Restaurant News & Reviews

This weekend’s beer releases: New IPAs, sour ales, summer stouts and more

The Chamber by Wooden Robot Brewery in NoDa is releasing the first five bottles of the Rèserve Noir series this Saturday.
The Chamber by Wooden Robot Brewery in NoDa is releasing the first five bottles of the Rèserve Noir series this Saturday. Courtesy of Wooden Robot Brewery

This weekend in Charlotte beer will be a busy one, with popular beers making their return and the introduction of brand-new offerings that include IPAs, fruited beers, sour ales, summer stouts and a cocktail-inspired beer.

▪ Just ahead of National Creamsicle Day — which, if you haven’t marked your calendars, is next Wednesday (Aug. 14) — NoDa Brewing Co. will once again release Dreamsicle. The IPA — brewed with Amarillo, Centennial and Citra hops as well as orange peel and vanilla bean — will be released on draft and in cans (for $12.99 a four-pack) at 2 p.m. Friday.

▪ Catawba Brewing has three new cans coming out at the brewery this Friday. Lemon-Ginger Zombie is a spin-off of the brewery’s popular White Zombie. HOPness Haze IPA is a New England-style IPA brewed with Citra, Zythos and Pacific Jade hops. And Clear Ridge Dry IPA, a new year-round beer, is a Brut IPA brewed with Citra, Mosaic and El Dorado hops. All three beers will be available for $12 a six-pack, or $14 for a mixed six-pack with two of each beer.

▪ Heist Brewery, too, has a triple-can release this Friday. Look for the return of Strange Clouds hazy IPA, Hive Fives blonde ale with honey and Druid Pils (at $15.99, $12.99 and $11.99 a four-pack, respectively).

▪ If you haven’t yet been to The Chamber by Wooden Robot Brewery, this Saturday is as good a day as any. That’s because the brewery’s newly opened NoDa location will host its first bottle release starting at noon. And not just one bottle — the brewery is releasing the first five bottles of the Rèserve Noir series. Those include the base Rèserve Noir, a barrel-aged dark sour ale; three different fruited variants (cherry, fig and plum); and a Double Barrel Rèserve Noir that was aged in red wine and whiskey barrels. The base beer is $16 a bottle, the fruited versions are $18, and the double-barrel version is $20 (that one has a two-bottle limit per person, while the rest are four per person). Quantities are limited.

▪ Lenny Boy Brewing has a first of its own this Saturday as well. The brewery will release its Apricot Jam in cans for the first time. The 7-percent ABV kettle sour is brewed with more than 1,000 pounds of apricots in each batch. Four-packs of 16-ounce cans will be available in the taproom for $12.99 when the brewery opens at 11 a.m. The brewery will have vendors on site, and live music from The Abbey Elmore Band.

▪ Divine Barrel Brewing will release cans of Dirty Reindeer this Saturday. The beer is inspired by a cocktail that brewer and co-owner Ben Dolphens once tried in a Louisville. It was simple enough: Stiegl Grapefruit Radler with a shot of bourbon. To mimic the cocktail, Dolphens brewed a wheat beer, fermented it on ruby red grapefruit, and then aged it on oak chips soaked in Buffalo Trace bourbon. The beer comes in at just 4.3 percent ABV, and will be released in four-packs of 16-ounce cans for $14.99 when the brewery opens at 11 a.m. Saturday.

▪ Concord’s High Branch Brewing Co. is foregoing the refreshing route and instead releasing five variations of Summer Body, a stout with variants brewed by “Dem Yeasty Boiz” (aka the High Branch brewing team). In addition to the base stout, versions include: Jadrian’s variant, brewed with chocolate, coconut and almonds; Brent’s variant, with bananas, cinnamon and coffee; TJ’s variant, with cinnamon, habanero peppers and vanilla bean; and a bourbon-barrel-aged variant. That last one is available in bottles for $13.99 each, but only for on-premise consumption. The other four will be available in a mixed four-pack of cans for $25.99 each (limit of one per person). All of the beers will also be available on tap.

So there you have it: a weekend packed with new local beer releases, and something for everyone. And next week? Though it’s still August, be on the lookout for the first taste of fall when pumpkin beers and Oktoberfests start showing up.

Event of the Week

The annual Loso Block Party returns from 2-11 p.m. this Saturday to Lower South End, the name given to the brewery district that’s sprung up along Yancey Road and Southside Drive. Both of those roads will be closed to traffic, allowing you to walk between the participating businesses (including The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, Doc Porter’s Distillery, GoodRoad CiderWorks, Great Wagon Road Distilling Co. and The Broken Spoke, Lower Left Brewing Co., Queen Park Social, Red Clay Ciderworks, Sugar Creek Brewing Co., The Brewers at 4001 Yancey and Thirsty Nomad Brewing Co.). There will be live music throughout the day, tents and seating, and areas for children and dogs. Admission is free.