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Beer Guide 2016 

What's Brewing in Charlotte?

Is Charlotte becoming a craft beer hub? That's a question to ponder as new breweries spread at rampant speed across the Q.C. They cluster in spots like NoDa and South End, where going on a bar hop sounds more dangerous than fun (don't even try to hit up all of them for a drink on the same night or you'll end up with a hangover).

But neighboring 'hoods and cities are getting a taste of the growing industry, too. It's safe to say that every few months, there's a new announcement -- whether it be a new brewery or plans for an expansion (we've already seem NoDa and Birdsong, among others, move to bigger and better spaces). That's why we here at CL have come up with this extensive guide to local breweries. Our hope is that you use this guide as an anchor for exploring the many craft breweries that are in Charlotte and the surrounding area. There are plenty of watering holes to choose from. Get out and support them so that they can continue to grow and put Charlotte on the map for a craft that's worth the buzz.

For this guide, we asked folks at local breweries some basic and fun questions. You might be surprised by some of the answers. There are beers with ingredients like ham, grits and catnip, right here in Charlotte? Wow. If that's not being experimental, then we don't know what is. Meanwhile, they also gave us the scoop on how the breweries got their names and what to look for on tap -- and there's a lot to choose from. Cheers!

NODA

***Birdsong Brewing Co.*** (birdsongbrewing.com)

Opened: December 2011

Type of brewery: Microbrewery

Beers to go: Sells four-pack cans and growlers

Behind the name: "The name Birdsong came from the fact that Conor Robinson, our head brewer, sounds like a bird when he snores. When he and founding partners were doing brewery research they thought there was a bird in their hostel, when in reality it was just Conor snoring."

# of beers on tap: Between 8-12 beers on tap

Best seller: Higher Ground IPA

Experimental brew: Jalapeño Pale Ale. "It's a pale ale infused with fresh, locally grown jalapeño peppers with the seeds (removed by hand), so you catch the flavor and aroma of the green peppers without the heat."

Call a cab (beer with highest ABV): Higher Ground IPA (7 percent ABV)

Stay Sober (beer with lowest ABV): Free Will Pale, Lazy Bird Brown and Jalapeño Pale Ale are all 5.5 percent ABV and Doin' Thyme Witbier is 4.3 percent ABV.

Bragging rights: Won several awards at the Carolina Championship of Beers from 2012-2015. In 2015, Lazy Bird Brown Ale won a silver award for "American Brown Ale" in the NC Beer Cup.

Fun fact: "All of our beers are named after songs. In the Brewer's Association 2014 benchmarking survey we were the number one brewery in the country for our size in water efficiency coming in at three barrels of water yielding one barrel of beer brewed. The industry average is eight barrels of water yielding one barrel of beer brewed."

***Free Range Brewing*** (freerangebrewing.com)

Opened: July 2, 2015

Type of brewery: Nanobrewery

Beers to go: Sells crowlers and growlers

Behind the name: "Our style of brewing was inspiration for the name."

# of beers on tap: Around 10 beers on tap

Experimental brew: Two Wild and Crazy Guys, a coffee wild ale. "We partnered with Pure Intentions Coffee by way of their newest Colombian Tolima Planadas beans".

Call a cab (beer with highest ABV): Abbie, Stuck in the Mud, a rum barrel-aged imperial stout that's 12 percent ABV

Stay Sober (beer with lowest ABV): Susie, I Am Not, a Carolina grisette that's 3.5 percent ABV

Bragging rights: "We're proud of our support for local farmers, our sustainably-built brewery and family-friendliness. We've brewed collaboration beers with New Belgium, Fonta Flora, Birdsong, NoDa, Heist, Salud and Pure Intentions Coffee."

Fun fact: "We worked to get open for a long six years."

beercans2.jpg

***Heist Brewery*** (heistbrewery.com)

Opened: August 2012

Type of brewery: Brewpub

Beers to go: Crowlers and growlers

Behind the name: "When owner Kurt Hogan moved here from Connecticut he noticed that this is a banking town. True story: on his mother's grandmother's side -- three branches out on his family tree -- he's related to Babyface Nelson. When he told his mom he was thinking of naming the joint Heist, she said that's it. That's the name."

