OMB to release Barrel-Aged Fat Boy Baltic Porter on Saturday, Jan. 24

OMB Fat Boy Baltic Porter 2015

Tickets for The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery’s release of Fat Boy Baltic Porter on Saturday, Jan. 24 are now on sale at the brewery’s online store. This year’s version of the Baltic porter was aged in Four Roses bourbon barrels. As they’ve done in years past, the brewery will release the beer as part of a big breakfast and bottle share event.

Tickets are $40 and include breakfast, a bomber of the beer, and a keepsake glass filled with a draft of the beer as well. Additional bottles will be $13.99, and there will only be a total of 500 bottles available. Unlike in years past, this beer will not be sold in bottles or available on draft elsewhere.

The breakfast will include a three-cheese and spinach frittata, smoked salmon, assorted bagels and cream cheeses, applewood-smoked bacon, Bratkartoffeln (home fries), Nuremburgers (brat sliders), fresh fruit, biscuits and assorted pastries.

A bottle share will be allowed at the brewery as well, and the doors open at 8 a.m. Purchase your tickets here.

Lenny Boy taps “CABREW Common” on Saturday, Jan. 17

On Saturday, Jan. 17, Lenny Boy Brewing Company will tap a beer they brewed with members of the Cabarrus Homebrewers Society (also known as CABREW). The group of homebrewers visited the brewery last November to help brew CABREW Common, which, as the name suggests, is a California Common-style of beer.

Lenny Boy is the state’s only certified organic microbrewery, and these hops — which were harvested from the CABREW Organic Hop Project at the Elma C. Lomax Incubator Farm in Concord — are organic as well.

Members of CABREW participated in the entire brewing process, including the addition of their homegrown Cascade, Chinook and Nugget hops. The homebrewers were then able to take some of the unfermented beer (called wort) home with them so that they could put their own unique stamp on the beer by experimenting with different yeasts, or by adding additional hops or other ingredients.

You’ll be able to try samples of these homebrewed versions in the back of the brewery, where the homebrewers will be gathered. Samples are free, but donations to the Elma C. Lomax Incubator Farm are encouraged.

In addition to the homebrews, you will be able to purchase two different versions of Lenny Boy’s CABREW Common: the first was fermented with saison yeast, while the second used a dry English yeast with fruitier notes.

The beers will be available as soon as they open at noon. A food truck will be parked outside from 4-9 p.m.

Opening Soon: Nanos in Huntersville and Cornelius

        Primal Brewery

Two new nanos are opening north of Charlotte this weekend.

Huntersville will get its first brewery when Primal Brewery opens their doors at noon this Friday, Dec. 26. The new brewery is located at 16432 Old Statesville Rd. in Huntersville. They will be pouring their IPA, a brown ale, an adjunct lager called “Lawnboy,” and two others called “Sweet Lou” and “Obsidian.”

Bayne Brewing, which I first wrote about back in September, will open at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 27 in Cornelius at 19507 West Catawba Ave., Suite I. They’re brewing on a two-barrel system. This will make them the third brewery in Cornelius, where they will join Ass Clown Brewing and D9 Brewing. For the grand opening, they’ll have the Smokey J’s BBQ food truck in the parking lot.

Olde Hickory Event Horizon release parties at Duckworth’s on Monday, Dec. 22

Olde Hickory Event Horizon

As they do every year, Duckworth’s will be holding release parties for Event Horizon, Olde Hickory’s popular bourbon barrel-aged stout. There will be two separate releases — one at the Park Rd. location, and one at the Duckworth’s in Huntersville — but both will kick off at 5 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 22.

While one of the biggest draws of the release is the ability to grab some bottles of the beer, Duckworth’s always adds to the occasion by tapping various vintages of the beer and allowing for a bottle share — and this year is no exception. They will sell bottles of this year’s Event Horizon as well as last year’s (with a six-bottle limit per person). They will also be selling vertical packages that have 2012, 2013 and 2014 vintages (this is the only way to purchase a 2012 bottle). In addition to all of this, they will also be selling 2014 Lindley Park (two bottles per person).

Both Huntersville and Park Rd. will be pouring 2013 and 2014 Event Horizon, and both will have a cask of 2014 Event Horizon with vanilla beans and Intelligentsia coffee. In addition, each location will have their own unique cask as well: for Huntersville, it’s a cask of 2014 Event Horizon with only vanilla beans; for Park Rd., it means a cask of 2014 Event Horizon with vanilla beans plus cinnamon.

As mentioned before, they are also encouraging people to bring bottles to share as well.

Festivus Party at Brawley’s Beverage on Tuesday, Dec. 23

Brawley's BeverageIf like Seinfeld’s Frank Costanza you, too, have had it up to here with Christmas, you’ll want to head to Brawley’s Beverage on Tuesday, Dec. 23 (the date referenced in Seinfeld) for a Festivus party. Yes, there will be a metal pole, and Brawley also promises an “airing of grievances” and “feats of strength.” But after all that, you’ll be able to enjoy the following beers: Great Lakes Christmas Ale, Fullsteam First Frost, Bell’s Christmas Ale, Sierra Nevada Celebration, Olde Hickory Event Horizon and Olde Mecklenburg Yule Bock. The party starts at 6:30 p.m., and lasts until you pin someone down during the feats of strength.

NoDa Brewing releases Hoppy Holidays

NoDa Brewing has released Hoppy Holidays, the first in a new series of specialty cans. Four-packs are currently available in the taproom and will make their way to area beer stores later this week, though it is limited.

