N premiere issue M [A Celebration of Charlotteâ€™s Craft Beverage Scene]
The Beer Counselor
at the CrĂŞpe Cellar
born in a barn
at home Sept/Oct 2015 ///// Vol:1 Issue:1 ///// Complimentary
News you can use ... from collabs to beer runs to brew reviews
䐀伀圀一䰀伀䄀䐀 夀䌀 䴀伀䈀䤀䰀䔀 吀伀 䈀伀伀䬀 䄀 䌀䄀䈀℀ ∠匀䔀䔀 䄀一䐀 䈀伀伀䬀 䄀嘀䄀䤀䰀䄀䈀䰀䔀 䌀䄀䈀匀 䘀伀刀 一伀圀 伀刀 䰀䄀吀䔀刀
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704-916-9470 @beardbeerbard castingshadowsphotography.com
6 » Publisher’s Letter
Welcome to the premiere of Gravity Magazine
8 » ChatterCheck
Openings & beer collabs to keep you in-the-know
9 » The Beer Counselor
Ryan Moses explains that this is not a test
12 » Toast The Town
30 » On Tap
Craft beverage events you don’t want to miss
32 » In The Spirit
14 » Brew Tour
Birdsong Brewing puts a song in your heart
Fitness and beer go hand in mug
Cans make it easy to enjoy craft beer on the go
How to do charcuterie
40 » Perfect Your Palate
22 » Location, Location, Location
Get your favorite grub on location
38 » Walk The Plank
18 » You Can Take It With You
Colleen Hughes gets crafty at the Crêpe Cellar
36 » Truckin’
16 » Work It Off
The Beer Counselor’s six-pack attack
Beer Babes get schooled at Brawley’s
Helping you find the best beverages (& more) in town
26 » Tap This
Tim Schilling’s killer home bar
42 » Road Trip
A weekend tour of Asheville & Burning Can Festival
Explore your local wine options with the NC Wine Guys
44 » It’s Not all Sweet
On Our Cover:
Photo illustration created by
Wendy Raymond Taps and Snaps www.tapsandsnaps.com
46 » Born In A Barn
A local winery serves as the “spokesbarn” for Hillshire Farms
48 » Swag Shop
Shop for what ales you
50 » Closing Time 4 »»» Sept/Oct 2015 »»» www.gravitymagazinenc.com
A thought before you go
A Very Important Number
ada! It is done … you are holding in your hands the very first issue of Gravity Magazine. We owe thanks to the grassroots campaign that came before us for making this magazine possible. Ten years ago, Pop The Cap legislation was passed, thanks to lobbying efforts to raise the alcohol limit on beer sold in North Carolina from 6 percent to 15 percent. Don’t misconstrue this campaign as a push to create “higher alcohol just to get you drunk.” That’s not the point. It simply tastes better, and because of its richness, you typically drink less but enjoy it more. This percentage increase set the stage for creative brewing and unusual flavors in the craft beer community. It also opened the door for small breweries to set up shop and show us what they’ve got. That’s where we come in. We love beer. Jason has brewed it and studies it. Kerrie enjoys a good stout or porter, but really loves the social aspect of it. So it makes sense that the idea to share our enthusiasm with the world started — where else? — over a couple of beers. A few beer tastings at 201 Central with North Carolina regional craft breweries, and we were hooked. Those tastings led to a few self-guided brewery tours in Charlotte. We discovered a casual camaraderie that inspired us to go on more tours with even more friends. Then it hit us — everyone needs to know about this culture. And not just the craft beer industry, but all craft beverages: beer, wine, spirits, coffee, root beer — you name it. There’s something grounded about them all … solid and earthy. They offer a welcome departure from the hustle and bustle of the corporate world. No deadlines. No agendas. Just people getting together to share a drink. They talk, they engage. And, of course, they enjoy craft-made beverages. When you are finished reading this issue of Gravity, let us know what you think. Keep it, share it, refer back to it and, most importantly, let’s be friends! Readers of Gravity, like craft beer drinkers themselves, are sure to be a diverse and fun group of people … artists, bankers, moms, dads, brewers, CEOs, builders, drinkers and athletes. You like good food, fire pits, corn hole, climbing, sitting, biking, festivals, conversation and music. Show us what a great audience you are, and feel free to become part of the story! Email or post photos of you with Gravity, and remember to tag us. You never know when you might show up in the magazine. Thanks for taking the time to get to know us. Now, go have a drink. Cheers! Jason & Kerrie
Term ‘specific gravity’ refers to the density of any liquidand is broken down into “original gravity” (OG) before fermentation, and “terminal gravity” (TG) after.
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Volume 1 » Issue 1 Publishers/Founders Jason & Kerrie Boys Research & Taster Jason Boys Resident Designer Kerrie Boys
Wordsmith Karsen Price
Beer Counselor Ryan Moses
Wine Guys Matt Kemberling Joe Brock
Lover Of Craft Shelby Miller Contributing Photographers Eric Gaddy Casting Shadows Photography Andrea Perullo de Ledesma Wendy Raymond Taps and Snaps Contact Gravity: email@example.com www.gravitymagazinenc.com @gravitymagnc facebook.com/ GravityMagazineCharlotte Copyright 2015 by DJK Media, LLC Gravity Magazine is published six times per year. Gravity Magazine cannot assume responsibility of statements made by advertisers. In addition, though editorial pieces are heavily researched, Gravity Magazine cannot guarantee their accuracy. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in whole or part without express written permission from the publisher.
To the brewers of unerringly consistent, incredibly mass-produced volume beers, we say, shame on you. And we celebrate the slow, backwards, small scale methods of our local craft brewers. Join us. Come toast-and tastethe difference at countless breweries, bottleshops and unique restaurants with curated beer selections.
grady cole center, CHARLOTTE, NC Gravity Magazine will Present the Inaugural
feb. 6th, 2016
BENEFITING ACEING AUTISM
limited tickets on sale december 3rd, 2015
Charlotte Craft beers
QCbrewfest.com www.gravitymagazinenc.com ««« Sept/Oct 2015 ««« 7
Openings, Collabs & Awards Breweries
Newgrass Brewing Co., the first micro-brewery in Cleveland County (uptown Shelby), opened in August, and features a full menu and 12 craft beers on site.
Doc Porter’s Distillery is opening in South End, around the corner from Olde Mecklenburg Brewery. The distillery will offer NC wheat vodka in the fall, and gin and whiskey in the future. Great Wagon Road Distilling Company is moving from Pineville to South End in late 2015. In addition to distilling vodka and whiskey, they plan to serve several local beers at the bar.
Full Spectrum Brewing Co. opened in late August in Fort Mill, near Baxter Village. Legal Remedy Brewing Co., Rock Hill’s first brewery, opened in August, and features 24 taps, including up to eight beers known as the “Usual Suspects.” The former auto dealership will also be home to a Memphis style smokehouse. Legion Brewery, PlazaMidwood’s first brewery, is expected to open in fall 2015. High Branch Brewing Co. is located at Gibson Mills in Concord, and opening fall 2015.
Three Spirits Brewery, the creation of a former ER doctor, is opening in South End in fall 2015.
Red Clay Ciderworks opened Charlotte’s first cidery this summer to rave reviews, offering cider that ranges from bone dry to sweet.
The craft beer industry is less about competition and more about working together for the good of all! From ingredients to recipes, check out how brewmasters share and share alike. Unknown Brewing is collaborating with 80 other brewers in the world’s first super collab, to create a product known as “Garage Warrior.” The idea comes from the Carolina BrewMasters and those in the guild. Using 80 small brew systems, each brewer will use the same recipe but with different hops. The end collab result will have around 270 different types of hops in the beer! Release date is set as mid-October, and it will be available in 16-ounce cans only in Charlotte.
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NoDa, Free Range, Heist and Birdsong teamed up with New Belgium Brewing and headed to Fort Collins, Colo., to collaborate on a Belgian-style golden ale featuring flavors from both Fort Collins and Charlotte. Called “Yours and Mine,” the ale was inspired by Beers Made By Walking, a program that invites brewers to find ingredients in nature. Brewers selected beet sugar, lavender, Colorado sunflowers and North Carolina’s state fruit, the Scuppernong grape. Release date is midSeptember. Unknown Brewing and 7venth Sun (based in Dunedin, Fla.) have created “Rise Against Clowns,” a 6.2% barrel-aged sour. Based off Brad Shell’s extreme fear of clowns, it is brewed with blood oranges and cotton candy and is fermented on 100% brettanomyces (meaning no yeast was used to ferment). This will be a limited release available around Halloween and for sale in a 750 ml glass bottle only. Free Range Brewing has created a brown ale brew called “Bob’s Pure Intentions,” brewed with Charlotte’s Pure Intentions Coffee.
