the Dunkel Lager in the cooler months and the light lager in the spring.
Style: Lager | IBU: 38 | ABV: 4.3% | Seasonal | Cans Available
Brewed in collaboration with LA’s Highland Park Brewery, Hello CLT is the sister brew to Highland’s Hello LA. Brewed with traditional West Coast hops, like Citra and Centennial, this IPA brings forth notes of apricot, passionfruit and citrus, perfect for year-round sipping.
Style: West Coast IPA | ABV: 7% | Year-round | Cans Available
Hop On the Light Rail
Making Charlotte their second home from the historic Hannover brewery, Gilde Brewery’s Hop On the Light Rail pages homage to the Light Rail-friendly taproom, just minutes from the Scaleybark Station. Known in Germany as a Diaetbier, this light lager is fruity and refreshing, with a hoppy aroma.
Style: India Pale Lager | ABV: 5% | Year-round
While “Hornets” goes hand-in-hand with Charlotte thanks to the buzzworthy basketball team, Hornets Nest is named for the nickname given to the city when General Cornwallis was unable to take the city during the Revolutionary War. Whether you’re drinking to history or to sports heroes, this Great American Beer Festival winner hits the spot.
Style: Hefeweizen | IBU: 12 | ABV: 5.3% | Year-round | Bottles and Cans Available
Mint City Pilsner
With chapters around the state, Mint City Collective gives Charlotte FC lovers a way to chat, connect and cheer on Charlotte’s Major League Soccer team. Lenny Boy Brewing, home to the South End Chapter, brings the fandom full circle with this pilsner perfect for gameday.
Style: Pilsner | ABV: 5% | Year-round | Cans Available
No Fuchs Given
A now-local legend coming stateside via Austria, Charlotte FC defender Christian Fuchs has made a name for himself on and off the field as a passionate player. In collaboration with his catchy and almost-NSFW brand “No Fuchs Given,” Resident Culture has brewed this lager for tailgating or stadium-seating.
Style: American Lager | ABV: 4.8% | Seasonal | Cans Available
Made for match days, this home-team-supporting pilsner made with German malts gives game-goers a Charlotte FC-themed beer to sip whether tailgating or in the stands.
Style: German-style Pilsner | IBU: 60 | ABV: 4.1% | Seasonal | Cans Available
With a name translating to “What an amazing goal!” Que Golazo is Salud Cerveceria’s take on a Charlotte FC beer made to enjoy in the taproom or beer shop, home to NoDa’s Mint City Collective Chapter.
Style: German Pilsner | ABV: 5.2% | Seasonal | Cans Available
A beer with the Queen City’s namesake, Queen Charlotte is a light-bodied brew with aromas of lemon and lime, Pilsner and Vienna malts, and German Lager yeast leading to a biscuity flavor typical of traditional pilsners.
Style: Pilsner | ABV: 5% | Year-round | Cans Available
Queen City Common
This cider, found in Red Clay’s taproom and on draft around the city, is fermented with champagne yeast and has a light apple aroma and crisp dry finish. This semi-dry cider from North Carolina’s first cidery is great for those looking to take a dip into the cider world.
Style: Traditional Apfelwien | ABV: 6.9% | Year-round | Cans Available
New York’s Southern Tier Brewing Company made its way to the Queen City in 2018 by way of the expansive collaboration Brewers at 4001 Yancey and to celebrate their inclusion in the Charlotte beer scene created Queen’s Wit, a wheat beer perfect for patio sipping.
Style: Witbier | IBU: 10 | ABV: 4.5% | Year-round | Cans Available
Forever the Carolina Panthers fans, NoDa Brewing crafted Roaring Riot with a slight hopiness, balanced with light and crisp malts to create a beer perfect for gameday.
Style: Lager | IBU: 18 | ABV: 4.5% | Seasonal | Cans Available
Honoring the athletics of Queens University, Royals Rise was brewed alongside Queens staff from can design to beer name over the months of production. Unveiled during a 2023 Alumni Reunion Weekend, the collaboration brew is a light and crisp addition to Town’s impressive line-up.
Style: Golden Ale | ABV: 5% | Limited Release | Cans Available
Skyline Lite Lager
Named for their unbeatable skyline view, Petty Thieves Skyline Lite Lager graces the taps of this steampunk brewery (complete with hidden tasting rooms) each summer. Grab a seat on one of many large leather couches found inside or the vintage gliders outside and sip to summer time.
Style: American Light Lager | IBU: 9 | ABV: 4.5% | Seasonal | Cans Available
Toast to Charlotte
Charlotte’s first true seltzery and one of only a few woman-owned taprooms, Bevery Seltzer creates fruit-forward seltzers perfect even for those with a more beer-forward palate. Toast to Charlotte is made with blueberry and raspberry puree and is acai-conditioned, lending itself to a tart-yet-slightly-sweet flavor profile.
Style: Hard Seltzer | ABV: 5% | Year-round | Cans Available
West End Wheat
A spiced witbier, West End Wheat is an easy-drinker made for enjoying on the patio or in the taproom of this Wesley Heights brewery in Charlotte’s West End. Additions of fresh coriander and orange peel give this brew fruity characteristics, with undertones of spice with Columbus and Willamette hops lightly detectable.
Style: Wheat Beer | ABV: 5.1% | Year-round
Wheel Snipe Celly
With a taproom located near Bojangles Coliseum, home to the Charlotte Checkers, Vaulted Oak Brewing created Wheel Snipe Celly (a slang term well-known to hockey lovers) as a wave of support for the Checkers bid for the Calder Cup. A slightly malty ale with hints of caramel, malted rye rounds out the flavor profile with spiced undertones and a slightly dry, clean finish.
Stye: American Amber/Red Ale | ABV: 5.9%
Still thirsty? Explore the NoDa Beer Trail.
Audited and updated by Brianna Perez in August 2023