The pizza-and-beer combo experienced a renaissance of sorts during the pandemic with more breweries opening with or adding on pizza ovens.
Why it matters: Easy takeout food with traditionally higher profit margins like pizza and fried chicken soared in popularity during the pandemic.
- The pandemic highlighted a need for food, Triple C Brewing owner Chris Harker tells me. Harker opened an on-site “pizza trailer” at the brewery in December as a form of a safety net in case businesses had to shutdown again due to COVID-19.
Plus, “pizza and beer pair very well together,” he adds. Personally, a crowler of beer and a pizza has become my pandemic comfort meal of choice lately.
Here’s 9 must-try brewery pizza in the Charlotte area, in no particular order.
Izzy’s at Triple C Brewing
About: Newest to the pizza brewery scene, Izzy’s operates outside of a trailer on Triple C’s property. Most notably, the chef Austin Crum joined the team via Pure Pizza, a standout among Charlotte’s pizza joints.
Cost: 10-inch pizzas start at $8.50 and are cooked in just two minutes at 700 degrees.
Details: Home to what is probably my favorite pie in Charlotte — the “Liberation” potato pizza — Salud is a bit tucked away in downtown NoDa atop its bottle shop. Because of the pandemic, I haven’t gotten the chance to dine in in a while, but the atmosphere is very cool and versatile, good for getting some work done or going on a casual date.
Cost: Liberation, which comes with thin slices of potato on top, is $13. Other pies range from $11-$15 with $5 local delivery available.
Details: All of Protagonist’s pizzas are named after famous protagonists like the Bob Marley (made with a hot sauce base) and the Liz Gilbert (a classic Italian pie straight from part one of Eat, Pray, Love). There’s also a calzone called the Ben Wyatt, of course.
Cost: Slices are huge, like Benny’s big. They cost about $5-$8. Whole pies are $14-$38.
Location: Pizza is only at Protagonist’s new location at 227 Southside Dr. near OMB and Sugar Creek.
Livy’s at Heist Brewery and Barrel Arts
About: Another new addition in the last year, Livy’s serves Neapolitan-style pizza inside Heist’s location in Druid Hills near Camp North End.
Background: Owner Kurt Hogan always intended to pair his beer with pizza, but Heist’s first location in NoDa has a more complex food menu. “Now we’re taking it back to that simple concept,” he says.
Pizza: Chef Caleb Dickerson’s pizza list rotates with at least one weekly special, plus classics like margherita and a meat-lovers.
Location: 1030 Woodward Avenue near Camp North End and Double Oaks Pool.
Passport Dough at Unknown Brewing
Details: Unknown has craft beer, cocktails, house-made (amazing) ginger ale and also pizza. Its on-site pizza trailer called Passport Dough adds new items all the time, all inspired by different parts of the world. Right now there’s an Italian pizza, West Coast pizza and a Wisconsin pizza.
Cost: $13 for a traditional flatbread pizza and $14 for cauliflower crust.
Availability: Pizza is available Wednesday through Sunday.
About: Located next to Seaboard Brewing in downtown Matthews is an old telephone hut now home to the Exchange. Go with their popular Jordan’s Jamboree pizza — a classic pepperoni and sausage with red sauce and bacio mozzarella.
Cost: $13.50 for all 12-inch Neapolitan-style pies.
Related guide: 21 things to do in Matthews, 25 minutes from Uptown
Details: The Mooresville brewery and pizzeria serves New York-style pizza. Order online for pickup and then do a socially distant waterfront picnic at Jetton Park on your way back to Charlotte.
Cost: From $9 for an original cheese 9-inch pie to $15 for an 18-inch pie. Signature pizzas are usually $10-$11.
About: The massive brewery has about 120 taps with 40 different offerings, including popular Victory and Southern Tier beers. It also has a number of outdoor seating options — both heated and not.
Pizza: All the pizzas at this lower South End brewery are made with Victory lager beer dough.
Cost: 12-inch pies cost $12-$13 and 16-inch pies are $16-$17. The food menu also includes bar snacks like wings, fries, and a pretzel — plus entrees like a cheesesteak and chicken pot pie.
Details: Both Legion locations serve pizza, but they’re different vibes. At the Plaza Midwood location, the brewery serves a flatbread-style pizza. SouthPark’s pizza is a deep dish pie baked in a wood-fired oven.
Cost: Flatbreads cost $11-$14, and the deep dish pizza costs $8 for half a pie and $15 for a whole pie.
This story has been updated to include Legion Brewing, which also serves pizza — woohoo!
More local beer: Complete list of 30+ Charlotte breweries