Award Winning Sugar Creek Brewery won a Silver medal for its Belgian Dubbel in the 2015 U.S. Open Beer Championship.
-W E’R E
ABOUT BEE R, NG I H K ER L A T
R E BE U NSEL
n your hands at this moment, you are holding the first issue of Gravity Magazine. Hopefully, we will be spending a lot of time together, so I thought I should introduce myself. My name is Ryan Moses. But you can call me the Beer Counselor. I am a bartender at Craft Growler Shop and Tasting Room in South End. I’m also a blogger who’s passionate about craft beer; you can find me at beercounselor.net. Why do I think I’m qualified to counsel you about beer? While bartending one day, I started to notice how people approach the tap wall at Craft. We have 36 taps, and it can be overwhelming, especially to people new to the craft world. What generally happens is, people will taste one beer and then another beer and then another beer. Then they will ask me what I like and then ask for another taste. Basically, people approach craft beer like they are searching for the right answer to a test. There is no right answer … but there is a beer that fits your palate. My job as a bartender is to help you find that beer. My role as the Beer Counselor is to give you advice and show you ways to explore craft beer. Here’s the thing. Craft beer is fun and should be explored. This isn’t a test that you can fail. Have fun and try things. If you get a beer you don’t like, it’s simple. Try a pint of something else. How did I get into craft beer? In college, I figured out early on that if I was going to drink beer, I wanted it to actually taste good. First came Samuel Adams Boston Lager. That became my go-to beer. Then I discovered Pete’s Wicked Ale
The Beer Counselor, Ryan Moses, has juggled bartending with work in the nonprofit fundraising sector. His favorite beer at the moment is Railhouse KA-BAR Brown Ale, and his beer pet peeves include forgetting that beer is a business and taking the business too seriously. Visit his blog at Beercounselor.net.
and everything shifted a little. It was an Englishstyle brown ale that was completely different from anything I’d tasted before. The beer world opened up to me. Time passed. I continued to drink the survivors of the first craft bubble and began to home brew.
“Craft beer is fun and should be explored. This isn’t a test that you can fail.” — Ryan Moses, The Beer Counselor Craft regained its footing. Pop The Cap passed in North Carolina and things began to change quickly. It became easier to get good beer and explore the craft beer world. I started keeping notes of everything I tasted to discover what it was I liked and didn’t like. My goal as a bartender and as the Beer Counselor is to help you find a beer that you love. As a bartender, I see the craft beer world at the inflection point between brewers, distributors and customers. Brewers want to make sure you are presenting their beer correctly; distributors want to see their tap handles on your tap wall; and customers want the best beer at the best price possible. My most important job is helping others find a good beer and have an enjoyable experience. I hope to provide fun and practical advice gained from years of being on both sides of the bar. Just remember, we are talking about beer. If that isn’t fun, I don’t know what is. Have a question for the Beer Counselor? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. www.gravitymagazinenc.com ««« Sept/Oct 2015 ««« 9
Global company uses local craftsmen to package Charlotte’s craft industry
German-Style Märzen German-Style Märzens are pale to reddish brown. Chill haze should not be perceived. Bread or biscuit-like malt aroma is acceptable. Fruityester and diacetyl aromas should not be perceived. Hop aroma is low. Sweet maltiness is medium low to medium and dominates over clean hop bitterness. Malt flavors should be lighttoasted rather than strongly caramel; low level caramel character is acceptable. Bread or biscuit-like malt flavor is acceptable. Hop flavor is low. Hop bitterness is medium low to medium. Alcohol by Volume (ABV) 5.10% - 6.00% Bitterness (IBU) 18 - 25 Color SRM (EBC) 4 - 15 (8 - 30) 4 NC Examples: Olde Mecklenburg Mecktoberfest Olde Hickory Oktoberfest Duck-Rabbit Märzen Foothills Oktoberfest Source: 2015 Brewers Association Beer Style Guidelines; used with permission of Brewers Association.
ho would have predicted 10 years ago that North Carolina would be such a huge player in the craft beverage industry? With cities like Asheville, Charlotte and Raleigh boasting upwards of a combined 60-plus breweries; Sierra Nevada and Oskar Blues holding a presence in the state; and a budding craft spirit industry, North Carolina can proudly say it has become a leader in the industry. With so many of these beverage companies thriving, it’s clearly evident that the craft beverage industry has had a huge economic impact on the Carolinas. Packaging companies, marketing firms, website development shops, software companies … the list of affected economic entities extends far beyond the nucleus of some guys and gals just “making alcohol.” In a competitive and dynamic marketplace filled with newcomers, it is advantageous for businesses to differentiate in a variety of ways — and usually this includes catering to the craft beverage customer’s desire for not only a quality tasting product, but also one that is aesthetically pleasing and locally integrated. The craft beverage consumer in particular seems to hold a unique preference for quality branding and local economics. Local packaging house Stephen Gould of the Carolinas has been able to not only witness this phenomenon, but also become a part of this growth. By partnering with Charlotte startups such as BREWPUBLIK, Muddy River Distillery, and even our very own Gravity Magazine, Stephen Gould is jumping at the opportunity to work on some unique packaging and display projects. Justin Schlappich, project director at Stephen Gould, says, “We believe in partnering with local businesses we are passionate about. Helping them emerge in the marketplace is what it’s all about. Harvard Business Journal recently wrote an article that explains how we now live in this ‘Experience Economy.’ Brands need to be creating these WOW moments that consumers will never forget. In turn, this empowers them to become your storytellers.” He adds, “The Carolinas have local breweries that are winning awards over competitors with a national reach and much deeper pockets, and we get the chance to support these companies. That’s a huge deal.” North Carolina has certainly positioned itself as a frontrunner in the craft beverage economy, and let’s not forget the supporting businesses that make it possible. These companies have proven time and again that they can consistently come up with products that people genuinely love, and a certain type of energy is being created that doesn’t seem to be losing pace.
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BREWER’S BALL 5th Annual
Serving up hope for a cure...one pint at a time
Saturday, October 17, 2015 8PM Discovery Place – Uptown Charlotte 301 N. Tryon St. Charlotte, NC 28202
VIP tickets: $125
($58 tax-deductible) Includes one hour early event entry with private tasting and full-size tasting glass
($25 tax-deductible) Includes unlimited tastings from some of the area’s best breweries, cideries, wine distributors and restaurants
For tickets, visit charlotte.cff.org/brewersball or call the CF Foundation at 704-321-7852.
The Charlotte area is spilling over with things to do for the craft beverage aficionado. Keep your fun local and head out to these events!
