2017 South End Craft Crawl – Charlotte, NC
Patrons mill about the old warehouse-turned brewery, their voices rising and falling in varied cadence. The sound of clinking glassware fills the air, clashing with the low sound of music played over a sound system within the taproom area. Glasses are filled to the brim from a plethora of taps mounted upon the inner wall, as two large projectors display the current menu of fermented goodness on tap upon the wall behind the bar.
The location is The Unknown Brewing Company, in Charlotte, North Carolina. The brewery stands just outside of “Uptown”–or “Downtown” for those who buck the traditional Charlottean lingo. This area just south of Uptown is known as Historic South End.
South End is a product of the nation’s first gold rush, which took place in Charlotte, North Carolina. As the railroad came north from Columbia, South Carolina, it made Charlotte its next destination, naturally giving rise to the small community just south of the center of the city. The spirit of South End lives on today with a resurgence of businesses and entrepreneurship.
The Craft Beer scene has followed suite with this resurgence, rising to prominence in South End. It is currently the home of at least twelve breweries and taprooms all specializing in their own brews and vibes to keep the Charlotte clientele happy and satisfied. As such, South End hosted its sixth annual Craft Crawl on Saturday, March 11. To say it was success would be an understatement.
The day was filled with great brews and great times which all highlighted the breweries and taprooms of South End, a further appeal to the entrepreneurship and innovation of the area.
My first stop was at The Unknown Brewing Company where I enjoyed a flight and a half–I say and a half because I finished off a brew or two from my wife’s flight, too. Here, I enjoyed Unknown’s “Scratch and Sniff” Session IPA, “Battle O’ Shirts” Scotch Ale, “Dirty Commie Heathen” Imperial South, and “Raisin the Roof” Belgian Quad (reviews to follow), among others. All four were quite tasty, and I have to give props to the brewers at Unknown. These guys have done a phenomenal job at putting the ‘Unknown’ twist on common brews.
My second stop was at Sycamore Brewing Company, where I enjoyed yet another flight. Here I tried their special South End Craft Crawl release of a Nitro-powered, Salty Coconut Red Ale, a Cherry Cordial Stout, their Peanut Butter Cookie Porter, and their “Norma Jean” West Coast IPA. Again, four great brews–each unique and full of flavor (reviews to follow). I finished off my wife’s flight with a “Boondock Saints” Honey Trippel, which was rather interesting.
After Sycamore, we swung by Sugar Creek Brewing Company for another brew or two and some much needed food. Here, I enjoyed their special release IPA, a pale golden floral and citrus hop forward IPA which was very tasty. This was an excellent conclusion to our time at the South End Craft Crawl. We probably would have hit a few more breweries, but we had our kids with us. They behaved so well for three stops, and bedtime was imminent, so we figured it was time to quit while we were ahead.
The Crawl continued on into the night and was a huge success for the breweries and taprooms of South End. It really is amazing to see a community come together and display the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation that made it great over a hundred years ago. Here’s to the breweries and taprooms of South End, great brews, and good times. Cheers! #BeerEvent #Charlotte