Page 1

[A Celebration of Charlotte’s Craft Beverage Scene]

Prohibition

Charlotte’s story

seasonal something

Turn It Up With cheers charlotte

Also inside: Newgrass Brewing Co. Red Clay Ciderworks the need for mead Films On Tap Nov/Dec 2015 ///// Vol:1 Issue:2 ///// Complimentary

News you can use ... from collabs to beer runs to brew reviews


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∠刀䔀䜀䤀匀吀䔀刀 吀伀 刀䔀䌀䔀䤀嘀䔀 刀䤀䐀䔀刀  䈀䔀一䔀䘀䤀吀匀Ⰰ 唀倀䐀䄀吀䔀匀Ⰰ 䄀一䐀  䘀刀䔀䔀 刀䤀䐀䔀匀℀


the fillmore, CHARLOTTE, NC Gravity Magazine will Present the Inaugural

‘best brewery

of QCbf’!

save the

date!

feb. 6th, 2016

BENEFITING ACEING AUTISM

limited tickets on sale december 3rd, 2015

of

Charlotte Craft beers

QCbrewfest.com www.gravitymagazinenc.com ««« Nov/Dec 2015 ««« 3


ingredients »»»

6 » Editor’s Letter

Craft beer is oh-so easy to love

Get to know your palate

8 » The Beer Counselor

[46]

[36]

[42]

10 » Work It Off

Fitness and beer go hand in mug

12 » You Can Home Brew Tips from a mack-daddy brewmaster

[30]

14 » Local Buzz

Openings, awards and events to keep you in the know

16 » On Tap

30 » A Delicious Journey

[12]

The Beer Counselor’s seasonal six-pack attack

35 » The Proper Glass

18 » Tune In For Beer

Raise a glass to the cast of Cheers Charlotte

Helping you find the best beverages (& more) in town

24 » Craft Seen

A peek at folks rocking the Charlotte beverage scene

Visit Shelby, NC & Newgrass Brewing Co.

40 » Brew Tour

[45]

Films on Tap takes over Unknown Brewing Co.

[26] [18]

Eric Gaddy Casting Shadows Photography

The NC Wine Guys high- light four holiday hot spots

[40] 45 » Swag Shop

On Our Cover:

Red Clay Ciderworks helps you get an apple a day

42 » Off The Vine

26 » A Brewing Drama

Get the most flavor out of your beer

36 » Roadtrip

22 » Location, Location, Location

From Prohibition to craft beverage destination

Shop for what ales you

46 » Mead To Know

Discover this centuries old beverage

Castingshadowsphotography.com

49 » Small Is Good

South End celebrates Small Business Saturday

50 » Closing Time 4 »»» Nov/Dec 2015 »»» www.gravitymagazinenc.com

A thought before you go


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

The Team

The Team

That Will Move You

That Will Move You

Do you LOVE where you live? Wouldn’t it be great to walk to a brewery, take the light rail to a great bottle shop or ride your bike Uptown?

Take the plunge today and move to where the action is. Vicki: 704.451.0776 vbaughman@carolina.rr.com

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Dan: 704.962.8999 danbaughman1995@yahoo.com Real Estate Brokers in NC & SC

victoriabaughman.com www.gravitymagazinenc.com ««« Nov/Dec 2015 ««« 5


makersmark »»»

beer is oh-so Craft easy to love was running the Hit The Brixx 5K with Gravity co-founder Kerrie Boys this fall when she asked a question that tripped my brain and sent me into a giggling free-for-all. Kerrie and I aren’t just founder and managing editor, we are friends. We talked the entire time we ran (and, to be honest, walked; we aren’t quite up to snuff compared to all you Nazi beer run aficionados). Throughout the morning, we discussed the positive reactions we received to the first issue of Gravity Magazine (woot!) and our hopes and fears for the magazine … because to be honest, publishing is not for the faint of heart. But the words that stood out most from that morning were the product of a random outburst of emotion by Kerrie during the last mile of the race. We were knocking out the final portion of the race when we hit a tempestuous upgrade. Kerrie, headband just so, ponytail swinging, shoes striking the pavement, looked up at the sky and shouted out of nowhere, “WHY IS THIS A HILL?” Not, “I wish this wasn’t a hill.” Or, “Whose bonehead idea was it to end the race on a hill?” Kerrie demanded, in an illogical yet philosophical way: “WHY IS THIS A HILL?” I found her question funny as hell. So, maybe I was a little punch drunk (although the drinking didn’t happen until after the race — first at the finish line, and then at Craft, and then later still at The Beer Growler). Regardless, her question made an impression on me. I kept thinking about it … how life often feels like running up a hill that never levels out. I am a writer, so I’m the sensitive sort. When life gets hard, I tend to imagine things are out to get me. Ever felt that way? Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you fail. Sometimes, you have to stop running, and walk instead. Sometimes you can’t even walk. All that said, “Why is this a hill?” translates, to me, into: “Why can’t life be easier?” Better yet, why does everything have to be so #$%^& hard? Here’s the moral of the story, if you will: Craft beer is not hard. Craft beer is oh-so easy. And lucky for us, it’s booming in the Queen City. That’s right. Some really cool, funkedety people are making vats of amazing, artsy, drinkable beer crafted with love … and the rest of us get to enjoy it. It doesn’t get easier, or better, than that. So, Benjamin Franklin most likely didn’t say that beer is proof God loves us. But the sentiment rings true. Craft beer is more than it seems. It’s food; it’s fellowship. Most importantly, craft beer is not the last mile of an uphill race. It’s the coasting downhill trot of a happy 8-year-old, when your feet are light as feathers and your lungs have air to burn. Craft beer is easy, and in a world full of hard, that’s worth celebrating. Cheers! Karsen

[

gravity:

]

Term “specific gravity” refers to the density of any liquidand is broken down into “original gravity” (OG) before fermentation, and “terminal gravity” (TG) after.

6 »»» Nov/Dec 2015 »»» www.gravitymagazinenc.com

Volume 1 » Issue 2

Publishers/Founders Jason & Kerrie Boys Research & Taster Jason Boys Maker of Things Kerrie Boys Wordsmith Karsen Price Bearded Baron of Sales Aaron MJ Gore Beer Counselor Ryan Moses Master of Brew Alex Shoenthal

Wine Guys Matt Kemberling Joe Brock

Lover of Craft Shelby Miller Socialite Sarah Rice Contributing Photographers Eric Gaddy Casting Shadows Photography Andrea Perullo de Ledesma Wendy Raymond Taps and Snaps Contact Gravity: info@gravitymagazinenc.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.


see us at the Southern Christmas Show - Booth #2009

Winemaking

supplies c l ass e s Gift Cards

Right next door to Seven Jars Products will be Seven Jars Distillery. Take a tour, sample some spirits and purchase one NC Distillery Tour Commemorative Spirit.

w w w. s ev e n ja rs. co m • ( 70 4) 9 1 9 - 0 2 78 Mon-Sat from 12-6PM. • 6148-B Brookshire Blvd. Charlotte, NC 28216

Co m i n g so o n !

h o m e b r ew i n g


beercounselor »»»

Get To Know Your Palate appearance aroma flavor feel “Taste involves four aspects: appearance, aroma, flavor and feel. These four things combine to create the concept of taste in everything we eat or drink.” — Ryan Moses, The Beer Counselor

8 »»» Nov/Dec 2015 »»» www.gravitymagazinenc.com

Tips From A Beer Geek

here is one question that I often get from craft beer newbies and aficionados alike: How can I deepen my knowledge and love of craft beer? What these folks really want to figure out is, what do they like and dislike. There are two ways to solve the mysteries of your own beer palate. One, go to a bottle shop or a good craft beer bar, and buy multiple beers. I know, this is difficult homework … because it’s something you want to do anyway, right? At the bottle shop, fill your sixpack holder with six different beers from the same style. Don’t waiver; pick a style and stick with it. This lets you explore the different aspects of the same beer … sort of like how Thelonious Monk and other bebop artists treat a melody or a musical phrase. They take the phrase and vary it over the course of the song to eventually explode it before putting it all back together. Tasting different versions of the same style of beer has the same effect. It helps you see the different


parts that make up a beer, and how those different parts fit together to make drinking it enjoyable. The other way to explore your likes and dislikes is to pop into a good craft beer bar and order a flight. This lesson is based on the same general idea as the above “variety pack of the same style” lesson, but this time you make a flight of different styles. In this case, you are surveying across styles instead of deep diving into a particular one. Tasting across the spectrum allows you to explore the different aspects of beer to see how they play over different styles. When I talk about different aspects of beer, you might find yourself asking, “What other aspects of beer taste are there? You just drink beer and taste it as it goes down. Right?” Wrong. In reality, it’s a bit more complicated than that. Without drowning you in the mechanics of taste, just know that it involves four aspects: appearance, aroma, flavor and feel. These four things combine to create the concept of taste in everything we eat or drink.

First, look at the beer’s color, clarity and head retention. Then, sniff the beer a couple of times to get the aroma of hops, malt and yeasty esters. Next, take a sip. Let it warm in your mouth and flow to different parts of your tongue and palate while breathing through your nose (trust me, it makes a difference). What does it remind you of? Finally, with your next sip, ask yourself what the beer feels like? Is it crisp, carbonated, oily, etc.? Don’t worry about looking weird. If you are in a craft beer bar going through these machinations, trust me, they’ll understand. I’m the curious sort and a beer geek. So I take a little more analytical and detailed exploration of beer. You, as a normal person, don’t have to keep multiple beer notebooks with handwritten notes about every beer you drink. You should start an Untappd account. This will help you track the beers you drink with notes and become part of the larger craft beer community. Have a question for The Beer Counselor? Send it to info@ gravitymagazinenc.com.

Barrel-Aged Beer

Wood- and barrel-aged beers are any range of color. Any lager, ale or hybrid beer, either a traditional style or a unique experimental beer, can be aged for a period of time in a wooden barrel or in contact with wood. These beers are aged with the intention of imparting the particularly unique character of the wood and/or what has previously been in the barrel; but, wood aged is not necessarily synonymous with imparting wood-flavors. New wood character can be characterized as a complex blend of vanilla and/or other unique wood character. Barrels that previously housed sherry, rum, bourbon, scotch, port, wine and other barrels are often used, imparting complexity and uniqueness to beer. Ultimately a balance of flavor, aroma and mouthfeel are sought with the marriage of new beer with wood and/or barrel flavors. Source: 2015 Brewers Association Beer Style Guidelines; used with permission of Brewers Association.

