Brewery Visit: Charlotte – Saturday, February 10th
This past Saturday, the family and I hit a couple of our favorite breweries in the Charlotte area. It was a great weekend for craft beer in the area with mobile taprooms, can releases, and many special release brews on tap. Plus, it’s a double win when I can spend time with my family and enjoy a couple of brews along the way! It really doesn’t get much better than that!
We started off at Salud Cerveceria. Salud is a unique brewery in that downstairs is a bottle shop and upstairs is a taproom. I had heard through the Craft Beer Community that Burial Beer Company, out of Asheville, NC, was going to be at Salud with their mobile taproom, doing a special can release of beers that are normally found only in their Asheville taproom. Burial was releasing The Savages of Ruminating Minds IPA; Pinnacle of Dreams Rye Lager, a collaboration with Fonta Flora Brewing; The Persistence of Memories Double IPA; and One for You, a lager brewed with coconut and pineapple in collaboration with Other Half Brewing in New York. My plan was to quickly hop in for a few packs; however, I soon realized that I may have missed out when I saw people walking away from the brewery with stacks of four-pack cans. After asking around a bit, I learned my suspicions were true. Unfortunately, I had arrived too late and missed out on the special release beers, but I did get to check out Salud, and I will definitely return soon for a few of their own beers.
Next we hit NoDa Brewing Company in the North Davidson area of Charlotte. NoDa has always been one of my favorite breweries in the Charlotte area as it was one of the places that I really fell in love with Craft Beer. The brewery had their much anticipated can release of Hop Cakes, and Imperial IPA brewed with Vermont Maple Sugar, the day before, so I wanted to stop in for the cans and a couple other brews. My kids love NoDa as well because they offer complimentary juice boxes and also have a Frisbee golf turf area adjacent to the patio. Family friendly FTW!
I’m usually a Flight Guy when I visit breweries; however, today was a pint day. My wife had been wanting to try Captain Peanut Butter’s Chocolate Revenge, a chocolate-peanut butter stout, and I opted for the Trois Pale Ale. Both beers were excellent; however the stout was just INCREDIBLE. We shared the pint and honestly couple have enjoyed a couple of more, even at the ~9% ABV. Captain Peanut Butter’s Chocolate Revenge showcased flavors of chocolate and peanut butter which was somewhat reminiscent of Reese Cups. The chocolate notes were more aligned with dark chocolate, and that paired perfectly with the peanut butter. Black as night with a tan head and not overly sweet, this brew was surprisingly easy drinking. At 9%, one would think this stout would be heavy, but it was actually more on the lighter side I thought. This was one of those brews that you just had to keep taking a drink from. It was so smooth, and each sip really beckoned you to take another.
I had no complaints on the Trois Pale Ale either as it was light and easy-drinking, and it showcased a variety of hop flavors. Captain Peanut Butter’s Chocolate Revenge really stole the show though. After closing out our tab at the brewery with a four pack can of Hop Cakes to go, the kiddos took advantage of a break in the rain and enjoyed some time outside in the Frisbee Golf Area.
Our next stop was Sycamore Brewing Company in the South End area of Charlotte. Sycamore is another favorite Charlotte brewery of mine which has been cranking out some incredible brews as of late. Saturday was the first ever, canned release of Juice Willis, a Juicy IPA which showcases Galaxy and Nelson hops. I had this brew a while back at their three year anniversary, and it was excellent. The cans were a given, so the wife and I opted to share a flight as well.
Our flight, from right to left, featured the Tangerine Kolsch, the Rhubarb Gose, Juice Willis IPA, and a Hot Chocolate Crème Stout. The Kolsch was incredible, and I immediately reached out to the brewer with the feedback as both Mel and I loved it! This brew was everything you could want in a Koslch—light, crisp, and refreshing—with just a subtle hint of tangerine. This was very, very well done. Adding fruit to a beer, in my brewing and tasting experiences, is a double-edged sword—either the flavor greatly compliments the beer or it completely washes it out. This was the former—that tangerine kiss was just enough to add a unique complimenting element to the Kolsch. I really hope that Sycamore keeps this one in production—and even cans it—as I thought it would be a perfect Spring and Summer Beer. I could definitely see myself crushing a few of those on the beach.
The Rhubarb Gose was pretty solid as well. I feel the earthy flavor of the rhubarb complimented the sour notes of the beer. It was incredibly unique, and I am definitely coming to appreciate the sour and gose styles more and more. I will hold my thoughts on Juice Willis for now as I plan to do a more in depth review later on, but in the meantime I’ll just say that it was excellent. I had no complaints on the hot chocolate crème stout either. Mel thought the flavor was more along the lines of coffee than hot chocolate. I felt the chocolate notes were there; however, they were muted. All in all, great beers and a pack of Juice Willis cans to go closed out our day. #Brewery #Family #Charlotte