Craft BeerEat & Drink

15 Beers to Add to Your Charlotte Craft Bucket List

posted by Bryan Richards February 23, 2017
Photo by City Smoke.
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Unlimited Juice Belgian-American IPA from Sugar Creek Brewing Company

Unlimited Juice is what happens when a Belgian Strong Pale Ale collides with an American IPA. Think big, juicy notes of pineapple, berries, and citrus with the sophistication and complexity that Belgian influenced ales are revered for. Unlimited Juice is currently available in the taproom for a limited time. A few kegs will be released to select restaurants in bars throughout North and South Carolina.

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We Knead Each Other Tart IPA from Free Range Brewing

Ever wonder what a beer would taste like that’s fermented with a 200-year-old sourdough bread starter culture? Yeah, us neither. That is until Free Range Brewing teamed up with Duke’s Bread on a series of special release beers – all fermented with the 200-year old yeast. The 100% North Carolina grain IPA delivers a pleasant tartness alongside bright, citrusy hops. We Knead Each Other is currently available in Free Range’s Taproom for consumption onsite or for take home in a 32-ounce crowler.

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Frost Warning Dunkelweizenbock from Olde Mecklenburg Brewery

Fans of Olde Mecklenburg Brewery have something to celebrate with this first new release from OMB in years! Frost Warning is everything you know and love in a traditional German wheat ale with an added sweetness and alcohol level from the strong malt backbone. Frost Warning is now available in draft all throughout Charlotte while supplies last.

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Chocolate Covered Pretzel Stout from Triple C Brewing Co.

Yes, the thought of this beer makes us smile, too. The perennial favorite will be released alongside two variants for the first time this year. Not only can Triple C faithful enjoy the boozy, chocolately, malt bomb as is, but they can also enjoy it with the addition of mint or coconut. However you desire your Bourbon Barrel Aged Chocolate Pretzel Stout, it is available in both draft and bottle at the brewery and select retailers and restaurants around town.

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Hop Cakes IPA from NoDa Brewing

Move over Hop Slam, the Queen City has it’s own double IPA that beer hunters go nuts for – Hop Cakes! While the famed beer from Bell’s Brewing is balanced with a dollop of honey, NoDa uses a touch of maple syrup for an extra layer of flavor. Hop Cakes is available in both keg and can at the brewery and at merchants throughout Charlotte.

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Maple Canyon Brown Ale from Legion Brewing

Maple Canyon is another local ale brewed with maple syrup. However, instead of using maple syrup to balance out the bitterness, it’s used to add a layer of malty complexity to the beer. You can expect a nutty aroma with notes of chocolate and coffee. This customer favorite will be available on draft in the taproom and at select accounts in late February.

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Dat Pale Ale from Lenny Boy Co. 

While fans of Lenny Boy Brewing may enjoy the mildly hopped organic pale ale throughout the year on draft in the taproom or at their favorite watering hall, it has yet to be canned. That changes on March 11th. Dat Pale Ale will be available in cans in retail establishments throughout Crown Town. It’s the perfect complement for that outdoor activity like, you know, back porch sipping!

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Rye Felicia Brett IPA from The Unknown Brewing Co.

Friday reference aside, this is a serious beer! The open fermented Brett IPA will offer a wild tartness alongside big, citrus hops and nuanced spice from the rye. Expect some form of release party from The Unknown Brewing Co. when they release Rye Felicia that will undoubtedly by be worthy of a trip to Charlotte as their parties are epic! Rye Felicia will be available at the brewery and in select accounts throughout North and South Carolina in both draft and cans in the spring.

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Thicket as Thieves Sour Ale from Wooden Robot Brewery

Let’s talk bottle releases, shall we? Thicket as Thieves is part of Wooden Robot Brewery’s bottle release series where the farmhouse style brewery teases customers with limited release. The blackberry sour is fermented with over a pound per gallon of blackberry puree for a beer that is tart and juicy all at once. Thick as Thieves will be available in the tasting room starting late March.

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Alpine Lente Meadow Mai Bock from Blue Blaze Brewing

Celebrate spring like they do in Germany this April with a wickedly strong Mai Bock. The Alpine Lente Meadow Mai Bock from Blue Blaze Brewing carries all the balance one expects from an efficient German lager with a strong 7% ABV punch. The lager will be available in draft only at the brewery and restaurants and bars throughout Charlotte.

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Brettrospective Brett Saison from Divine Barrel Brewing

Divine Barrel Brewing plans to announce their opening in Charlotte this summer with Brettrospective. The Brett Saison will be aged in the brewery’s large, oak foeder with both ale yeast and brettanomyces. Translation – expect a lightly tart and effervescent beer with fruity tropical and citrus notes. The beer will be available in draft at the brewery and select accounts in Charlotte.

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Ghost of Pumpkins Past Pumpkin Ale from Three Spirits Brewery

The Ghost of Pumpkins Past haunts fans of Three Spirits Brewery throughout the year. They just can’t get enough of the brown ale spiced with traditional pumpkin spices. You can get your fix of it starting in late August until, like a ghost, it vanishes into thin air.

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Mecktoberfest from Olde Mecklenburg Brewery

Mecktoberfest, Olde Mecklenburg Brewery’s Oktoberfest Bier, helped put the brewery on the map by winning gold at the European Beer Star competition in the Märzen category. To further stamp the impressiveness of this feat, the competition was help in Munich – home to Oktoberfest. You can raise your frothy mug of Mecktoberfest starting August 28th until supplies run out. It’s available in both draft and bottle.

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White Blaze Winter Warmer from Triple C Brewing Co.

While most winter warmers tend to be a little overdone on both spice and alcohol content, Triple C Brewing’s White Blaze is just perfect for a mild Carolina winter. At 6% ABV, it provides the right amount of warmth to take off the chill and offers slight hints of cinnamon, vanilla, clove, and coconut. White Blaze is available starting early November in the taproom and beyond both on draft and in 22-ounce bombers.

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Codger Barrel Aged British Strong Ale from Thirsty Nomad Brewing

Here’s another big beer for you booze hounds out there. Thirsty Nomad describes Codger as something between an Old Ale and a Belgian Quad. For non-beer nerds, that means you can expect lots of dark fruit character to accompany the whiskey and vanilla from the barrel in this 10% ABV beer. Codger will be available in the taproom in both 22 oz bombers and on draft in January/February 2018.

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Throughout the year Charlotteans look forward to their favorite local brewery’s special release or seasonal beers. Some celebrate the beer at release parties, others enjoy it at home in a can or bottle, but most prefer to cozy up in taprooms on any given weekend to sip that special libation. We want to help you drink like a local and navigate the many seasons of special releases with this handy guide to 15 of the best Charlotte beers to check out in 2017.

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