New Duckworth’s Ballantyne Location to Open This Fall

Duckworth's BallantyneUpdate: The new Duckworth’s Ballantyne location opened on Nov. 1. Enjoy!

Duckworth’s Grill and Taphouse will open its third location in Ballantyne this fall, moving into the building that previously held Buffalo’s Southwest Cafe. Rob Duckworth said the Ballantyne Duckworth’s should open in October, with construction beginning in the next couple of weeks.

At 6,500 square feet, the Ballantyne Duckworth’s will be around 2,300 square feet larger than the Park Rd. location. The new location should feature 80 taps plus a beer engine for cask ales. The Park Rd. location is well known for its Tuesday and Thursday draft specials, and the Ballantyne Duckworth’s will offer similar specials on Mondays and Wednesdays. This way, Duckworth’s can offer specials four days out of the week.

Like the Park Rd. taphouse, the Ballantyne Duckworth’s will feature many unique and often rare beers, but Rob Duckworth noted they would try to keep the taplists different so as to offer plenty of variety between the locations while always keeping “the staples” available.

The food menu will be identical to that of the Park Rd. Duckworth’s. The overall layout will also be similar, but the new location will have more TVs, more seats and a covered patio with heaters for the cold weather.

Beer Advocate’s Alström Brothers to visit Charlotte

Beeradvocate.com’s Alstrom brothers, Jason and Todd, will be visiting Charlotte on May 11th for what they have termed a “quick overnighter” centering around the release of Olde Mecklenburg Brewery’s Captain Jack Pilsner.

“They brew some of the best lagers in the country and easily rival many of the German breweries I have tried from,” said Jason Alstrom.

Jason also mentioned that they are going to try to visit Kickstand Burgers-n-Bar, Mac’s Speed Shop (South Blvd), Taco Mac, Dandelion Market & Rock Bottom Brewery on Wednesday, May 11. On Thursday, they hope to visit Duckworth’s and another spot before flying back.

Here is the tentative schedule:

Wednesday, March 11

Kickstand
12-1:00pm

Quick stop at Brawley’s

Mac’s (South Blvd)
2:00 – 3:30pm

Olde Mecklenburg Brewery
4-8 p.m.

Revolution Pizza
8:30-10 p.m.

Late night will probably be Dandelion Market & Rock Bottom.

Thursday, May 12

Taco Mac
11am-12:45 p.m.

Duckworth’s
1-3:30 p.m.

This will be the first time the Alstrom brothers have visited the Queen City. The debate on the beeradvocate.com forums has been taking place steadily over the last couple weeks over where exactly the “bros” should stop with very clear supporters from Duckworth’s, Vintner Wine Market, Mac’s Speed Shop, and Brawley’s among many others.

The simple fact that these guys, who are major players in the national craft scene, have deemed Charlotte important enough to visit is really a great thing for the city. Their admiration for Olde Mecklenburg’s beers can be seen clearly in their consistently glowing reviews of their beers, so it is no surprise that OMB is the focus of the visit, but that having been said, there are a lot of great breweries throughout the country so their visit, in my mind, speaks to more than just Olde Meck. They have expressed a strong interest in trying my of the local beers, including Four Friends who have recently been working on a new IPA with the help of Duckworth’s general manger Mike Habbouche. It is safe to say that they will also be interested in offerings from Olde Hickory, Foothills, and the plethora of Ashville breweries that can be found in the Charlotte area.

I made the point on the beeradvocate.com forums that while it is fantastic that these guys are visiting, there will inevitably be some great places that get passed over, not because they are not worth visiting, but because of the time constraints that come with an overnight visit. Hopefully this does not spawn any hard feelings or animosity, but a continued effort to keep the scene growing in order to warrant a return visit from the Alströms, and craft drinkers in general. At the end of the day, I hope they have a great time and I will certainly look forward to meeting them, as they have done a lot for craft beer in this country.

The Captain Jack Pilsner kickoff will run from 4-8 at OMB and include live music and food.

Mike Brawley kicks off Charlotte Craft Beer Week with Black and Blue II

It seems fitting that one of the earliest disciples of craft beer in Charlotte should be the person to kick of Charlotte Craft Beer Week. Brawley’s Beverage has been serving the Charlotte area for nearly ten years and Mike has been a driving force in the growth of craft culture in the Queen City from the beginning.

Friday, March 11th marks the second annual Black and Blue beer and bluegrass event at the Visualite Theater downtown. The theme for this year’s event is Woodstock featuring North Carolina barrel-aged beers. Translation: Big party with big beers.

The lineup for the event includes several local heavy-hitters, including the viciously sought after white whale, Olde Hickory The Event Horizon, which has been blowing up the beeradvocate.com trade forums for weeks now. Other offerings include Mother Earth Silent Night, Highland Cherry Wood Smoked Chocolate Cherry Stout, Catawba Valley Whiskey River IPA, Foothills Pappy Van Winkle Barrel Aged Total Eclipse Stout, Foothills Char Aged IPA & Porter Blend on cask, Green Man Kill Devil Imperial Stout aged in rum barrels, and Duck Rabbit Barrel Aged Milk Stout. This is one of the best lineups for any Charlotte Craft Beer Week event, and the fact that they are all North Carolina breweries is even more impressive.

Oh, and by the way, there will be a half-barrel of HopSlam too, just in case anyone cares…

Tickets for the event are $25 and include a personal pint glass for you to carry around and reuse as you peruse the unique lineup and slowly start to forget your own name. There are no limits on pours. The show starts at 6:30 and ends at 9:00 which should give people plenty of time to go through a wide selection of brews and provide enough time afterwards to sober up before attempting to drive home. The Visualite is conveniently located near several cafes and restaurants that should be able to aid in this process.

Very few sporting events kick off their seasons with the biggest game of the year. In our culture of competition, the journey itself provides the storyline for what ultimately amounts to a culminating match between seasoned juggernauts. It provides incentive for us to stick with the teams, glued to our seats over the course of a grueling schedule with the hope that our team winds up surpassing all others to will their way to victory.

And then, there is NASCAR.

Charlotte Craft Beer Week 2011 promises to be another great celebration of craft beer in the Queen City and Black and Blue is going to be the Daytona 500. Viewed by many as the biggest race of the season, it is also the first, a phenomenon unique in sports. Does that mean the rest of Charlotte Craft Beer Week is going to be a disappointment? Definitely not. Like the Brickyard 400 and the Coca Cola 600, strong events from Duckworth’s, The Grapevine, and others will definitely stand tall and provide awesome and unique experiences all their own. But the main event is tomorrow.

Gentlemen (and ladies), start your (beer) engines.