# of beers on tap: Between 8 and 15

Best seller: Grand Optimist

Experimental brew: We did one that was a blackberry cherry saison that was super dark purple because it was for the Lupus Foundation. It's blood purple. It clogged the tap line.

Call a cab (beer with highest ABV): Grand Optimist, it stays around 12 percent

Stay sober (beer with lowest ABV): Pater Tots and Secession are usually around low 4 to a high 3 percent

Fun fact: The one beautiful part about this place is that we all do everything ourselves. If you look at the chandelier, that's all the copper piping from the old kettles that we got from Germany. They took them out to a field, hit them with a shotgun and built a chandelier.

***NoDa Brewing Company*** (nodabrewing.com)

Opened: October 2011

Type of brewery: Production/microbrewery

Beers to go: Sells four-pack cans and growlers

Behind the name: "Our first taproom is part of Charlotte's eclectic, arts district called NoDa. We feel brewing is an art form and what better neighborhood to be part of."

# of beers on tap: 13-14 beers on tap

Best seller: Hop Drop 'n Roll

Experimental brew: "Our weekly NoDable Series has lots of experimental, crazy beers. On the production system, probably the most creative was our ProAm winner from a couple years ago called Hot Pistol. It's a raspberry, habanero, chocolate stout."

Call a cab (beer with highest ABV): Hop Drop 'n Roll, 7.2 percent ABV

Stay sober (beer with lowest ABV): Par 4 IPA, 4 percent ABV

Bragging rights: A gold award winner for Hop Drop 'n Roll (in the American IPA category) in 2014's World Beer Cup and a silver medal winner for Coco Loco (in the robust porter category) at 2012's Great American Beer Festival.

Fun fact: "Our founders are a husband and wife team. In their past lives, Suzie worked in banking and Todd was a commercial pilot. CAVU, our blonde ale, is a flight term abbreviation for Ceiling And Visibility Unlimited, which means clear skies or ideal conditions."

PLAZA MIDWOOD

***Legion Brewing*** (legionbrewing.com )

Opened: Dec. 17, 2015

Type of brewery: Microbrewery

Beers to go: Sells growlers

Behind the name: "Legion Brewing Company was born from the ethos that sharing good beer with friends is one of life's great pleasures. That spirit of culture is alive in our neighborhood home here in Plaza Midwood."

# of beers on tap: Around 14 beers on tap

Best seller: Juicy Jay, an American IPA, 7 percent ABV

Experimental brew: "We always have something 'fun' on draft. We have used all sorts of local fruits, spices, and sugars. However, we are most proud of our fledgling and quickly growing sour beer inventory. We are constantly adding to our current inventory of 24 bourbon, rum, and mescal barrels with various flavors of sour beer."

Call a cab (beer with the highest ABV): Winnie the Brew, a honey imperial IPA, 10.2 percent ABV

Stay sober (beer with the lowest ABV): Carolina Sparkle Party, a Berliner weisse that's 4 percent ABV

Fun fact: Legion Brewing is the first and only brewery in Plaza Midwood.

beerguide.jpg

SOUTH END

***Lenny Boy Brewing Co.*** (discoverlennyboy.com)

Opened: Started selling kombucha in 2011. Became certified organic in January of 2013 and a microbrewery on September 20, 2013.

Type of brewery: Microbrewery producing kombucha, wild ale, and traditional beers.

Beers to go: Sells bottles (kombucha) and growlers.

Behind the name: It was named after the owner's dog, Lennox.

# of beers on tap: 7 beers, 7 kombuchas and 2 wild ales

Best seller: Life in the South Lager and Burn Down For What Brown Ale

Experimental brew: Burn Down for What, a sour brown ale fermented with an in-house wild yeast culture.

Call a cab (beer with the highest ABV): Breakfast in Heaven, a bourbon barrel-aged stout at 10 percent ABV.

