Tour Charlotte’s Booming Brewery Scene
Sip your way through Charlotte’s craft beer scene on an experiential beer tour.
by Kristen Moore
With more the four dozen breweries in the region, Charlotte’s overflowing with ways to explore the local craft beer scene. Go beyond the taprooms on one of these experiential craft beer tours through the Queen City.
Van & Bus Tours
Brew Ha-Ha Tours are offered in the Charlotte, Concord and Lake Norman areas by Charlotte Special Events Group. The all-inclusive tour includes visits to three or four unique breweries, two souvenir pint glasses, door prizes, and food at a local restaurant either before or after the tour. Transportation is provided on a luxury motorcoach and led by professionally trained guides.
You drink, City Brew Tours will drive. This all-inclusive tour of Charlotte's best breweries will take you and your crew on a craft beer journey. Follow an itinerary of handpicked breweries in the Queen City and gain exclusive behind-the-scenes access as you delve into the brewing process. If you’re looking for a party bus with booze, this probably isn’t the tour for you, but City Brew Tours takes things one sip further with deliciously unique craft beer expeditions that delve deep into the past and present of craft beer. Their tours deliver the best of every world: frothy beer, fascinating education and entertainment at every leg of the journey.
Pedal for Your Beer
All aboard! Join a certified Trolley Pub conductor on this eco-friendly, pedal-powered, 14-person trolley available for private tours or mixer tours. The Trolley Pub can be rented for a variety of events, like birthday parties, bachelor/bachelorette parties or just a fun night out with friends. Tours include the driver, a cooler on board and use of the sound system. Participants pedal to help power the pub, but the conductor has an electric motor to help with hills. Tours are available daily, and routes with stops at local breweries and restaurants are customizable through Uptown, South End and NoDa.
Experience Charlotte beer a completely different way on the city’s first 15-person pedal-powered, open-air, eco-friendly party boat on Lake Norman. Led by an experienced captain, all cruises are two hours and depart from Waterstreet Seaport in Cornelius. Private tours are available for up to 15 people or guests can book individual seats on an open cruise (minimum of six required). While the boat doesn’t stop at breweries, participants can BYOB, so stock up on local cans before you set sail. The catamaran is powered by pedaling, but there is a solar-powered motor to help if needed.
Explore Charlotte’s beer scene by bike. Cycle your way from brewery to brewery in the South End neighborhood on a Bike & Brews tour with Charlotte NC Tours. Tours are offered daily at 3 p.m. A guide, bike and helmet are included, but beer is on your own.
Other Ways to Explore Craft Beer
Private, customized brewery tours can also be set up with transportation companies, like Five Star Limousine, National Charter Bus, CLT Express or Queen City Party Charters.
Sample and sip your way through Charlotte on a food tour with FEAST Food Tours. Many of the food-centric tours also include samples of local craft beer at the various stops.
Social Bike Rides
Many local breweries and biking meetup groups organize weekly bike-and-brew rides across the area. Check Work For Your Beer's calendar for more information.
Individual Brewery Tours
If you only have time to stop at one brewery, most offer weekly tours of their facilities. The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery offers tours at 2, 3 and 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, and NoDa Brewing Company offers tours on Thursdays and Fridays at 6 p.m., Saturdays at 4 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Many breweries also offer tours upon request.