Growler Gallop 5K
s Oktoberfe Charlotte
Sun., Sept. 6th 4 p.m. The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, 4150 Yancey Road Celebrate your run with OMB beer & a band. Triviumracing.com/event/ growler-gallop-charlotte/
Films On Tap
Weds., Sept. 9 6:30 p.m. Unknown Brewing, 1327 S. Mint Street An evening of good beer, good films & good company. Tickets, $10 @filmsontapclt
Hit The Brixx 10K/5K
Brewer’s Ball 20 14
Sat., Sept. 12 7:45 a.m. Brixx Uptown Charlotte, 225 E. Sixth Street Enjoy pizza, pasta & brew at the finish line. Runforyourlife.com/brixx10k5k
Sat., Sept. 12 2 to 10 p.m. Riverwalk Carolinas, Dunkins Ferry Road, Rock Hill, SC The second annual Tawba Fest features market vendors, craft brews, food & fit activities. www.tawbafest.com
2nd Annual Bella’s Brew Bash Sat., Sept. 12 4 to 8 p.m. Shoppes At Wesley Chapel, 5939 Weddington-Monroe Road Benefiting the Isabella Santos Foundation, the Bash will feature food trucks, beer & wine tastings, silent auction, corn hole, music & more. No ticket necessary. Wherevent.com/detail/ The-Isabella-Santos-2nd-AnnualBellas-Brew-Bash 12 »»» Sept/Oct 2015 »»» www.gravitymagazinenc.com
Charlotte Beer Fest
Sat., Sept. 19 5 to 9 p.m. BB&T Ballpark, 324 S. Mint Street VIP tickets, $100; general admission, $50 Features live music & 250-plus beers, including 50 Carolina beers. Charlottebeerfest.com
and 1 to 3 p.m. Music Factory Festival Grounds, 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd. Featuring four beers, one mile & an awesome after-party. Nationalbeermile.com
The NoDa’ble Night Beer & Branding: Showcase
Tues., Sept. 22 6 to 8 p.m. NoDa Brewing Company 2921 N. Tryon Street Open to the public. - The way it works: Each homebrewer will bring a growler or two of their beer (even if they didn’t win the brewing competition, held beforehand). - The winning beer will be on tap as that week’s NoDa’ble small batch release. - Each beer design will be hung on the wall of the taproom as a gallery. If the designer creates physical pieces other than the minimum requirements of a label design, their packaging solutions, etc., will be showcased along with the label. Charlotte.aiga.org
Sat., Sept. 26 10 a.m. half marathon start; 11:15 5K start; 1 p.m. wine tasting US Whitewater Center, 5000 Whitewater Center Parkway Festival features a variety of local, regional and national wineries & begins with the Wild Vine 5K & Half Marathon trail races, followed by a wine tasting from 1 to 6 p.m. $10 per sample card (four 2 oz. samples) Usnwc.org/relax/festivals/ uncorked
Rural Hill Food Truck Rally
Sat., Sept. 26 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Historic Rural Hill, 44431 Neck Road, Huntersville The event features over 20 of Charlotte’s finest food trucks, plus NC brewed beers, wine & music. Ruralhill.net
National Beer Mile
Sat., Sept. 26 Two waves: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.;
plus wineries; great live music & more, including a free kids area. Myfairsandfestivals.com
5th Annual Brewer’s Ball
Sat., Oct. 17 7:30 p.m. Discovery Place, 301 N. Tryon Street VIP tickets, $125; general admission, $75
Did you know?
Oktoberfest is the longest-running beer festival in Charlotte and has come a long way since the inaugural one at Independence Park. The original festival was a collaboration of Johnson Brewing Co. and the Carolina BrewMasters, a local homebrewing club. When Johnson had to close its doors, CBM took over and has been running it ever since. 17th Annual Charlotte Oktoberfest
Sat., Oct. 3 12:30 to 6:30 p.m. NC Music Factory, 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd. VIP tickets, $65; general admission, $45
Sample a variety of handcrafted ales and lagers from top local microbrewers, plus food samplings from some of the area’s best restaurants, and also support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Charlottebrewersball15.events cff.org
BACHTOBERFEST III: BACH & BEER
Sat., Oct. 23 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Knight Theater, 430 S. Tryon Street Don’t miss this festive occasion, featuring beer tastings from local craft breweries and a “drinking with Mozart” game. Charlottesymphony.org Explore craft beer with 6,000 likeminded friends! The event will be similar to past Oktoberfests, but crafted in the Imperial style. Charlotteoktoberfest.com
Great Grapes Wine & Food Festival
Sat., Oct. 3 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Symphony Park at SouthPark, 4400 Sharon Road Includes 220-plus wines from 20-
Fri., Oct. 30 3:30 p.m. set up; carving 4 p.m. NC Music Factory, 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd. This friendly pumpkin carving contest & silent auction is hosted by CRAFTED, a marketing agency, & AIGA Charlotte; all proceeds benefit Make-A-Wish of Central and Western NC. Gutscharlotte.com
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Puts a song in your heart
By Karsen Price Photo by Eric Gaddy, Casting Shadows Photography
ow can you not like a brewery whose name reportedly comes from a story about brewmaster Conor Robinson’s terrific snoring? Outfitted with au natural wooden bars complete with saplings as foot rails, Birdsong Brewing Co.’s new taproom is the perfect mixture of spacious and friendly, offering plenty of room to spread out, but retaining the one-on-one ambiance that makes a brewery the perfect home-away-fromhome. During my visit, friendly bartenders offered introductions to Birdsong’s brew, and put up with my constant questions with a smile. Karen the bartender helped me and my buds learn all we could about Birdsong by offering tastes and then flights … and then pints. I decided to try the Jalapeño Pale Ale first, and liked it, but not enough to marry it for the day. (This is the first Birdsong product available in cans; BTW, you can peek at the canning operation through the large glass windows that separate the taproom from the brewery.) 14 »»» Sept/Oct 2015 »»» www.gravitymagazinenc.com
Tastings continued, and I soon fell in love with both the best-seller Higher Ground IPA (shoulda grabbed a Growlerfull) and the Paranoid Android Farmhouse Ale, a saison collab with Wooden Robot that was drinkable, fresh, fragrant and complex. But I was most surprised by my affinity for the darker Fistful Of Steel, which Karen the bartender admitted was her current goto. (Again, shoulda grabbed a Growler-full.) Owner Chris Goulet, A.K.A. “El President,” says the feedback from taproom visitors to the new facility has been encouraging. “We certainly incorporated a lot of our learnings from the last brewery on the production side,” he says, noting that the biggest challenge about 2015’s expansion has been “balancing two facilities while we gradually exit the old space.” Goulet says that, for now, plans for the future are more of the same. “We plan to keep brewing beer. We’ve got a batch of Jalapeño to brew Thursday.” Bottom line: After an afternoon at Birdsong, I had music in my heart and a warm feeling in my bones.
@ a glance How many barrels will you produce this year? Hard to say! This is our first year in our new facility, so we’re definitely on target to do more than last year (around 3,300 bbls). I think perhaps we may reach our target of 5,400 bbls. Do you have flagship beers; what’s your No. 1 seller? All of our year-round beers are kind of like our flagship lineup. The Jalapeño Pale Ale is the most distinct, and is perhaps what we may be best known for, although the Higher Ground IPA is our best-seller. Do you have beer to-go (Growlers and/or Crowlers)? We offer to-go beer options by way of Growlers and we have our Jalapeño Pale available in cans. Are your beers available in grocery stores in cans/bottles? We’re getting there! We just
started distributing our cans to grocery stores and market shops like Harris Teeter and Publix. What type of food is available? We try to have food trucks on site Tuesday through Sunday, although food trucks are in high demand, so we do allow customers to bring in takeout or get food delivered. We also have peanuts available as a complimentary snack option. Kid friendly? Yes, we welcome families with well-behaved children. Dog friendly? Yes, we ask kindly that all dogs are on leashes and are well-behaved. Tours: Thursdays at 6:30 p.m.; free Taproom hours: Tues.-Fri.: 4:30 to 10 p.m.; Sat.: Noon to 10 p.m.; Sun.: Noon to 8 p.m. Address: 1016 N. Davidson St., Charlotte, NC 28206 Website: Birdsongbrewing.com Karsen Price is a Charlotte native who loves the craft of words and beer, but not necessarily in that order.
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Julie Corder Photography
Will work(out) Forget the gym … hit your local brewery instead
r e e b r o f
eople who love ice cream don’t organize runs before they go grab a cone. But the trend of getting together and sweating it out in return for a pint of craft beer is a real one in Charlotte. Breweries are offering weekly opportunities to get together with likeminded peeps and run, ride or hit the yoga mat, then share a locally made craft beverage. What’s not to love?
MONDAY Heist Brewery: 6:30 p.m. 1, 3 & 5 mile TUESDAY Carolina Beer Temple: 6:45 p.m. 3 mile WEDNESDAY NoDa Brewing Co.: 6:30 p.m. 1, 3 & 5 mile Sycamore Brewing: 7 p.m. 1, 3 & 5 mile THURSDAY Bayne Brewing Co.: 6 p.m. Triple C Brewing Co.: 6:30 p.m. 3, 4 & 5 mile SATURDAY Sycamore Brewing: 12 p.m. 1, 3 & 5 mile
SUNDAY Lenny Boy Brewing Co.: 1 p.m. 1.5 & 3 mile
SUNDAY Bayne Brewing Co.: 11 a.m., Yoga Brewski, $10
MONDAY Sycamore Brewing: 7 p.m., $5 TUESDAY The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery: 6:30 p.m., Yoga On Tap D9 Brewing Co.: 6:30 p.m., Detox To Retox, $10 WEDNESDAY Sugar Creek Brewing Co.: 6 p.m., Taproom Fitness w/Metro Fitness Sycamore Brewing: 7 p.m., $5 THURSDAY Triple C Brewing Co.: 6:30 p.m. SATURDAY Lenny Boy Brewing Co.: 10 a.m., $5
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SATURDAY Unknown Brewing Co.: 2:30 p.m. Bike & Brew (10, 25 and 35-mile loop) Note: Classes are first come, first served, and times and dates can change, so check each company’s website before you go. If you’d like your event listed, please email all the details to email@example.com.