4 NC Examples: Triple C: Kind Of A Big Deal Imperial honey wheat ale aged in bourbon barrels

BOUT BEE GA R, IN H ER LK TA

-

the

E

-W E’R E

Unknown: Escorpion En Fuego American double/imperial pilsner aged in tequila oak staves

C

O

O

R

BEER U NSEL

The Beer Counselor, Ryan Moses, has juggled bartending with work in the nonprofit fundraising sector. His beer pet peeves include forgetting that beer is a business and taking the business too seriously. Visit his blog at Beercounselor.net.

Heist Brewery: Cataclysm II Russian imperial stout aged in Rittenhouse rye barrels Foothills Brewing Co.: Sexual Chocolate-Special Release Imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels www.gravitymagazinenc.com ««« Nov/Dec 2015 ««« 9


Will work(out) fo r beer NoDa Brewing’s Run Club, ready to hit the pavement

Exercise, drink, repeat ... 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, bottle shops and restaurants are offering weekly opportunities to get together with like-minded peeps and run, ride or hit the yoga mat, then share a locally made craft beverage. What’s not to love?

Runs

MONDAY Grapevine (Baxter Village): Run Club with Fleet Feet 6:30 p.m. (1, 2 & 3 mile ) Heist Brewery: 6:30 p.m. (1, 3 & 5 mile) TUESDAY Legal Remedy Brewing Co.: 6:30 p.m. (Various distances) Carolina Beer Temple: 6:45 p.m. (3 mile) Running For Brews: Brazwells Pub (Montford) 7 p.m. 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)

SATURDAY Bayne Brewing Co.: 10:30 a.m., Pilates, $10

SUNDAY Lenny Boy Brewing Co.: 12 p.m. (1.5 & 3 mile)

Lenny Boy Brewing Co.: 10 a.m., $5

Yoga/Pilates MONDAY Sycamore Brewing: 7 p.m., $5

Pizza Peel (Plaza Midwood) 6 p.m., free plus BOGO entree special after class TUESDAY The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery: 6:30 p.m., Yoga On Tap

SUNDAY Bayne Brewing Co.: 11 a.m., Yoga Brewski, $10

Bike

TUESDAY Common Market: Plaza Midwood Tuesday Night Ride 7:30 p.m. (10-15 miles)

D9 Brewing Co.: 6:30 p.m., Detox To Retox, $10

SATURDAY Unknown Brewing Co.: 2:30 p.m. Bike & Brew (10, 25 and 35-mile loop)

WEDNESDAY Sugar Creek Brewing Co.: 6 p.m., Taproom Fitness w/Metro Fitness

SUNDAY Okra (Plaza Midwood): Sunday Slow Riders 2 p.m.

Sycamore Brewing: 7 p.m., $5

Flying Saucer: 6:30 p.m. (2, 4 mile)

THURSDAY Triple C Brewing Co.: 6:30 p.m.

Lenny Boy Brewing Co.: 7 p.m. (1.5 & 3 mile)

Free Range Brewing: 6:30 p.m.

10 »»» Nov/Dec 2015 »»» www.gravitymagazinenc.com

Note: Activities are first come, first served, and times and dates can change, so check each location’s website before you go. If you’d like your event listed, please email all the details to info@ gravitymagazinenc.com.


DIY

kegerator

Whether you home brew or simply want to enjoy draft beer from some of Charlotte’s breweries, this DIY project is pretty cool.

Step 1

Find an old fridge that works. (Lucky us, this one spent 40-plus years in a hunting camp and it still works!)

Step 2

Go to your local supply store and ask them what you need to convert the fridge into a kegerator; it should be several valves, washers, hoses and other shiny parts. They’ll know exactly what you need, so you don’t have to research the Internet. Voila! You’ll be several steps closer to drinking beer.

Step 3

Measure some holes where your taps will go. Get a 3-inch hole saw bit and drill all the way through the fridge door.

Step 4

Insert your beer shank and tighten down the nut on the inside. Screw on the tap dispenser and tap handle. The drip tray is optional. Screw in two small screws and hang the tray on them.

Step 5

Connect all of the hoses to the regulator, CO2 and dispenser.

Suggested list of supplies:

Step 6

CO2 tank with regulator Keg coupler (for American commercial kegs: Sankey D System; for European commercial kegs: Sankey S System; for home brew systems, you will need ball lock couplers) Tubing for beer and CO2 lines Beer faucets Wall flange Flanged jam nut Beer shank Tail piece and hex nut Draft tap handle Drip tray

Go keg shopping. Call your neighbors. Enjoy local craft beverage from your own tap.

Suppliers

If they don’t have it in stock they can order any part. Most can also exchange your CO2 tank. Alternative Beverage (800) 365-2739 Beer & Wine Hobbies Charlotte (704) 527-2337 Ext 2 Monroe (704) 635-8665 Mooresville (704) 527-2337 Ext 3 Custom Home Pubs (704) 315-5223 House Of Brews (704) 617-4954 Seven Jars Products (704) 919-0278

Note: Ask your local retailer before you start!

List of tools: Electric drill with 3-inch hole saw Phillips head & flat head screwdriver 1/8 inch drill bit Level www.gravitymagazinenc.com ««« Nov/Dec 2015 ««« 11


homebrew »»»

come A e B

Brewmaster {An Intro To The Art Of Home brewing} ««« By Alex Shoenthal »»»

ou can brew beer. Yes, you, sitting there reading this. It’s not nearly as hard as you think, and lots of people do it. In fact, there are an estimated 1.2 million home brewers in the U.S. right now. People home brew for a variety of reasons. Some parts of the country have a dismal beer scene or ABV-percent restrictions and home brewing is the only answer to having an excellent IPA. Some do it to save money. It’s definitely cheaper to make your own, especially with the average craft 6-pack price of $10-15. I think for most brewers though, it is simply the pleasure of enjoying something you’ve crafted by hand, as well as the outstanding camaraderie of the home-brewing community. Brewing equipment is another big, but flexible consideration. How big do you want 12 »»» Nov/Dec 2015 »»» www.gravitymagazinenc.com

to go? Are you going to start with extract brewing or all grain? Will you employ a simple gravity-fed system, or do you want a sophisticated brew stand with an electric control panel? OK, so that might sound complex. Now, for simplicity. Beer requires only four main ingredients: malt, hops, yeast and water. Beautiful, really.

Malt

Barley is the most common malt used in brewing and has many different examples, ranging from crystal malts that give color and flavor, to darkly kilned roasted malts such as chocolate malt or black patent, which provide intense color and flavor contributions. Malt is available as a whole grain, or as a prepared extract. Most brewers begin with extract brewing. It’s easier, and a great way to learn basic procedures while making great tasting beer. All grain brewing is more advanced and requires more equipment, but produces richer, more authentic brews.


Suppliers Alternative Beverage Belmont (800) 365-2739 Ebrew.com 201 Central Huntersville (704) 875-2892 Wesley Chapel (704) 821-2686

Hops

Hops are the “flower” of the hop plant, adding essential bitterness, flavor and aroma to your beer. There are well over 100 different hop varieties, each with its own unique flavor and aroma. Hops are produced commercially all over the world; they give many beer styles their characteristic flavors and aromas.

Yeast

Brewer yeast (saccharomyces) is a cultivated fungus that eats the sugars from the malt, creating alcohol and CO2. Many underestimate yeast’s importance in creating good beer at home. Of all ingredients, the yeast is what gives specific beer styles their defining traits. Yeast is available in liquid or dried form.

Water

This is your beer’s main ingredient, so treat it with some consideration. Water chemistry is more important for all grain brewers, as it can greatly impact your efficiency. That said, most

brewers who have good tasting/ smelling water simply get it straight from the tap. Certain styles may call for various water treatments. Bottled water can also be used. Home-brewing clubs are a great — and fun — resource for the aspiring brewmaster. Most urban areas have a club or two, maybe more. Clubs are a great way to meet other brewers and learn more about the craft. Most clubs have social events where you can see what other brewers are doing and get hands-on experience. Club events are also where you get to enjoy my personal favorite aspect of brewing —sampling! Sharing home brews gives you a chance to show off your brews and get honest feedback to help you improve it. The American Homebrewers Association is an essential resource for all levels of home brewers. Check out their website at Homebrewersassociation.org for info on brewing and details on how to find a home brew club near you.

Alex Shoenthal is an award-winning home brewer who lives in Charlotte with his wife and son. He’s also the head brewer and VP of Dukbone Brewing (Dukbone.com), coming mid-to-late 2016. An all-grain brewer 10 years strong, he loves all styles but has an affinity for hops, so he brews a lot of IPA, pale ale, etc., but also loves brewing Belgian styles, barrel-aged brews, and sour ales. Cheers!

Beer & Wine Hobbies Mooresville (704) 527-2337 Ext 3 Charlotte (704) 527-2337 Ext 2 Monroe (704) 635-8665 Beerandwinehobbies.com House Of Brews Charlotte (704) 617-4954 House-of-brews.com Seven Jars Products Charlotte (704) 919-0278 Sevenjars.com

clubs Cabarrus Homebrewers Society Public group meets the second Thursday of the month at Cabarrus Creamery. Cabrew.org Carolina BrewMasters Public group meets the first Wednesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. at Dilworth Neighborhood Grill. Carolinabrewmasters.com Iredell Brewers United Public group meets the second Monday of the month at Ultimate Ales in Mooresville at 7 p.m. iredellbrewersunited.org

www.gravitymagazinenc.com ««« Nov/Dec 2015 ««« 13


localbuzz »»»

Events:

Beer Bands & BBQ Bash

Featuring The Fidgets Sat., Nov. 14 5 to 9 p.m. Triple C Brewing Co., 2900 Griffith St. Advance, $20; Door, $25 Celebrate Care Ring turning 60 years old, featuring ’80s and ’90s rock from The Fidgets. Careringnc.org/events/crbbb

Illuminate

Matt Coben is bringing the first NC Growler USA franchise to south Charlotte; the brewpub will be located at Toringdon Circle, and feature 100 taps.

Ghostface Brewery is opening in Mooresville at 427 E. Statesville Ave. in winter 2015/2016.

Release The Funk 3: Funkonia

info@gravitymagazinenc.com

Our readers want to know about awards, openings and events. Please tell us your scoop!

NoDa Brewing Co. opened its second location at 2921 N. Tryon St. in early October. Expect big things in the next few months as they plan to roll out several new cans of seasonal and flagship beers.

Seven Jars Distillery plans to open for tours and production in fall 2015 at 6148-A Brookshire Blvd

Us!

Please share your news!

