When it comes to New Year’s Eve, there are two kinds of people: There are those who don their finest attire for expensive parties in uptown Charlotte, and there are those who quietly welcome in the new year, watching the ball drop from the comfort of their couch.
But it doesn’t have to be this binary. There is a happy medium, and you can find it at Charlotte’s breweries. Here the beer flows like wine, the atmosphere is relaxed, and there’s no stuffy dress code (though you’re free to flaunt your Charlotte brewery style).
Here, you’ll find a roundup of area breweries that will be celebrating when the clock strikes midnight this Saturday (and a couple spots to help you recover the next day). Best of all? Most of them are free, unless noted below.
Bayne Brewing Co.
Bayne Brewing Co. in Cornelius will host a New Year’s Eve party with all-you-can-drink beer and catered food (Swedish meatballs, baked ziti, chicken marsala and sausage and peppers). Tickets are $40 and limited in number. Details.
Cabarrus Brewing Co.
Cabarrus Brewing Co. in Concord will celebrate its first New Year’s Eve with a party that kicks off at 9 p.m. (the brewery opens at noon, though). The Revelwood Trio will play live music until midnight, when there will be a keg drop and champagne toast. Details.
D9 Brewing Co.
D9 Brewing Co. will ring in the New Year at its taproom in Cornelius starting at 7 p.m., with live music from Nate Randall and Sal’s Roadside Eatery parked outside. Details.
The DreamChaser’s Brewery
As someone that grew up in Waxhaw, I can tell you the town isn’t known for its nightlife. But that’s changing thanks to businesses like The DreamChaser’s Brewery, which opened in May. The brewery will celebrate its first year this New Year’s Eve starting at 8 p.m. with opener Kevin Marshall, followed by Jordan Middleton and the Low End Full Band. Details.
Lenny Boy Brewing Co.
Lenny Boy will host a dance party starting at 6 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, with live music from Aarodynamics. Glasses of champagne will be $4, and the brewery’s flagship beers will be $15 a pitcher. Lenny Boy will tap the light and effervescent Brut Force, a beer modeled after the Bière de Champagne style, as well as their new Dry Hop’d Kettle Sour. The A Bao Time food truck will be serving inside the brewery’s warehouse. (The two announced a partnership earlier this month.) Details.
Red Clay Ciderworks
Red Clay Ciderworks has several fun things lined up for its New Year’s Eve party this Saturday. From 7-9 p.m., they will offer four cider and small plate pairings with The Gourmand Chef’s Heather DeNittis. Tickets can be purchased online for $35. There are plenty of free options after that, including a “late-night appetizer buffet” at 10:30 p.m. and a raffle at 11 p.m. At midnight, there will be a free cider toast. Details.
Seaboard Taproom and Wine Bar
OK, so Seaboard Taproom and Wine Bar isn’t technically a brewery yet (they’re eyeing a July opening), but the new Matthews tasting room will celebrate New Year’s Eve with beer and wine specials, free hors d’oeuvres, and branded champagne glasses that are $6 filled. There will be a champagne toast at midnight. Details.
Southern Range Brewing Co.
Waxhaw isn’t the only Union County town to get its own brewery this year — Monroe got one, too. Southern Range Brewing Co. will be open until 1 a.m. on New Year’s Day, with a DJ and a champagne toast at midnight. Enjoy the brewery’s house beers or choose from the bar’s 16 taps. Details.
Sugar Creek Brewing Co.
Sugar Creek Brewing Co. will ring in the new year with its version of Belgium’s St. Sylvester’s Eve, a holiday commemorating the death of Pope St. Sylvester. At 9 p.m., they will tap their new Apricot Tripel, which was aged for 14 months with Brettanomyces (a wild yeast) in barrels that once held cabernet sauvignon. The brewery added 42 pounds of fresh apricots to kick off a second round of fermentation, and then finished it by dry-hopping with Citra. At midnight, they will tap two kegs of Sugar Creek XV, a small-batch beer that comes in at 15 percent ABV. Details.
Sycamore Brewing will once again host a New Year’s Eve celebration, with live music from Late Night Special. Tickets can be purchased at the taproom for $30, which includes entry, two beers (or glasses of champagne) and catering from Papi Queso Food Truck (which now operates out of Sycamore’s kitchen). Details.
Thirsty Nomad Brewery
Thirsty Nomad will cap its first year in business with a New Year’s Eve party from 7 p.m. to midnight. Tickets can be purchased online for $15 each, and include hors d’oeuvres, a Belgian beer toast at midnight, and a flight of four beers. The brewery recommends a flight of its four new American IPAs (one from each of its four brewers). Through this “internal brewer competition,” you can decide which IPA will work its way into their regular rotation. Details.
New Year’s Day
Birdsong Brewing Co.
Last year, I kicked off my New Year’s Day at home with a michelada made with Birdsong Brewing’s Jalapeño Pale Ale — but I should have visited the brewery, where they were whipping up their own house-made bloody beers. They’ll do it again this Sunday, with a complimentary bagel bar from Owen’s Bagels and coffee from Central Coffee Co. The brewery will also release Puppies on Penguins, its red wine barrel-aged Belgian-style abbey ale brewed with cherries. Bottles of the beer will be $10 each, and the beer will be available on draft as well. Details.
Free Range Brewing
For the second year in a row, Free Range Brewing will ring in New Year’s Day with free bowls of soup from 12-7 p.m. Local chefs Clark Barlowe, Marc Jacksina, Jamie Swofford and Rodney Roden will each bring a soup, and there will also be a pickle bar and a variety of rolls from Duke’s Bread. Your Mom’s Donuts will be on-site from noon to 4 p.m., John Emil will play from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., and the brewery will feature guest taps from Burial Beer Co. and Fonta Flora Brewery. Details.
Photos: Cabarrus Brewing Co., Lenny Boy Brewing, Sugar Creek Brewing, Birdsong Brewing Co.