This article was originally published in December 2015. It was last updated on June 8, 2021.
Charlotte’s brewery scene is a force to be reckoned with.
For as much as Charlotte talks about the brewery bubble “popping,” new breweries have been popping up even during the pandemic. Vaulted Oak just opened its first location in a former bank branch on Monroe Road.
Still to come: Local favorites Resident Culture and Legion have plans of opening new locations in late 2021.
[Related guide: Quick list of 7 breweries that’ll open in Charlotte in 2021]
Looking for where to grab your next craft beer? Here’s a quick guide to breweries in Charlotte.
Armored Cow’s 3,500-square-foot taproom has 18 taps offering up a mix of both regular beer and gluten-free beer.
Location: University City, 8821 JW Clay Blvd.
Fun fact: Andrew Kalinoski, former head brewer at Sycamore Brewing, is the brains behind Armored Cow.
Grab a pint of: Bang Bang, a hazy IPA made with El Dorado hops along with Mosaic and Citra hops (7.3% ABV) Full beer list
Birdsong’s 30-barrel brewhouse and taproom opened in 2011 and has since become a go-to for unfiltered, American-style ale.
Location: Belmont neighborhood, 1016 North Davidson St.
The vibe: Expect a laid-back neighborhood feel. They have a nice patio space for warm weather days.
Grab a pint of: Higher Ground IPA, a West Coast-inspired IPA made with grapefruit and honeysuckle flavors (7% ABV) Full beer list
Follow the Stewart Creek Greenway and you’ll run right into Blue Blaze. It has a large selection of American, English, and German beer — all brewed with locally sourced ingredients.
Location: West End, 528 South Turner Ave.
The vibe: Very chill. I love Blue Blaze for its beautiful, nature-inspired taproom and the rocking chairs outside.
Fun fact: The name is inspired by paint stripes, called blazes, that mark the Appalachian Trail.
Grab a pint of: Yellow Blazer Kölsch, a German-style golden ale (5% ABV) Full beer list
Two breweries, one roof. The joint venture between Southern Tier and Victory Brewing is a LoSo staple. With a 28,000-square-foot taproom, 120 taps and an impressive food menu, what’s not to love?
Location: LoSo, 4001 Yancey Rd.
The vibe: Lively without feeling overwhelming.
Grab a pint of: Golden Monkey, a Belgian-style Tripel with banana and cloves by Victory Brewing (9.5% ABV) Full beer list
[Related guide: 9 things to know about Brewers at 4001 Yancey]
Catawba’s easy-drinking beer and patio with a skyline view make the 10,000-square-foot taproom a weekend must. Looking for more than just beer? Keep up with events like trivia and run club here.
Location: Belmont neighborhood, 933 Louise Ave.
The vibe: Laidback with a great mix of indoor and outdoor space. And did we mention skyline views?
Grab a pint of: White Zombie, a Belgian Witbier with unmalted wheat, coriander, and orange peel (5.1% ABV) Full beer list
The brewery with locations in Hendersonville and Lake Norman recently opened a location in Uptown and will soon unveil an outdoor pavilion with a brewing area, a screen for watching games, and a stage for live music.
Location: Uptown, 650 Esat Stonewall St. Unit D
The vibe: Fun, urban neighborhood feel since it’s located underneath the Savoy Apartment complex. It’ll be a good place for live music and to watch a game once the outdoor pavillion opens.
Grab a pint of: Wormhole, a sour ale brewed with coffee, lime and spearmint (14% ABV) Full beer list
Perfect for beer newbies and veterans alike. In addition to its 13 beers on tap, you’ll also find a wide selection of kombucha, cider and cold brew coffee.
Location: Midtown, 1426 E. 4th St.
The vibe: Formerly the American Billiards building, Devil’s Logic has an edgy, garage-style to it. There are two outdoor patios; one lower level and one elevated with a clear view of Uptown.
Fun fact: The name, Devil’s Logic, comes from co-owners Greg Grueneich and Brian Wallace’s love for debating and playing devil’s advocate by pointing out logical fallacies in conversations.