Openings:

Sat., Nov. 21 Noon to 4 p.m. Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St. Tickets available @ Saludbeershop.com; only 400 will be sold Salud Beer Shop and New Belgium are partnering to host the third annual Sour Fest Release the Funk 3: Funkonia, featuring a wide variety of breweries — from Charlotte to Europe, and beyond. Saludbeershop.com

Dreamweaver Brewery is opening this fall in downtown Waxhaw in an old firehouse, at 115 East North Main St.

1st Annual 12 Brews of Christmas

Sat., Dec. 5 1 to 7 p.m. Participating South End Breweries Benefiting Levine Children’s Hospital and the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Charlotte. Kick off the season at the 1st annual South End “12 Brews of Christmas” brewery crawl. Bring a new, unwrapped toy and receive specials at the breweries and access to a free trolley. Also features food trucks, live music and a raffle. Free registration: 12brewsofchristmas.com

14 »»» Nov/Dec 2015 »»» www.gravitymagazinenc.com

Awards:

Sycamore Brewing won a bronze medal at the Great American Beer Festival in the American-Style lager category for Southern Girl Lager. Triple C Brewing won a bronze medal at GABF in the AmericanStyle Strong Pale Ale category for 3C India Pale Ale. Fonta Flora Brewery, in Morganton, won a gold medal at GABF in the Field Beer category for Beets, Rhymes and Life.


59%

Other NC medal winners include: Gibb’s Hundred Brewing Co., in Greensboro, won a gold for The Guilty Party, in the Extra Special Bitter category. Wicked Weed Brewing, in Candler, won a silver for Pernicious IPA, in the AmericanStyle India Pale Ale category. Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery, in Farmville, won a bronze for DuckRabbit Baltic Porter, Baltic-Style Porter category. Raleigh Brewing Co. won a bronze for The Miller’s Toll, an Imperial Stout.

OF CRAFT beverage drinkers look forward to seasonal beverages! Cooking With Beer Contest

The winners of Birdsong Brewing’s Craft Beer Lover’s Cooking Contest were announced on Oct. 11 (from left): Miranda Yountz, for Jalapeño Shrimp and Grits; Amanda Raciboski, Higher Ground Braised Cabbage and Bacon; Candice Apt, Jalapeño Mac and Cheese; and Todd Hintzman, for Wake Up Porter Chocolate Cookies. Other winners (not pictured) include Malory Belcher, Lazy Bird Brown Candied Bacon; and Erin Sharpe & Nick Grant for Jalapeño Fire Shrimp.

See page 16 for a couple of delicious pumpkin options.

Octoberfest fun! Enjoying Sweet Tater Pie at the Wooden Robot Brewery.

Prost! The seventh annual Mecktoberfest at the Olde Mecklenburg Brewery. www.gravitymagazinenc.com ««« Nov/Dec 2015 ««« 15


ontap »»»

By Ryan Moses The Beer Counselor Beercounselor.net

Taste the

dark side You will hear a lot about the dark side over the next two months. In beer, fall and winter are when the dark side wins out. Here are six of the best dark and pumpkin beers available right now:

4

2

5 1

3

6

[1] Wicked Weed: Pompeon ABV: 8% Pompeon pours a clear copper color. The aroma is an assertive ginger and rum, with a touch of pumpkin. You get a subtle sourness, followed by a touch of pumpkin, carried along by rum and ginger on the back end. A pumpkin beer made for people who don’t like pumpkin beers.

[3] Appalachian Mountain Brewery: Black Gold Porter ABV: 6% IBU: 23 This porter has a deep brown — almost black — color with nice tan head. It offers a nice, roasty malt flavor with hints of coffee. The taste is similar, with a good roastiness and touches of coffee. As with most porters, it has a medium mouthfeel, making it easy to drink.

[5] Mystery: Thornfield’s End Smoked Rye Stout ABV: 6% IBU: 25 Thornfield’s has a dark brown color with a light tan head, and the aroma jumps at you with smokiness, rye and coffee. The taste of smoke hits you upfront, but isn’t overwhelming … giving way to rye and a coffee taste with cocoa hints. A smooth beer for stout and porter fans.

[2] Deep River: Pumpkin Pie Porter ABV: 5.9% IBU: 23 Pumpkin Pie pours a deep, dark brown with reddish hints. Where other pumpkin beers hit you over the head with their pumpkin spice, this beer leans heavier on its roasted malts to give a little chocolate hint to the pumpkin spice, to avoid the cloying nature of many pumpkin beers.

[4] Triple C: Kind Of A Big Deal On Peaches ABV: 9.2% IBU: 25 This pours a deep amber color and leaves a thin white head. The aroma gives you lots of honey, with a hint of bourbon and peaches. Experience a big taste of honey without being cloying, followed by touches of peaches and wheat. Thick without being syrupy to the tongue.

[6] Southern Tier: Pumking ABV: 8.6% IBU: 30 Pumking pours a brilliant, deep copper color. The aroma captures you with vanilla and pumpkin pie spices — especially nutmeg. The taste gives you the pie spices and vanilla upfront, with the malty pie crust taste on the back end. Consistently one of the most requested pumpkin beers on the market.

16 »»» Nov/Dec 2015 »»» www.gravitymagazinenc.com


Capture the essence of food & beverage

Wendy Raymond 704-626-8051 @tapsandsnaps

www.tapsandsnaps.com


Tune In For

Beer Raise a glass to the cast of Cheers Charlotte

By Karsen Price Photos By Wendy Raymond • Taps AND Snaps

18 »»» Nov/Dec 2015 »»» www.gravitymagazinenc.com

nce a week, three unique fellows hit the airwaves to explore the local world of craft beer and home brewing. With beverage in hand, Cesar Leyva, Jay “Weezie” Brown and Ford Craven unite as the cast of the weekly podcast Cheers Charlotte, where they have a blast exploring one of the hottest industries in the Queen City today. It’s an intriguing partnership, and of course, beer is at the center of it all. Co-founder Leyva grew up in San Diego, Calif., “the birthplace of craft beer, in my opinion,” he says. He moved to Charlotte 13 years ago, and embraced the city’s burgeoning craft beer industry. A member of the Carolina BrewMasters, Leyva helped with marketing for Charlotte Oktoberfest 2012-14. He was involved in a different beer


podcast and working with Queen City Brewers Fest when he met Jay “Weezie” Brown, a Charlotte native and a former radio personality on WFNZ sports talk radio. Brown is passionate about broadcasting and beer. “My passion for beer comes from the community aspect of the craft beer world, and the creativity that it allows,” he says. “With so many different beer styles and ways to brew it, there is always something different to do.” Brown came up with the idea to use his studio for a podcast, and threw it out to Leyva. “I thought it was a great idea,” says Leyva, “and I brought in Ford to round out the team. Our first episode was June 2013 and we haven’t missed a week since.” A native of Concord, Craven is a broker/realtor for Craven & Company Realtors, as well as co-founder and past president of the Cabarrus Homebrewers Society. He’s a Cicerone Beer Server, and the team’s most prolific awardwinning home brewer. “I believe my role on the show is to help keep the show positive and light,” Craven says. “I was the class clown in school, so I can’t help but take advantage of the opportunities to sling a joke or two.” Each member of the show shares responsibilities for marketing, sponsorship and content, but it’s perhaps their wildly different personalities that make for a radio show collab as good as the local craft beer they drink. Below, the guys chat about their passion for beer, funniest moments on air and their dream Cheers Charlotte guest. Q: What do you love about craft beer? Cesar: It’s never the same. Like food, beer changes with the ingredients and the person

“Craft beer is never the same. The complexity and uniqueness of each pint can be described as a work of art. It’s impossible to get bored with craft beer.” — Cesar Leyva adding the ingredients to the kettle. The complexity and uniqueness of each pint can be described as a work of art. It’s impossible to get bored with craft beer. Jay: I love that there can be so many different styles of beer. There are literally hundreds of different kinds of beer, and always something new to try. Ford: The community, the variety and the art of crafting high quality craft beer. Q: What is your favorite type of beer? Cesar: It varies with the season, but I will always go back to a good, fresh, hoppy West Coast-style IPA. Jay: I like black or brown IPAs. I like beers that are hoppy but still have a solid malt backbone to them. Ford: India brown ales and oatmeal stouts. I’m also a sucker for wild ales. Q: Are you ever drinking while you broadcast? Cesar: Yes. At all times. Jay: Ummm … yes! What kind of craft beer podcast would we be if we didn’t drink while we did the show? Ford: Oh, yeah. We usually pregame before the show with one of our sponsors, then take the party to the studio. We have growlers of “table beers” for our guests, new beers to

review from our bottle shops, local home brews to sample, and generally our guests bring us in something special to sip on. It’s the name of the game! Q: Who bankrolls Cheers Charlotte? Cesar: The show is advertising and sponsorship based. Our very first sponsor was Salud Beer Shop in Charlotte; they donated a six-pack of beer for us to review. We now have rotating beer sponsorship from leading bottle shops in the area. We also work with “Cheers Worthy” events, restaurants, shops and vendors. We take in advertising money, or in a lot of cases, trade sponsorship for products/services. Jay: We get a little bit of revenue from our sponsors, really only enough to pay for stickers, T-shirts, glasses … things like that. Aside from our web-hosting costs, we don’t have much in the way of costs. Q: How has Charlotte responded to the show? Cesar: We have great interaction from our listeners on social media, email and our draft line. Listeners can call 515-4WE-BREW and leave

“My passion for beer comes from the community aspect of the craft beer world, and the creativity that it allows.” — Jay “Weezie” Brown

feedback or questions. We usually play those messages on the show. We try to have a presence at festivals and beer events. The plan is to take the show on the road and record from other locations later this

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year. We had great feedback from our first remote recording at Salud in August. Jay: People have been very receptive to the show. People like to have a weekly show that talks about their hobby of craft beer and what is going on in the city they love. Ford: We have a pretty specific target market: People who love craft beer and the community that embraces it. Fortunately, craft beer crosses over into some of the greatest things Charlotte has to offer! We have local musicians that we see playing at breweries come into the studio to play and promote their shows; chefs and mixologists that work craft beer into their dishes and menus; beer festival organizers; vintners, coffee roasters, distillers … the list goes on and on. The Queen City has responded wonderfully. Our listenership and social media influence grows every episode and our guests benefit from that directly. When we first started, we didn’t know who the next guest was going to be and now we stay booked out by at least 4 to 6 weeks, with entities now contacting us to see when they can get a spot on the show. Q: Of the Cheers Charlotte gang, who’s the funniest drunk?

