Crack open a can and explore the South End's breweries (Courtesy The Unknown Brewing Company)
Craft breweries are booming in the Queen City’s historic South End neighborhood. Innovative approaches to traditional processes leave locals yearning for more of the yeasty drink and enhanced experiences threaded with live music, trivia, food truck fare and passion for the process.
Lenny Boy Brewing Co.
The Lenny Boy taproom is the only place in town to taste its very 21st-century array of organic kombucha, gluten-free wild ales and gluten-reduced beer, as well as more traditional sours, ales and lager. Interestingly, the taproom also hosts a Saturday morning vinyasa flow yoga sesh, a Sunday morning fitness class.
3000 S. Tryon St., Charlotte, N.C., 980.585.1728
The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery
Head to LoSo (aka the semi-industrial Lower South End) for the biggest and most famous of Charlotte breweries. Old Meck boasts an expansive facility with a great bar, production area and a spectacular outdoor biergarten under some enormous hardwood trees. German-style beers— that all adhere to the German “Reinheitsgebot” beer purity law of 1516—are on tap, which naturally pair well with the Brauhaus kitchen’s traditional German dishes. Do: Take a behind-the-scenes brewery tour.
4150 Yancey Road, Charlotte, N.C., 704.525.5644
Sugar Creek Brewing Co.
Specializing in Belgian-style ales and beers, Sugar Creek produces well-balanced pale ales, a traditional white ale brewed with a recipe dating to the 14th-century, Belgian dubbels and tripels, and more. Enthusiasts can hit the taproom any afternoon of the week for tasting flights.
215 Southside Drive, Charlotte, N.C., 704.521.3333
Sycamore is known for a cool, laid-back vibe in its taproom, 28 taps pouring small-batch, all-natural beer, and a beer garden complete with cornhole and other yard games. Imbibers catch live music on weekend evenings, and a different food truck every night of the week.
2161 Hawkins St., Charlotte, N.C., 704.910.3821
Thirsty Nomad Brewing Co.
This den of adult beverages welcomes kiddos, too, with games like Zombie Dice and soda beverages. But for the hard stuff, imbibers get to enjoy Blanche (fka Ta Wit Ta Woo), Cranoble cranberry scented saison, and the Femme Fatale brown ale. A laidback vibe pervades the space, which also hosts frequent trivia nights and live music.
4402 Stuart Andrew Blvd., Charlotte, N.C., 704.940.0947
Triple C Brewing Co.
The Great American Beer Festival awarded this local brewery a bronze medal for its 3C IPA, but others to try in the casual taproom range from the Light Rail Pale Ale to the Baby Maker double IPA. When hunger strikes, hit up the resident food truck, which changes nightly (and not on Mondays when the brewery is closed).
2900 Griffith St., Charlotte, N.C., 704.372.3212
The Unknown Brewing Co.
Branch out from more traditional suds stylings and let taste buds experience innovative beers like the Ginger Wheat ale with fresh ginger or the Supaklean Kölsch in the industrial-style, open-concept taproom.
1327 S. Mint St., Charlotte, N.C., 980.237.2628
Wooden Robot Brewery
This place has personality, as one might guess from its name. Wooden Robot caters to eclectic beer buffs and is largely known for sours and funky farmhouse ales; current fresh taps range from His Hoppiness the Denali Lama IPA to the Big Red Toboggan red ale. While other South End breweries bring in food trucks for sustenance, this place has its own, which serves up craft beer-infused eats.
1440 S. Tryon St., Charlotte, N.C., 980.819.7875