Stay sober (beer with the lowest ABV): Life in the South, a Southern Lager at 4.5 percent ABV. It's brewed with grits.

Bragging rights: Burn Down for What won a bronze medal at Best of Craft Beer Awards and gold medal at the National Organic Beer Competition.

Fun fact: "We are NC's only certified organic micro brewery."

***Olde Mecklenburg Brewery*** (oldemeckbrew.com)

Opened: March of 2009

Type of brewery: American Brewery, German-inspired

Beers to go: Sells 6 and 12 pack bottles, growlers and kegs.

Behind the name: "Charlotte is often referred to as the 'Q.C.' because it's named after Queen Charlotte (1744-1818), the wife of King George III of England. Queen Charlotte was not British, but German and from the German state of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Mecklenburg County is named after this German state. Since we mainly produce German-style beers and reside in Mecklenburg County in Charlotte, it's the perfect name."

# of beers on tap: Varies, but includes 4 year-round beers and usually one seasonal or limited release.

Best seller: Copper (Altbier) and Mecktoberfest, the brewery's award-winning beer.

Experimental brew: Hornet's Nest, an April release. "Every sip has a subtle sweetness and a slight hint of banana and bubble gum," says OMB brewer Chase Petrovic.

Call a cab (beer with the highest ABV): Fat Boy Baltic Porter, 8 percent ABV

Stay sober (beer with the lowest ABV): Copper Amber Ale, 4.8 percent ABV

Bragging rights: Mecktoberfest won silver at Great American Beer Festival and gold at the international competition, European Beer Star. OMB picked up a spot as "Best Brewery Tour in America," according to the readers of USA Today and "Entertainment Venue of the Year" from the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority.

Fun fact: "OMB hosts several events throughout the year, including Mecktoberfest in September, Weihnachtsmarkt Christmas Market in December and Louisiana Spring Fest in April. There's also OMB Yoga on Tap every Tuesday night."

***Sugar Creek Brewing Co.*** (sugarcreekbrewing.com)

Opened: Oct. 10, 2014

Type of brewery: Microbrewery

Beers to go: Sells bottles and growlers

Behind the name: "Our name was inspired by Charlotte's magnificently successful restoration effort of Little Sugar Creek. This stream and its surrounding greenway has been reclaimed as a natural treasure and runs through the heart of Charlotte and some of its oldest neighborhoods."

# of beers on tap: Varies, between 6-12

Best seller: Sugar Creek Pale Ale or Sugar Creek White Ale, a traditional Belgian witbier.

Experimental brew: "We are one of the few breweries in the country to recreate a traditional French-style Amber Biere de Garde. This beer just won a gold medal in the Best of Craft Beer Awards and is available in the specialty craft section of local Harris Teeter stores, as well as local bottle shops."

Call a cab (beer with the highest ABV): Atmosphera Tripel, a classic Belgian Tripel at around 10 percent ABV. We have a limited release Belgian Quad that will be available again later in 2016 that is the maximum ABV allowed by law at 15 percent ABV.

Stay sober (beer with the lowest ABV): Raspberry White Ale, 4.4 percent ABV

Bragging rights: Picked up a silver medal for their Dubbel in the 2015 U.S. Open Beer Championships. Their Pale Ale placed first and received a gold medal in the NC Brewers Cup. More recently, their Biere de Garde and Tripel received gold and silver medals in the Best of Craft Beer Awards.

Fun fact: "Over half of our production employees are Veterans with a special distinction going to our co-founder, Eric Flanigan who was a Marine with combat experience in Afghanistan and Iraq. Additionally, I believe we are the only brewery in North Carolina, and possibly the country to employee three former nuclear engineers in the brewhouse. Todd Franklin our brewmaster is formerly employed by Newport News Shipbuilding, Justin Dovenmuehle formerly of Duke Power, and Joe Vogelbacher formerly of Newport News Shipbuilding."