Cesar: I don’t think I’ve ever seen any of us “drunk.” We all get silly, and Jay may start to slur his words a bit, but we’ve never gotten drunk. Jay: I’d have to say Cesar for that one. He gets giggly like a schoolgirl. Ford: Craft beer is our lifestyle and moderation is not only smart, but critical for what we do. My and Cesar’s backgrounds are pretty different, so I appreciate a lot of his comments after he’s tossed back a few. It’s a refreshing perspective and usually very funny to me. Q: Who gets emotional when he drinks? Cesar: Ford starts to tell never-ending stories when he starts getting a good buzz going. Jay: Well, as guys, I’m sure none of us want to admit that … but maybe me. Ford: I do get a bit emotional, but I gotta say, Jay is right there with me. We have the natural role of a brotherly rivalry, which is a dynamic that works well for the show. Q: Funniest moment on air? Cesar: When Ford asked Dr. Chris White, a Ph.D. and owner of White Labs, if he would ever harvest yeast from

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whales’ testicles. Jay: Well, just a few shows back, Ford had a good one. Cesar said, “Yeah, you have to run a hose from 200 feet away.” Ford answered, “I’ve run ho’s from cities away.” Ford: I can’t think of one specifically, but consistently whenever we have a liquorspecific episode, those shows end up being the funniest. Q: What type of person makes the best interview? Cesar: Someone who knows how to turn a one-word answer into a paragraph. Someone who has stories and personal experiences that bring the interview to life. Jay: It all depends. People who are prepared for the interview or are just personable and excited to answer questions. Ford: The one who brings liquor. LOL. Seriously, the owner or craftsman of the business we are interviewing. We try our hardest to get to the source for all of our interviews. Q: Ultimate dream guest? Cesar: We’ve already had quite a few. Lauren Salazar came in the studio and brought us sour beer from New Belgium. Dr. Chris White has been on the phone. My dream


guest would be Vinnie Cilurzo from Russian River Brewing with a growler of Pliny the Younger in hand. Jay: I’d like to talk to Jim Koch of Boston Beer Company. That would be the best we could get, I think. Ford: I’ve got to go big on this one. After hearing President Obama on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast, I think it would be surreal to have him and the White House executive brewer on the show to leisurely talk about craft beer’s impact on the beer industry in America; why he drinks home brew; and about their setup at the White House. I think the impact of that show would be huge for the craft beer community and industry. Q: Why do you think Charlotte is becoming such a leader in this industry? Cesar: It’s a hot bed of brewing talent. You have home brewers in the city that

“We have a pretty specific target market — people who love craft beer and the community that embraces it. Fortunately, craft beer crosses over into some of the greatest things Charlotte has to offer.” — Ford Craven constantly win awards. You have the population to support such growth. And you have a city that, for the most part, welcomes breweries. If we can get the state legislature to see the value in craft breweries, we would see even bigger growth. Jay: I think it has a lot to do with the fact that Charlotte has a lot of transplants from other cities. These people have brought the craft beer cultures

from other cities to Charlotte and have really expanded the scene here. Ford: I think a big reason is because we didn’t have it for so long. Charlotte was a white-collar, lite-beer town while almost every other major city in America was home to numerous successful craft breweries. We were due, and now we’re catching up. Couple that with the rise of population in Charlotte and a rise in arts and culture overall, and we’ve got ourselves an industry leader. Moreover, when you look at North Carolina and all the other burgeoning and established craft beer cities like Asheville and Raleigh, we’ve got ourselves one great craft beer state! Visit Cheerscharlotte.com to listen to Cheers Charlotte’s podcasts; for questions or requests, call the Draft Line at (515) 4WE-BREW. When Karsen Price listens to Cheers Charlotte, she finds herself talking to the guys as if they can hear her.

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24 23 Mooresville

locationlocation »»»

Cornelius

22

16

3

21 20

Lake Norman

$1,200,000 in craft beer Economic Impact

Huntersville

19

Mountain Island Lake

28 Shelby

27 Bessemer City

16 5

Mt. Holly

Gastonia

2

26 6

13 1

4 15

16

13 14 NoDa 12

3

Charlotte 4 5 11 Plaza 7 6 Midwood South End 8 9 3 1 2

Belmont

Catawba River

Lake Wylie

10

74

Matthews

49

31

Pineville

NC

SC

Rock Hill

32 33

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Lancaster

16

30 Waxhaw


29 Salisbury

25

Charlotte

18

Concord

7

29

Harrisburg

27 24

& Brewery

Kannapolis

17

1 Rock Bottom Restaurant

29 Mint Hill

401 N. Tryon Street • Suite 100

2 Blue Blaze Brewing

Opening Spring 2016 528 S. Turner Ave.

3 The Unknown Brewing Co.

1327 S. Mint Street

4 Wooden Robot Brewery

1440 S. Tryon Street • Suite 110

5 Lenny Boy Brewing Co.

2224 Hawkins Street

6 Sycamore Brewing

2161 Hawkins Street

7 Triple C Brewing Co.

2900 Griffith Street

49 4150 Yancey Road

8 The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery 9 Sugar Creek Brewing Co.

215 Southside Drive

10 Three Spirits Brewery

Opening Fall 2015 5046 Old Pineville Road

11 Legion Brewing

Opening Winter 2015/Spring 2016 1906 Commonwealth Ave.

12 Birdsong Brewing Co.

1016 N. Davidson Street

13 NoDa Brewing Co.

2229 N. Davidson Street 2921 N. Tryon Street-NEW

14 Free Range Brewing

2320 N. Davidson Street

15 Heist Brewery

2909 N. Davidson Street • Suite 200

16 Salud Brewery

3306-B N. Davidson Street

Concord

17 Cabarrus Brewing Co.

Opening Winter 2015/Spring 2016 325 McGill Ave.

18 High Branch Brewing

325 McGill Ave.

Huntersville/Cornelius

16432 Statesville Ave., Huntersville

20 D9 Brewing Co.

11138-C Treynorth Drive, Cornelius

21 Ass Clown Brewing Co.

10620 Bailey Road, Cornelius

22 Bayne Brewing Co.

19507 W. Catawba Ave., Cornelius

Mooresville 23 Lake Norman Brewing Co.

159 Barley Park Lane, Unit B

24 Ghostface Brewing

Opening Spring 2016 427 E. Statesville Ave.

Spittin’Distance from Charlotte 25 New Sarum Brewing Co.

Opening Winter 2015/Spring 2016 117 S. Lee Street, Salisbury

26 Rivermen Brewing Co.

1500 River Drive, Belmont

27 Bessemer City Brewing

201 W. Pennsylvania Ave., Bessemer City

28 Newgrass Brewing Co.

213 S. Lafayette Street, Shelby

29 Barking Duck Brewing Co.

8037-C Fairview Drive, Mint Hill Future Location (moving soon): 4400 Morris Park Drive, Mint Hill

30 Dreamweaver Brewery

Opening Fall 2015 115 East North Main Street, Waxhaw

South Carolina

31 Full Spectrum Brewing Co.

2168 Carolina Place Dr., Fort Mill

32 Legal Remedy Brewing Co.

129 Oakland Ave., Rock Hill

33 Benford Brewing Co.

51

19 Primal Brewery

2271 Boxcar Road, Lancaster

Distilleries & Cideries

31 8 248

Gallons per barrel

pints per Gallon

pints per barrel

1

Doc Porter’s Distillery

2

Great Wagon Road Distilling Co.

3

Red Clay Ciderworks

4

Dragon Moonshine

5

Seven Jars Distillery

6

Muddy River Distillery

7

Southern Grace Distilleries

232 E. Peterson Drive

Opening Soon-227 Southside Drive 245 Clanton Road

516 E. Peterson Drive

Opening Soon-6148-A Brookshire Blvd.

1500 River Drive • Belmont, NC

NEW Distilling LAW! Starting Oct. 1, 2015, NC distillers will be allowed to sell their distilled spirits Direct-toConsumers (DTC). The bottles must have this sticker affixed to it and can only sell one bottle per person per calendar year at the distillery. Otherwise, you can find them in ABC stores throughout NC.

625 Main Street Southwest • Concord, NC

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e m i t go o d craftscene »»»

Tap into a

Violet Palmer, Stephanie Ervin, Peggy O’Brien and Lacey Palmer pose at the National Beer Mile, held at NC Music Factory.

Having a blast at Films on Tap, at Unknown Brewing Co.

Dennis Lanahan, owner of Mountain Brook Vineyards, and David pour some of the vineyard’s finest at Taste Of Our Carolina Foothills - A Wine & Food Event.

Brewers Ball ticket winners Christina Peebles and Patty Stephenson smile for the camera. 24 »»» Nov/Dec 2015 »»» www.gravitymagazinenc.com

Tim Paulin and Samantha Frank win big swag at Gravity Magazine’s roulette game at ‪Charlotte Oktoberfest.‬

Michael Cuddy flashes his Ghostface at Oktoberfest.

Local home brewer Rob Price (left) sings his heart out at Sugar Mountain Resort’s 25th annual Oktoberfest.

The rain didn’t stop beer lovers from coming to Oktoberfest and winning with Gravity!


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26 »»» Nov/Dec 2015 »»» www.gravitymagazinenc.com


a brewing

Drama

Films On Tap Takes Over Unknown Brewing Co. By Shelby Miller Photos Courtesy Of Films On Tap & Ciarlante Photography www.ciarlante.com

n a very muggy Wednesday night, around 200 people crowded into the brewhouse at Charlotte’s Unknown Brewing Co. to witness the third installment of the Films on Tap series, held Sept. 9. It was my first time attending such an event, and I really had no expectations coming in. My first thought upon arriving was, Damn, I should have brought a chair. For those who’ve yet to visit Unknown, located on Mint Street in Charlotte’s burgeoning “Gold District,” it contains an absolutely massive brewhouse that’s only partially filled with stainless steel tanks and fermenters. That leaves a substantial amount of square footage for hosting fundraisers, chili cook-offs, and, for the first time, Films on Tap. FOT is the brainchild of local filmmakers Sean Beck and Nicole Driscoll, and the concept is simple: Screen movies by Charlotte-area filmmakers while serving beer pairings from

local breweries. According to Films on Tap staffer Colby Hopkins, the marriage of these two crafts is only natural. “A lot of what we see happening in the beer community is very similar to what’s happening in the film community,” Hopkins says. It makes sense, when you think about it. Both are burgeoning scenes founded and supported by passionate, creative people who have a mutual desire to see both grow and succeed. Why not bring them together? Charlotte clearly agrees. FOT’s first event at Heist attracted 150 guests, and the brewhouse at Unknown was even more packed with young beer drinkers sprawled out on yoga mats and lounging in camp chairs. Representatives from the Charlotte Film Festival and Charlotte Oktoberfest were present … not a bad showing from the film and beer communities. I watched while event-goers got their photos snapped in front of a backdrop, and Unknown servers rushed to and fro with trays of beer samples in tiny plastic cups. Outside, it was www.gravitymagazinenc.com ««« Nov/Dec 2015 ««« 27


pouring rain; inside, it felt like 45 minutes into a hot yoga class. At 7:30, emcee Eric Button, of the Evening Muse, stepped up to the mic and laid out the ground rules for the event. “Cuddling is encouraged,” he noted, “but ask the person next to you before you start doing that. And please silence your cell phones.” The lineup included five short films of varying formats, each no longer than 15 minutes, with a 15-minute break between each screening for socializing and, presumably, analysis. The break also allowed the staff at Unknown to distribute the next film’s beer pairing. (Before the

event, each filmmaker chose an Unknown brew that they felt best represented the mood of their film — with the exception of 20-year-old director Josh Swope, who had his beer selected for him.) I settled in at the back of the room with my first sample just as the lights went down.