Hoppy Holidays is a 6.5 percent IPA that has been dry-hopped with Simcoe and Chinook hops. After checking out the label, you might be wondering, “What does this IPA have to do with Christmas?”

Besides the cool label design, you mean? Well, Hoppy Holidays was also dry-hopped with spruce tips, adding even more to the piney notes that you’ll often find in IPAs.

NoDa Brewing Hoppy Holidays

Triple C Brewing Mini Tap Takeover at VBGB this Sunday, Dec. 14

Triple C Brewing Zest-a-Peel for VBGB UptownLast month, VBGB Beer Hall and Garden invited drinkers to name their new house beer. The beer, brewed by Triple C Brewing, is a sessionable blonde ale brewed with pilsner malt and orange peel. After sorting through hundreds of entries, VBGB selected Jim Rice the winner with the name “Zest-A-Peel.” For winning, Rice received a pair of Charlotte Hornets tickets and a party with $300 worth of food and drinks.

Rice and his friends could no doubt enjoy many beers at such a party, but Rice had something else in mind. He decided to donate the $300 in the form of a check to Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina, and in turn VBGB has decided to recognize his generosity by throwing a mini tap takeover this Sunday, Dec. 14. In addition to Zest-A-Peel, VBGB will be pouring Triple C’s Golden Boy, White Blaze Christmas Ale and Bourbon Barrel-Aged Up All Night Breakfast Porter.

Charlotte Beer Babes Third Anniversary & Women’s Causes Fundraiser

Charlotte Beer BabesFor three years, the Charlotte Beer Babes have helped women enjoy and appreciate beer while also raising funds and awareness for various charities. They will continue these commitments this Sunday, Dec. 14, at the group’s third anniversary party.

Held at Sycamore Brewing from 12-6 p.m., the event will be both a celebration of the beer babes’ first three years and a fundraiser for Carolina Breast Friends and Safe Alliance, two local women’s charities.

The group will be participating in a yoga class at 12 p.m., and a self-defense class at 1 p.m. Both classes are $10 each, with the proceeds going to the aforementioned charities (donation jars will be on hand as well). These classes will be held outside under Sycamore Brewing’s heated tent and are for women only.


The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery named Best Brewery Tour in America

The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery wins Best Brewery Tour

Yesterday, USA Today announced that its readers had named The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery as having the nation’s best brewery tour. This came after a month-long campaign in which the brewery went toe-to-toe with industry giants like Magic Hat Brewing Co., Boston Beer Co., Budweiser and several large, national craft breweries.

I think anyone who has taken a tour at The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery — whether at the old location or new — can tell you they offer a great tour. Their guides are always passionate and knowledgeable in describing how the brewery crafts beer in a traditional German way, and the beer speaks for itself.

While The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery looms large here as both the oldest and biggest in the city, they pale in comparison to some of the other nominees with whom they were contending for the title. And that makes the achievement all the more impressive. Consider that Magic Hat Brewing Co., which finished No. 2 in the poll, has 268,237 fans on Facebook. The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, by comparison, has only 15,450. Sam Adams finished fifth, even though their Facebook fans eclipse the one million mark.

But of course, if the brewery has shown us anything it’s that quality trumps quantity. They didn’t need hundreds of thousands of fans to win the poll; they just needed one really passionate community to rally around them, and that’s exactly what happened. Over the course of the last month, fans of the brewery voted every day and encouraged others to do the same. Local papers and news stations also wrote about the poll and shared the link throughout November.

This wasn’t just a win for the brewery, but for everyone that helped put the brewery into the national spotlight. And it’s especially a win for a city that is fast becoming a great craft beer town in its own right.

Charlotte Start-Up BrewPublik Delivers Beer To Your Door

Think of it as Pandora, but for beer. Instead of suggesting a song or an artist, you provide BrewPublik with a specific beer and they tailor your recommendations based off of that. And instead of having a song sent to your phone, the company ships the beer directly to your door.

“We’re about putting good beer in everybody’s hands,” said Charlie Mulligan, who with Zach Jamison is a co-founder of Charlotte-based BrewPublik.

The new start-up will hold an official launch party from 2-6 p.m. this Saturday, Dec. 6 in the South End Food Truck Lot at 100 W. Park Ave. The party is Lumberjack-themed with games to match, and guests are encouraged to wear their finest flannel. There will be food trucks, artisan s’mores, a beard and mustache competition and, of course, beer. If you RSVP to their Facebook event, you will receive one beer token.

You will also be able to see BrewPublik’s curation system firsthand by having them recommend beers for you. It’s a proprietary system based upon an algorithm that the two developed after tasting and rating their way through hundreds of beers.

Having beer delivered to your door is not in and of itself new, as there are a variety of beer of the month clubs. The difference, Mulligan says, is that BrewPublik offers a curated approach that these clubs lack.

“We want to give you a chance to broaden your horizons,” said Mulligan. “You’ll never get the same beer twice.”

BrewPublik offers three different tiers. For $15, you receive a one-time six-pack of six different beers. The $60 a month package gets you a case (24 bottles) of four different seasonal beers and the occasional rare beer, and the $90 a month tier gets you all that plus guaranteed rare beer in every crate.

BrewPublik also hopes to work with breweries to get exclusive beers brewed just for their members. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter for more updates.

BrewPublik Launch Party