Charlotte, we see you.
You all are a colorful, social, active, creative and beautiful bunch. That’s why we want to see even more of you.
Each month, a photographer will head out to Queen City hotspots to document, for an hour, what Charlotteans are doing when they’re not on the grind in a series we’re calling “Scene/Seen.”
We picked the first location based on Charlotte’s love affair with craft beer. This is Sycamore Brewing on a recent Saturday at 6 p.m.
So, were you seen?
“Take a pitcher, it’ll last longer,” says the staff T-shirts, and that’s exactly what many of the patrons do, ceremoniously passing them around the community picnic tables until the last suds are dribbled into pint glasses as the conversations get more earnest. The pitcher is the modern day peace pipe.
Humans outnumber dogs in the beer garden, but not by much. They should probably ask for the top one’s ID — not sure if he’s old enough to be served yet. There are water (not beer) bowls for him and his pals, though, as the temperatures seem to be flirting with the 100 degree mark these days.
Food trucks are common at breweries without kitchens, which is most of them in Charlotte. Hot Box Next Level Street Food was on the premises this Saturday with grub like shrimp po’boys and wings dressed with hot hoisin sauce.
Beers are served cold, outdoors, with a smile. It’s simple to see why Sycamore has such a dedicated following. The other reason is its location. A few impassioned customers shared that, other than the fresh beer, being within walking distance of the brewery was their main reason for stopping in.
The beers on tap are always changing here. The knowledgeable staff is eager, even when they’re busy, to fill in beer lovers and novices alike on their newest offerings. The brewery is on a mission to brew 100 unique beers in their first year of business, having recently released their 72nd original offering.
If one needs to burn off some of those beer calories, a vigorous game of ping pong or cornhole might be just what is needed. They’re also good tests of motor skills after drinking one of Sycamore’s high-gravity beers.
The day we were there was Sycamore’s Mid-Summer Concert. Of Good Nature was playing, sending their mellow reggae-funk sounds out to the masses along with Lovely Budz (pictured). The band members are regulars, even having a beer named after them—the Of Good Nature IPA.
The beertenders there look out on the gravel beer garden, watching the poor women who decided to wear heels that day stumble like newborn giraffes between the doors and their table. We’re sure they don’t secretly take any pleasure from it, though.
Selfies are allowed.
Sycamore has the feel of a backyard hangout. No one seems in a hurry, the conversations never seem to stray too far into the subject of work, and the sun and beer are the golden highlights in people’s weekends.
People drop by, have a brew (or wine) and make their weekend the time that fuels their week — not the other way around.
Remy Thurston @