Many Charlotteans enjoy sipping on locally brewed pints after yoga classes, run clubs, and socializing with friends, but do you know the people who actually craft the frothy refreshment people love so dearly? In this series on Charlotte’s brewers, you’ll get to know the people and the passion behind the brew.
When Chad Henderson (pictured above) met Todd and Suzie Ford at the Pizza Peel many years ago, he had no way of knowing that his dreams of being a professional brewer were going to come true. The Fords were looking for a brewer to head their new venture when friends suggested Henderson. “They offered me the job, I accepted, and I’ve been working at my dream job ever since,” recalls Henderson.
Meet Chad Henderson
Hometown: Chapel Hill, NC
Education: B.S. in Exercise Physiology, Appalachian State
You probably don’t know: His father is one of the nation’s foremost Elvis impersonators.
Started brewing: 2007
After graduating college, Henderson was working in the medical field, but always knew that he ultimately wanted to brew beer for a living. Though he knew that it would be challenging, he credits his father’s example as inspiration for turning his dreams into reality.
“Though my father’s career choice doesn’t have anything to do with brewing beer,” Henderson says, “his pursuance of a non-traditional career path inspired me to also turn my passion into a career.”
NoDa’s massive brew stats
– 16 beers on tap at their N. Tryon location
– 15 on tap at their N. Davidson location
– 4 beers available in cans year-round
– Limited can releases
– Products available in over 500 locations in the greater Charlotte area
– Weekly NoDable Beer
…That’s a lot of beer. Variety is important to the mission at NoDa Brewing Company. “The greatest advantage of offering high diversity is that we have beer for every occasion,” Henderson says.
Originally a NoDable release, Hop Cakes is a great example of how investing in variety can pay major dividends. When Hop Cakes released in cans on Monday, Feb. 22, Henderson says, “In 30 minutes we blew through 80 cases and we had to limit sales to three four-packs per person. It was pretty insane.”
Henderson was also recently named co-owner of NoDa Brewing Company. When I asked him if that changed anything for him, he explained what an honor it is for him to be an owner in the business: “To be able to put your name next to the people who were nice enough to bring you on board, to put your name next to theirs, it’s a pretty big honor.”
Beer lovers can expect a can release of the Par 4 Session IPA (4% ABV), which is scheduled for late spring and, further in the future, barrel aged sour beers.
Photos: Taylor Slaughter, @nodabrewing