When GoodRoad CiderWorks opens its doors in March, the ascension of Lower South End into a one-stop entertainment destination is a step closer to being complete.
Where else in Charlotte can you find two breweries, a distillery/bar, and now a cidery, all on the same one-block stretch?
But location isn’t everything if the product isn’t good. Thankfully, the GoodRoad CiderWorks team is quite studied: 7 of the 9 investors belong to local home-brewing group Carolina Brewmasters, and the team collectively carries over 100 years of brewing experience.
“We’re combining old-school New England-style cider making with a modern feel,” explains Brian Beauchemin, one of GoodRoad’s principals.
This morning, Beauchemin is making a trek to Raleigh to grab the cidery’s ABC permit. Once in hand, just a couple of additional local permits have to be acquired, and soon after, the cidery will announce a Grand Open date.
Once they’re pouring, what can you expect?
For starters, don’t count on syrupy-sweet Angry Orchard clones.
“We are unabashedly ‘dry’ here,” says Beauchemin. “It’s going to be a lot of educating, because so much cider out there is sweet.”
Their grand opening lineup looks like this:
Dry single-varietal: Stayman Winesap
Dry single-varietal: Pippin
Hopped (with Nelson Sauvin)
Expect to see a funkier, English-style cider eventually join the core lineup.
The taproom’s 16 taps will include local beers and non-alcoholic options such as unfermented apple juice, which will make for interesting side-by-side comparison opportunities with their fermented bretheren.
They’ll pour much more than just cider, though. Look forward to an in-house Mead program getting underway, which will be led by Carolina Brewmasters Kevin Martin & Rob Adams.
A private area known as The Orchard sports its own bar and patio area that will be open to the public when it’s not booked for events, and can hold around 75. Look for this space to double as an education center on dry ciders.
No grand opening date has been set, aside from “soon.”
I certainly look forward to seeing the fruits of GoodRoad CiderWorks’ labor.