Since then, both NoDa and Birdsong have moved to new, larger locations, and many more new breweries have popped up in the Charlotte area. Hartis has watched as Charlotte’s brewery scene has boomed and become something of an expert on the city’s beer scene. He even wrote the book on it — “Charlotte Beer: A History of Brewing in the Queen City.”
— Daniel Hartis (@DanielHartis) October 25, 2013
Hartis joined The Good News Is podcast this week to talk about Charlotte’s beer scene, the city’s brewing history and its future.
He even tries to answer the question that it seems like everyone is asking in Charlotte: How many more breweries can the city handle?
“You go to any of these breweries on the weekend, whether they’re new or established, and you’re going to see big crowds at all of these breweries and often times throughout the week as well,” Hartis said. “So given that I just feel like any talk of a bubble is premature right now.”
— Daniel (@CharlotteBeer) October 22, 2015
Charlotte’s recent beer history started with The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery opening in 2009, but beer has been brewed in the city for decades.
“Like any other town or city, there was beer well before prohibition. In colonial times people were brewing in taverns and that sort of thing,” Hartis said. “And then we had just a lot in the ’90s, for that time there were a handful in the ’90s. And unfortunately a lot of those breweries closed around 2000 …
“You want to talk about a bubble, there really was a bubble in the 90s and it just burst and very few lasted after that point.”
Asheville has long been known as North Carolina’s beer mecca, but Charlotte is getting close. If nothing else, it’s matching or beating Raleigh and Asheville when it comes to variety.
“I think Charlotte has better or greater diversity within the beer styles than maybe Asheville does or Raleigh does,” Hartis said. “I feel like Charlotte’s just got this great mix of breweries doing different things.”
Love Charlotte beer news? Hartis recently launched the “Brews: Charlotte on Tap” weekly newsletter. Subscribe here. You can also find the stories here on CharlotteFive, in the “Brews” section under the Food & Drink tab.
Other things discussed on this week’s episode.
– Sarah checked new bar The Broken Spoke and new restaurant Kid Cashew, and the reviews are … mixed.
– ABARI game bar getting close to opening and I’m really excited. Sarah wonders if it’s going to be full of all dudes.
– Could Crystal Lagoons be coming to Charlotte? Sarah is a fan of waterfront in Charlotte; I think fake water features are dumb.
— CharlotteFive (@CharlotteFive) February 12, 2016
– The one thing you should be doing this weekend. (Hint: It involves science and alcohol.)
The Good News Is — presented by The Charlotte Observer and powered by OrthoCarolina — is a weekly podcast with a similar mission to what we do here at C5: To get you CharlotteSmart, fast with fun, interesting and useful news about the city. It’s hosted by Corey Inscoe and Sarah Crosland.
As always, you can find our episodes on Soundcloud and iTunes. You can follow us on Twitter @TheGoodNewsCLT, on Instagram @TheGoodNewsCLT, on Facebook and you can shoot us an email to email@example.com.
Photos: T. Ortega Gaines/Charlotte Observer; Vanessa Infanzon