Have You Caught the Charlotte Craft Beer Bug?
If you haven’t jumped on the craft beer bandwagon, Fall is the perfect time to give it a try. With the number of breweries in the double digits (and growing!) in Charlotte, the Queen City has certainly caught the craft beer bug.
As temperatures drop and football season ramps up, grab some friends and check out some of the local breweries. There’s truth to the theory that beer is best enjoyed straight from the tap! Before you go, here’s a little guide to craft beer and some insight into the Fall brews at some of our local faves:
Craft Beer Basics
Generally when it comes to craft beers, you’ll see a description, an ABV percentage, and an IBU number. For those that don’t speak “beer-talk”, here’s what these little numbers mean:
ABV - Alcohol by Volume - This percentage will tell you the amount of alcohol in the beer you’re drinking.The higher the percentage, the quicker you’ll need to plan on taking an Uber home!
IBU - International Bitterness Unit - In layman's terms, IBU gives you an idea of how bitter the beer may taste. Save yourself from bitter beer face by sticking to brews with a lower number. For all you IPA lovers, you’ll notice the IBU for your fav tends to be higher.
Wake Up Porter
Made with locally roasted Sumatra Lintong coffee from Central Coffee Co. and fresh vanilla beans, Wake Up Porter is basically the beer version of a latte, we’re not kidding.
ABV: 5.8% IBU: 29
St. Tuber Belgian Abbey
To balance out the Fall craze pumpkin, the folks at Birdsong decided to show some love to NC’s state vegetable --- the sweet potato! Brewed with NC sweet potatoes, cloves and a Belgian yeast strain (think: fruity flavor), your taste buds will thank you for giving St. Tuber a whirl.
ABV: 6.7% IBU: 25
Also coming to Birdsong this Fall: Carolina Common
Gordgeous Pumpkin Ale
For all you pumpkin fans, this beer is for you. Brewed with over 50 pounds of pumpkin, 42 pounds of brown sugar per batch, and freshly cracked spices, it’s the closest we’ve found to having a pumpkin pie in a glass.
ABV: 6.4% IBU: 29
This beer screams authenticity from the name alone! Mecktoberfest is a Marzen-style amber lager - the original Oktoberfest Bier. Brewed with Munich malt, noble hops, and a yeast strain from the oldest brewery in the world, it’s the real deal, with a smooth malty flavor that is easy to love. Prost to Mecktoberfest!
ABV: 5.4% IBU: 24
Gourd Have Mercy!
Best enjoyed on a crisp, Fall day, Gourd Have Mercy is filled with everything we love about Fall beers. A malty beer, inspired by pumpkin pie, you’ll enjoy this brew because of its subtle flavors. (PS - while you’re enjoying Sycamore’s brews, make sure you try their Southern Girl Lager - it took home a Bronze medal at the 2015 Great American Beer Festival!)
Sweet Tater Pie Red Ale
If you live in the South, you probably appreciate a good ‘sweet tater pie.’ Echoing the Fall dessert fav, Wooden Robot’s Red Ale is brewed with sweet potatoes, brown sugar, and the fall-spice trifecta --- cinnamon, nutmeg, & vanilla. Best enjoyed on a chilly day, Sweet Tater Pie Red Ale is sure to warm you up and leave you wanting another.
Garage Warrior - Collaboration IPA
Described as a supermegaultra collaboration IPA brewed with 80 local homebrewers including the Carolina BrewMasters, this IPA includes over 270 hop additions with a bold citrus and hop finish you'll remember. This beer gives local a whole new meaning.
One Bad Apple - Small Batch, Limited Release
If carnival foods are your style, One Bad Apple will instantly remind you of a sour candy apple. This cinnamon apple wild ale is a Fall-beer game changer and nice change of pace from pumpkin everything.
This beer is North Carolina perfection! Brewed with local coffee from Counter Culture Roasters in Durham as well as chocolate from French Broad in Asheville, Teleporter really brings together some of NC’s local favorites into a well-rounded coffee and chocolate infused porter.
Rise Against Clowns
Keeping with the carnival theme, Rise Against Clowns, a collaboration brew with 7venth Sun, is a blood orange and cotton candy sour ale. This release is a little different - like the name suggests, the folks at Unknown hate clowns. A lot. So they brewed a sour ale that will be released in bombers (bottles) to scare away any clowns. Bad for clowns, great for all of us beer lovers!
Road to Nowhere - Porter
If you’re a chocoholic, this porter has your name on it! A traditional American Porter with malty, chocolate-y, cocoa flavors, and a slightly sweet finish, you can’t go wrong heading down this Road to Nowhere.
ABV: 5.7% IBU: 48
With notes of chocolate, coffee, caramel and a light sweetness permeate the beer, Sugar Creek’s Porter is a crowd favorite. It has a clean finish and feels light for the style. You won’t feel bad ordering another!
ABV: 5.7% IBU: 18
Biere de Garde
The name itself means “beer which has been kept or lagered.” If the name didn’t give it away, Biere de Garde is a traditional French ale, with the ingredients imported to re-create the brew. It’s smooth drinkability will remind you of a lager but the full-flavored fruitiness will continuously surprise your taste buds.
ABV: 6.8% IBU: 20
Charlotte is a Beer-Drinking Destination!
Seriously, if you haven’t had the chance to get out to our local breweries, message your friends and get a plan together asap. Charlotte is up-and-coming on the craft beer scene and is becoming quite the beer-drinking destination in North Carolina (we see you, Asheville!).
As a craft beer lover, I’m often posting my favorite brews, or new discoveries on Instagram. Feel free to follow and let me know some of your faves @carriehamrick. Similarly, if you use the app Untappd, you can find me there as well: Carrie Hamrick. Amazing photography courtesy of Nick Bossi!
It goes without saying, but be smart when you’re out drinking. Drink responsibly. And if you think you’ve had too much, play it safe and let Uber get you home.