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Fresh Brewed Fashion

By Simone McDowell | Photography by Lisa Turnage

Posted: Thursday, Jun. 20, 2013

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From a bottle shop owner to a blogger, these six suds-obsessed guys show off summer’s hottest fashions—and dish on Charlotte’s beer buzz.

Jason and Jeff Alexander

Jason and Jeff Alexander

Founders of Free Range Brewing

What inspired you to start Free Range Brewing?

A love for food, beer and family! Having the opportunity, as brothers, to build and create something that we loved, and pay ourselves to do it… isn't that everyone's dream job?

What’s next for Free Range?

First things first: opening our brewpub. Down the road, as we dream and grow, we'd love to open a small farmhouse brewery that would focus on producing beer for statewide distribution and give us space to grow and raise food for the brewpub.

What are your homegrown favorites for your brews?

We love using ingredients that represent the community that supports us; this is also how we come up with most names for our beer. Some of our favorites have been our backyard brown turkey figs, honeysuckle, and artisan-malted grains from Riverbend Malt House [in Asheville].

Clothes available at Blank Canvas Boutique.

Chris Hunt

Chris Hunt

Owner of Good Bottle Co.

What piqued your interest in beer?

I grew up in Asheville and watched craft beer go from this novelty of a few small breweries and limited taps to a community of passionate brewers and just as passionate beer drinkers.

Tell me about when you first tasted good beer and knew it.

It was at Barley's in Asheville. Highland Gaelic Ale. I had been apprehensive to try a beer that wasn't light in color and also a little skeptical about a beer with a guy in a kilt on the bottle. But, once I took the time to learn about craft beer and appreciate the quality it was easy to become hooked.

So why open a bottle shop in Charlotte?

North Carolina has seen rapid growth in craft beer in the past few years but Charlotte was slightly behind Asheville and Raleigh/Durham when it came to breweries, bars, and beer stores. I felt like Good Bottle Co. could be part of the growth of craft beer in Charlotte and make beer a reason people came to and talked about Charlotte.

Clothes available at Neiman Marcus, South Park Mall.

Chad Henderson

Chad Henderson

Head Brewer for NoDa Brewing Company

When did beer first get your attention?

When I discovered the depth that the subculture of craft beer came with… I discovered the massive world of different varieties and stories behind the beers made with passion on smaller scale—and then fell in love with the community surrounding craft beer.

What’s the most innovative beer you’ve created?

That's really hard to say. We come out with a small batch every week with weird beers ranging from graham cracker chocolate smoked porters to fruit and herb infused berlinerwiesse sour ales. I really love the concept of our summer IPA, Ghost Hop.

You work at a brewery. That’s got to be fun. What’s the best part?

Seeing something you thought up on a whim become something that people rave about in the taproom. It is a great feeling to create something, but to see people react to it with even more enthusiasm than I had is awesome.

Clothes available at Blank Canvas Boutique.

Mark Iafrate

Mark Iafrate

Founder of CharlotteBeerBlog.com

Why start a beer blog?

I wanted to build a website where I could help people discover and enjoy Charlotte's craft beer culture the same way I had. Drinking good beer is fun, but nothing beats enjoying it with great people and that's what I try and encourage.

It’s a social thing then?

I've made some really close friends in the process. I also love putting on events to get people out and mingling with their neighbor over some pints. The South End Light Rail Beer Crawl was an absolute blast and is something I look forward to doing again.

So what’s next?

I'm going to try and shift focus to organizing more of my own events designed to showcase the local craft beer culture and I will continue to write and promote local events too. Apart from all that I'll be a rotating co-host on the Charlotte Beercast, a new podcast in Charlotte focusing on national and local beer topics and news.

Clothes available at Neiman Marcus, South Park Mall.

Kurt Logan

Kurt Hogan

Founder of Heist Brewery

How’d you become interested in beer?

I’m Irish…I love beer. I think everything growing up led me to be interested in beer. I love the science behind it; I love the creativity behind developing new recipes; I love everyone involved in the industry. There’s never a dull moment in the beer industry—and there’s lots of laughs

So what’s your favorite one?

That changes, but I’m big into Belgian IPAs right now. I’m a hophead at heart, but I love the complexity of Belgian beers. Lagunitas’ A Little Sumpin’ Wild, and Smuttynoses’ Homunculus are great Belgian IPA’s. As far as our own beer goes, my go-to is our I2PA. I think it’s a perfectly balanced double IPA—tons of hops hit you at first, but it has a nice, sweet malty finish.

Brewery, culinary destination, cocktail bar—what’s the philosophy behind Heist?

Life is short. I want to highlight and surround myself with talented individuals— people who are passionate about beer, food, cocktails, art, music … It’s very important to differentiate ourselves from other brewpubs and we’re doing that with different events in-house and out of house. If nobody is doing it, cool, we’ll be the first to do it.

Clothes available at SILVERFLY.

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