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

Birdsong Brewing Celebrates Three Years

Birdsong Brewing is hard at work on their new facility, but that won’t stop them from throwing one last anniversary celebration at the current brewery this weekend. They will celebrate their three-year anniversary with three days filled with special beers.

It all starts this Friday, when they tap Puppies on Penguins at 4:30 p.m. You might remember from last year that Puppies on Penguins is the brewery’s Belgian abbey ale, The Pride, that has been aged with cherries in red wine barrels. That one has some age on it, and a fresh batch of The Pride will be on as well. Then at 7:30 p.m., they will tap Nighthawk Postcards, which is a sour-mash stout brewed with raspberries.

On Saturday at noon, they will tap a bourbon barrel-aged version of their St. Tuber Abbey Ale. I had this one last year, and it was fantastic. It’s as fitting an “end to fall” beer as you’ll find. At 5 p.m. on Saturday, they will tap a red wine barrel-aged MexiCali Stout.

And then on Sunday, they’ll tap 2012 and 2013 versions of The Pride, so that you can compare them with this year’s batch. Not only that, but in addition to their Pride, they’re also tapping Joy –a beer brewed with the second runnings of The Pride, and then fermented with muscadines and Brettanomyces.

The Birdsong crew shared some of these details and talked about the new building on the latest episode of Cheers Charlotte.

D9 Brewing releases Black Ice Imperial Black Ale

D9 Brewing Company

Black Friday seems as good a day to release a beer as any, especially if that beer is D9 Brewing’s Black Ice.

The Cornelius brewery will release their 10 percent Imperial Black Ale at the brewery  on Friday, Nov. 28. The beer is brewed with cacao nibs and aged on whiskey-soaked oak, and it will only be at the taproom for Thanksgiving weekend.

The brewery will also host a bottle share at the brewery at 2 p.m. and will award the first snifter of Black Ice as well as a free growler to the person wearing the most ridiculous winter hat. This will be awarded at 4 p.m., right when Black Ice starts pouring.

Outside, Karma Kafe will be serving food, and Vel-crow will take the stage at 6 p.m. to play some funk.


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

OMB Fat Boy Baltic Porter 2015

If you have visited The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery recently, you might have wondered why they were pouring Fat Boy Baltic Porter. After all, that beer is typically released in January with a breakfast and bottle share.

Don’t worry, that’s still happening. The beer was brewed a little earlier this year so that some of it could age in Four Roses bourbon barrels. It is this portion that will make its way to bottles, which will be released on Saturday, January 24.

Only 250 tickets will be sold for the 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.

A bottle share will be allowed at the brewery as well, and the doors open at 8 a.m. The brewery will sell tickets to the event online. Expect that to happen in a couple of weeks.