***Sycamore Brewing*** (sycamorebrew.com)

Opened: Nov. 1, 2014

Beers to go: Sells cans, bottles and growlers

# of beers on tap: Around 16 different beers on tap

Best seller: Countryside IPA, Southern Girl Blonde, and Peak Farm Double Pale Ale

Experimental brew: Salty Coconut Red Ale. Also brews barrel-aged beers in mezcal, rum and bourbon barrels.

Bragging Rights: Picked up a bronze medal for Southern Girl Light Lager at Great American Beer Festival. Also, winner of Charlotte Business Journal's "Carolinas Beer Madness" for their Countryside IPA.

Fun Fact: "We brewed 102 different beers in one year of being open."

***Three Spirits Brewery*** (threespiritsbrewery.com)

Opened: November of 2015

Type of brewery: Traditional

Beers to go: Sells growlers and sixtel kegs

Behind the name: "Before founding Three Spirits, brewer Tabu Terrell worked as a medical doctor who brewed beer as a hobby. A fan of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, he began to relate with the character Scrooge, whose preoccupation with work came at the expense of time with family. The brewery is named after the three spirits in the story."

# of beers on tap: 7

Best seller: RSouthern Bliss

Experimental brew: "We brew for drinkability, so nothing too strange or far-fetched."

Call a cab (beer with the highest ABV): Ain't No Hop Steppin' IPA, 6.5 percent ABV or Honey Porter, 6 percent ABV

Stay sober (beer with the lowest ABV): Red Moon Rising, an amber lager at 4.5 percent ABV

Bragging rights: "We're still a new brewery, but working on expanding. There will be a bottle release for the King Rassafassa ale (belgian saison) coming in April for beer month. It'll be sold in amber champagne bottles (not on tap)."

Fun fact: "We have our Curmudgeon corners in the brewery for social introverts who want to grab a beer without talking to everybody. We have corners set up in the brewery with lounge chairs and nightstands with a little wall in between them so if you're working and just wanna be by yourself to read a book and grab a beer, you can without someone striking up a conversation with you." 

***Triple C Brewing Co.*** (triplecbrewing.com)

Opened: August 2012.

Type of brewery: Production brewery

Beers to go: Sells cans, bottles, and growlers.

Behind the name: "The name comes from the three original investors whose first names -- Chris, Chris, and Christina -- start with the letter "C." Scott Kimble was brought on as head brewmaster and part investor when he came to the brewery from Colorado.

# of beers on tap: 15 beers on tap.

Best seller: 3C IPA and Golden Boy Blonde Ale

Experimental brew: The Dude Imbibes, a rum barrel-aged coffee milk stout. Based on the concept of "Dude" in The Big Lebowski, a film in which "Dude" drinks white-Russian cocktails.

Call a cab (beer with the highest ABV): Up All Night, a coffee porter at 10 percent ABV.

Stay sober (beer with the lowest ABV): Golden Boy, a blonde ale at 4.5 percent ABV.

Bragging rights: Picked up at bronze award for 3C IPA at Great American Beer Fest.

***Unknown Brewing Co.*** (unknownbrewing.com)

Opened: Feb. 14, 2014

Type of brewery: Microbrewery

Beers to go: Sells cans, bottles and growlers

Behind the name: "We were at a Waffle House one night and we were talking about going whitewater rafting the next day and then we realized we all had things to do. And we're like, 'Fuck this 9 to 5 life.' You've got to stand up to more than that, try new things, question everything and step into the unknown. Our name is about trying something new because you only have one life to live. It's about doing something outside of your comfort zone."

# of beers on tap: 12 beers on tap

Best seller: Ginger wheat

Experimental brew: La Jordana del Escorpion en Fuego Hacia la Casa del Chupacabra Muerto, a 10.1 percent ABV Mexican imperial lager with agave, serrano peppers and tequila barrel-aged with 99 scorpions. For Kitten Snuggles (coming soon), we're putting in apricots, milk, sugar and catnip.

Call a cab (beer with the highest ABV): Raisin' the Roof, a Belgium quad that's 9 percent ABV. We're making a beer for July that's called Barley Legal and it's 14.9 percent ABV.

