10 of the best Carolina breweries just outside of Charlotte, plus beers to try from each


With 258 breweries in North Carolina and more than 58 in South Carolina – there’s no reason to stay inside Charlotte’s city limits for beer. Venture to another county, over the state line or another town for a new brewery experience. There are breweries with award winning beer, special events and group exercise programs.

Go find your next favorite brewpub:

North Carolina

High Branch Brewing Co.
325 McGill Ave Suite 148, Concord

Vibe: High Branch has a laid-back taproom with a deck and patio. Local artists’ work is featured in the tap room.

Beers to try: Hazy IPAs, sours, stouts and farmhouse style beers

Events and extras: Look for yoga on Thursdays and can releases most Fridays. Their annual art event is April 14, with live music and artists’ work for sale.

Twenty-Six Acres Brewing Company
7285 West Winds Blvd NW, Concord

Vibe: The large taproom has a clean, industrious look.  Families with kids and dogs enjoy the outdoor seating area.

Flagship beers to try: Corban Avenue (blonde ale with subtle notes of honey), Industrious People Ale (American IPA named after the first settlers of what is now Concord), 26 Union (an oatmeal stout with nine distinct grain varieties) and Unicorn Milk (cream ale with Mexican vanilla and blueberries)

Events and extras: Plan your visit around trivia on Tuesdays, yoga on Wednesdays and Sundays and Comedy Nights on the first Thursday of the month. Look for a food truck every day and four or five on Food Truck Fridays during warm weather months. St. Patrick’s Day, Mardi Gras and New Year’s Eve are big events at the brewery.

Five of the coolest beer can designs from NC breweries

Some cool, clean or unique artwork can really catch your eye when you’re shopping for beers. Here are what we think are five of the coolest beer can designs from NC breweries.

Ass Clown Brewing
10620 Bailey Rd E, Cornelius

Vibe: Ass Clown is known for creating lots of unique beers. Its taproom is cozy – yup, it’s a bit on the smaller size.

Flagship beers to try: Orange citrus and chocolate sea salt stout

Events and extras: Go for trivia on Mondays or the music on Fridays and Saturdays.

Cavendish Brewing Company
207 North Chester St., Gastonia

Vibe: Think giant living room where you don’t have to clean up after your friends – lots of couches, TVs, games, and a Wii for kids. The outdoor space has picnic tables, Jenga and cornhole.

Flagship beers to try: Grizzly Brown Ale or the Elder Thing Saison, which features elderflowers and won the 2017 Gold medal in the NC’s Brewer’s Cup.

Events and extras: Cavendish celebrates big with themed events, such as “Stranger Things”, “Harry Potter”, “Dr. Who” and St Patty’s Day. They also have yoga and game night on Wednesdays; run club and trivia on Thursdays and live music on Saturdays.

Cavendish Star Wars themed party

Sweet Union Brewing
3717 E Independence Blvd, Indian Trail

Vibe: Look for a welcoming and eclectic atmosphere with reclaimed wood and an outside patio.

Flagship beer to try: Astro Pterodactyl IPA, a west coast inspired IPA with notes of grapefruit

Events and extras: The brewery hosts yoga on Wednesdays, trivia on Thursdays, and food trucks and music on the weekends.

Southern Range Brewing Co.
151 S. Stewart St., Monroe

Vibe: Southern Range has a hometown feel – where everybody knows one another, and first-time visitors feel welcomed. It also has outdoor seating with a stage for bands.

Flagship beers to try: Hopsequences, a New England style IPA, brewed with citra hops, mosaic hops and Idaho 7 hops.

Events and extras: Bring a friend to trivia on Wednesdays, run club on Thursdays and comedy night one Thursday every month. Live music Fridays and Saturdays.

The Dreamchaser’s Brewery
115 E. North Main St., Waxhaw

Vibe: This brewery is in the old Waxhaw Volunteer Fire House.

Flagship beer: Yard Breather New England-style IPA, which features some tropical notes. This beer won the 2017 Gold for East Coast IPA at the U.S. Open Beer Championship.

Events and extras: Try your luck at Mingo (music bingo) on Tuesdays, trivia on Wednesdays, Open Mic Night on Thursdays or music and food trucks on Friday and Saturday nights.

South Carolina

Amor Artis Brewing
204 Main Street Suite 101, Fort Mill, SC

Vibe: Brewery is on Main Street in Fort Mill.  Local woodworkers and artists preserved the floors and brick, which date to pre-Civil War. They also have patio seating.

Flagship beers to try: Crusin’ Down the Street in my 6.4% (uses six different hops throughout the brewing process), Hoppy New Beer (pale ale brewed with Amarillo, centennial hops and mosaic hops) and Sospeso Coffee beer (blonde ale brewed with coco nibs and dry hopped with coffee from Sospeso Roasters in Waxhaw). Sours should be available in the next few weeks.

Events and extras: Brewery hosts Run club on Mondays and yoga and a group bike ride on Wednesdays.

Amor Artis yoga

Full Spectrum Brewing Co.
2180 Carolina Place Drive, Suite 101, Fort Mill, SC

Vibe: Laid back, family friendly tap room with some outdoor seating

Beers to try: Upstate Orange Wheat and Reaper Roast Amber, which is brewed with the Carolina Reaper pepper.

Events and extras: Get a group together for team trivia on Thursday nights.

The CharlotteFive team takes on the Reaper 

Members of CharlotteFive see if they can identify the peppers used to brew some area beers, including Full Spectrum’s Reaper Roast Amber. Can they survive the heat?

Legal Remedy Brewing
129 Oakland Ave, Rock Hill, SC

Vibe: The taproom has 24 beers on tap, all brewed on site. Their full-service kitchen uses locally sourced ingredients. The menu features salads, charcuterie boards and house-smoked meats. Patio features fire pits and outdoor dining.

Beers to try: Alibi Pale Ale (American ale with hints of pine and citrus), Double Indemnity Double IPA and World Court Mocha Blonde Stout (blonde stout with a coffee aroma and a hint of white chocolate)

Events and extras: Head to LRB for live music with local musicians on the patio. The run group meets Tuesdays and The Old Town Farmers Market is Saturday mornings from March through May. Plan ahead for the free Brewery Tours at 2 p.m. most Saturdays.

Photos: High Branch Brewing Co., Twenty-Six Acres Brewing Company, Ass Clown Brewing, Cavendish Brewing Company, Sweet Union Brewing, Southern Range Brewing Co., The Dreamchaser’s Brewery, Amor Artis Brewing, Full Spectrum Brewing Co. and Legal Remedy Brewing.



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