Grab a pint of: Castles In The Sky, IPA (7% ABV) Full beer list
[Related Story: Midtown to get its first brewery inside refurbished 1926 building]
Owner Ben Dolphens describes Divine Barrel’s beer as a “good mixture of different experiments” that take on classic styles.
Location: NoDa, 3701 North Davidson St.
The vibe: Rustic and industrial-style taproom. Love the rugged wood paneling behind the bar.
Grab a pint of: Cadillac Rainbows, a German sour made with passionfruit, pink guava, mango, and peach (4.6% ABV) Full beer list
Edge City opened in April of 2020 and sold beer to-go as a way to adapt during the pandemic. Choose from a rotating selection of New England IPAs, sours, pilsners, lagers, wheat beers, and stouts.
Location: 6209 Old Post Rd., Ste. 109
The vibe: The taproom is mid-century modern with a touch of bohemian. There are plenty of plants, tables made from live-edge wood and a dog-friendly patio.
Grab a pint of: Foggy Bottom Boi, a “juicy” New England-style IPA (6.5% ABV)
Fonta Flora has three locations – the flagship brewery in Morganton, its production facility/taproom in Nebo, a small town about 18 miles west of Morganton, and the taproom in Optimist Hall.
In addition to the 50 to 70 varieties of craft beer brewed each year, the Optimist Hall taproom has spiked seltzer, wine, hard cider and a few sodas for non-beer drinkers.
Location: Optimist Park, 1115 North Brevard St., Ste. D
The vibe: The Optimist Hall location has an industrial feel.
Fun fact: Fonta Flora gets its name from a small farming community in western North Carolina.
Grab a pint of: Hop Beard, a Mountain Man IPA hopped with Simcoe, Citra, Amarillo, and CTZ (6.9% ABV) Full beer list
Find the cozy taproom across the parking lot from Amélie’s in Villa Heights. There are regular live music performances, an occasional market and a menu full of dynamic styles of beer.
Location: Villa Heights, 2320 North Davidson St.
The vibe: The taproom has a kind of casual, farmhouse aesthetic.
Fun fact: Free Range is owned by brothers Jeff and Jason Alexander, who were raised in eastern North Carolina.
Grab a pint of: Cream of the Crop, a Carolina cream ale (5% ABV) Full beer list
Heist, one of the city’s original breweries, has two locations: the first Heist Brewpub in NoDa and the Heist Brewery & Barrel Arts near Camp North End.
Their brunch buffet (usually accompanied by a donut tower) is a hangover must. Heist Brewery & Barrel Arts is a 26,000 brewery and taproom that has a covered beer garden, bakeshop, two event spaces and a separate area for their barrel-aging program. The brewery has a floor-to-ceiling Clint Eastwood mural when you walk in.
Locations: NoDa, 2909 North Davidson St.; and North End, 1064 Woodward Ave.
Brewpub vibe: Think industrial meets old pub. Heist is no-frills, just good food and beer.
Grab a pint of: Citraquench’l, a hazy IPA that’s brewed and double dry-hopped with all Citra hops. (7.1% ABV) Full beer list
Legion Brewing has multiple locations, the original being in Plaza Midwood, a second location in SouthPark and a third opening on West Morehead St. later this summer.
Locations: Plaza Midwood, 1906 Commonwealth Ave.; and SouthPark, 4350 Congress St.
The vibe: Legion’s OG location in Plaza has a cozy, neighborhood vibe while its SouthPark spot is much more open.
Grab a pint of: Juicy Jay, an East Coast IPA brewed with Mosaic, El Dorado and Cascade hops for a tropical taste (6.3% ABV) Full beer list
A one-stop-shop for not just traditional ales and lagers, but also organic kombucha, gluten-free wild ales, sours and more in a setting good for drinkers and non-drinkers alike.
Location: South End, 3000 South Tryon St.
The vibe: On weekends, the outdoor space feels like a backyard cookout with live music and food trucks.
Grab a pint of: Citraphelia, an IPA made with Citra hops (6.4% ABV) Full beer list
Lower Left Brewing Co. is located in the brewery-filled district of LoSo. Lower Left has a seven-barrel, custom-made brewhouse and 900-square-foot taproom. The building has four garage doors, which open to an outdoor patio.
