Charlotte’s palate is expanding to include more regional and national craft beers, and with more than 60,000 beers available in the US, navigating the landscape can get confusing for beer aficionados and new fans alike.

Growlers Pourhouse, owned by Jeff Tonidandel, a Certified Cicerone beer professional, uses a 6-point list that guides their beer picks.

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Read on to see which beers pair well with Growlers’ signature “beer food”, including their award-winning Reuben sandwich.

Style. Growlers Pourhouse has 14 taps and all of their beers are chosen by style. The list changes seasonally, but you can be assured that for a specific style in a certain time of year, you’re getting one of the best beers on the market. Take an IPA for instance. You’ll find Wicked Weed Pernicious, NoDa Brewing’s Hop Drop & Roll or Bell’s Two Hearted. Pair with this beer food: Fried Chicken Taco.

Strategic buying. The pourhouse carries some beers by brewers so they can be on their short list for exclusive small batches at another time of year. Smart. One of those hard-to-get beers is Founder’s Kentucky Breakfast Stout, available in February. Pair with this beer food: NC Oysters.

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Seasons. Customers like to see different types of beer throughout the year, particularly seasonal ones. For this time of year, people are drinking fresh hopped beers, which will transition into maltier winter profiles as the year goes on. Pair fresh hop flavors with this beer food: Housemade Sausages.

Cask ales. Having a 1936 refurbished Gaskill and Chambers Beer engine means Growlers Pourhouse can select cask ales — otherwise known as unfiltered and unpasteurized beer — to carry in their establishment or they’ll work with brewing partners to make the brew for them. One of these is the GPH Pale Ale. Pair with this beer food: Reuben sandwich.

Reserve bottles. This doesn’t always mean the beer is more expensive. What it does mean is meeting people’s desires to try unique, hard to find beers. Take Blackberry Farms Brewery’s farmhouse ale, “From Tennessee with Smoke.” It’s a delicious, unique brew with hops that have been hickory smoked for seven days. Pair with this beer food: Honey Barbeque Wings.

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Larger trends. Trends in other markets — NYC, Chicago and San Francisco, just to name a few — can influence the flavors, trends and brewing techniques in Charlotte. Charlotte loves craft beer, but with the massive growth of cocktails in town, Growlers Pourhouse also touts an incredible cocktail list using thoughtful homemade touches. The Pumpkin Mule, for example, is made with a syrup reduction from Uinta Brewing’s Punk’n beer, combined with ginger ale and vodka. Pair the Pumpkin Mule with Growlers Pourhouse’s complimentary popcorn.

Want to know what’s on tap at Growlers Pourhouse all the time? Follow them on Untappd and visit their website.

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