Brew Ribbon Trail: An insider’s guide to a Q.C. beer crawl



Before setting out on your beer-drinking bacchanal, please make sure to have a designated or hired driver.

Stop One: Meet at Olde Mecklenburg Brewery (215 Southside Drive) and schedule the time to begin your brewery tour. Make sure to taste all three beers: Copper (my favorite Charlotte brew), Captain Jack and the seasonal specialty beer. Grab a bratwurst with sauerkraut. If there is a televised game you want to watch, be aware that OMB only has one screen and that it does not face the tap room.

Stop Two: Triple C Brewing Co. (2900 Griffith St.) has five beers to taste. A must-try is the refreshing, well-balanced Amber Smoke, with a nuanced smokiness and hint of spice. Depending on time and day, a food truck may be there. Triple C has multiple screens tuned to sports.

Stop Three: NoDa has three breweries. Begin with Heist Brewery (2901 N. Davidson St.), a brewpub in the renovated Highland Mills. At 5 p.m. the full dinner menu is offered. Order flat breads for the table as you try the beers. Order more food as needed: The roasted duck quesadilla is killer with the I2PA. Save room for two more breweries.

Stop Four: Stop into the friendly Birdsong Brewing Co. (2315 N. Davidson St.), with its spectrum of taste. Try all brews, including the unexpected flavor of the jalapeño pale ale (not yet named but rumored to be Hot for Teacher).

Stop Five: Walk across the street to NoDa Brewing Company (2229 N. Davidson St.) for “dessert.” Try the Coco Loco, a porter with layers of toasted coconut and chocolate, and talk to owner Todd Ford about his beers.

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