When Kit’s Trackside Crafts opens in historic downtown Pineville this Tuesday, it will bring a new concept to an old building.
“Most of Charlotte is brand new, so when you see this building that was built in 1912, there’s history in these walls,” said Kit Burkholder, general manager and namesake of the new tasting room and bottle shop. “This brick that is here, you can’t fake this character.”
Over the years, the building at 330 Main St. has housed a pharmacy, a feed ‘n’ seed, an antique store and more. Now, after extensive renovations, Burkholder will open the doors to Kit’s Trackside Crafts this Tuesday from noon to 10 p.m.
Burkholder is well known in the local beer scene from his time at Harris Teeter, where he oversaw the Ballantyne location’s beer and wine department before striking out on his own. He is also one of around 13 Certified Cicerones in the Charlotte area (think sommelier, but for beer).
Never miss a local story.
Beer will make up most of the bar’s 24 taps, though three will be reserved for ciders, two for wines, one for mead and another for kombucha. There will be a nitro tap and also a beer engine to pull cask-conditioned ale out of a firkin, as you might find in an English pub. It’s a traditional manner of dispensing a beer at a slightly warmer temperature and with less carbonation, and Burkholder would like to see more of it stateside.
“Not enough bars in the Charlotte area in my opinion do it,” he said, “and we received some nice reception from the local breweries when we announced we would have a firkin.”
The taplist will feature a mix of local, national and international brands, with eight of the taps always devoted to specific styles. Burkholder hopes to tap classic examples that have influenced today’s craft brewers.
“It’s all about beer education, and informing people of classic styles,” said Burkholder. “The taplist will definitely reflect that.”
Burkholder also plans to have the “freshest draft lines in Charlotte not in a brewery.” He’ll do that not just by routinely cleaning the lines, but by replacing them once a quarter.
“Putting the brewer’s best foot forward is always the priority,” he said. “If you put the brewer’s best foot forward, you’re going to make yourself look good, too.”
Outside of the draft selection, Kit’s Trackside Crafts will feature a retail selection with 250-plus bottles of beer, wine, cider and mead. While there is no kitchen, Kit’s Trackside Crafts will offer a menu featuring items prepared by the Community Culinary School of Charlotte, a nonprofit catering company and school that provides workforce development and job placement assistance.
The proximity of likeminded businesses like the restaurant Global and craft beer bar Pintville (directly across the street) is one of the reasons Burkholder chose to bring his business to downtown Pineville, he said.
“It’s pretty cool to see the scene exploding with some of the local businesses that are here,” he said. “We saw the potential and are just looking to add to the community.”
The grand opening for Kit’s Trackside Crafts will be from noon to 10 p.m. on Tuesday. The bar’s hours going forward will be 4-10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, noon to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 8 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/tracksidecrafts.
Event of the week
Galactic Nexus Release at Wooden Robot Brewery
When: Noon to 9 p.m. Sunday.
Where: 1440 S. Tryon St., Suite 110.
What: This Sunday, Wooden Robot Brewery will host its first bottle release. Starting at noon, the brewery will begin selling bottles of Galactic Nexus, its golden sour ale aged on raspberries. Like many of Wooden Robot’s sour beers, this one was aged in the brewery’s oak foeders (think of a big barrel). Each 500mL bottle is $16 plus tax, and there is a limit of four bottles per person.