Location: LoSo, 4528 Nations Crossing Rd.
The beer: Expect four to six core beers available year-round including at least one New England IPA, tropical IPA, American pale ale, blonde ale, amber ale, and a porter or stout Full beer list
Middle James Brewing occupies a building that used to be a golf clubhouse. The two-story space is located behind The Gold Village and features 24 taps, a food menu and a shaded deck overlooking the putting green.
Location: Pineville, 400 North Polk St.
Fun fact: Middle James is Pineville’s first brewery.
Grab a pint of: Hour Mask, the flagship IPA that’s brewed with El Dorado, Comet and Azacca hops (7% ABV) Full beer list
The brewery is known for its year-round staples like Jam Session and seasonal batches like Gordgeous and NoDajito. It’s also a go-to for weekend activities – keep up with events here. And now, the original location in Optimist Park is open as The OG.
Fun fact: In addition to beer, they also have craft spiked seltzer on tap.
Grab a pint of: Hop Drop ‘n Roll, a 2014 World Beer Cup Gold Award Winner made with English, American, Vienna and wheat malts (7.2% ABV) Full beer list
This quintessential Charlotte brewery is home to a massive Biergarten that welcomes children and dogs alike. Olde Meck is unique in that they follow the German “Reinheitsgebot” (aka the oldest beer purity law in the world) when brewing their award-winning beer.
Location: LoSo, 4150 Yancey Rd.
The vibe: The inside feels like a tavern-y, old German brewhaus, and outside is an expansive, airy Biergarten.
Grab a pint of: Copper, a Düsseldorf-style Altbier that’s known as the brewery’s flagship (4.9% ABV) Full beer list
Petty Thieves is known for its experimentation and the smaller size of the brewhouse allows for new brews to be in constant rotation.
Location: 413 Dalton Ave., Ste. B
The vibe: Designed like an old cigar lounge, the space is filled with well-worn leather couches, and thrifted finds.
Grab a pint of: Depraved and Confused, a French toast-inspired sour with banana raspberry and maple syrup.
They call themselves a nano-brewery due to their focus on small-batch and experimental nature.
Location: Plaza Midwood, 1331 Central Ave.
The vibe: Casual and cozy.
Grab a pint of: Island Hopper – Mosaic, a tropical IPA with 100% Mosaic hops and the zest of grapefruit, oranges, lemons, and limes (6.4% ABV Full beer list
The intimate nano-brewery has a selection of 20 beers on taps and light fare food. Head to Protagonist’s new lower South End location for a wider beer selection plus pizza.
Location: NoDa, 3123 North Davidson St., Ste. #104
The vibe: The street-facing outdoor patio has a front porch feel where you can enjoy a beer and people watch.
Grab a pint of: Dolly, a Protagonist original blond ale (5.2% ABV) Full beer list
Protagonist’s new and shiny space in lower South End near Sugar Creek Brewing and Queen Park Social.
Location: Lower South End, 227 Southside Drive, Unit A
The vibe: Expansive indoor and outdoor space with multiple bars, regular events like movie nights and trivia and pizza slices bigger than your head.
Grab a pint of: Mercury Hazy IPA, a Protagonist hazy IPA, available in cans (7% ABV) Full beer list
This popular brewery steps from Plaza Midwood’s main drag specializes in hop-forward IPAs and pale ales, lagers, barrel-aged beers and fermented ales.
Location: Plaza Midwood, 2101 Central Ave.
The vibe: Fun neighborhood hang-out spot.
Grab a pint of: Lightning Drops, it’s one of their flagship, hazy IPAs made with tropical fruits as (6.5% ABV) Full beer list
Wine deal: Resident Culture does half-priced bottles of wine on Thursdays.
Salud Beer Shop’s in-house brewery. Head upstairs to enjoy a pint in their 3,100-square-foot taproom. Or order one of their wood-fired pizza.
Location: NoDa, 3306 North Davidson St.
The vibe: Eclectic, artsy.
