Restaurant News & Reviews

Plenty of holiday beer to go with that holiday cheer

The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery’s Weihnachtsmarkt returns to the brewery for its sixth season.
The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery’s Weihnachtsmarkt returns to the brewery for its sixth season. The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery

With Thanksgiving in the rearview and Christmas up ahead, this first weekend of December will be a busy one for many. Fortunately, there are also several beer events this weekend where you can knock out some shopping while you’re at it.

The latter is certainly true at The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery’s Weihnachtsmarkt, which returns to the brewery for its sixth season. While the name might be difficult to pronounce, the concept is easy to understand: Every year, the brewery’s Christmas market features local vendors selling their wares in the biergarten. Beneath strung lights, you can sip on the brewery’s winter seasonal beers (Dunkel, Bauern Bock and Yule Bock) as well as hot, spiced red wine. This year, the Weihnachtsmarkt runs for three weekends, including this Friday-Saturday (also Dec. 11-12 and Dec. 18-19).

This Saturday, Good Bottle Co. will open early at 9 a.m. for another one of its popular Good Morning breakfasts. In addition to beer mimosas and breakfast-inspired beers, Bethlehem Bread Co. will be in-house with its morning buns and toast, while Central Coffee Co. will supply the coffee.

Speaking of coffee, Triple C Brewing will release its bourbon barrel-aged Up All Night Breakfast Porter Saturday. Bottles of this coffee-infused treat will be $14 and available at noon when the taproom opens, but Triple C will host a bottle share at 10:30 a.m. with free coffee and donuts. The non-barrel-aged Up All Night is also out now and priced at $9 a bottle. If getting up early isn’t your thing, consider the brewery’s Oyster Roast from 5-8 p.m. Saturday instead.

The inaugural 12 Brews of Christmas Holiday Bar Crawl kicks off at 1 p.m. Saturday with a visit to The Unknown Brewing Co., before progressing to Wooden Robot Brewery at 2 p.m., The Beer Growler at 3 p.m., Good Bottle Co. at 3:30 p.m., Lenny Boy Brewing at 4 p.m. and Sycamore Brewing at 4:30 p.m. Bring a new, unwrapped toy to support Levine Children’s Hospital and Down Syndrome Association of Greater Charlotte, and you will receive special discounts at the stops and access to a hop-on/hop-off trolley. Details:

Birdsong Brewing will celebrate its fourth anniversary from noon-10 p.m. Saturday with live music, food trucks and a taplist filled with special beers. Highlights include The Pride, the brewery’s Belgian Abbey Ale; Puppies on Penguins, which is The Pride aged in red wine barrels; and Mongeese on Monkeys, the rum barrel-aged version of its Imperial Lazy Brown Ale. The brewery will sell drink tickets at the door for $6, with a portion of the day’s proceeds going to benefit Trips For Kids.

It’s fitting that so much is happening Saturday – Dec. 5 is the date that Prohibition was repealed in 1933. In observance, Brawley’s Beverage and Cheers Charlotte, a local beer podcast, will host a Repeal of Prohibition Holiday Celebration Rally from 5-10 p.m. More than just a celebration, though, the event will also shed light on some of the laws challenging today’s craft brewers. There will be lighthearted proclamations every 30 minutes regarding everything from self-distribution, homebrew and blue laws.

Take a break and rest up Sunday, because come Monday you’ll want to be at NoDa Brewing North End (2921 N. Tryon St.) for the release of Hoppy Holidays, its winter IPA. In addition to hops (Amarillo, Citra, Simcoe, Warrior, Chinook and Centennial), the beer is also brewed with fresh spruce tips. The brewery will selli four-packs of the 16-ounce cans for $12.99 as soon as it opens at 4 p.m., and the beer will find its way to bottle shops starting Dec. 14.