Stay sober (beer with the lowest ABV): Pre-Game session ale and Scratch N' Sniff, a session IPA. Both are 4-5 percent ABV.

Fun fact: "We're still one of the smallest breweries in Charlotte."

***Wooden Robot Brewery***(woodenrobotbrewery.com)

Opened: In 2015

Type of brwery: Production brewery, that's taproom focused.

Beers to go: Growlers. They will be bottling a limited release beer before summer begins.

Behind the name: "Wooden is for the wooden Belgium farmhouse and robot is for the innovative American brewing."

# of beers on tap: Currently 13, but always in the 12 to 15 range

Best seller: Good Morning Vietnam, a coffee, vanilla blonde ale

Experimental brew: Thick as Thieves, a blackberry sour beer. It's all local malt and there's one and a half pounds per gallon of blackberries.

Call a cab (beer with the highest ABV): Godless Killing Machine Imperial, 8.1 percent ABV

Stay sober (beer with the lowest ABV): Universal Atomiton Sour Farmhouse, 4.8 percent ABV.

Bragging rights: Picked up "Best of Show" at Queen City Brewers Festival. Also, named one of the best new breweries of 2015 by Beer Advocate Magazine. Fun fact: "There is an actual wooden robot in the tap room named Albert Beerstein."

beercans3.jpg

UPTOWN

***Rock Bottom Brewery***(rockbottom.com)

Opened: In 1997

Type of brewery: Brewpub

Beers to go: Sells growlers

Behind the name: "Based on the company being at the bottom of a bank building that had the word "rock" in the name. Hence 'Rock Bottom.'"

# of beers on tap: 14 of their own are on tap

Best seller: Kolsch the IPA.

Experimental brew: Funk'ed Up, a barrel-aged sour ale.

Call a cab (beer with the highest ABV): Icebox, 12 percent ABV.

Stay sober (beer with the lowest ABV): Kolsch, 4.9 percent ABV.

Fun fact: They have a courtyard in the back of the restaurant that opens in the summer.

MINT HILL

***Barking Duck Brewing Co.*** (barkingduckbrew.com)

Opened: September 2014 (reopening in a new location at the end of April)

Beers to go: Sells growlers.

Behind the name: "As Jake and I began the journey of brewing beer together, we would always be at my house. I had two yellow labs who would always bark and get in our way. This is where we got the 'Barking' part from. As for the 'Duck,' our favorite watering hole was Duckworth's. This place allowed us to discover different craft beers and the idea that we could start our own brewery. So, we combined the two things that we did together to come up with Barking Duck."

# beers on tap: 9-12 beers on tap

Best seller: Banamber, a Belgian style amber that has a banana aroma and taste.

Experimental brew: Sririacha Pale Ale. "We use real sriricaha sauce in the brew. It's an easy drinking pale ale with a little kick."

Call a cab (beer with the highest ABV): Chocolate Pecan Pie Porter, 10.2 percent ABV.

Stay sober (beer with the lowest ABV): Break Time Session IPA, 4.5 percent ABV.

CONCORD/KANNAPOLIS

***Cabarrus Brewing Co.*** (cabarrusbrewing.com)

Opened: March 18, 2016

Type of brewery: Microbrewery.

Beers to go: Sells growlers.

Behind the name: "Our philosophy is that the area and community and history and character of this area is as important a part of what the brewery is, as the beer itself."

# of beers on tap: 8 beers on tap

Call a cab (beer with the highest ABV): Rocky River IPA, 6.5 percent ABV

Stay sober (beer with the lowest ABV): Cabarrus Cotton Blonde, 4.8 percent ABV

Fun fact: "We're located in an old textile. We did everything we could to maintain that old industrial textile feel. We repurposed as much of the original building materials from the original mill as possible."

