Epicurean Charlotte

Food & Wine Magazine

CHRONICLING THE JOYS OF FOOD AND WINE IN THE CHARLOTTE METROPOLITAN REGION

Beers, Bryan & Buzz City

Craft Beer Column

 

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Refreshing Suds for the Dog Days of Summer

To help you survive the seemingly never-ending days of late summer when Mother Nature has her blast furnace turned up to maximum, I've picked out some light and refreshing local craft beers to match with your favorite summertime activity. Each selection is available in either cans or bottles for on-the-go fun. 

Most summer weekends, you can find my family splashing in our neighborhood pool. My go to poolside brewski is Unknown Brewing’s Feather Light. Charlotte's first locally brewed light beer is refreshingly tart and crisp with a soft mouthfeel that goes down easily.  A 3.8% ABV guarantees ultimate poolside crushability. 

On the lucky occasions when friends invite me out on their boat, I'm packing enough of Catawba Brewing’s Peach of Mind peach grisette for the entire boat to enjoy. The easy drinking Belgian-style ale was historically brewed to refresh thirsty coal-miners on their breaks. The addition of fresh, juicy peaches only adds to the beer’s quench-ability for thirsty boaters. 

Another favorite summertime activity is hitting the links. Since I'm not pounding beers quite as fast as in the previous two activities (although my pathetic golf game warrants it), I want something a little more full-bodied like Olde Mecklenburg Brewery’s Captain Jack’s Pilsner – still on the light side with a clean finish, the heftier malt bill provides a little more beer substance. 

Summer evenings are my favorite time of the year with family and friends gathering around for backyard barbeques and campfires. I like to kickstart my evenings with Triple C Brewing’s Hyzer Hefeweizen. The banana and clove notes and creamier texture results in a beer that you can slowly sip on in between burger flips.  

After the crew is fed, I’m kicking back with Legion Brewing’s Orange Cow Double IPA. The creamsicle inspired hop bomb is brewed with vanilla bean, orange zest, and oats for a pillowy, sweet little number that will have you going back for a second round. It’s summertime, so why not indulge a little? 

Prost!


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May/June 2018:  New(-ish) Beginnings

In honor of springtime melting away the thaw of a rather long winter and the introduction of this new craft beer column to Epicurean Charlotte, I thought it would be fun to focus on new(-ish) beginnings in Charlotte’s craft beer scene.

Charlotte’s newest brewery—Divine Barrel Brewing —recently opened on the edge of NoDa. Don’t let the brewery’s industrial digs frighten you away. Inside is a handsomely outfitted space with exposed brick walls, splashes of colorful artwork from local artists, and plenty of greenery hanging from the ceiling.

The real star of the show, though, is the beer. Divine Barrel specializes in lighter farmhouse ales and evocative sours with a few traditional styles tossed in. Order a quaffable Petite Amie Petite Saison—a refreshing farmhouse with effervescent citrus and black pepper notes—and grab a seat on the patio overlooking the LYNX Blue Line extension.

Not to be outdone, two of the Buzz City’s well-loved breweries spruced things up for the spring. Unknown Brewing completely remodeled their space, replacing the frat house basement bar look with a sleek, modern design complete with an inviting wraparound bar, a rooftop patio with views of Uptown’s skyline, and a pizza kitchen baking up some of the most creative pizzas in town.

Wooden Robot Brewery partnered with Kre-8 to open the much-anticipated Kre-8 Gastropub. Think tacos made with Chinese steamed buns, sharable plates like mussels simmered with white wine, roasted garlic, and blistered tomatoes, and entrées like baked seafood gnocchi. Prost!