Film No. 1: “Two For Tea,” by Josh Barkey & Ben Joyner Beer No. 1: Hospitali-Tea Southern Amber Ale

This film, which might be described as Southern Gothic, centered on a confrontation in a farmhouse between an older woman and a young male police officer over a polite cup of tea. The mood was tense;

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she seemed to be protecting her grandson, a boy of about 18, from being dragged off for a crime we haven’t seen him commit. The beer pairing for this first piece seemed only natural: a sweet-tea infused amber ale; a pale, malty brew that’s moderately hopped and goes down easy. I asked Unknown brewer Tom Savage how it worked out that they offered a tea-flavored beer and also featured a film with a tea theme, and he replied, “That’s just a coincidence.” OK, then.

Film No. 2: “Exodia,” by J.K. The Reaper, directed by Josh Yates Beer No. 2: Over The Edge IPA


The second film of the evening wasn’t a film at all, but a music video. In it, we watched the artist rapping while floating through very real scenes that read like a dreamscape. The energy of the video was, in a word, intense. Filmmaker Josh Yates went with the Over The Edge IPA, a big-hopped, citrusy-piney, moderately bitter West Coast IPA. Savage described it as “Sierra Nevada Pale Ale amplified.” While I’m not a huge fan of IPAs, I generally enjoy those that Unknown puts out, and this one was no exception.

Film No. 3: “The Year That Wasn’t,” by Jason King & Josh Schwert Beer No. 3: The Pregame Session Ale

Ah, a comedy. Good timing. I’ve seen some of the Funny or Die shorts by King and Schwert, featuring their alter egos George and Monty; this was their latest version about famous advertisements they were featured in that never made it to a TV near you. The piece was light and goofy and went down easy after some heavy drama, and the same can be said for the beer pairing. The Pregame Session Ale is a malty blonde ale with balanced fruity esters that, as its name implies, is a great choice for tailgating.

Film No. 4: “Another Man’s Treasure,” by Josh Swope Beer No. 4: Ginger Wheat

The youngest filmmaker of the bunch, Josh Swope delivered a touching documentary about the aging owner of an antiques/collectibles/junk

shop in rural North Carolina. The film captured the man’s reminiscences of his deceased father through the objects surrounding him. It was an incredibly impressive piece. (By a 20-year-old? Really?!) Though his beer was assigned by default because he wasn’t able to taste it himself, it fit the setting of the film and in my humble opinion was the best beer of the evening: light, complex, spicy-smooth and downright delicious.

Film No. 5: “Grape Soda,” by Justin Robinson Beer No. 5: Scratch And Sniff Aromatic IPA This 17-minute film stood as the feature film and definite highlight of the evening. Slowly unpeeling like an onion, it revealed the grief of a man who’s recently lost his daughter and whose marriage is crumbling. The performances were stunning and the cinematography just gorgeous. It definitely left an impression (I had to go home to watch it again and get all my cries out in private). While there isn’t anything grapeflavored about the Scratch and Sniff IPA, it echoed the film in intensity and layers, since it’s made with seven hop additions. This beer has all the hops, and I felt all my feels. Another installment of Films on Tap will take place this winter; visit their Facebook page to be alerted to future events. Shelby Miller is a member of Carolina BrewMasters, and a health/lifestyle writer who moved to Charlotte from Chicago in 2008. www.gravitymagazinenc.com ««« Nov/Dec 2015 ««« 29


From Prohibition To 2015 30 »»» Nov/Dec 2015 »»» www.gravitymagazinenc.com


Charlotte’s

Delicious Journey

By Karsen Price Photos By Wendy Raymond • Taps And Snaps

rony, anyone? The city that inaugurated its own Prohibition fifteen years before the nation followed suit is currently a craft beverage destination. You read that correctly. Fifteen years before the United States enacted a national referendum prohibiting the manufacture, storage, distribution or consumption of alcohol, the Queen City put its own collective foot down about “firewater,” in 1905. Nationally, the 18th Amendment passed in 1918-19, and Prohibition went into effect in 1920. Of course, we all know it’s human nature to want what we can’t have, and simply making something illegal doesn’t make it magically disappear from society. If anything, it creates the opposite effect. Prohibition didn’t rid the world of alcohol for good. Instead, it had a criminal effect on the entire country, bringing rise to organized crime, corrupt law enforcement, bootleggers, moonshiners www.gravitymagazinenc.com ««« Nov/Dec 2015 ««« 31


and the creation of secretive speakeasies, where people could gather and drink the outlawed stuff and have a grand ol’ forbidden time. Most importantly, it made a large portion of the country’s otherwise law-abiding population fall into the criminal category for consuming beer, wine and/or liquor. According to history expert Jennifer Rosenberg, “It was a time characterized by speakeasies, glamour and gangsters, and a period of time in which even the average citizen broke the law.” By the 1930s, it became apparent that criminalizing liquor in the U.S. was doing more harm than good, and the 21st Amendment overturned the 18th, ending Prohibition nationally in 1933. But states and counties were allowed to decide whether to remain “dry,” and Charlotte kept the ban intact until 1947. This might have contributed to a need for speakeasies around town, plus the services of bootleggers … some of whom later became NASCAR stars, including Junior Johnson, who was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2010. These days, with 20-plus breweries and numerous bottleshops scattered around the city, it’s safe to say Charlotte is “pro” wine, beer and liquor … minus the “hibition.” Paradoxically, an era that was full of law breaking and secrecy has become a romantic notion today, perhaps heightened by the 2013 re-release of “The Great Gatsby” (starring the very drinkable Leonardo DiCaprio). Liz Porter, who is working with husband Andrew to bring Doc Porter’s Distillery to Charlotte this fall, says there’s a simple reason people Single Brother’s Brewery & Distillery opens in Salem

1774

find the speakeasy era mystical and entertaining. “When you completely outlaw something that people enjoy so much, it instantly becomes sexier and more dangerous than it ever would have been legally,” she says. “When we see Prohibition portrayed in the movies, they often show people driven underground to speakeasies and secret clubs. Who wouldn’t want to have a cocktail in a place like that?” Today, Charlotte is booming with businesses that are building their future on the illustrious past, incorporating the idea of speakeasies, Prohibition and Gatsbyinspired themes into their business models.

Lucky No. 7

Seven Jars is a family operated company that has its fingers in a variety of craftbeverage pies, providing products for wine makers, craft brewers and cider lovers. Perhaps more importantly, the company hosts fun, handson classes on how to make your own wine and home brew. This fall, the owners are opening a distillery right next door, showcasing long-lost family distilling recipes that were found in an intriguing manner. The story of Seven Jars began during Prohibition with Frank Ratcliffe, a dapper young man who was born and raised in Mecklenburg County. Ratcliffe was the owner of the Flamingo Club, a nightclub, and he also had

experience during Prohibition “in the distribution of hard-tosource adult beverages,” often referred to as bootlegging. Once Prohibition was repealed, NC remained a dry state for a number of years, and in many counties it was illegal to purchase alcoholic beverages. Never one to leave his community high and dry, Ratcliffe bought liquor legally in Florida and “imported” it into Charlotte. (Yes, it was still known as bootlegging, but instead of moonshine, the cargo was called “tax-paid liquor.”) In the meantime, a beautiful singer named Velma Corey came to Charlotte to sing at Ratcliffe’s club. Within five weeks, she and Frank were married. Shortly thereafter, the Mecklenburg ABC Board was formed, allowing residents of Charlotte to legally purchase distilled beverages. With the citizens of Charlotte properly supplied, Frank turned to more legitimate business pursuits. “Our father was a true visionary in many ways,” says his son, Del Ratcliffe. “He always believed that one day it would be easier for ‘small producers’ to legally make whiskey and other distilled spirits. So, unknown to me and my sisters, he buried some of

Queen City adopts NC enacts NC repeals NC Beer & Wine Whole- State ABC Commission Stroh Brewing Co. opens Prohibition statewide Prohibition Prohibition salers Assoc. est. was formed brewery in Winston-Salem

1905

1908

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1935

1936

1937

1970


his liquor recipes in the ground on our old home place, to help get a distillery going.” Ratcliffe died in 1977. At that time it wasn’t feasible for small distillers to get properly licensed. Only his wife, Velma, knew his buried secret. A few years after his death, Velma told Del about the “buried treasure” on the family property. Under the light of a Carolina moon, they dug where she thought the secrets were buried. Over the course of 18 months, they made several attempts to locate Frank’s buried treasure — all with no success. Finally, in frustration, and just a few short months before the property was to be sold to a developer, Del and Velma resorted to heavy equipment. In the first scoop of the bucket, the treasure was unearthed — seven glass mason jars holding a family treasure more valuable than gold. Hence the name “Seven Jars.” With the recent interest in craft distilleries, fueled by the changes in laws that Frank Ratcliffe predicted, some of the family members decided to open a distillery using their father’s treasured recipes. The history statement on the back of Seven Jars products reads, “We didn’t find them on the first try, or the second … and that’s how we learned that sometimes you just have to dig a little deeper. Now we invite you to enjoy his time-honored recipes.”

What The Doctor Ordered

Opening this fall in Charlotte, Doc Porter’s Distillery evokes speakeasies, bowler hats and a romantic “Gatsby” feel — not to mention handcrafted spirits. Named for owner Andrew Porter’s grandfather, Dr. Richard Porter, the distillery offers Legal drinking age in NC raised from 18 to 21

1983

Brewpubs legal in NC

1985

they pour a drink.” Doc Porter’s Distillery is slated to open in October for tours and tastings, with the product available in bars and restaurants soon after. “Our tasting room will be simple,” Liz says. “Our bar is handmade from salvaged wood that we picked from a farm in Locust, NC. Our shelving is constructed from industrial piping, and all around, you’ll see a mix of the old and the new. We hope people get the vibe of an old basement speakeasy. No password necessary.”

a “throwback to the past” ambiance. Liz Porter explains, “Naming it after Andrew’s grandfather led us to wanting a logo with an old-world feel, and since he was a doctor, we channeled imagery that made us think of old-time doctors. We saw a mock-up of our logo with the bowler hat and it was exactly the feel we were going for.”

