A decade ago, Charlotte, N.C.’s brewery scene was non-existent. Fast forward to 2017 and you’ll find a roster of 43 breweries in the Charlotte area, 22 in the city proper. The growth this year alone is quite impressive. As North Carolina’s most populous city, it makes perfect sense for the beer scene to rival other beer cities around the country.
Credit can be given to Charlotte’s first local brewery, The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, which opened in March 2009. John Marrino brings fresh, quality German-style beers, brewed under the strict German beer purity law known as the Reinheitsgebot — meaning only four ingredients can be used: yeast, malt, hops and water. Today, the brewery serves as a local staple for damn good beer with a biergarten and brauhaus that transport guests to Germany.
Not too far behind were NoDa Brewing Company and Birdsong Brewing Company, bringing experimental craft beers to the table in 2011. Ask any hop-centric beer fanatic and they’ll agree that NoDa’s Hop, Drop ‘n Roll, an extreme IPA, is a fan favorite.
Naturally, beer tourism is thriving here. Visitors are adding brewery visits and tours to Charlotte itineraries, and beer fanatics are planning sole trips to the Queen City as a top destination. Quality beer is coming out of the city and people are taking notice. North Carolina Beer Month, held each April, is a big draw, too. Breweries host events throughout the month to promote the remarkable beer scene.