Food and Drink

Sweet and sour beers for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is often toasted with a bottle of red or white, but there’s no reason you can’t opt for beer instead.

Several local breweries are releasing new beers this Valentine’s Day weekend, starting with Sugar Creek Brewing’s “Pucker Up” sour saison release at 2:14 p.m. (get it?) this Friday.

Sugar Creek Brewing Pucker Up Sour Saison
Sugar Creek Brewing Company

It’s the second sour saison that the brewery has made, and supplies are limited. No bottles, and no growler fills; you’ll have to head to the brewery if you want to try this one. Co-owner Eric Flanigan describes it as a “labor of love” that uses Greek yogurt to inoculate the beer with lactobacillus, which in turn helps produce the lactic acid that gives the beer its tartness.

Triple C Brewing Chocolate Covered Pretzel Stout

Prefer sweet to sour? Triple C Brewing Co. will release its Chocolate Covered Pretzel Stout for the second time this Saturday at noon on draft and in 22-ounce bottles. The beer begins life as a 9.2 percent imperial stout that is then aged in bourbon barrels from Heaven Hill distilleries. When the brewers feel the beer has achieved the desired level of whiskey and wood, they move the beer to another tank to let it rest for a week on cacao nibs and sea salt. So where does the pretzel come from? The brewery uses German Pilsner, Special B, White Wheat and Chocolate Wheat malts to give impart those toasty, bready notes. The beer was a big hit last year, says founder Chris Harker.

“We work hard to promote all of our beers, but that one kind of took off on us,” says Harker, who notes that it’s an especially popular beer with the brewery’s female clientele. “That’s why we hold this release around Valentine’s Day.”

D9 Brewing Co. in Cornelius will hold a “She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not” tap takeover on Saturday. On one side of the taps will be three new “She Loves Me” beers, and on the other side three new “She Loves Me Not” beers. The party begins at 6 p.m., with live music inside and the Tiger Yakitori Food Truck parked outside.

Starting at noon on Valentine’s Day, The Beer Growler in South End will be doing “Crafts and Cupcakes.” For $20, you get two flights of beer and two cupcakes from the Cupcake Delirium food truck. To pre-order, e-mail

Beer Growler Crafts and Cupcakes

The Unknown Brewing Co. will be pairing two of its Russian imperial stouts — Krash the Kremlin and Dirty Commie Heathen — with four chocolates for just $12 this Sunday.

Edit: Matt McKenzie of Charlotte Magazine caught a couple that I missed. Birdsong Brewing will release two small batches. They’ll tap My Bloody Valentine, an IPA brewed with juice from blood oranges, at 6 p.m. this Thursday. Then on Valentine’s Day proper, they’re channeling their best Marvin Gaye with Let’s Get It On, a stout brewed with cacao nibs and cherries that were soaked in Kirsch and brandy. That one will be tapped at noon on Sunday.