Speak To Me

The Porters hope to create craft spirits that become a staple of the Charlotte community, not simply as a romantic novelty but as a highquality product that sources base grains from local farmers. The distillery is a labor of love. “We want our customers to feel an old-world handcraftedness in our spirits,” she says. “We want to produce products that people will love and make their brand of choice every time

Speaking of speakeasies, The Cellar at Duckworth’s offers customers the romantic ambiance you expect from secret societies and hidden enjoyments. Owner Rob Duckworth says it helps that the building housing The Cellar is one of the oldest standing buildings in uptown Charlotte. “It naturally has that ambiance,” he says. “It was built not too long before the era of Prohibition, and it helps that The Cellar is underground in a basement. With furniture, the bar top and other finishes resembling that period, the ambiance comes together well to resemble the Prohibition era.” Before purchasing the building, Duckworth toured it in search of natural finishes and historical touches, including exposed brick, wooden ceiling joints, and other elements that would have been originally installed when the building was built in 1912. He says he didn’t have a finished plan for The Cellar at the time, but the tour provided food for thought. “It certainly sparked some

Dilworth Brewery opens in Charlotte

First “Pop The Cap” meeting

15% Cap passes

OMB starts production

“1 Bottle” Law for spirits passes

1988

2003

2005

2009

2015

www.gravitymagazinenc.com ««« Nov/Dec 2015 ««« 33


Local Spirits Thanks to NC’s new distilling laws, Charlotte will see a fair amount of new distilleries in the area. Some have been selling their spirits in local ABC stores and others will be opening soon. Visit each website for more information on tours.

ideas,” Duckworth says. “That, followed by a trip we took to Manhattan touring many craft cocktail establishments, helped inspire our theme.”

Muddy River Distillery

1500 River Drive, Belmont Muddyriverdistillery.com/tours Spirits: Silver Carolina Rum, Coconut Carolina Rum, Spiced Carolina Rum, Paw Paw Murphy’s Mule Kickin’ Midnight Shine, Paw Paw Murphy’s Amaretto

Southern Artisan Spirits Southernartisanspirits.com Spirits: Cardinal Gin

Southern Grace Distilleries

625 Main St SW, Concord Southerngracedistilleries.com Spirits: Sun Dog 130 corn whiskey

Doc Porter’s Distillery

232 E. Peterson Street, Charlotte Docporters.com Spirits: Vodka; with plans for gin & whiskey *Check website for opening date

Great Wagon Road Distilling Company

227 Southside Drive, Charlotte Facebook.com/ GWRdistillingco Spirits: Vodka, whiskey *Check Facebook for opening date

The Future Of The Past

At The Cellar, wait staff dress in clothes that resemble the Prohibition era, including suspenders, bowties and Fedora hats. Customers are deemed “ladies” and “gentlemen,” and crafted beverages conjure the Prohibition feel. The Cellar also offers 20 taps that pour at appropriate temperatures to their styles and are served in the correct glassware. Eventually, The Cellar will house over 1,000 bottles. “Many of our cocktails fit the era of that time,” Duckworth says. “We offer classics that are what you would have found during that era, but then we also

Seven Jars Distillery

6148-A Brookshire Blvd., Charlotte Sevenjars.com Spirits: Whiskey, rum & vodka; with plans for bourbon *Check website for opening date

Dragon Moonshine

516 E. 15th Street Suite 14B, Charlotte Dragonmoonshine.com Spirits: Moonshine, rum, whiskey *Check website for opening date

“I think people are intrigued by that era,” he says. “Think about how popular certain dramas like ‘The Untouchables,’ and ‘Boardwalk Empire,’ etc., have been. In Charlotte in particular, it’s difficult to find an atmosphere that has that natural, dated feel to it. I think people like to be transported back in time to experience a glimpse of what it was like then. It’s different. It’s interesting.”

offer a signature line of cocktails to intrigue the most discerning guest today.” Duckworth says the idea of Prohibition is appealing for a variety of reasons.

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If “interesting” is your fancy, then you might have fun trying to wrap your brain around the change in laws for distilleries in our state, which went into effect on Oct. 1. Before October, qualified distilleries could make spirits as long as 100 percent of their sales were funneled through ABC stores. According to new laws, however, a qualified distillery can now sell to the public, but only if they follow a unique set of rules that could easily be mistaken for a practical joke. By NC law, you must be 21 to enter the premises of a distillery; you have to sign in and take a tour; and you may only “taste.” Full drinks are not allowed to be served unless the distillery carries a full bar license (which isn’t the norm). Each distillery can then sell one bottle per person, per year. Seriously. Even more bizarrely, the distillery is responsible for tracking these sales and will be fined if they break the “one bottle a year” law. This new ruling will make things interesting for distilleries, for sure … but none seem to be complaining. If anything, business owners are simply ecstatic to have the chance to become part of the craft beverage boon in the Queen City. Perhaps Liz Porter says it best: “We see how craft brewing is embraced here and hope that people are just as excited about local, handcrafted spirits.”


R Glassware f E P O oR PR

beer

Styles: Belgian dark ale, double/imperial stout, double/imperial IPA, India pale ale, Russian imperial stout, quadrupel, Scotch ale

Goblet

Styles: Belgian IPA, dubbel, tripel, quardupel, Belgian strong dark ale

Tulip

Styles: American wild ale, Scotch ale, Belgian pale ale, Belgian strong ale, or double/imperial stout, saison/farmhouse ale

Benefits: Eye candy. Designed to maintain Benefits: Captures and Benefits: Captures head. Wide-mouthed enhances volatiles, while aromas of strong ales and for deep sips. it induces and supports enhances volatiles. large foamy heads.

Pilsner Glass

Styles: American dark wheat ale, American pale wheat ale, Czech pilsener, dunkelweizen, gose, hefeweizen, light lager, witbier

Weizen Glass

Styles: American dark wheat ale, American pale wheat ale, dunkelweizen, gose, hefeweizen

Shaker/Pint

Styles: Double/imperial IPA, double/imperial stout, India pale ale, brown ale, porter

Benefits: Cheap to Benefits: Specifically make. Easy to store. Benefits: Showcases color, produced to take on Easy to drink out of this clarity and carbonation. volume and head, type of glass. Promotes head retention. while locking in the Enhances volatiles. banana-like and phenol aromas associated with the style.

A

s an American craft beer drinker, you are familiar with the shaker pint. The wide mouthed conical glass is in every bar and restaurant. The reasons are: They are cheap to make (therefore cheap to buy), they are sturdy, and they are easy to store. If you are a bar owner, those are not insignificant details. However, as a craft beer drinker, you know this is not the ideal drinking experience. The best glassware is made with a large bowl and narrow mouth to trap and direct aromas to the nose. This makes for a better tasting experience. No matter the glass you use, just make sure it’s glass. That is what is most important.

Flute Glass

Wine Glass (red)

Benefits: Enhances and showcases carbonation. Releases volatiles quickly for a more intense upfront aroma.

Benefits: Its size allows for headspace, while the open bowl creates an amazing nose. A lot of smart beer bars are now serving their Belgian ales in these.

Stange

Mug/Stein

Benefits: Serves more delicate beers, amplifying malt and hop nuances. Tighter concentration of volatiles.

Benefits: Easy to drink out of this type of glass. Holds plenty of volume.

Styles: American wild ale, Bière de Champagne, bock Czech pilsener, German pilsener, lambic - fruit, Vienna lager

Styles: Altbier, rye beer, lambic, gueuze, bock, gose, rauchbier, rye beer

Styles: Belgian dark ale, Belgian IPA, saison, Belgian pale ale, American black ale

Styles: American pale ale, oatmeal stout, Scottish ale, Irish dry stout, or English bitter, maibock, märzen, milk stout, oatmeal stout

Beer-ducation Volatile Compounds

Chemicals that have a high vapor pressure at ordinary room temperature, which causes large numbers of molecules to evaporate and enter the surrounding air. Source: 2015 Brewers Association Beer Style Guidelines; used with permission of Brewers Association.

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Glassware sources: www.beeradvocate.com, www.pastemagazine.com

Snifter


roadtrip »»»

Newgrass BrewingelbCo. y in S h

n a quaint street in uptown Shelby, a new brewery is earning the reputation as a must-visit point of interest. Newgrass Brewing Co. is home to the youngest female brewery owner in the United States, Jordan Boinest. Brewmaster Lewis McCallister (also Boinest’s fiancé), has experience brewing for two microbreweries in North Carolina that have garnered regional attention. Aesthetically, the brewery is stunning. Housed in a building that was constructed in 1909, the charm of the building’s storefront was left intact. Inside, the history of Shelby is showcased with the gorgeous use of reclaimed, 100-year-old heart pine repurposed from the Dover Mill, which was at one time the largest employer in the county. 36 »»» Nov/Dec 2015 »»» www.gravitymagazinenc.com


An Event To Remember Seeds To Silverware

The third Seeds to Silverware event, held Sept. 26 in the City Pavilion in uptown Shelby, was a testament to the love the locals share for their city. From farmers to chefs to potters to city officials (including Shelby Mayor Stan Anthony, who sat at my table with his lovely wife, Ann), the event showcased Shelby’s local talent, “combining responsibly grown, local foods with culinary experts, integrating them into a unique and delicious celebration.” Despite heavy rains, the evening was elegant and entertaining, with thoughtful touches throughout: from the vintage windows that announced the seating arrangements, to the cheery turquoise and lemon tablecloths dotted with candlelight, to the one-ofa-kind pottery centerpieces created by potter Ron Philbeck. (Yes, I bought one!)

By Karsen Price Photography by Eric Gaddy, Casting Shadows Photography

“The building we renovated for Newgrass was originally built in 1909, according to the tax records,” says Boinest, who serves as the brewery manager. “For most of the 1900s, the building was Hudson’s Department Store, where the majority of locals did their shopping.” Throughout the brewery, there’s a history lesson to be learned. Along the glassfront entrance, you can find a giant “H” hanging on the wall; it’s the original H from the Hudson’s sign. Dotted along the second floor of the brewery are vintage photos that Boinest notes, “offer a

wonderful glimpse back into the past of uptown Shelby.” The brewery even boasts a unique story about a musket ball, adding a historical touch that fits along the lines of “truth is stranger than fiction.” “Walker Woodworking re-milled the old wood for us and in the process found something quite interesting,” Boinest says. “While scanning the wood for old nails or screws, they found a musket ball! The musket ball is believed to be from the mid1800s and shot into the tree before the original milling of the wood for the mill.” She adds, “Expect to see a www.gravitymagazinenc.com ««« Nov/Dec 2015 ««« 37


roadtrip »»»

While You Are There, Consider visiting: Pleasant City Wood Fired Grille:

233 S. Lafayette Street When Chris Canoutas opened this pizza restaurant in 2008, it was the first in town to offer craft beer (15 taps!) and people said they were crazy. Today they offer 24 brews on tap and host beer-pairing dinners yearly.

