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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 10, 2023

Local breweries nab 2023 North Carolina Brewers Cup awards

Charlotte-area breweries win one-third of the statewide honors 

by Brian Beauchemin

Charlotte breweries took home a slew of awards in a recent statewide competition. Photo courtesy

The 12th annual NC Brewers Cup competition, administered by the North Carolina Craft Brewers Guild, recently awarded 110 medals to breweries across the state. 122 independent North Carolina craft breweries entered 873 beers, making the Brewers Cup not only North Carolina’s largest beer competition but the largest one in the Southeast. 

Gold, silver, and bronze medals were awarded in 36 style-based beer categories. In today’s hop-heavy and adjunct-laden world, unsurprisingly, the three largest categories of this year’s competition were juicy/hazy style IPA, American-style IPA, and spiced beers. The competition also sports a unique category named NC Homegrown, which requires the beer to have at least 55 percent of its dry-weight ingredients sourced from North Carolina agricultural products. Southern Strain Brewing out of Concord won the gold in this category with its OK Lunch pilsner.   

“It really is a huge honor to be recognized at the NC Brewers Cup, especially in the homegrown category,” says Bart Roberts, head brewer and co-owner of Southern Strain. “We at Southern Strain take a lot of pride in using 100 percent N.C. malt in our brewery, so this category is very important to us. In the past years, we have placed second, third, and honorable mention. Finally getting the gold is a great feeling — especially with it being for our top-selling beer.”

A total of 22 Charlotte metro-area breweries took home 36 of the 110 medals awarded, with two entries earning honorable mentions. Winning entries ranged from light lagers to dark, roasty stouts showing the wide range of brewing chops Charlotte offers its patrons. 

Lower Left Brewing, located in the LoSo section of Charlotte, was a three-time 2023 winner. “We were elated for the recognition that Lower Left received at the Brewer’s Cup,” says owner and brewer Alex Shoenthal. “It’s an honor and quite humbling to take home a Gold and two Silvers.” The gold medal marks the second for the brewery’s American Pale Ale, Edge of Precipice.

The awards were announced just ahead of October’s N.C. Beer Month, a celebration of North Carolina’s craft beer and the unique destinations where it thrives — a great time to enjoy the fall weather and hoist an award-winning beer from one of our local breweries. Below are the local winners grouped by medals, brewery name, competition style category and beer name.

Gold Medal Winners

Lower Left Brewing
American Pale Ale,
Edge of Precipice

NoDa Brewing
Juicy/Hazy Pale Ale,
Radio Haze

Cabarrus Brewing
The Oath 

Devil’s Logic Brewing
Pale European Lager,

Pilot Brewing
Belgian Strong Ale / Monastic Ale,
Trappist Single
German-Style Bock, Dunkels Bock

Hoptown Brewing
Amber European Lager,
Hoptown Oktoberfest Marzen

Petty Thieves Brewing
Smoke Beers,
Year of The Boar 

Birdsong Brewing
American Amber Lager,
Party Starter

Hoptown Brewing
American Hybrid Styles, Sweet Wings Honey Wheat Ale

Lake Norman Brewery
Fruit Beers,
Blueberry Cheesecake Sour 

Divine Barrel Brewing
Wood and Barrel-Aged Beers,
Comfort In Darkness

Southern Strain Brewing
NC Home-Grown,
OK Lunch

Silver Medal Winners

Neoteric Brewing
Scottish & Irish Beer,
Dawn of the Red

King Canary Brewing
British Porter & Brown Ales,
Lord of the Wings

Southern Range Brewing
American Porter, Amber, & Brown Ales,
Deranged Red

Lower Left Brewing
American-Style IPA,
Fruit Beers, Ultimo Hombre 

Devil’s Logic Brewing
European Wheat (and Related) Beer,
Subliminal Messages
Historic Beer, Guided By Impatience

The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery
French Saison

Cavendish Brewing
Smoke Beers,
Chester Street Porter

NoDa Brewing
American-Style Lager,
Lager Days

Trolley Barn Fermentory
Pilsner-Style Lager,

Petty Thieves Brewing
Sour Fruit or Field Beers,

Town Brewing
Specialty Beer,
Order Of The Sun

Bronze Medal Winners

Pilot Brewing
British Pale & Bitter Ale,
Pub Ale; American Hybrid Styles, Xpression Session Blonde Ale

NoDa Brewing
American Pale Ale,
Hopsadaisical; Specialty Beer, Big SLURP

Town Brewing
Amber European Lager,
Rathaus Festbier

Neoteric Brewing
German-Style Bock,
Bock Jaw

Hopfly Brewing
Pilsner-Style Lager,

Middle James Brewing
Fruit Beers,
You’re Turning Violet, Violet

Lenny Boy Brewery
Sour Fruit or Field Beers,
Strawberry Jam

The Dreamchaser’s Brewery
Field & Spiced Beers,
Gin-Spiced CranDa


Honorable Mentions

Petty Thieves Brewing
European Wheat (and Related) Beer,
Mulholland Drive

Lost Worlds Brewing
German-Style Bock,
Hansa Bock

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