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take it with you By Jason Boys
From tailgates to tents, it’s easier than ever to enjoy your favorite craft beer
anned beer may evoke college frat parties, shotgunning and bleery-eyed beer pong memories. (I have fond memories of my dad’s Bud Light on fishing trips and golf outings … and not-so-great memories of Milwaukee’s Best “The Beast” during the college shoestring years.) Today, despite previous negative connotations, several craft breweries are beginning to produce their delish offerings in aluminum cans. The assumption used to be that canned beers have no flavor … unless you count that lovely metallic taste. But canning technology has changed over the years. Most cans are now lined with a polymer coating that protects beer from the metal.
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From a brewery standpoint, canning is more efficient and cheaper. There are other positives, packaging-wise. From a marketing standpoint, there is more space on a can for labeling and brand awareness. Cans are better at keeping out air, beer’s Public Enemy No. 1. They don’t break, so it’s a better choice for pools, hikes, biking jaunts and tailgating. Cans get cooler faster, and last but certainly not least, you can stack way more cans in a cooler than bottles. The craft beer canning craze began back in 2002, when Oskar Blues started canning Dale’s Pale
Ale. NoDa Brewing Company was the first to offer cans in Charlotte; they began canning Jam Session and Hop, Drop’n Roll in the fall of 2013. Even Samuel Adams, who used to make huge manifestos about how it would never go can is suddenly producing aluminum-enclosed offerings. Several North Carolina breweries now offer cans, including Oskar Blues, Lonerider, Laughing Skull, Appalachian Mountain Brewery, Catawba, Pisgah, Aviator, French Broad, Howard, Asheville, Mother Earth, Triangle and Fullsteam.
In Charlotte, breweries such as Triple C, Unknown and most recently Birdsong have gone the way of canning. The idea is growing so much that several local breweries are bringing their own canning production in-house, while others depend on mobile canning companies. Bottom line, cans won’t ever replace bottles completely. But in certain situations, the can is the man. Keep that in mind the next time you pack the cooler for a Panther’s tailgate. Jason Boys likes nice cans and good beer.
other ways to carry your craft
The Unknown Brewery Co. has a take-it-with-you option called “The Bullet,” which holds 32 oz. and is perfect for carrying to the game or the lake.
What could be better than BREWPUBLIK’s beer delivery to your home? Delivering to your tailgate!
Visit www.brewpublik.com/dingdongtailgate to find out the details.
Developed by Oskar Blues, a Crowler is a 32 oz. aluminum can that can be filled with fresh beer straight from the tap. The whole operation is pretty simple. It starts with a quick CO2 purge of the Crowler to eliminate oxygen from the can before it is filled. Once the Crowler has been purged, it’s filled with fresh craft beer straight from the tap. Unopened, the freshness should last about a month.
Serving it up at D9 20 »»» Sept/Oct 2015 »»» www.gravitymagazinenc.com
Crowlers are currently available at D9, Heist and Salud.
Learn the Suppliers
Alternative Beverage 1500 River Drive, Suite 104, Belmont, NC (800) 365-2739 Ebrew.com 201 Central 13108 Eastfield Road, Huntersville, NC (704) 875-2892 5939 Weddington Road Wesley Chapel, NC 28110 (704) 821-2686
Craft Many of the best craft beers started in someone’s garage. If you have ever toyed with the idea of home brewing, check out this list of suppliers and clubs that can help you get started.
Beer & Wine Hobbies 168-S Norman Station Blvd., Mooresville, NC 4450 South Blvd., Charlotte, NC (704) 825-8400 1323 West Roosevelt Blvd., Monroe, NC (704) 635-8665 Beerandwinehobbies.com Custom Home Pubs 1640 Sardis Road North, Suite 120 (704) 315-5223 Customhomepubs.com House Of Brews 3611 Tryclan Drive (704) 617-4954 House-of-brews.com Seven Jars Distillery Offers classes in both wine and beer making. 6148-B Brookshire Blvd., (704) 919-0278 Sevenjars.com
Cabarrus Homebrewers Society Public group meets the second Thursday of the month at Cabarrus Creamery (besides Lil’ Roberts Place) at 7 p.m., plus has other events and brew sessions. Cabrew.org Carolina BrewMasters Public group meets the first Wednesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. at Dilworth Neighborhood Grill, plus has monthly brew sessions. Carolinabrewmasters.com Iredell Brewers United Public group meets the second Monday of the month at Ultimate Ales in Mooresville at 7 p.m., plus holds monthly brew sessions. iredellbrewersunited.org
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22 locationlocation »»»
Lake Norman NC is Ranked
in craft beer proDuction
Mountain Island Lake
NoDa 4 15 13 14 12
Charlotte 4 5 11 Plaza 7 6 Midwood South End 8 9 3 1 2
Rock Hill 28
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Charlotte Area Breweries
Barrels of craft beer Produced in NC
Blue Blaze Brewing
The Unknown Brewing Co.
Wooden Robot Brewery
Lenny Boy Brewing Co.
401 N. Tryon Street • Suite 100
Opening Winter 2016-528 S. Turner Ave.
1327 S. Mint Street
1440 S. Tryon Street • Suite 110 2224 Hawkins Street 2161 Hawkins Street
49 Triple C Brewing Co.
2900 Griffith Street
The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery
Sugar Creek Brewing
4150 Yancey Road
215 Southside Drive
10 Three Spirits Brewery
Opening Winter 2016-5046 Old Pineville Road
Birdsong Brewing Co.
NoDa Brewing Co.
Free Range Brewing
Cabarrus Brewing Co.
High Branch Brewing
D9 Brewing Co.
Opening Fall 2015-1906 Commonwealth Ave.
1016 N. Davidson Street
2229 N. Davidson Street Opening Fall 2015-2921 N. Tryon Street 2320 N. Davidson Ave.
2909 N. Davidson Street • Suite 200
Opening Winter 2016-325 McGill Ave., Concord Opening Fall 2015-325 McGill Ave., Concord
16432 Statesville Ave., Huntersville 11138-C Treynorth Drive, Cornelius 10620 Bailey Road, Cornelius
Bayne Brewing Co.
19507 W. Catawba Ave., Cornelius
22 Lake Norman Brewing Co.
Great Wagon Road Distilling Co.
Red Clay Ciderworks 245 Clanton Road
213 S. Lafayette Street, Shelby
27 Barking Duck Brewing Co.
Muddy River Distillery
Southern Grace Distilleries
201 W. Pennsylvania Ave., Bessemer City
26 Newgrass Brewing Co.
Dragon Moonshine 1500 River Drive • Belmont, NC
1500 River Drive, Belmont
25 Bessemer City Brewing
516 E. Peterson Drive
117 S. Lee Street, Salisbury
24 Rivermen Brewing Co.
Opening Fall 2015-232 E. Peterson Drive Opening Soon-227 Southside Drive
159 Barley Park Lane, Unit B, Mooresville
23 New Sarum Brewing Co.
Doc Porter’s Distillery
Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
20 Ass Clown Brewing Co.
Distilleries & Cideries
8037-C Fairview Drive, Mint Hill
28 Legal Remedy Brewing
129 Oakland Ave., Rock Hill, SC
29 Benford Brewing Co.
2271 Boxcar Road, Lancaster, SC
625 Main Street Southwest • Concord, NC www.gravitymagazinenc.com ««« Sept/Oct 2015 ««« 23
D9 Brewing Company’s Viking Froach is derived from the fact that it is based on a 4,000-year-old Viking beer recipe that pre-dates the use of hops. Froach is Scandinavian for Heather, which is a key ingredient.
