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Time out from wine to give some necessary attention to beer! Whenever we go to Charlotte, NC to visit my son, we end up sampling some great beer. This time, we weren’t in town for an hour, when we stopped at Good Bottle Company, a new craft beer store and tasting bar that my son had been meaning to check out for a while.
The store is well stocked with beer from all over the country, as well as some international beers.
Along the back wall is a tasting bar with several taps and a map showing where the tasting tap beers are from.
My son insisted I try Word to Yo Moda, a red saison from Charlotte’s own NoDa Brewing Company. David tried Shift, a New Belguim Brewery Pale Ale. Sometimes I think my son’s first job washing dishes at The Brew Kettle introduced him to beer knowledge early on. We chatted with one of the owners about their business model, hours and interesting concept.
Before leaving, we entered the contest for the bicycle in the front of the store and headed down he street to the Savory Spice Shop to sample spices!
On Saturday, we finally had an opportunity to sample beers at two local breweries in the NoDa Arts District of Charlotte. Conveniently located next to each other – luckily this involved parking the car just once in the crowded parking lots – both were “hopping” on a dismal, rainy afternoon. The first was Birdsong Brewery,
founded in 2011 with a quest for better beer and a 5-gallon soup kettle. The outside deck was full of people and dogs and loud conversation.
Inside, it was standing room only with a few high top tables and a long pub bench table in front of a large window allowing views of the brewing facilities . A tour was in progress, an acoustic guitarist was entertaining in the corner and we enjoyed a round of very tasty beers. David said the Jalapeño Pale Ale was surprisingly sweet and not at all toxic. I enjoyed the Lady Bird Brown which had enough caramelly sweetness to please my palate.
Next stop, a run in the rain across the parking lot to NoDa Brewing Company.
NoDa was larger and noisier, but we managed a table for four and stayed a while tasting several of their beers.
David’s Hop Drop and Roll had enough IBUs to satisfy his craving for citrus bitterness and my Coco Loco was rich and nutty with hints of organic coconut.
It must have been edging toward dinner time, because servers from The Tin Kitchen Food Truck began circulating the room with menus and order forms. Coincidentally, we had met the owner a year ago tasting spices at Savory Spice and had a long conversation about his food truck enterprise back then. We had to order something! A sampling of Duck Confit tacos and a taste of chips and salsa for the table!
Sunday morning, we might as well have been home in Cleveland – gray skies, pouring rain and the culinary highlight of the weekend threatened by weather. We had planned on a day of fun in the sun back in the NoDa District at the Growlers Pourhouse Oyster Roast 2013. Growlers is a bar that specializes in “Craft Beer and Beer Food”. We got information from the Facebook page stating that the event was not cancelled, the bands would still play, and the food ticket price had been waived. For a $5 cover charge, we stood in the cold and rain to feast on buckets of steamed oysters, perfect pulled pork sandwiches, brats and pretzels. Of course – more beer!
Under dripping canopies, tables were set up with crackers, hot sauces, paper towels and oyster shucking knives. David tried in vain to steady the hot oysters in his cold fingers to pry. Luckily we found a young woman with advanced shucking skills who had already eaten her fill and who was happy to shuck for us so we could slurp some of the salty goodness of the steaming oysters. They ran out after our first bucket – but we had already had a plenty and the band and wet drinkers were getting loud.
Each beer I set down seemed to be snatched up by someone else before I could finish it, but our jeans were getting soaked and a warm movie theater was calling us. A memorable “pouring Pourhouse” experience that left us laughing – not “growling”!