A guide to Charlotte's craft beer scene

It’s no secret that the craft beer scene has exploded over the last few years. With microbreweries taking over cities like Portland, Asheville and Denver, brewery tourism has become part of their DNA. One city where you might not expect to find great IPAs and funky farm house ales? Charlotte. With a healthy dose of southern hospitality and a year-round temperate climate, Charlotte boasts welcoming biergartens perfect for relaxing and sipping with friends.

Best Beer Scene in America

Most of the over 15 established breweries are located along the Lynx Light Rail route, making for easy and inexpensive (not to mention, safe!) transportation. Get the most of your weekend in Charlotte with this visitor's guide!

NoDa Brewing CoPoprock Photography 

1. Most Well Known: NoDa Brewing Company

NoDa (named after North Davidson Street) is one of Charlotte’s more popular breweries with a wide distribution throughout the city. Their Hop, Drop ‘n Roll IPA was a 2014 World Beer Cup® Gold Award Winner –  a top honor at the most prestigious beer competition in the world. 

2. Best Patio: Old Mecklenburg Brewery

OMB (as the locals call it) boasts one of the largest biergartens in the city. Known for their expansive selection of German style brews, OMB’s outdoor space is set on eight acres surrounded by beautiful trees. Grab friends for a game of cornhole or visit in the evenings and enjoy time around the fire pit. 

3. Best Food Options: Wooden Robot

Wooden Robot Brewery features Charlotte’s only stationary food truck – Twisted Eats by Kre8. What’s so unique about it? Twisted Eats makes scrumptious food offerings with Wooden Robot Beer! What’s paired better with beer… than beer? Wooden Robot also offers brunch on the last Sunday of the month.

Triple C Beer Yoga

4. Healthiest Brewery: Triple C Brewing

We all know that beer isn’t the healthiest thing we can consume – but it’s really tasty. Triple C Brewing gets the nod for at least trying to combat the calories you consume when drinking their beer. Join them on Thursdays for Run Club and Beer Yoga. 

5. Best Brewery for Live Music: The Unknown Brewing Co.

Known for pushing the limits, The Unknown Brewing Co. is an eclectic take on craft brewing. Join them as you wrap up your week for their Friday Night Festival where you can listen to live music outside, enjoy food from a variety of food trucks or catch a movie. 

6. Best Under-the-Radar Brewery: Free Range Brewing

You won’t see beers from Free Range Brewing in grocery stores, and finding them in local Charlotte restaurants is spotty. There is no flagship beer and nothing stays on the tasting menu for too long – and they like it that way. Stop in for one-of-a-kind tastings!  

7. Best Non-Brewery Place for a Pint: Pump House Biergarten

Located at the US National Whitewater Center (also a must-visit when in Charlotte), the Pump House offers as many as sixty craft beers as well as various made-to-order food options. Enjoy your food and drink while watching the paddlers go by in the slalom competition channel. 

8. Most Family-Friendly Brewery: Sycamore

With a great patio, ample indoor and outdoor space as well as Food Truck Fridays, Sycamore Brewing is a must-visit. Whether your family consists of kiddos or four-legged fur babies, all are welcome. 

9. Best Place for the Non-Beer Lover: Heist Brewery or Red Clay Ciderworks (it’s a tie!)

Heist Brewery offers creative cocktails and wine for that one person in your group who doesn’t like beer (shame on them). Try the Wilkesboro Smash made with local moonshine or the Pecan Smoked Manhattan made with Buffalo Trace Bourbon. 
Have more of a cider-lover in the group? This gluten-free option for a dry cider is perfect!

Just starting out? Check out Westin Charlotte’s Queen City Craft package – making it easy to get a taste of Charlotte’s craft brew scene.

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