You’ve heard of Charlotte. You may have even traveled through town switching planes at the Queen City’s heavily trafficked airport. But did you know it has one of the United States’ fastest growing craft beer scenes?
According to Fortune, Charlotte’s craft beer industry is exploding so rapidly that at last count the number of breweries in the region totals 20. For those of you counting at home, that number equals the number of breweries the Citizen Times lists for cross-state rival, Asheville.
While Charlotte is considered by many to be a corporate town, at least none of its breweries are satellite production facilities for pseudo craft breweries like Sierra Nevada, Oskar Blues, or New Belgium. Instead, the city’s breweries are proudly neighborhood businesses quenching the thirst of locals and epitomizing what the craft beer movement is all about. While Charlotte may not be Beer City, USA like Asheville, it’s definitely Beer City, North Carolina.
Charlotte is worth more than just a pass through at the airport for the craft beer fanatic. The next time your travel itinerary includes CLT, book an overnight and explore the city’s craft beer scene. Here are 7 craft breweries that cannot be missed.
Olde Mecklenburg Brewery
One cannot check out the Charlotte craft beer scene without paying homage to where it all began. When Olde Meck (as it’s called locally) first opened its doors in 2009, there wasn’t a single craft brewery in town. Thanks to the efforts of owner John Marrino, Olde Meck opened the floodgates to the current craft beer boom Charlotte is experiencing.
Olde Meck brews German style ales and lagers following the German purity laws. Copper is their flagship and a local favorite, but the Captain Jack Pilsner is worth a try for those of you’re wanting to remember what a pilsner should taste like. Olde Meck is also only one of two breweries in Charlotte that has a kitchen. The rest feature food trucks on most nights.