Sip on signature suds in this artsy neighborhood.

With an overflowing supply of breweries and award-winning local brews, Charlotte’s craft culture reigns supreme. Explore the city’s craft beer kingdom, one neighborhood at a time.

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Time/Distance Estimates


Birdsong to NoDa Brewery

  • 2.6 miles
  • 50-min walk
  • 15-min bike ride
  • Easy intensity



Birdsong to Divine Barrel Brewing

  • 2.2 miles
  • 45-min walk
  • 15-min bike ride
  • Easy intensity

Neighborhoods to Note

Belmont, Villa Heights, Optimist Park, NoDa

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Birdsong Brewing Co.

Discover Birdsong Brewery, a booming craft beer staple since it opened in 2011. Specializing in unique ales and beers, grab your drink of choice and make your way to their outdoor patio. Grab your friends and a few flights and challenge them to a throwback round of giant-sized Jenga.


Choose from a variety of food and drinks at Optimist Hall

The former textile mill now serves as 147,000-square-feet of gathering space populated by local restaurants, offices and retail companies.

Fonta Flora for refreshing craft beer


Take a seat at Fonta Flora, a Morganton, NC-based brewery, known for using ingredients from local farms in their creative craft beers. Located on the ground level of Optimist Hall, there’s plenty of places to unwind with a cold one; head inside their 2,400-square-foot taproom or bask in the sun on their 5,000-square-foot outdoor patio. Choose from distinct brews that their loyal followers love like the Hop Beard IPA or Lake James lager.

The Dumpling Lady for Sichuan specialty noodles


Head inside Optimist Hall for owner Zhang Qian’s famous spicy dumplings and noodles. Qian grew up in Sichuan, China, which inspired her to bring a taste of home to the Queen City. This beloved staple has mouthwatering noodle dishes like the Dan Dan Noodles and Spicy Beef Noodles, Pork & Chives Dumplings and Veggie Dumplings, Scallion Pancakes and Fresh Shao Mai Dim Sum.

Papi Queso for a melted grilled cheese


If you’re searching for comfort food, Papi Queso has mastered the art of a grown-up grilled cheese. Since 2012, the crew at this local eatery has been slinging nostalgic favorites including several different versions of a grilled cheese like The Pig Mac (slow smoked, Cheshire pork, mac and cheese and caramelized onions) and Burger Melt (house-ground beef patty, Swiss, American, caraway onions, thousand island sauce) plus tomato soup, French fries and mozzarella sticks.

El Thrifty for a trendy Instagram picture


For a Mexican-inspired menu featuring shareables like tacos and tortas and agave-based spirits, El Thrifty is an Instagrammer’s dream. Inside, you’ll be surrounded by cool textural elements and modern patterns, cozy seating and games ranging from duck pin bowling lanes to air hockey. Make sure to snag a spot in the swinging chairs outside.


Free Range Brewing

Free Range Brewing, a cool taproom specializing in farmhouse ales, IPAs and sours brewed in small-batches. Owners – and siblings – Jason, Jeff, Sarah and Brittany Alexander dedicated more than 10 years to grow this NoDa brewery. Grab a pint of Cream of the Crop, a Carolina Cream ale, or A Very Long Year, a Carolina dark chocolate stout.


Heist Brewery

Head over to Heist Brewing, less than a mile away from Free Range Brewing. Expect hazy IPAs, pilsners and fruited sours, plus cocktails like the Spring into Action (hibiscus infused with tequila) and The Golden Sour (whiskey with cherry bitters). While you’re there, treat yourself to comfort food staples like spinach dip, flatbreads and mac and cheese.

Take a seat

Unique beer shops in downtown NoDa

Protagonist Clubhouse


Next, walk through Downtown NoDa before sidling up to Protagonist Clubhouse, a 1,700-square-foot nano-brewery with beers influenced by classic styles and named after the Protagonists who inspired them. Located in the heart of NoDa, this intimate setting offers a front-row seat to one of Charlotte’s most eclectic neighborhoods. Pair your Quaid porter or Mr. Diamond fruit beer with bar snacks, hot dogs and charcuterie and cheese plates.

Salud Beer Shop


Next up is Salud Beer Shop, named the best beer bar in the country in 2021. Beer enthusiasts can sip on more than 16 beers on tap and hundreds of craft beer bottles and cans from around the world. Hungry? Don’t miss out on the bottle shop and taproom’s wood-fired pizzas, chicken wings and sandwiches.


The Chamber by Wooden Robot

Discover The Chamber by Wooden Robot, a 15-barrel urban farmhouse brewery using 100% local malt and fresh fruit, herbs and other artisanal ingredients in their drinks. With 6,000 square feet of outdoor space and a sprawling rooftop deck, plus rotating weekly food trucks, this place is a one-stop-shop for a good time.


Continue up to N. Davidson or veer off to NoDa Brewing Company

Option 1: Divine Barrel Brewing


Head to Divine Barrel Brewing, an industrial-style craft brewery specializing in barrel-aged wilds and sours. Divine Barrel Brewing’s name is derived from the team’s passion for quality beer and the significant role wood plays in fermenting and aging. For a blast of tangy and juicy peaches, go for the Carolina Cobbler Peach sour. For a jammy weisse fermented with vanilla, order the Ice Cream Paint Job.

Option 2: NoDa Brewing Company


Finally, end the trail at NoDa Brewing Company, which opened its taproom doors in 2011. From hazy IPAs like the Fusion Series to seasonal batches like the NoDa-jito, this is one of Charlotte’s OG breweries. If you’d like to try something other than beer, order the brewery’s Brizo Craft Seltzer, the Queen City’s first craft spiked seltzer.

Trail Complete

Neighborhoods to Note

Belmont-Villa Heights-Optimist Park, NoDa

Belmont, Villa Heights, Optimist Park

The combined neighborhoods of Belmont, Villa Heights and Optimist Park represent some of Charlotte’s first working-class suburban districts and a reminder of the power of Charlotte’s textile boom in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Green spaces include Cordelia Park, Little Sugar Creek Greenway and the Cross Charlotte Trail. Mural highlights include: "Strange Fruit" (1 in a series of 3) by Dammit Wesley at Rhino Market & Deli (N Davidson location), "Black Lives Matter" and Baby Yoda by Alex DeLarge and Gus Cutty’s “La Patria” at 1721 N Davidson Street.


Known as the historic arts district in Charlotte, there’s art almost everywhere you look in NoDa. Short for “North Davidson,” NoDa is home to art and artists from all walks of life, craft beer, eclectic shopping and top-notch restaurants. A few murals to look out for: Osiris Rain’s “Bloom” at the intersection of East 35th and N Davidson, The Southern Tiger Collective’s Dolly Parton love is love wall on the side of The Blind Pig and William Puckett’s “Als ich Chan: A Tribute to NoDa” on the wall of Jack Beagle’s.