Grab a pint of: Otra Noche En Charleston, a collaboration beer with Edmunds Oast Brewing Co. It’s a Berliner that’s brewed with passion fruit, orange juice, orange zest and pink guava.(7% ABV) Full beer list
Suffolk Punch has become a Rail Trail destination with a gorgeous taproom and beer menu consisting of their own brews alongside some of the best in the country. Pro tip: Try their brunch.
Location: South End, 2911 Griffith St.
The vibe: A little more elevated than your typical brewery. The patio is usually packed on nice days.
Deal: $3 beers on Thursdays and Sundays
Grab a pint of: A Patchwork Orange, an IPA made with orange peel, grapefruit, and papaya (5.7% ABV) Full beer list
Known for its Belgian-inspired beer, Sugar Creek uses multiple types of hops and combines them with award-winning malt varieties to create modern takes on classic tastes.
Location: LoSo, 215 Southside Drive
The vibe: It’s a smaller space with a casual feel.
Grab a pint of: Sugar Creek Pale Ale, with notes of fruit, citrus, pine, and grapefruit combined with caramel (5.2% ABV) Full beer list
Everybody’s go-to brewery, thanks to its killer location and huge outdoor space that regularly hosts yoga, Food Truck Friday and Sunday brunch. Sycamore has plans to relocate from its current location at 2161 Hawkins St. to a new 16-story development, called The Line, directly across the street. Keep up with the events here.
Location: South End, 2161 Hawkins St.
The vibe: Friendly and energetic. Expect lots of people and lots of dogs.
Grab a pint of: Mountain Candy IPA, a double dry-hopped IPA with flavor notes of stone fruit and rainbow candies (7.2% ABV) Full beer list
Town Brewing has everything on tap from IPAs and kettle sours to English and Belgian styles. Plus, there’s a rotating selection of other crafts, plus ciders, kombuchas, housemade sodas, and other non-alcoholic options.
Location: Wesley Heights, 800 Grandin Rd.
The vibe: The 24-tap taproom feels casual like a living room with an old-school warehouse aesthetic.
You should drink a pint of: Escape Plan — an American IPA with aromas of grapefruit, pineapple, geraniums and pine (6.6%) Full beer list
Even if you haven’t ventured into the taproom of one South End’s first breweries, Triple C is home to beers you likely know, including Baby Maker and Golden Boy.
Location: South End, 2900 Griffith St.
The vibe: No-frills, chill atmosphere. Listen to live music or play a board game.
Grab a pint of: 3C, a West Coast IPA made with citrus, grapefruit, and passionfruit flavors (6.2% ABV) Full beer list
Don’t let the name fool you, Unknown has gained recognition in the beer community for offering Charlotte’s first light craft beer, Feather light – you know, for those of us who want to have a beer and watch the calories. In addition to the taproom, there’s a rooftop bar with a skyline view and a permanent pizza food truck, Passport Dough & Co., that’s always on-site.
Location: The Gold District, 1327 South Mint St.
Fun fact: Every Saturday they host a Bike & Brew ride where you can go on a 10, 25, or 35-mile route and then enjoys beers at the end.
You should drink a pint of: Over the Edge, with a citrusy orange flavor and pine-like aroma (6.4% ABV)
Vaulted Oak is one of the newest breweries on the scene. This bank-turned-brewery focuses on small-batch beers in various styles — like sessionable blondes, lagers, west coast IPAs, sours, saisons and porters. There are currently nine beers on tap plus a curated selection of wine, cider, seltzer, kombucha and non-alcoholic sodas.
Location: East Charlotte, 3726 Monroe Rd.
Wooden Robot has two locations. The original brewery in South End and the latest location in NoDa. The brewery, best known for its Good Morning Vietnam and What He’s Having brews, features some of Charlotte’s most innovative craft beers.
Location: South End, 1440 South Tryon St.
The vibe: A perfect mix of laid-back and lively.
Grab a pint of: Good Morning Vietnam, a blond ale made with Ethiopian coffee and vanilla beans from Madagascar (5% ABV) Full beer list
Still thirsty? There are 20-plus breweries to visit right outside of Charlotte.
These breweries may not technically be in Queen City but are close by and worth a visit.
Sweet Union Brewing Company
Southern Range Brewing Co.
The Dreamchaser’s Brewery