This article was originally published in December 2015. It was last updated on September 23, 2020.
Charlotte’s brewery scene is a force to be reckoned with.
For as much as Charlotte talks about the brewery bubble “popping,” new breweries are still opening up — even in a pandemic. Edge City, Salty Parrot (formerly Sunstead), and Petty Thieves are among the new breweries to open in Charlotte this year.
Still to come: Vaulted Oak‘s first location in a former bank branch and new locations of local favorites Resident Culture and Legion.
[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, 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 their beautiful, nature-inspired taproom and their outside rocking chairs.
Fun fact: Their 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 Agenda guide: 9 things to know about Brewers at 4001 Yancey]
Catawba’s easy-drinking beer and patio with a skyline view make the new 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
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 Agenda 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
Since opening back in April, Edge City Brewery has been selling 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 tons of natural light. Outside is 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 also has spiked seltzer, wine, hard cider, and a few sodas for non-beer drinkers.
Location: Optimist Park, 1115 N. 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, plus plenty of live music, an occasional market, and a menu full of dynamic styles of beer, across the parking lot from Amélie’s in Villa Heights.
Location: Villa Heights, 2320 North Davidson St.
The vibe: The taproom has kind of a 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 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: Hive Fives, a blonde ale (5% ABV) Full beer list
Legion Brewing has two locations, the original in Plaza Midwood and a location in SouthPark.
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 it’s 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 4 to 6 core beers available year-round including a 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 N. Polk St.
Fun fact: Middle James is Pineville’s first brewery.
Grab a pint of: Hour Mask Flagship IPA brewed with El Dorado, Comet and Azacca hops
The brewery is known for its year-round staples like Jam Session and its 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
One of Charlotte’s newest spots on the beer scene, Petty Thieves Brewing Co., opened its doors on September 19. 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. There’s no flagship or signature beer, as all batches are small and experimental.
Location: Plaza Midwood, 1331 Central Ave.
The vibe: Casual and cozy.
Grab a pint of: Island Hopper IPA Full beer list
The intimate nano-brewery has a selection of 26 beers on taps and light fare food. Head to Protagonist’s new lower South End location for more selection and pizza.
Location: NoDa, 3123 N. Davidson St., Ste. #104
The vibe: The street-facing outdoor has a front porch feel.
Grab a pint of: Mr. Diamond, a Protagonist original fruit beer (5% 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 Dr. Unit A
The vibe: Expansive indoor and outdoor space with multiple bars, regular events like movie nights and trivia, and pizza slices as bigger than your head.
Grab a pint of: Mercury Hazy IPA, a Protagonist hazy IPA, available in cans 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: Whatever You Feel Just Dance It, a hazy IPA made with flaked oats (7% ABV) Full beer list
Wine deal: Resident Culture recently launched a curated wine program and does half-priced bottles of wine on Thursdays.
Formerly known as Toucan Louie’s, the café and roastery decided to merge with Sunstead Brewing during the pandemic.
Location: 1200 S. Graham St.
The vibe: The space is laid-back and beachy. Feels like a bit of an escape to a tropical paradise.
Grab a pint of: Vladimir Puddin’, a Russian Imperial Stout (8.2 ABV)
Salud Beer Shop’s in-house brewery. Head upstairs to enjoy a pint in their 3,100-square-foot taproom. They also have a kitchen serving up wood-fired pizza.
Location: NoDa, 3306 N. Davidson St.
The vibe: Eclectic, artsy.
Grab a pint of: Banana Keys, a stout with hints of banana, vanilla, and coconut (11.5% 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 out 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 Dr.
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, often home to yoga, Food Truck Friday, and Sunday brunch. 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
Expect IPAs, kettle sours, porters, English and Belgian styles, and a rotating selection of other crafts, plus ciders, kombuchas, housemade sodas, and other non-alcoholic options.
Location: Wesley Heights, 800 Grandin Rd.
The vibe: Their 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 (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, Golden Boy, and Light Rail Pale Ale.
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 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 S. 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)
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 S. 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