$1.71 billion Economic impact of the N.C. wine and grape industry
# of distilleries in North Carolina and counting
1,711,000 Number of wine-related tourists in 2013 569,000 Number of cases of wine produced in the state 525 Number of commercial grape growers in the state 159 Number of wineries in the state (as of Aug. 1)
Lake Norman Brewery Company
is Charlotte’s smallest brewery and the owner, Mike Prascak hand carves the unique tap handles
] t c a F n u [f
Birdsong Brewing Company serves 7,125 pounds of free peanuts a year
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1,000,000 # of cans of Gold Medal Award-winning Hop, Drop ‘N Roll NoDa Brewery has sold
# of barrels Olde Meck Brewery produced in 2014 — the most of any Charlotte area brewery
WEEKLY SPECIALS MONDAY 6.50 BEER FLIGHTS TUESDAY 3.00 LOCAL PINTS WEDNESDAY 6.00 CHEESE AND CHARCUTERIE BOARDS THURSDAY LIVE LOCAL MUSIC
1320 S. CHURCH ST • CHARLOTTE NC 28203 • WWW.CRAFTGROWLERSHOP.COM
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Tap this Tim Schilling’s killer home bar
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By Karsen Price Photography by Eric Gaddy, Casting Shadows Photography
ost craft beer lovers dream of having a mack-daddy home bar, complete with multiple taps that draw continuous pulls of fresh craft beer at the touch of a finger. Tim Schilling made that dream a reality. A former professional baseball player whose career was cut short due to a shoulder injury, Schilling is an avid golfer, a craft beer enthusiast, and the area sales director for CNP Technologies, which does lofty, technical things with Unified Communications space and Network Integration and support (don’t worry, I didn’t understand it, either). The father of two was renovating his family’s basement, complete with a second kitchen, when he decided to throw in a stunning 15-foot bar with custom taps — both inside and out. His renovation added 2,200 square feet of living area to his home, and included an entire basement remodel with electrical, plumbing, flooring, painting and drywall, plus redesign and specialty items, including custom cabinetry and moldings. The renovation took six to eight months. It’s a work of art. But by far, the bar is the best part. Schilling says, “We entertain a ton. We were renovating our basement and decided to add another place to entertain. We also wanted to enjoy easy access to the pool. One thing led to another! So now, we have five taps inside, and three taps in an outside bar.” www.gravitymagazinenc.com ««« Sept/Oct 2015 ««« 27
Schilling describes his bar as Irish, with a mixture of stainless steel, plenty of woodwork and brick. The bar and pantry area is approximately 800 square feet, with another 50 feet outside. His beer staples include Bell’s Two Hearted Ale, Modelo Especial, and Olde Mecklenburg Brewery’s Copper, which is his wife’s favorite. As of the making of this story, he also had Stone Go To IPA and Prima Pills from Victory Brewing on draft as well. Schilling says the home bar all sprang from his dreams of brewing his own beer. “I remember years ago wanting to brew my own, and that’s where it began,” he says. “I love the way the aroma and creativity behind what starts off so simple can lead to complex tastes and styles. It made me an instant fan of all different varieties and styles.” After brewing for a bit, Schilling decided it was easier from a time and quality perspective to enjoy the nectar of the professionals. (He notes, “No offense to my previous beers, which were good!”) Schilling originally started the bar project with one company, but was dissatisfied. He found the Crafty Beer Guys via Google, and turned to them for help. The Huntersville-based company — a bottle shop that doubles as an installer of brewing equipment — helped get Schilling’s home bar on track. “We helped him finish out his ‘keezer,’ which is a term adopted by many home brewers and home bar DIYers for a chest freezer converted into a kegerator,” explains Chris Westgard, one of the owners of Crafty Beer Guys. “The basic idea is that the lid is lifted via a fabricated wooden ‘collar’ that
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Want your own?
Tips for the perfect home bar hris Westgard owns Crafty Beer Guys, an installer of brewing equipment. Westgard takes pride in creating, installing and maintaining superior custom draft systems for both commercial and residential customers. He offers tips to consider when you are creating your own home bar. 1) Choose functionality over aesthetics It doesn’t matter how nice it looks if your elaborate design keeps things from working properly. 2) You get what you pay for Use the highest industry standard parts, particularly stainless steel for all metal components. “The up-front cost is noticeably more, but besides being a cleaner metal, it tends to outlast the chromeplated brass alternatives by magnitudes,” Westgard says.
raises the height of the unit to accommodate the height of the kegs and components, and serves as a mounting surface for much of the necessary hardware.” One of the problems Schilling was having with the original installation was that the wrong size tubing had been installed. “Getting beer to pour properly involves specific pressure and resistance values,” Westgard says, “so something as simple as having a beer line improperly sized by 1/16 of an inch diameter can have a disastrous impact on
your system.” Schilling says, “The folks at Crafty Beer Guys made great suggestions — they really know their stuff.” Schilling is pumped to now have such a great bar at home, and it’s a sentiment his friends and family share. He says the bar has been getting lots of attention this summer, and now he’s ready to bring on the football. “We can always find a reason to have some good times with family and friends,” Schilling says.
3) Cleanliness is key Regular cleaning and maintenance will keep everything looking and working nice. “Fifteen minutes once a month can save you hours and days in the long run,” he says. 4) Don’t overstock “Some things you keep at your bar may be perishable. Learn about these things and keep on top of them, so you don’t end up giving a good product a bad reputation because of negligence.” Visit Craftybeerguys.com for information.
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Beers to take you from summer to fall
s summer comes to a close, the beers go from light and hoppy to bold and malty. Even the last of the summer beers get a little darker. Here is a selection of beers to enjoy as the seasons begin to change.
By Ryan Moses, Beer Counselor; visit the Beercounselor.net.
5% alc/vol IBU: 25 It pours with an orangy/copper color and a good white head. It has a bready, malty aroma and taste, with hints of caramel and touches of orange peel. There is just enough hop bitterness to balance out the Oktoberfest maltiness. A good start to fall.
Triple C Smoked Amber 5.5% alc/vol IBU: 29 A dark amber color greets you in the glass with a minimal head. The aroma does not give away the smokiness you get with the taste. That smokiness is distinct yet subtle. If you haven’t had a lot of smoked beers, this is a good beer to begin your journey.
Olde Mecklenburg Fat Boy Baltic Porter
8% alc/vol IBU: 30 This is a big, flavorful wonderland of darkness. It is almost black in color and has a bold taste to match, with notes of chocolate and caramel with raisins and prunes. There is even a hint of licorice on the back of your tongue. A perfect beer for sipping.
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Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest 6% alc/vol IBU: 35 This is the first year Sierra Nevada will brew their Oktoberfest in collaboration with a German brewer. For 2015, the chosen collaborator is Brauhaus Riegele of Augsburg, Germany. It pours a golden color. The malt aroma has a hint of banana, and the taste is bready and clean with little hop presence.
Fullsteam Fearrington Summer India Tea Ale
4.8% alc/vol IBU: 45 Fearrington is a light amber color with a good white head. There is a moderate aroma/taste of lemon zest that combines with a touch of sweetness from the malt, giving the beer a similar taste to an unsweetened tea served with lemon. An interesting take on the session IPA.
Aviator Double Ugly Rye Pale Ale
6.5% alc/vol IBU: 148 Despite the name, Double Ugly has a lovely copper color and a good foamy head. You immediately get a good aroma of piney/citrusy hops and bread malt with rye spiciness. The malty rye taste makes this a good transition beer from summer to fall.