***High Branch Brewing Co.*** (highbranchbrewing.com)

Opened: November of 2015

Type of brewery: Microbrewery

Beers to go: Sells growlers

Behind the name: "My husband and I were going back and forth on names and decided on Habitat Brewery. The day he went to register the name, we found out that someone took it two hours before in Asheville, so we had to start at square one. There are woods in our backyard and he was sitting in the living room racking his brain and looking at the woods and he saw this one tree with a lone branch at the top, so he thought 'high branch, that sounds catchy.' And it goes with our philosophy that we're always striving to produce the best product for our customers and always reaching for higher standards for our beer."

# of beers on tap: Varies, 5-7 on tap

Best seller: Big Sis, a double IPA

Experimental brew: "The strangest we've made is called Yucatan Stout. My husband took the base recipe for an imperial stout and added jalapeños to it. We are starting to do more sours, too."

Call a cab (beer with the highest ABV): Big Sis, around 8.5 percent ABV

Stay sober (beer with the lowest ABV): Raspberry Sour, 5.3 percent ABV

Fun fact: "A lot of our furniture is made out of recycled palettes. We have a built-in bench along one of our walls, a lounge-y area that has some chairs and a couch built out of palette wood, one wood covered in palettes. We try to make use of old material and re-use."

LAKE NORMAN

***Ass Clown Brewing Company*** (assclownbrewing.com)

Opened: April 28, 2011

Type of brewery: Production

Beers to go: Sells bottles and growlers.

Behind the name: They wanted a name that would stick out and be easily remembered.

# of beers on tap: 31 beers on tap

Best seller: Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Stout

Experimental brew: Smoked Ham and Corn Stout. Yes, it has ham in it.

Call a cab (beer with the highest ABV): Barleywine, 12 percent ABV

Stay sober (beer with the lowest ABV): One Eyed Gose, a gose with fresh lemon and lime, at 4.8 percent ABV

Bragging rights: "We are the second oldest brewery in Mecklenburg County."

Fun facts: Huge tap rotation and live music on Saturday nights.

***Bayne Brewing Company*** (baynebrewingcompany.com)

Opened: December 2014

Type of brewery: Nanobrewery

Behind the name: That's our family's last name

#of beers on tap: 8 beers on tap

Best seller: Irish Red

Experimental brew: Coconut Brown Ale

Call a cab (beer with the highest ABV): Double IPA, 7.8 percent ABV

Stay sober (beer with the lowest ABV): Kolsch, 4 percent ABV

Fun fact: "We do family-friendly events with things for the kids, including face painters and bounce-houses. We also offer free dinner on Sunday afternoons."

***D9 Brewing Company*** (d9brewing.com)

Opened: October 2013

Type of brewery: Production

Beers to go: Sells bottles, crowlers, growlers

Behind the name: It stands for the congressional district 9. The three founders have lived in district 9, in Mecklenburg County, for more than 10 years. It's their salute to where they live.

# of beers on tap: 12 taps with their own beer

Best seller: Hakuna Matata Tropical IPA and our sours. Viking Fraoch is a top seller and so is Ezekiel. Also, a new series of sours called Systema. The first version was an apricot and devilwood limited edition. The second (coming soon) will have some sort of local grape and lily.

Experimental brew: Witless. "It's a play on a Belgian style triple or quad, but there's no wheat in it. They use champagne yeast that's double fermented. It's very experimental and people who like wine really like this beer."

Call a cab (beer with the highest ABV): Witless, 13 or 14 percent ABV

Stay sober (beer with the lowest ABV): Most sours are 5 percent ABV and the new Tangerine Session IPA is 5.1 percent ABV.

Bragging rights: Won a couple awards for Viking Fraoch and Ezekiel.

Fun fact: "We're kid and dog friendly and we have live music on Fridays."

***Primal Brewery***(primalbrewery.com)

We were unable to reach the folks at Primal Brewery.

***Lake Norman Brewing Company*** (lakenormanbrewingcompany.com)

Opened: 2013

Type of brewery: Microbrewery

Beers to go: Sells growlers

Behind the name: Named after Lake Norman

# of beers on tap: 10

Best seller: Imperial amber

Experimental brew: Cherry blonde

Call a cab (beer with the highest ABV): Imperial amber, 9.1 percent ABV

Stay sober (beer with the lowest ABV): Duckside blonde, 4.3 percent ABV

Fun fact: Veteran owned and operated

FORT MILL/ROCK HILL

***Legal Remedy Brewing*** (legalremedybrewing.com)

Opened: August 29, 2015.