Newt’s Pub Burgers:

116 E. Warren Street Chet & Sasha Beam’s burger joint is known for its craft beer selection. Newt’s hosts tap takeovers several times a year and sells hard-to-find bottles.

Dragonfly Wine Market:

101 W. Warren Street Owned by Jamie Coulter, Dragonfly Wine Market is much more than a wine and beer market, offering art, antiques and dry goods along with local milk, eggs, bread, cheese and inseason produce. A small stage hosts live music.

Smoke On The Square:

5 E. Marion Street A father-son team expanded their barbecue catering business into this low country restaurant and steakhouse, which strives to use local meat and produce when possible and has craft beer available.

Ni Fen Bistro:

214-A S. Lafayette Street Known for its fine Asian, Italian and American cuisine, extensive wine list, and special dinner events, plus craft beer is available on tap and in bottles.

beer name come out of this find!” Speaking of beer, Newgrass brews are unique, sessionable and fun to explore, from IPAs to saisons to porters to seasonals, including the Pumpkin Rye Saison (my fav). The food (yes, they serve food!) was mouth-watering. The brewery offers plenty of space for people to gather or dance, plus outdoor seating. But the second-story seating area was my favorite vantage point in the brewery — perfect for listening to a band, catching the game, or people-watching to the Nth degree. Overall, Newgrass is not just a craft beer destination. The brewery is part of a mission to breathe new life into uptown Shelby. “Being a part of the revitalization of uptown Shelby is special to all of us here at Newgrass,” Boinest says. “The best part about breweries is they are all different, and so craft beer lovers travel to taste and experience new brews. It is wonderful that we are able to give people a new reason

38 »»» Nov/Dec 2015 »»» www.gravitymagazinenc.com

to visit our historic uptown district.” Obviously, music plays an important part at Newgrass. The Earl Scruggs Center and The Don Gibson Theatre are both only a block away. “Earl Scruggs was one of the pioneers of the Newgrass genre,” Boinest says. “With our love for the bluegrass/ Newgrass style and with our location being so close to the Center, we knew Newgrass Brewing was the perfect name choice for us.” She adds, “Beer will always be what we are mostly here for, but music comes in a close second. We’ve been fortunate to have some of the most talented musicians in the county play on our stage, including Darin Aldridge, Steve McMurry and Bryon McMurry (of Acoustic Syndicate). Bringing great beer, music, food and people together is what we are all about.” Visit newgrassbrewing.com. Karsen Price remembers traveling to Shelby to play ball at Crest High in the late 1980s.


presentation matters

704-916-9470 @beardbeerbard castingshadowsphotography.com


brewtour »»»

Red Clay Ciderworks

An apple a day

By Karsen Price Photos By Wendy Raymond • Taps And Snaps

Where the juice comes from: Apple Wedge Packers and Cider, a family owned commercial orchard in Hendersonville, NC

40 »»» Nov/Dec 2015 »»» www.gravitymagazinenc.com

here’s a new craft beverage company in town, and they aren’t just serving up brewskis. Located on Clanton Road in South End between two breweries — Triple C Brewing and The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery — Red Clay Ciderworks is bringing small batch, hard cider to town … and Charlotteans are loving the diversity.


Red Clay Ciderworks @ a glance: What’s your flagship cider: Queen City Common No. 1 seller? Sample flights! People want to try all of our flavors. Growlers? Yes, starting in November.

Food trucks: When possible Kid friendly? Yes Dog friendly? Yes Hours: Wed.-Thurs. 4-9 p.m.; Fri. 3-10 p.m.; Sat.: noon-10 p.m.; Sun. noon-6 p.m.

Address: 245 Clanton Road Website: Redclayhardcider.com Social: Facebook.com/ redclayhardcider Twitter: @RedClayCider Instagram and Untappd

The only cidery located in Charlotte, Red Clay Ciderworks has been getting plenty of attention since opening in July. Walk into the 1,300-square foot taproom, and you’ll understand why. You immediately feel at home, courtesy of the rustic wood, communal environment, tables meant for crowds, and comfy bar. Taps feature a large, seemingly “muddy” footprint, with the specific cider name in chalk at the top. Queen City Common, a semi-dry cider, is Red Clay’s flagship cider, and it gives a good lesson: Not all ciders are sweet. Red Clay offers a variety of tasting points, ranging from dry to sweet, and incorporating interesting flavors, from tart cherries (Cherry Bobbin’ Trolls) to thyme (Hoppin’ Good Thyme). All ciders are made from locally sourced apples. Red Clay is the perfect compliment to the Queen City’s growing craft beverage scene. Founded by former home brewer Jay Bradish and his wife, Deanna, the cidery is a labor of love for the entire crew, which includes Jay’s sister, Jamie, and Jonathon Repholz. Red Clay’s creators are excited to introduce cider to Charlotte. “We hope to offer exposure to various ciders from NC and around the country, so people can explore their palates and discover the pleasure of drinking cider,” Deanna says. The people behind the scenes are as friendly as can be, and believe in collaboration. They are equally happy to give you a glass of beer from one of their Charlotte brewery brethren (Birdsong, OMB and Triple C were on tap during our visit) as a taste of cider by other cideries. www.gravitymagazinenc.com ««« Nov/Dec 2015 ««« 41


offthevine »»»

Holiday Hot Spots!

Four wineries perfect for Seasonal parties or secret getaways By Matt Kemberling & Joe Brock The NC Wine Guys

ust because the weather is getting colder doesn’t mean that you can’t visit a winery. There are several great options in North Carolina that are not only great in the winter, but can be perfect for bringing a group of people to celebrate the holidays. Larger parties should call ahead to give the wineries a heads-up. Cabin rentals (if mentioned below) should be scheduled in advance as they often book quickly.

Banner Elk Winery Banner Elk Winery Bannerelkwinery.com Grassy Creek Vineyard & Winery Grassycreekvineyard.com Medaloni Cellars Medalonicellars.com Silver Fork Winery Silverforkwinery.com 42 »»» Nov/Dec 2015 »»» www.gravitymagazinenc.com

A mountain lodge in the middle of ski country Tucked in the quiet mountain town of Banner Elk, this winery provides a cozy mountain lodge feel for visitors near and far. Minutes away from the best skiing in North Carolina, Banner Elk Winery has a lot to offer visitors. The spacious tasting room is fully furnished with several comfy couches, perfect for sitting in front of the large fireplace and enjoying a glass of wine. The view out the front window overlooks a pond, with a majestic view of mountains


in the background. They offer on-site accommodations for those who wish to stay and make the most out of the mountain area. The Villa at Banner Elk provides a welcome retreat from frantic city life, and its prime location is a great alternative to the ski resorts. Plus, there’s wine!

Grassy Creek Vineyards

Soak up that cozy yet modern farmhouse feel If heading into the mountains isn’t really your niche, you might want to head up to the Yadkin Valley. If you’re looking for a cozy farmhouse setting, then one great option is Grassy Creek Vineyards. Located just outside of Elkin, Grassy Creek offers not only wine tastings but also cabins to rent. The winery is located on the old Klondike Farms, a dairy farm dating back to the 1920s, which later expanded to become a stylish retreat for vacationers. The wines at Grassy Creek are made in the new American style, ranging from dry to sweet. The tasting room is cozy, yet still offers plenty of space for your party to spread out. As a plus for the colder months, there are several cozy seats nestled around the original stone fireplace right in the tasting room.

Medaloni Cellars

You don’t have to go far for a contemporary escape If you’re looking for a more modern winery this holiday season, consider Medaloni Cellars. Located minutes outside of WinstonSalem, Medaloni offers all of the same conveniences of a winery, without having to venture out into the

countryside. The tasting room is large and spacious. One side of the barn is completely suited with rolling doors, so the tasting room can expand out to the patio when the weather is nice. Outside, you’ll often find fires in the pits, outfitted with authentic Adirondack chairs, complete with wine glass holders. Or, take a seat at their large family-style table in the center of the tasting room. Medaloni often has food trucks on the weekends so you won’t go hungry, or drive into Winston-Salem, where fine dining isn’t hard to find. If you decide you want to spend the weekend, Medaloni offers cabins for rental and makes a great location to host an event.

Silver Fork

A touch of rustic in a modern setting If you like the rustic feel of being out in nature, yet crave modern conveniences, then Silver Fork winery is the perfect choice. Located about 15 minutes outside of Morganton, Silver Fork is set on a hillside with a spectacular view of the South Mountains. The classy tasting room is furnished with soft seating, tables and a fireplace. The exposed wood rafters and modern architecture of the tasting room give it an elegant vibe. The onsite food truck specializes in farm-to-fork foods with a Southern flair. Take in the view and relax outside in Adirondack chairs nestled around the fire. A perfect getaway, Silver Fork allows you to clear your mind and enjoy nature without having to venture too far off the beaten path.

Matt Kemberling & Joe Brock are two guys who love wine, local breweries, farm to fork and all things local. Follow their adventures at http://ncwineguys.com or on Twitter @ NCWineGuys.

