Restaurant News & Reviews

NoDa’s original taproom to close this Saturday for extended period

Suzie Ford – owner of NoDa Brewing Company along with her husband, Todd – at the bar of NoDa Brewing Company (2229 N. Davidson St.) in 2014.
Suzie Ford – owner of NoDa Brewing Company along with her husband, Todd – at the bar of NoDa Brewing Company (2229 N. Davidson St.) in 2014. mhames@charlotteobserver.com

This Saturday, NoDa Brewing is going to party like it’s 2011.

That’s the year it opened its original taproom at 2229 N. Davidson St., which it is now having to temporarily close to the public while a condo is built on its parking lot. While this new building will have its own parking deck to accommodate patrons, it could take more than a year for the brewery to have a permanent solution in place.

After outgrowing its original taproom, NoDa Brewing opened a new production brewery last October at 2921 N. Tryon St. The “North End” brewery is where it now does the bulk of its business, both on the brewing and taproom side. It did keep its original home open on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, which was welcome news to taproom regulars.

“It’s more the neighborhood spot, kind of a little bit like ‘Cheers,’ ” said Suzie Ford, co-owner and president of the brewery. “And especially when we opened North End, it was even more of an intimate space where some people would go there over North End. It was a little more quiet, a little more laid-back.”

To anyone with an appreciation for what Ford calls the “O.G.” space, she wants to stress that the brewery fully plans to reopen when it can. And while the taproom won’t be open regularly for the public, there will be plenty of activity at the brewery. The original 15-barrel brewhouse will still get quite a bit of work, as it will be used to brew the weekly NoDable series of beers. These were previously brewed on a small pilot batch system, and kegs were usually kicked every Tuesday. Now, the brewery plans to start delivering kegs of these NoDable beers to select accounts around the city.

The brewery is also ramping up its barrel-aging and sour programs. Its new base sour, called Boba Brett, has been aging in stainless for a couple of months, but will move into big, oak barrels called foeders as soon as they arrive. (NoDa has two on the way, which will help the brewery pump out a lot more sour beer.)

While Boba Brett isn’t yet ready, there will be several special beers on tap at the brewery from noon to 10 p.m. this Saturday. It will have a few new-ish specialty beers, as well as the following old favorites: Rob’s Salted Caramel Stout; Monstro, the brewery’s bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout; and Hot Pistol, the chocolate, raspberry and habanero stout that took Best of Show in the brewery’s Top of the Hop Pro-Am homebrewing competition. (The latter was originally brewed by David Tollefson and Glenn Cutler, founders of www.ncbeerguys.com.)

Working the bar will be Erica Cline and Matt Virgil, who were two of the six employees that were there on day one. The brewery is also working to bring in a food truck and live music, ideally with a band that played the taproom in its early days.

Though the taproom will no longer hold regular hours, Ford hopes she can host some special events there in the future – even if it means bussing people over from the new brewery, located just down the road at 2921 N. Tryon St.

“We’re definitely going to be doing some beer dinners, some education,” said Ford. “Chickspeare will be performing over there at Christmas time.”

But if you really want to send the taproom off in grand (if temporary) style, make plans to attend this Saturday. After all, next time it opens its doors it could be partying like it’s 2018.

Event of the week

Legion Brewing’s Friends and Beerfest: IPA Edition

When: 2-8 p.m. Aug. 6.

Where: 1906 Commonwealth Ave.

What: Next Saturday, Legion Brewing will throw its own festival celebrating the most popular style in craft beer, the India pale ale. In the Plaza-Midwood brewery’s parking lot will be a variety of local breweries, all pouring IPAs (many of which were created just for this festival).

The full lineup of breweries includes: Birdsong Brewing, Blue Blaze Brewing, Free Range Brewing, Heist Brewery, Lenny Boy Brewing, Newgrass Brewing (from Shelby), NoDa Brewing, Rock Bottom Brewery, Salud Beer Shop, Sycamore Brewing, Three Spirits Brewery, Triple C Brewing, The Unknown Brewing Co., and Wooden Robot Brewery.

Tickets are $10 and include a four-ounce sampler glass and three beer tickets (purchasing in advance gets you four of these tickets). Additional tickets may be purchased during the event. Details: www.legionbrewing.com/news.

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