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Editor's Note: This story is unlocked for everyone to read courtesy of the CRVA, our partner in nourishing culinary exploration for residents and visitors of the Queen City.

October 23, 2023

Charlotte Craft Beer Week returns

Pub crawls, yeast education and helping charities while enjoying craft beer

By Brian Beauchemin

Over 50 local breweries, restaurants, social organizations, and festivals are participating in Charlotte Craft Beer Week 2023

Charlotte Craft Beer Week began in 2010 to help celebrate Charlotte’s rich and diverse beer culture. The event has grown tremendously since then (more than 50 establishments are participating this year). After a short hiatus, local breweries — led by Pilot Brewing — brought it back in 2022. Craft Beer Week runs October 20 through October 29 with a variety of events and themes for craft lovers to enjoy throughout Charlotte. The events are free (except for your beer of choice) and several charities benefit from the funds raised during the week.

Craft Beer Week includes beer crawls, educational sessions, and a Craft Beer Passport provided by Charlotte’s Got A Lot.

“The goal of this week is to eventually build it up to be an attraction similar to some of the bigger beer weeks you see across America,” says James Amato, Marketing Manager at Divine Barrel Brewing. “The greater Charlotte craft beer scene is as good or better than anywhere in the country, so why can’t we have an awesome beer week too?”

Brewery crawls anchor the weeklong event starting Friday, October 20 with each crawl benefiting a different charity and each brewery showcasing unique specials to help raise money. Participants can start at whichever brewery they choose with no required order of stops and, if desired, Jaunt Rides will provide free rides between breweries on a continuous loop throughout the day of each crawl.

“I think it’s a great way for breweries, cideries, drinking establishments, restaurants, clubs, and patrons alike to connect on a more personal level and celebrate all the wonderful and diverse liquid coming out of this city,” Amata says.

The NoDa Brewery Crawl and Plaza Midwood Boozy Brunch Crawl took place the weekend of Oct. 20, benefitting Hearts United for Good (HUG) and Transcend CLT, respectively.

The LoSo Halloween Crawl rounds out the crawls on Saturday, Oct. 28 from 1 to 5 p.m. Proceeds from this crawl benefit BOOM Charlotte and participating breweries include Lower Left, Brewers at 4001 Yancey, Sugar Creek, Protagonist Beer, Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, Weathered Souls, Red Clay Ciderworks, and Gilde 1546.

Educational events include a discussion on local malt, local ingredients, and brewing philosophy. The Locals Only – Beer and Locality features beer and guest speakers from Southern Strain Brewing, Free Range Brewing, Protagonist Beer, and Epiphany Craft Malt and will be hosted by The Hop Shop Monday, Oct. 23 from 6 to 9 p.m.

Guest speakers will discuss their history in the brewing industry, views on local ingredients, how they incorporate local ingredients into their products, where they purchase their ingredients, and the benefits and challenges of doing so.

Keep it Yeasty! provides education on yeast and a beer tasting. White Labs Yeast has teamed up with Pilot Brewing for this yeast showcase. A beer was brewed and separated into two batches, each fermented with a different wheat ale strain to showcase the differences between an American wheat beer and a German hefeweizen. The event is hosted by Pilot Brewing and occurs Saturday, Oct. 28 from 2 to 6 p.m.

Bad Review Night is a perfect opportunity for patrons to hang out, drink beer, interact with brewers, and laugh at the ridiculous Untappd reviews of their beers,” Amato says. The event will take place Friday, Oct. 27 at Free Range Brewery from 6 to 8PM. Eight local breweries, and Charlotte’s sole cider maker, will read bad reviews for the audience. Participants include Triple C, Blue Blaze, Red Clay, Birdsong, Wooden Robot, Protagonist, Brewers at 4001 Yancey, Armor Artist, and Resident Culture.

The Pinks Boot Society in tandem with HopFly Brewing Company is hosting a Pink Boots Merch Swap Tuesday, Oct. 24 from 5 to 9 p.m. The first hour of the event includes a Swap Power Hour where patrons bring gently used brewery items such as glassware, koozies, and stickers that can be swapped out for other donated items.

From 6 to 9 p.m., a Merchandise Garage Sale will take place. All donated items are sold to the public “yard sale” style with 100 percent of the sales donated to Pink Boots. Find a detailed list of acceptable donation items and drop off times here.

Divine Barrel hosts a Mental Health Happy Hour in tandem with Mentally Shredded, Beer Law Center, and the NC Brewers Guild on Oct. 25. “Mental health is obviously incredibly important, but people often don’t think about it enough,” Amata says. “At the event folks can find resources and vendors to help improve their mental health. There will be a brewers lounge and a speaker panel as well.”

​The Craft Beer Week Home Brew Competition is open to all North and South Carolina home brewers with local beer industry professionals as the judges. Judging occurred Oct. 14, with an awards party on Oct. 29 at 1 p.m. Brewers at Yancey hosts the party and award ceremony where gold, silver, and bronze winners will be awarded Charlotte Craft Beer Medals​. All profits from the entry fees will be donated to a charity chosen by The Carolina BrewMasters, Charlotte’s local homebrew club.

To round out the week on Thursday, Oct. 26 and Friday, Oct. 27, various  collaborations will be released throughout Charlotte. Details and participating breweries will be released as the week progresses so stay tuned to social media posts.

In addition to the craft beer week, Charlottes Got A Lot is sponsoring a Craft Beer Passport in celebration of Craft Beer Month. Now through October 31, patrons visiting taprooms can earn points and receive prizes utilizing the free passport. Points are earned for general brewery check-ins or event check-ins and points can be redeemed for pint glasses, t-shirts, and a $40 brewery pass credit. Participation in four check-ins at Brewery Crawl stops provides a raffle entry for a brewery gift cards prize package. Anchor event check-ins also yield entries into a raffle to win brewery gift cards.

Craft Beer Week presents wonderful opportunities to enjoy breweries not yet visited, pull up bar stools at old favorites, and earn passport points all while helping raise money for a variety of charities.

Participating breweries, restaurants, social organizations, and festivals

760 Craft Works
AC Hotels
Amor Artis Brewing
Armored Cow Brewing Co.
Birdsong Brewing Company
Blue Blaze Brewing Co.
Bottles and Taps
Breweries at 4001 Yancey
Burial Beer Co.
The Casual Pint
Charlotte Beer Babes
D9 Brewing Company
Devils Logic Brewing
Divine Barrel Brewing
Edge City Brewery
Fonta Flora Brewery
Frank’s Chili Fest
Free Range Brewing
Gilde 1546
Heist Brewery
Hi-Wire Brewing
High Branch Brewing Co
HopFly Brewing Company
The Hop Shop
Legion Brewing
Lower Left Brewing Company
Millstone Pizza and Taphouse
Monday Night Brewing
NoDa Brewing Company
The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery
Petty Thieves Brewing Co
Pilot Brewing
Pink Boots Society – Charlotte Chapter
The Porter’s House
Protagonist Beer
Queen City Craft & Gourment
Red Clay Ciderworks
Replay Brewing
Resident Culture Brewing
Rhino Market & Deli
Rock Hill Brewing Company
Salud Cerveceria
Southern Strain Brewing Company
Suffolk Punch Brewing
Sugar Creek Brewing Company
Tip Top Daily Market
Traust Brewing Company
Triple C Brewing Co.
VBGB Beer Hall and Garden
The Vintage Whiskey & Cigar Bar
Weathered Souls Charlotte
Wooden Robot Brewery

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