Last week, I decided since I had my first Sunday off in 6 months I would use that time to do something special: Drink beer. You may ask, “Don’t you do that every day.” Why yes, yes I do. However, this time I wanted to make a full day of it in Charlotte (my once and future home) and do a brewery tour.
So, I texted Lankford, “What are you doing today?”
“Nothing, just cleaning house and laundry.”
“I’m going to Charlotte to drink beer, want to come along?”
“What time do you want to leave?”
“I’ll text you when I’m on the way.”
Thus began the South End Brewery Tour of August 2015.
We arrived at Olde Mecklenburg around 12:30 to an already packed house. I decided to start off with something slow. I choose the barrel-aged Fat Boy Baltic Porter. I say slow because this is a great sipping beer. It’s dark, heavy, and flavorful. You don’t want to rush a beer this good. It is even better in a setting like OMB. The best way to describe it, to craft beer drinkers who haven’t been is a mini version of the Sierra Nevada brewery in Asheville.
Next, we went across the street to Sugar Creek. This is a smaller, more intimate space. We sat down at the bar this time and I had the Saison, which I love, and Lankford had the award winning Dubbel. This was another pretty full house and like Olde Mecklenburg and the other places we would visit that day, there were a lot of families there. This is one of the things I like about craft beer. It is trying to build a community and become just a regular part of people’s everyday lives.
We left Sugar Creek and headed to Triple C passing by Doc Porter’s Distillery, which looks to be coming along nicely. We settled in at Triple C and ordered up the Smoked Amber. This is a good introduction to smoked beer. It isn’t heavily smoky but it does have a distinct smoked presence that if you like you can expand upon with other smoked offerings out there. There was another nice crowd at the bar and families with kids and dogs scattered throughout.
Our next stop was Wooden Robot. I parked over at Craft and we walked the two blocks or so to get to another packed house. Lankford did comment that everywhere we went there seemed to be a good crowd. Here I had the first beer of the day I had never had before, the rye saison. This provided an interesting taste as the rye provided an intriguing addition to the light spiciness of the saison.
We finished up at Craft where we went to hang out and harass Dana and Julio before heading back home. It was a good relaxing day filled with beer and friends. I need to do this more often. The next time I’ll change up the breweries and hit Sycamore, Lenny Boy, and Unknown.