Type of brewery: Brewery/brewpub.

Beers to go: Offers growlers

Behind the name: Owner/founder Chad McGowan is a lawyer by day.

# of beers on tap: 22 are of their own brews on tap

Best seller: "Our most widely distributed beer is Alibi Ale and a new comer the World Court White Chocolate Mocha Stout, but our Double Indemnity Double IPA and Sequestered Blueberry Saison are huge favorites in the taproom."

Experimental brew: World Court White Chocolate Mocha Stout, chocolate aroma and rich flavor from a blonde stout.

Call a cab (beer with the highest ABV): Belgian Bailiff Quad, 14.1 percent ABV.

Stay sober (beer with the lowest ABV): All Rise Ale, a session pale ale that comes in at around 4.2-4.5 percent ABV.

Bragging rights: "We won the home brewing competition at Beertopia in 2012, which really sort of launched us into believing we could create more out of this hobby."

Fun fact: "Our brewpub utilizes solar power (you can see the solar arrays on the beer patio). They supply 30 kilowatts of power to the brewery reducing our energy bills significantly. We've been told we 'turn sunshine into beer.' We have a local farmer who uses our spent grain to feed his cattle and a local feed store that recycles our grain bags for their chicken feed bags. We also have one of the few brewery labs in our state."

***Full Spectrum Brewing***

(fullspectrumbrewingco.com)

Opened: August 2015

Type of brewery: Nanobrewery

Drink it at home: Sells growlers

Behind the name: It was named after the color spectrum.

# of beers on tap: 8

Best seller: Infrared IPA

Experimental brew: Reaper Roast Amber, brewed with locally roasted coffee and spiced with the locally grown Carolina Reaper pepper.

Call a cab (beer with the highest ABV): Reaper Roast, 7.4 percent ABV.

Stay sober (beer with the lowest ABV): Red Sky IPA, 4.8 percent ABV.

Fun fact: "At one point the brewery shared space with our CrossFit gym (the gym has since grown and moved, but when we expand the brewery, they'll be side by side again)."

BELMONT

***Rivermen Brewing Company*** (rivermenbrewingcompany.com)

Opened: May 2015

Type of brewery: Brewpub/Production brewery

Beers to go: Sells growlers

Behind the name: "The name was inspired by a passion for whitewater kayaking."

Best seller: Triple Drop IPA

Experimental brew: Foundation Black IPA

Call a cab (beer with the highest ABV): Foundation Black IPA, 7.3 percent ABV

Stay sober (beer with the lowest ABV): Shuttle Bunny Honey Blonde, 5 percent ABV

Bragging rights: Belmont's first brewery

Fun fact: "We are integrating a farm-to-table menu and we'll be hosting beer dinners featuring all local beers and ingredients."

***COMING SOON TO CHARLOTTE AND THE SURROUNDING AREA***

New Sarum (opening April 16 in Salisbury)

Thirsty Nomad Brewing (opening this spring in Charlotte)

Blue Blaze Brewing (opening this spring in Charlotte)

Twenty-Six Acres (opening this summer in Concord)

Ghostface (opening in April in Mooresville)

Dreamchasers Brewery (opening in May in Waxhaw)

Ole Dallas Brewery (opening this summer in Dallas)

***NOT THAT FAR***

Benford Brewing Co. (2271 Boxcar Road, Lancaster. benfordbrewing.com)

New Grass Brewing Co. (213 S. Lafayette St., Shelby. newgrassbrewing.com)

Four Saints Brewing Company (218 S. Fayetteville St., Asheboro. foursaintsbrewing.com)

***CIDERIES***

Redclay Ciderworks (245 Clanton Road. redclayhardcider.com)

Windy Hill Orchard (1860 Black Highway, York. windyhillorchard.com)

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