Taste Of Our Carolina Foothills

A Wine & Food Event By NC Wine Guys On a rainy Sunday in early fall, we had the pleasure of attending the second annual Taste of Our Carolina Foothills: A Wine & Food Event at Overmountain Vineyards, in Tryon, NC. Presented by Our Carolina Foothills, whose mission is to promote tourism in northwest South Carolina and western North Carolina, the event featured 2030 local artisans, whose goods included handmade cakes, truffles, cheese, spirits, cider, wine and beer. We spent the afternoon moving from tent to tent, tasting and chatting as we went, enjoying all the creations of the amazing craft artisans that are located in this special area. Go give them a visit! It’s only about a 90-minute scenic drive from Charlotte. For more information, visit Ourcarolinafoothills.com. Polk County Wineries: Mountain Brook Vineyards Mountainbrookvineyards.com 731 Phillips Dairy Road Tryon, NC 28782 Overmountain Vineyards Overmountainvineyards.com 2014 Sandy Plains Road Tryon, NC 28782 Parker-Binns Vineyard Parker-binnsvineyard.com 7383 NC 108 Mill Springs, NC 28756 Russian Chapel Hills Winery Russianchapelhills.com 2662 Green Creek Drive Columbus, NC 28722

www.gravitymagazinenc.com ««« Nov/Dec 2015 ««« 43


Wine Down Fors

y a d i l o H The A Seasonal wine guide

REVIEWED By The NC WINE GUYS

2014 Vivace, Adagio Vineyards

The 2014 Vivace from Adagio Vineyards is a perfect wine for the holidays. It is a Traminette, with a splash of Chardonnay and Muscat to balance out the bold flavors with a delightfully bright note. The nose is ripe with pears and a slightly floral perfume. The flavors start out with a zippy citrus pop, then move into a mild pear syrup mid-palate. On the tail end of the wine, it has a delicate spice that holds on until the flavors fade away. This wine makes for a perfect pairing to most holiday dishes. It plays well with turkey, glazed ham, sweet potato casserole and pecan pie. If you’ve never heard of Traminette, you’re not alone. It’s a hybrid of the Gewürztraminer grape, and though it prefers cooler climates, it does well in the Yadkin Valley of NC. It’s becoming more popular as it is naturally disease resistant and generally easier to care for. This is an excellent alternative white wine for your holiday feast. Visit Adagiovineyards.com.

2013 Special Delivery Rosé, Junius Lindsay Vineyard When you think of a rosé,

you might think it’s always sweet or only for the summer. That’s not true with this one. The Special Delivery Rosé from Junius Lindsay Vineyard is made from 100 percent Grenache grapes. The color is sun-soaked pink and crystal clear. The nose is a delicate fruit blend of fresh strawberries and piecrust, and the strawberries shine through in the flavor profile

as well. Halfway through, the flavors transform into white tea garnished with citrus peel. It finishes on a chalky, mineral finish with a hint of wet stone. As a rosé, this wine will pair with almost anything. It would balance out roasted turkey with cranberry sauce, spice up

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any seafood, or even brighten a creamy pasta dish. A rosé is a perfect addition to a holiday meal, because it offers a welcome reminder that warmer months are just around the corner. Visit Juniuslindsay.com.

2012 Mourvèdre, Hanover Park Vineyard

Ah yes, Mourvèdre, one of our favorite classic French varietals. Although this is common in the Rhone valley in France, it has found a new home at Hanover Park Vineyard. Past vintages have been superb and their current release, the 2012, is just as good. The nose has a bold earthy tone with hints of herbs, rosemary and thyme. The flavors are rich with dried red currants and cherries. A smooth midpalate of soft tannins and fleshy black plums gives way to a light oak finish that fades out slowly. This unique red wine pairs well with slightly gamey meats. The classic pairing is lamb, but it can easily hold up to roast beef or even duck. It’s the perfect addition to roasted veggies, too. We couldn’t imagine a holiday meal without a bottle of Mourvèdre on the table. Visit Hanoverparkwines.com.


e v o l the

««« swagshop

Spread

Shop »»» Small »»» Local

Pints with a plan! These fun glasses come with a dice game game that is perfect for breaking the ice at your next party. www.envycharlotte.com

A little bit of space, a whole lot of fun. Tiki Toss is the perfect game for the deck or your home bar. www.envycharlotte.com

Take notes the old-school way with a charming wine-themed chalkboard. www.blvdatsouthend.com

Give your sip some spice with these cocktail and cooking infusions. www.snakeoilmixers.com

Let your Freaker flag fly! Choose from tons of designs to fit any personality. www.commonmarketisgood.com

Napkins that speak your mind! MikWright — sarcasm done right. www.envycharlotte.com

www.gravitymagazinenc.com ««« Nov/Dec 2015 ««« 45


d a e M To Know A Centuries Old Beverage Is Making A Comeback By Matt Kemberling & Joe Brock The NC Wine Guys Photos By Andrea Perullo de Ledesma

46 »»» Nov/Dec 2015 »»» www.gravitymagazinenc.com

oney. Water. Yeast. In its simplest form, this is mead. This centuries-old drink has played a major part in developing cultures around the world. In recent culture, mead has been present in genres ranging from fantasies like Harry Potter and Game of Thrones to video games such as Skyrim. Mead is making a comeback and it’s time that we prepare


ourselves for this delicious nectar. So what exactly is mead? Mead is a beverage fermented from honey. It’s more like wine than beer, so if you have an image of a stein filled with a bubbly, frothy beverage, you’ll need to think again. Although some mead can be bubbly, it’s rare to find a thick foaming head at the top of a glass. And believe it or not, mead can range from dry to sweet, providing something for everyone. Right now, there are just over 200 meaderies in

the United States. North Carolina is fortunate enough to have at least four meaderies within the state, with several more on the way. Two of these meaderies are located in the Triangle area and make a great destination for a day trip.

Meet Two Meaderies

Honeygirl Meadery and Starrlight Meads are two NC mead producers that have a big future ahead of them. Each has been making mead since around 2005.

Starrlight first started making mead on a commercial scale in 2010. Early on in their meadmaking journey, Ben and Becky Starr entered three of their meads in a national competition in Colorado. Their cyser (mead made with apples) took gold in their category and later went on to win best in show for that year. This early win cemented their love of mead making and gave the company a jumpstart. Becky jokes, “The Starrs aligned.” These days, Starrlight offers 16 different meads at any given time, with 26 different meads in their recipe book. Flavors range from the traditional dry mead to wild flavors like Pomegranate Pink Peppercorn or Reserve Chocolate Orange mead. Honeygirl has only been open to the public for one year. Dianne Currier’s inspiration to make mead occurred when she visited her sister in Alaska. She was hiking through a fireweed flower meadow, and later tasted mead made from the honey collected there. Every sip reflected the meadow; she was literally drinking in her surroundings. Since then, Currier has caught the buzz of mead making. Her focus is on hyper-seasonal ingredients, and she produces small batch meads on the dry end of the spectrum. Honeygirl’s portfolio consists of eight meads, with three or four meads offered in her tasting room. Both companies admit that mead making is contagious. Both Starrlight and Honeygirl started small, and the owners immediately were hooked. Eventually, they were making batch after batch of mead, experimenting with new ingredients and new flavors

www.gravitymagazinenc.com ««« Nov/Dec 2015 ««« 47


until they perfected their methods. Modern day mead-makers face certain challenges — specifically, a lack of awareness for their product. Mead has been around for centuries, but it seems most everyone has forgotten about it. One of the biggest challenges mead makers face is educating the public. Over 80 percent of visitors to Starrlight and Honeygirl have never tried mead before … and that’s actually an improvement from just over 95 percent five years ago. Mead makers also experience some challenges in nature. Mead relies on honey, and only bees can produce honey. The varroa mite is one of the largest natural threats to bees. Some estimates show the mites are responsible for nearly 50 percent of all bee colony losses in a year. The mites attach to the worker bees and cause mutations in the larvae, which hinders honey production. The most helpful thing we can do is simple: Get out there and try some mead. If you’ve tried it and didn’t like it, try one or two more. Mead is much like tofu; some people like it plain, others like it with a little extra flavor. Bottom line, as craft beverage drinkers are searching for the next new flavor, they don’t have to look far. Mead is a great option.

Mead Misconception The biggest pre-conceived notion is that all meads are sweet. The idea goes something like this: If honey is thick and syrupy, then mead must be, as well. That simply is not true. Something you might not realize is that grapes go through the same process. At the peak of ripeness, a Cabernet Sauvignon grape plucked from the vine is just as sweet as honey. When fermented, it produces a nice dry wine. One of the basic principles of fermentation is the conversion of sugars to alcohol. So, much like wine, mead can be fermented to complete dryness or left slightly sweet. Just like wine, mead can have other ingredients added to enhance the flavors. 48 »»» Nov/Dec 2015 »»» www.gravitymagazinenc.com


Shop Small Don’t Miss South End’s Small Business Saturday

Photos Courtesy Of Historic South End

cross the country, Small Business Saturday will take place on Nov. 28th. The event is no small thing, however … especially not in Historic South End, which has a plethora of activities planned to coax shoppers to the area. “We take Small Business Saturday pretty seriously in South End,” says Tobe Holmes. “Like celebrating our freedom on the Fourth of July, it’s something we appreciate all year, but have a celebration once a year to highlight its importance to our community.” This year, the event will kick off at Atherton Mill Market at 11 a.m. At noon, two trolleys will begin running from Atherton to Triple C Brewing, Unknown Brewing,

Trolleys will run from Atherton to Triple C Brewing, Unknown Brewing, and the Trolley Museum. and the Trolley Museum on Camden Road. There will be music, food for purchase, and gifts galore. Holmes says, “Triple C and the Trolley Museum will have a wide variety of vendors offering a range of goods, from foodstuffs as gifts, to handmade jewelry, Christmas décor and art. It’s a very curated mix of high quality local merchants. You will not find mass produced items.” Small Business Saturday is billed as an alternative to Black Friday, A.K.A. the brawl at the mall. “Saturday is the day when you can save yourself the parking headaches and enjoy shopping for once — buying local products from local people, not big box stores who send the money you spend to another city, state or country,” Holmes says. “Nothing against the big box, but gifts are personal, and should come from people.” And if that doesn’t sound interesting enough, Unknown Brewing is offering Dudeapalooza, a pop-up market with “stuff for dudes,” hosted by the ever-hilarious Wilson. “Wilson will be putting this on, and it should be a real treat,” Holmes says. Visit Historicsouthend.com for information. www.gravitymagazinenc.com ««« Nov/Dec 2015 ««« 49


closingtime »»»

“To poke a wood fire is more solid enjoyment than almost anything else in the world.” ~Charles Dudley Warner

Welcome to the South, where outdoor living never ends. We spend much of our free time sitting by firepits, and frequent our patios well into winter. The outdoors is king, and we do everything we can to enjoy it. Whether it’s in your own backyard or beside your favorite brewery’s firepit, kick up your feet, grab a porter, and enjoy the flicker of the flame.

Photo By Eric Gaddy Casting Shadows Photography

50 »»» Nov/Dec 2015 »»» www.gravitymagazinenc.com


You have read us cover to cover, now get social!

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///// Nov/Dec 2015

Vol:1 Issue:2

entary ///// Complim

use News you can

... from collabs

to beer runs to

We look forward to bringing you stories and information for years to come. Keep your eyes peeled for our Jan/Feb issue, which will feature beer memorabilia, awesome home brew info, hot firepits, cooking with beer and much more.

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Gravity November December 2015  

A Charlotte NC Magazine celebrating the craft beverage culture.

Gravity November December 2015  

A Charlotte NC Magazine celebrating the craft beverage culture.

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