Beer-ductation Alcohol by Volume (ABV)
A measurement of the alcohol content of a solution in terms of the percentage volume of alcohol per volume of beer. This measurement is always higher than Alcohol by Weight. To calculate the approximate volumetric alcohol content, subtract the final gravity from the original gravity and divide by 0.0075. For example: 1.050 – 1.012 = 0.038/0.0075 = 5% ABV. Courtesy of CraftBeer.com
International Bitterness Units (IBU)
The measure of the bittering substances in beer (analytically assessed as milligrams of isomerized alpha acid per liter of beer, in ppm). This measurement depends on the style of beer. Light lagers typically have an IBU rating between 5-10 while big, bitter India Pale Ales can often have an IBU rating between 50 and 70. Courtesy of CraftBeer.com
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In the spirit
Colleen Hughes gets crafty with cocktails at the Crêpe Cellar
By Shelby Miller Photos By Andrea Perullo de Ledesma
olleen Hughes is uncomfortable with the term “mixologist.” As anyone this fervently dedicated to her craft understands, it’s easy to attach a certain snobbishness to the art of creating specialty cocktails. “We’re not trying to be arrogant,” she says. “We don’t wear vests. We’re all just doing our thing.” The “we” in question includes Hughes and her all-female bar staff at the Crêpe Cellar in NoDa. While it was never the intent to have only women behind the bar, Hughes enjoys the all-female dynamic, noting that it sets the Crêpe Cellar’s cocktail program apart in this mostly male-driven industry. Hughes and her team are especially dedicated to crafting handmade ingredients, from barrel-aged liquors to flavored tonics — a process she (perhaps appropriately) likens to “birthing a child” in regards to the many hours spent honing her recipes. Hughes started out as a beer enthusiast, completing the Cicerone Certified Beer Server program while tending bar at Growlers Pourhouse back in 2010. But after tasting her first real craft cocktail on a trip to Atlanta the following year, she was newly inspired. Upon returning to Charlotte, Hughes and her boyfriend, Growlers bartender James Murphy, ordered every cocktail book they could get their hands on. “A lot of that stuff [boutique spirits] we’d never even heard of,” she says. After perfecting the classic “Prohibition-era” cocktails, the two started experimenting with their own concoctions, even staying after work to develop their recipes. Within two years, Hughes was given the opportunity to run her own cocktail program at the Crêpe Cellar. At the time, she says, it was the only program of its kind in NoDa. No one was making www.gravitymagazinenc.com ««« Sept/Oct 2015 ««« 33
craft cocktails; certainly no women were doing it. Knowing that she wanted to focus on seasonal ingredients and a rotating menu, Hughes features a few staple cocktails, plus three or so that change with the seasons. Quality is crucial; base liquors are top shelf and often local, while tinctures are carefully infused with ingredients like beet, lemongrass and cardamom. These tinctures, or alcoholic extracts made from a typically herbal or vegetal ingredient, are used in place of bitters to keep the flavors fresh and changing regularly, as bitters can take months to produce. Hughes is particularly excited for this fall’s offerings. In The Local, she combines Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey with a Cloister Honey ghost pepper honey syrup — “I like the combination of sweet and hot,” she says — plus Crude’s “Rizzo” small-batch bitters, and fresh lemon juice in a maple-vanilla-sugar-rimmed glass. She is also a fan of using Scotch in cocktails, enjoying the complex, smoky flavors and peaty aromas it lends. It’s a choice that might give some purists pause, but it’s exemplary of Hughes’ “Why not?” attitude toward her cocktail creations. This laid-back, adventurist spirit is evident in another recipe she’s working on for the fall menu, which will combine Glenlivet 12 with local Carriage House apple brandy, thyme syrup and some of her specialty tinctures for a delicious twist on fall flavors. Whether it’s a feminine perspective that inspires her creations or just a good plain sense of fun remains to be seen. In either case, Charlotte could sure use some more of it. What’s NC made? Cloister Honey Queen Charlotte’s Reserve By Muddy River Distillery Crude Small Batch Bitters Shelby Miller is a personal trainer and health/lifestyle writer who doubles as a food, beer, wine and whiskey enthusiast. 34 »»» Sept/Oct 2015 »»» www.gravitymagazinenc.com
Tap into a good time
Laura Jepsen & Victor Bukowski at OMB’s Yoga On Tap, lead by Daniel McCall of Yoga One.
Julie Corder Photography
Giving a shout out to the folks who are enjoying the social scene at local breweries
AIGA’s Beer & Branding event combines the creativity of local designers with local home brewers, ultimately culminating in a brewing competition and a design showcase. The winning beer will be announced, then released as part of the NoDa brewery’s popular Nodable Series. Final branding packages will be featured on the AIGA Charlotte website. Mandy & Rob Heim with Pinna.
Enjoying a post-run beverage at NoDa Brewing’s Wednesday night beer run.
NoDa Beer Run (front row, l to r): Terry Kaminski, Denise Riddle, Mike Zimmerman, Melissa Zimmerman, Brenda Hatfield, Ali Toberson. (Back row, l to r): Steve Killian, Sean Curtis, Carolyn Cook, Tami Curtis.
Randy Klatt connects over beers with Molly & Michael Thompson after running three miles through NoDa.
Amy Herman & Corri Smith party on at Heist Brewery, as part of the 11th installment of #instabeerupclt. www.gravitymagazinenc.com ««« Sept/Oct 2015 ««« 35
choices, choices, choices
’ n i k
c u r T
Photo courtesy of historicsouthend.com
>>> Bringing the craft of food to your 36 »»» Sept/Oct 2015 »»» www.gravitymagazinenc.com
Calling all foodies! Check out this (growing) list of food trucks in town. Follow your favs on Twitter ... and be sure to tell ‘em Gravity sent you.
100 Main Beef & BBQ
New Wrap Order
Sticks And Cones
Libretto’s Pizza Truck
JJ’s Red Hots
Bleu Barn Bistro
Yummy Banh Mi
Papi Queso Truck
The TIN Kitchen®
Offering succulent Southern barbecue @100mainbeef
Only the best BBQ; you name it, we smoke it @EatOooWeeBBQ
Specializing in international sliders & gourmet street food @Street_Spice
Serving the best hotdog the Queen City has to offer @JJsRedHots
Offering signature Belly waffles, entrees & sides @BellyBackers
Specializing in elevated Latin street food @ChromeToasterNC
A gourmet grilled cheese truck @papiquesotruck
Serving chef-driven bites including Buffalo cauliflower salad & pork belly tacos @TheTINKitchen
The state’s only nationally recognized ice cream truck @SticksAndCones
Serving handcrafted pizza & twists on Italian classics @LibrettosTruck
Specializing in internationalinspired cuisine with Southern flair @Hotboxstfood
Focusing on seasonally changing local farm to truck food @BleuBarnBistro
Serving Vietnamese authentic bánh mì sandwiches with aplomb @YummyBanhMi
Specializes in eco-friendly, fresh Floribbean tacos @TacoGreenGo
Rallies SouthPark Eats Alt
Specializing in American and international street food @herban_legend
@SouthParkEats The only food truck gathering in SouthPark happens every Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 5960 Fairview Road
Food Truck Friday
The Herban Legend
Offering fish tacos, burgers, fried deviled eggs & more @roamingforkNC
Imperial Sandwich Co.
The big blue truck offers the best sandwich in the world @ImperialSandwic
Specializing in scratch-made cupcakes in all flavors @onthegocupcakes
Roots Farm Food
Dedicated to cooking, purveying & educating Charlotte on local food @RootsFarmFood
Offering internationally inspired wraps & bowls @NewWrapOrder
Featuring Pan Asian tacos & Japanese hibachi @makitacotruck
@FTFCharlotte The event that put Charlotte’s food truck scene on the map is held every Friday from 5 to 9 p.m., at the corner of Park and Camden in Historic South End. www.foodtruckfridaycharlotte.com
Matthews Food Truck Friday
www.facebook.com/pages/ Matthews-Food-Truck-Friday Enjoy a food truck rally at Stumptown Park every Friday from 5 to 9 p.m. 120 S. Trade Street
Cabarrus County Food Truck Friday
www.facebook.com/ CabarrusFoodTrucks/ Created to allow local food trucks to showcase their delicious talents; locations change each week. Check Facebook for the next event.
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Walk The Plank ans of craft beverages know all about charcuterie. But in case you missed the meat, here’s a quick primer: Charcuterie is a French style of cooking that traces back to the 15th century, and is focused on slabs of meat that would make Tony Soprano proud. Charcuterie was intended as a way to preserve meat before refrigeration; these days, it’s the ultimate small platter or tapas to share with friends. The trend is to enjoy rough cuts of meats and cheese on a board, and the idea is that they are immensely sharable, while also deeply flavorful.
Chapel Hill Creamery’s Hickory Grove, made with raw milk and featuring a washed rind, paired with a 14-month Belgian Gouda, garnished with sliced pears, fried Marcona almonds and dried cherries. Served with an olive oil toasted baguette from Nova’s Bakery.
