If you’re exploring Lake Norman, chances are it won’t take long before you run into a craft brewery. Whether you’re looking for a simple pale ale, a solid IPA or you’re feeling adventurous enough to try bacon maple ale or smoked ham corn on the cob stout, there’s something available for every palette.
Be sure to check out these great local breweries:
Ass Clown Brewing Co.
If you like to walk on the wild side when it comes to your beer, Ass Clown is the place to go. Self-proclaimed as a “brewery specializing in unique beers,” they serve up everything from ambers, IPA’s, sour ales, pale ales, stouts and blondes, to special seasonal beers such as orange mint or peach fig, and limited release beers such as dark chocolate sea salt sour stout or chai tea hefe. With flavors too numerous to name, you’ll want to check them out in person. Feel free to bring your own food or visit the food trucks available on most Saturdays and during special events. 10620 Bailey Road, Cornelius.
Bayne Brewing Co.
This family-owned, nano beer brewery specializes in top-notch, small batch beers and offers pale ale, brown ale, IPA, stout and a variety of seasonal flavors such as coconut, coffee stout and pumpkin. There are always eight beers on tap, so be sure to check their website to see what they’re currently offering. And don’t miss some of their unique special events like the Craft Beer Olympics or Yoga Brewski. 19507 W. Catawba Ave., Cornelius.
D9 Brewing Co.
What began as simple home-brew parties in the D9 founders’ neighborhoods, has now turned into a 10-barrel production brewery, offering international IPA, ancient sour ale, Cascadian dark ale and other imperial and oak aged beers. Brush up on your beer education while you’re there and learn all about the brewing process from start to finish while enjoying the finished product. 11138-C Treynorth Drive, Cornelius.
Lake Norman Brewing Co.
Lake Norman Brewing Co. offers IPA, brown ale, amber, blonde, stout, raspberry wheat ale and more, along with seasonal flavors such as orange sunset and pumpkin ale. There are usually at least eight beers available on tap and they fill growlers too, so why not find your favorite and take some home with you.? 159 Barley Park Lane, Mooresville.
Primal Brewery offers a laid-back atmosphere where visitors can relax at a high-top table and enjoy the fireplace inside or lounge in the sun at one of the many picnic tables outside. With six beers on tap, they serve up IPA’s, ales, stouts and more, including many with a unique name (and a story behind it). And since they offer four, five or six beer flight options, you’ll never have to choose just one. 16432 Old Statesville Road, Huntersville.
If you’re not a beer drinker or you’re just in the mood for a great meal, Lake Norman is never lacking in delectable dining options. From simple and relaxed to stylish and sophisticated, there’s a perfect spot for every appetite, every budget and every mood.
Don’t miss some of these new local gems (and a few old favorites):
Aliño Pizzeria, 500 S. Main St., Suite 401, Mooresville: If you are looking for classic Neapolitan pizza, this is the place to go. Using ovens made of volcanic sand from Mt. Vesuvius, the chefs at Aliño’s make your pizza from scratch to table in just 90 seconds. They also use pizza dough, mozzarella cheese and tomatoes that are imported from Italy; no imitations here.
Chillfire Bar & Grill, 121-A Cross Center Road, Denver: The team at Chillfire make a commitment to acquire as many products as possible from local and N.C. suppliers, including their meats, produce, cheeses and even beer. Then they masterfully combine those ingredients into sophisticated and delicious meals you won’t soon forget.
Duckworth’s Grill & Taphouse, 16609 Statesville Road, Huntersville: Duckworth’s, a local favorite, may have started as a cheese steak joint, but their menu now includes burgers, tacos, steaks, pizza, wings and more. But perhaps one of the more popular features is the beer list – with a whopping 112 beers on tap at the Huntersville location. Don’t forget to ask about mixing beers and the Beer Club.
Epic Chophouse, 104 S. Main St., Mooresville: A favorite in downtown Mooresville, Epic offers fine dining in a comfortable atmosphere. As the sign outside says, they specialize in steaks, chops and seafood, but offer other items as well. If you’re dining at “off” hours, check out their LTD (or limited time dining) specials in the lounge.
Fork!, 20517 N. Main St., Cornelius: Fork! focuses on small -plate menu items that are creative and sourced from local farmers. With their “From the farm to the Fork!” motto, they use ingredients that are natural, organic and hormone/antibiotic free. On a nice summer evening, grab a seat on the beautiful wrap-around porch.
Kindred, 131 N. Main St., Davidson: At Kindred, owned by a Davidson family, the chefs at Kindred take their experiences from traveling and working all over the world and use them to offer a perspective on dishes of the New South, changing the menu weekly and sourcing ingredients from local and regional purveyors.
Lineberger’s Cattle Co. Steakhouse, 6747 E. N.C. 150, Sherrills Ford: Lineberger’s, set in a log cabin, offers a laid-back, rustic atmosphere and a huge variety of steaks, as well as chicken, ribs and seafood. It has an amazing salad bar with a seemingly endless amount of options.
Midway Boathouse Grill, 8693 N.C. 150, Terrell: Midway Boathouse Grill offers beautiful views from its spot on Midway Marina. You will enjoy affordable, home-cooked meals along with a collection of nostalgic lake paraphernalia and some of the best grits in town. Come by car or boat.
Tortuga Grille, 628 S. Main St., Troutman: Blink and you might miss Tortuga Grille, but you definitely don’t want to. Featuring a variety of burgers, salads and entrees, this Caribbean-themed restaurant offers Wagyu beef burgers and complimentary pita and tzatziki sauce before your meal.
Twisted Oak American Bar & Grill, 121 N. Center St., Suite 104, Statesville: Located in downtown Statesville, Twisted Oak not only offers Southern favorites such as fried green tomatoes, shrimp and grits, and salt and pepper catfish, but also 24 craft beer taps and a wide selection of whiskey and bourbon.