Eat & Drink

8 Ways to Experience NC Beer Month in Charlotte

Charlotte’s overflowing with craft beer all year long, but every April, locally made brews reign supreme in the Queen City.

D9 Brewing Company - Photo by Kyo H Nam

There’s no better time to discover Charlotte’s hoppin’ craft beer culture than during NC Beer Month each April. From dozens of craft breweries and beer shops to beer festivals and events, Charlotte’s got a lot on tap. To get you started, here are eight ways to experience the Queen City’s craft beer scene.

1. Kick off the month at a Charlotte Craft Beer Week event.

“Hop” into NC Beer Month with a full lineup of brew-zy events thanks to Charlotte Craft Beer Week, which lasts through April 8. Now in its ninth year, this craft celebration boasts dozens of events like tap takeovers, tastings of rare and exotic brews, food and beer pairing events, brewery tours, beer crawls and more throughout the city.

2. Drink local.

Move over Bud Light and Michelob Ultra. The quality and quantity of local craft brews available in Charlotte call for a change to your beer ordering habits during NC Beer Month (and all year long). You’ll find local favorites like The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery’s Copper, NoDa Brewing Company’s Hop, Drop ‘n Roll and Birdsong Brewing Co.’s Jalapeño Pale Ale on tap at most restaurants and bars in the region. Order them. We promise you’ll find something you like that’s local (and be sure to tell us when you do using #cltontap on social media).

3. Vote in the CLT Clash of the Crafts bracket.

After you’ve tasted some of our local brews, submit a vote for your favorite in the CLT Clash of the Crafts bracket. Hailing from more than two dozen Charlotte-area craft breweries, 32 craft beers have a chance to be crowned the 2018 Clash of the Crafts champion. Beer enthusiasts can vote for their favorite Hoppy, Malt/Roast, Crisp and Funky/Fruity brew selections. Every vote counts in this single-elimination knockout tournament. Voting begins April 4 with a different round each week.

4. Go on a brewery (or food) tour.

One brewery, two breweries, three breweries, four. No matter how you’d like to explore Charlotte’s craft beer scene, there’s a tour for you. More than 20 breweries, like The Unknown Brewing Co., D9 Brewing Company and Legion Brewing Company, offer free tours of the brew house each week. And brew-hards can do it big with tours from Charlotte Brews CruiseCharlotte Brew-Ha-Ha Tours or Charlotte Brewery Tours, which stop at multiple locations. Food tours like Tour De Food, FEAST Food Tours and Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours also include local beer tastings at many of their stops.

Pro Tip: With the LYNX Blue Line light rail extension now open, you can do your own brewery crawl by hopping from stop to stop from South End to NoDa.

#CharlottesGotALot

5. Attend a beer festival.

Keep the taps flowing at one of April’s many beer-centric festivals. Celebrate National Beer Day at Beer Me BrewFest in South End on April 7. Get a taste of local brews and food while listening to live tunes at Local Brews, Local Grooves at The Fillmore on April 15. Discover the great outdoors while enjoying local crafts at Tuck Fest at the U.S. National Whitewater Center from April 19 to 22. (That same weekend, on April 21, Jamaican Me Hoppy Craft Beer Festival brings beer and Bob Marley-esque music to Uptown. Don’t worry—you can do both.) Finally, close the month’s tab with the Moo & Brew Craft Beer & Burger Festival at AvidXchange Music Factory on April 28. For more beer events, check out cltontap.com.

6. Hang out at a beer shop.

In addition to the dozens of craft breweries in the region, craft beer bars and tasting rooms offer a cool hangout spot and the opportunity to sample a variety of local suds or grab a six-pack to take home. In South End, check out the dog-friendly patio at Pop the Top Craft Beer Shop, or spend the afternoon at Good Bottle Co., Bulldog Beer & Wine or Craft Growler Shop and Tasting Room. Head to Plaza Midwood and chill at The Common Market or The Hop Shop. In downtown Pineville, stop by Trackside Crafts and Pintville. Crafty Beer Guys in Huntersville, Carolina Beer Temple in Matthews and Davidson Beverage Company in Davidson should also be on your list.

7. Enter to win the Ultimate Charlotte Craft Beer Weekend.

One lucky winner and their guest has the opportunity to win the Ultimate Craft Beer Weekend in Charlotte. The sweepstakes is open now through Monday, April 30, at 11:59 p.m. EDT. One winner will be selected at random to receive a complimentary two-night hotel stay at an Uptown hotel, a brewery tour for two with Queen City Rides, gift cards to local restaurants and breweries, tours and tastings at local breweries and a $50 Visa gas card.

#CharlottesGotALot

8. Follow Charlotte’s got a lot on social for brewery takeovers.

As part of NC Beer Month, Charlotte breweries will take over the ‘Charlotte’s got a lot’ Instagram and/or Twitter accounts throughout the month, giving ‘Charlotte’s got a lot’ followers an insider’s view of each brewery and its events. Be sure to follow @charlottesgotalot on Instagram and @charlottgotalot on Twitter for a behind-the-scenes look Catawba Brewing Co., GoodRoad CiderWorks, Lenny Boy Brewing Co., Sycamore Brewing and more.

Bonus: If you’re at Charlotte Douglas International Airport this month, look for craft beer tastings from several local breweries hosted by the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority every Friday from 2-6 p.m. The pop-up tastings will take place near 1897 Market (Main Concourse), Whisky River (Concourse E) and Carolina Beer Co. (Concourse D).