Served with Heritage Farms (Goldsboro, NC) hot Sopressata, a 16-month imported Prosciutto, and a house olive mix with picquillo peppers. Served with an olive oil toasted baguette from Nova’s Bakery. Craft Tasting Room and Growler Shop 1320 S. Church Street
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Charcuterie plays well with beer. It pairs nicely flavor-wise, and is a quintessential social food because, much like fondue, it is meant to be shared. After you have the menu (and the guest list) in order, it’s all about the board. Boards are usually rustic and always cool. Ironically, while you might think that a solid piece of wood is the most hardy, the opposite is true. Go for boards that are made in pieces pressed together. They are stronger. Experiment with pairings. According to Draft Magazine, when in doubt, three go-to beers are the safest bets: saison, wild ale and porter.
t h g i L e Go to th (Rail)
Photo Courtesy www.HistoricSouthEnd.com
South End’s edge of town access to the LYNX makes it the heartbeat of the city
istoric South End is the perfect mix of quirky cool with a nod to days gone by. A day spent traveling the LYNX light rail line will not disappoint. As a place to live, to shop, to dine, to work, to party, to chill, there’s really nothing else like South End in Charlotte. A friend to craft beer, South End has at least four breweries, and four growler/bottle shops. Many of the restaurants have an extensive local beer selection and are farm to fork. Two breweries that are on the light rail are Triple C and Wooden Robot. For crazy good beer selections, stop in Good Bottle, The Common Market and The Beer Growler. Great places to get some chow and enjoy a craft beer are The Liberty and All American Pub. After a drink and some delicious food, make sure you enjoy some art and shopping to round out your day. The Boulevard at South End is right on the line, as well as Atherton Mill and Charlotte Art League Gallery & Studios. Take a day to park your car and ride the light rail through South End. The places to visit are too numerous to list here. Check out Historicsouthend.com to see more offerings. www.gravitymagazinenc.com ««« Sept/Oct 2015 ««« 39
By Kerrie Boys
Brawley’s wine and beer pairing offers bootcamp for your taste buds
was the new girl at a recent Charlotte Beer Babes meet-up event. The “class” was a beer and wine conversation meant to compare similar palates, by tasting beers that complemented wine, and vice versa, which was sort of a new concept for me. Until I remembered … wine before beer, never fear! I wasn’t sure what to expect when I pulled up to the coolest looking little vintage-style shop in south Charlotte called Brawley’s, a landmark in town and one of the oldest bottle shops/ taprooms in the area. When I walked in, Michael Brawley’s smiling face welcomed me to his crazy awesome shop. Bethany Burr, the organizer of Charlotte Beer Babes, pointed me in the right direction to sit with the babes. I piled in with several ladies I didn’t know and chatted them up. I soon discovered that I was in the midst of an amazing group of women. We consisted of all ages, professions and life stages. It was refreshing being with such a different crowd. My table consisted of an artist, a newbie single professional, and two pro-tasters that had their apps up, ready to rate our beverages. We were later joined by one of the few female beer home brewers in Charlotte. And last but not least, Lily the dog was there. (I think that was her name!) Brawley started the tasting with a light pairing. From there we moved through the following comparisons that progressively got “darker.” (See his selections on the next page.)
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What I found really interesting is how much each pairing affected the other. Some of the wines mellowed the beer, and visa versa. Honestly it was a lot to take in — in a good way. It was like bootcamp for my taste buds. Along the way, Brawley did a great job of explaining and describing each selection so we could understand why the comparisons worked together. Post-class, we were encouraged to linger, chat and get to know each other … not to mention have one last drink. (Cheers!) Some of us chose to have the “mystery” beer from the tap. I still don’t know what it was — but it was yummy. We also had time to peruse Brawley’s extensive beer and wine selection. I couldn’t go home emptyhanded, so I grabbed Triple C’s I’m Kind Of A Big Deal for my husband. Our little group closed down the place as we talked about kids/no kids, work, life, dating/not dating and, of course, beer. Kerrie Boys is co-founder of this killer magazine and is proud to be a Beer Babe.
Beer & Wine Pairings To Try
Try a Stiegl Lager with Belcréme de Lys Chardonnay.
For “sour” fans, Tarte Nouveau Sour with Sauvignon Blanc.
Rehnquist 1448 red blend/California with Founders Imperial Stout.
Charlotte Beer Babes is a women’s beer group that is dedicated to bringing women and their love of craft beer together in a comfortable setting. Any level of beer enthusiast is welcome, in fact, the less you know, the better. This allows the perfect opportunity to learn a bit more and possibly even discover something new in a non-intimidating setting. If you are a
Dow 10 year Tawny Port with Barrel Aged Barley Wine “Omega Point.”
newcomer, you don’t need to know anyone to attend — just show up. It’s as simple as that! @CLTBeerBabes www.facebook.com\CharlotteBeerBabes www.meetup.com\CharlotteBeerBabes cltbeerbabes.wordpress.com
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p i r t d a o R Asheville
Looking for a road trip that offers plenty to taste and tour? Come along with us as we tour the Asheville/Brevard/Hendersonville area. We got an early start to make sure we got to Sierra Nevada (Mills River) before it opened. Do yourself a favor and get to the taproom right at 11 o’clock, and you might find you have the place to yourself. We enjoyed amazing atmosphere and a farm to fork menu … this is the Taj Mahal of North Carolina breweries. They offer several tours, but planning ahead is a must as they sell out very early. Next, we headed to the Oskar Blues Burning Can Festival in Hendersonville, which takes place right next to DuPont State Forest, where Oskar Blues owns several acres that serve as its own personal playground. The annual festival includes overnight camping, live music, beer sampling, mountain bike jumping, beer relay, yoga in the morning, paddle boarding in the river and a jaunt in a nearby waterfall to cool off. For dinner, we headed to Asheville to grab some tasty food at Wicked Weed, where half pints of Coolcumber and a Tyrant Double Red IPA were in order. The downstairs tasting room is reminiscent of an old English pub. A few blocks away, we found Vortex Doughnuts, an all-natural, locally sourced bakery. Another block down, we visited Twin Leaf Brewery for a quick game of giant sized Jenga, then took a short walk to the Wicked Weed’s Funkatorium, which specializes in sour ales and barreled aged beers. Since most breweries in the area weren’t open until noon, on day two we started the day at the ScreenDoor, an antique and repurposing business that offers unique items to jumpstart your creativity or add to your home bar or man cave. Next, we made a quick stop at Highland Brewing Company for half pints of Kashmir English-Style IPA and Gaelic Ale. Highland was voted the family friendliest brewery in Asheville, and was complete with bluegrass music in the taphouse, a food truck outside and kids playing in the meadow playground next to the brewery. After that, we dropped into French Broad Brewery for a pint of WeeHeavy-Er Scotch Ale and then to Thirsty Monk Pub & Brewery for a taste of their famous Maple Black Pepper Glazed bacon. Sad to say, they sold out from the night before. Maybe next time? On the way home, we stopped at Black Mountain and had dinner at the Black Mountain Ale House and enjoyed a Lookout Brewing Company Red IPA and a Green Man Brewery Wayfarer Summer IPA. Obviously, you can’t make it to every brewery, restaurant and craft store in Asheville, but with effort, you can accomplish a lot in a little amount of time. Cheers!
It’s not all
By Matt Kemberling & Joe Brock The NC Wine Guys
in North Carolina
Exploring local craft wines e’re the NC Wine Guys. You might ask how we came by that name. We started our winery adventure back in 2013 when we took off for the Swan Creek wine trail to celebrate a friend’s birthday. We had a great time and decided we needed to visit more wineries. Fast forward one year and 120 wineries, and we’ve become local experts of the nearly 130 wineries in North Carolina. It wasn’t until July 2014 that we decided we needed to come up with a name and a purpose for ourselves. After a quick search, we found that NC Wine Guys wasn’t taken, so we jumped on the opportunity. And thus our name was born. We decided to focus on North Carolina wines, meads and ciders. All of which can be found within an hour or two of Charlotte and in some cases, right in your local grocery store. Regardless of whether you’re originally from the area or you are a transplant, you might think that all North Carolina wines are sweet. In this case, you’d be partially correct. The Muscadine and Scuppernong do play a large part in the history of this great state. They also produce easy-to-drink, sweet wines that many folks have grown up with. Obviously, that’s not every person’s preference. Thankfully, for those who enjoy a nice dry red or white wine, there are plenty of options. There are four recognized AVAs (American Viticulture Areas) within North Carolina: the Haw River Valley, the Yadkin Valley, the Swan Creek, and the Upper Hiwassee Highlands. Two of these are just an hour’s drive outside of Charlotte. The wineries in these AVAs don’t make the syrupy sweet porch wines that North Carolina is often known for. What you’ll find instead are wine varietals made popular by the rest of the wine-growing world. In our state, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc are the most commonly found red grapes, Matt Kemberling & Joe Brock are two guys who love wine, local breweries, farm to fork and all things local. Follow their wine adventures at http://ncwineguys.com or on Twitter @NCWineGuys.
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with Chambourcin (a French-American hybrid) coming in a close third. The reds are a little lighter than what you would find in California or Australia. Though they don’t lack in flavor, they show just as much potential for aging. (We actually have tasted several ’99 and ’01 bottles within the last year and all were still fantastic.) The primary white varietal is Chardonnay, but you’ll also find Viognier and some Petit Manseng. These wines have more character, a better balance, and are much more approachable. When it comes to wine in North Carolina, there’s an option for everyone. Whether it’s sweet Muscadine or a Cabernet Franc to go along with your barbecue, you can surely find something you’ll like right here in the Old North State. We look forward to sharing our love of North Carolina wines with you. Cheers, and drink local!
NC typical Riesling Not your
Raffaldini Vineyards & Winery A bit of Tuscany in the North Carolina foothills 450 Groce Road Ronda, NC 28670 (336) 835-9463 • Raffaldini.com
Dobbins Creek Vineyards offers a Southern belle of a wine
Parker-Binns Vineyard Fun times & great wines 7382 East NC 108 Highway Mill Spring, NC 28756 (828) 894-0154 Parker-binnsvineyard.com
Reviewed by NC Wine Guys
ypically when you think of Riesling, you picture large blue bottles of a sweet golden wine. While that style of Riesling serves its purpose, that’s not what the Riesling in North Carolina is like at all. Riesling is a grape that generally prefers a cooler climate. It excels in the wine regions of Germany, Canada, New York and the Northwest United States. The cool climates produce a wine that is crisp and acidic with a bright citrus flavor. That being said, there are a few wineries here that grow it with pride. Dobbins Creek Vineyards in the Swan Creek AVA is one of the few. Located atop Hemric Mountain in Hamptonville, Dobbins Creek Vineyards makes a Riesling that is truly a Southern belle — refined, sophisticated and full of character. The current vintage is the 2013. The wine itself is nearly colorless, bordering on pale straw. The nose is full of apples, melons and honeysuckles. The flavors are rich and creamy, with a prominent tropical honey note showing through. It isn’t nearly as acidic as a cool climate Riesling and more full bodied (almost like a big Chardonnay without all of the oak and butter). The finish on this wine has a strong mineral profile and lingers briefly before fading away cleanly. For those who like a sweeter Riesling, Dobbins Creek also makes a sweet version that is quite tasty. You can pick up a bottle for yourself by visiting the winery. To learn more about Dobbins Creek Vineyards, visit Dobbinscreekvineyards.com.
Hanover Park Vineyards Rhone valley wines on a century farm 1927 Courtney-Huntsville Road Yadkinville, NC 27055 (336) 463-2875 • Hanoverparkwines.com Morgan Ridge Vineyards Wine, food & beer 468 John Morgan Road Good Hill, NC 28071 (704) 639-0911 Morganridgevineyard.com Junius Lindsay Vineyard Rhone valley wines in an open-air vineyard tasting room 385 State Road 1472 Lexington, NC 27295 (336) 764-4050 • Juniuslindsay.com Silver Fork Vineyard & Winery New World red wines & classic chardonnay 5000 Patton Road Morganton, NC 28655 (828) 391-8783 • Silverforkwinery.com Treehouse Vineyards Reds and whites and tree houses, oh my! 301 Bay Street Monroe, NC 28112 (704) 283-4208 • Treehousevineyards.com Ragapple Lassie Vineyards Wines from dry to sweet in the heart of the Yadkin Valley 3724 Ragapple Lassie Lane Boonville, NC 27011 (336) 367-6000 • Ragapplelassie.com Elkin Creek Vineyard & Winery Rustic winery overlooking a beautiful creek & historic mill 318 Elkin Creek Mill Road Elkin, NC 28621 (336) 526-5119 Elkincreekvineyard.com Cypress Bend Vineyards Dry & sweet wines with events throughout the year 21904 Riverton Road Wagram, NC 28396 (910) 369-0411 Cypressbendvineyards.com
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Born in a
barn Baker Buffalo Creek Vineyard doubles as spokesbarn for Hillshire Farms
“When the Hillshire Farms president got out of the car, he said, ‘That’s it. I don’t need to look anywhere else.’ ” — Charles Edwards
By Karsen Price Photography by Andrea Perullo de Ledesma
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ow here’s a story you don’t hear every day: A local vineyard, replete with a big red barn, is being featured as the “spokesbarn” for a national advertising campaign for Hillshire Farms. Baker Buffalo Creek Vineyard & Winery is located in Fallston (just shy of Cherryville, which incidentally is pronounced Churville, for any of you nonnatives). The farm has been in Ann Edwards’ family since the 1880s and has enjoyed quite a storied past, even before it became a national television superstar. “My grandfather was a gentleman farmer,” she says. “He had a general store and grain meal on Buffalo Creek, which borders the property. He also had a federal license to make liquor. My father was a dairy farmer. And now we are making wine! From ’shine to milk to wine!” These days, Ann and her husband, Charles, use the property to run Baker Buffalo Creek Vineyard. The Edwards took the enology and viticulture
classes at Surry Community College in Dobson for two years. Together, they are the wine makers, along with wine consultant Liz Pickett, who works with several smaller wineries. Baker Buffalo Creek Winery currently makes nine different wines. The couple started growing Chardonnay grapes in 2003, and in 2004 expanded to Cabernet Sauvignon and Riesling. In 2005, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Muscadine and Scuppernong were planted. Traminette was added in 2006, and Chambourcin in 2015. “We now have almost 10 acres of grapes,” Ann says. Charles says the hardest part has been learning how to grow quality fruit to make quality wine. Ann notes that this year’s crop is the best they have had in the last five years, and she is looking forward to trying the 2015 wines. But the couple’s claim to fame is definitely being selected in 2014 as the Hillshire Farms barn of choice for a national advertising campaign. The barn was first discovered by film scout Peter Minor 10 to 12 years ago. At the time, he was
looking for a spot to film a TV series, and the Cleveland County Farm Extension mentioned the Edwards’ farm. It was not selected for that particular show; however, years later, Hillshire Farms contacted Minor in search of a barn that was similar to the barn on the company’s logo. Minor remembered the Edwards’ farm, and brought the company execs out to the property. Charles says, “When the Hillshire Farms president got out of the car, he said, ‘That’s it. I don’t need to look anywhere else.’ ” Ann adds, “It was exciting to have them come, and to see all the work that goes into a small part of a commercial. There were about 50 people working that day. They began the shooting at sunrise. The creek produced its own fog, so they did not have to use their fog machines! Two of the actors in the film were a father–son that actually work for the company.” These days, you can see the Baker Buffalo Creek barn on TV and on the Hillshire Farms Facebook page. Or, check it out in person during a tasting tour at Baker Buffalo Creek Vineyard.
Give it a taste
The Baker Buffalo Creek Vineyard’s tasting room opened in 2009. You can taste all nine wines for $5. They offer a stainless-steel Chardonnay, a barrel-aged Chardonnay, Riesling, Traminette, Cabernet Sauvignon, Mule Barn Red (Muscadine) and Milk House White (Scuppernong). Blends are Granda and Between the Rivers Reserve. The couple is planning its first Merlot this fall and a holiday wine, Merry Berry. Visit Bakerbuffalocreek.com for information. www.gravitymagazinenc.com ««« Sept/Oct 2015 ««« 47
Spread the love Support NC businesses that celebrate craft beverages!
Introducing the hand-crafted version of the originally hand-painted North Carolina beer map sporting many of your favorite NC breweries. It’s a beautiful nod to the breweries that are putting Charlotte on the map! montfordmisfits.com
Cheers! Be the toast of the town with a neighborhood specific pint that is ready for your favorite local brew. www.blvdatsouthend.com
Have some good clean fun with beer soap made with Charlotte’s very own Triple C. www.blvdatsouthend.com
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Everyone needs clothes made of beer bottles. This 65% recycled polyester, and 35% recycled cotton jersey fabric is made from recycled brown plastic beer bottles. Each shirt contains about 6.5 bottles. 100% recycled. Made right down the road. www.earthspunbrands.com
This canned goodness is full of flavor ... and it all started in Charlotte. brucejulianbloodymary.com www.brucejulian.com Reclaimed all the way, this handmade flightboard and bottle opener make serving your favorite drinks that much better. www.blvdatsouthend.com
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“You can’t be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline. It helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.” ~ Frank Zappa Photo By Eric Gaddy Casting Shadows Photography
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We look forward to bringing you stories and information for years to come. Keep your eyes peeled for our November/December issue, which will be full of party ideas, brew news and events to fill your holiday season with craft.
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Published on Aug 26, 2015
Published on Aug 26, 2015
Present Charlotte NC focused editorial and businesses in the exciting craft beverage culture through a high quality, unique magazine format....