Your guide to the best beer bars and places to find craft beer in south Charlotte

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Carolina Beer Temple Ayrsley

We all know that NoDa, Plaza Midwood, and South End (including LoSo) are meccas for breweries and beer bars. What about the two and half kids and mini-van set that lives in south Charlotte that, like Old School’s Frank the Tank, don’t have time to head towards center city with all those soccer practice runs and trips to Home Depot?

Thankfully, beer bars are starting to pop up in south Charlotte to help quench the craft beer thirst of us suburbanites. From Steele Creek to the Arboretum, here are some essential beer bars to check out.

Author’s note: For this list, I’m considering south Charlotte to be the southern suburban communities along the beltway. I’m leaving out Matthews because they have a scene that warrants an article of its own. Also, I’m only focusing on beer bars, not restaurants, full bars, etc.

Casual Pint

14126 Rivergate Pkwy

Casual Pint

Located in Steele Creek’s Rivergate Shopping Center is one of Charlotte’s newest beer bars, the Casual Pint. With 35 rotating taps, the locally owned franchise fills a huge beer gap in south Charlotte.

Casual Pint prides itself on only offering seasonal and one-off specialty beers on its taps. While that means no Hop Drop & Roll, you can find cans that are local standards among its retail selection of over 300 bottles available for take-home or onsite consumption.

The only real critique is that the atmosphere does fall towards the sterile corporate feel found in most franchises. Still, it’s a comfortable spot to grab a beer or two when you’re supposed to be shopping at Home Depot.

Other important stats:

Dog friendly – Yes, on the patio only

Family friendly – Yes

Non-beer offerings – Four wines on tap, along with cider on tap and in retail

Food available – Casual Pint’s food menu features appetizers like wings and Southwestern rolls, along with flatbreads

Events – Tap-takeovers, live music, Music Bingo

Growler fills – Casual Pint offers crowlers and growler fills. You can bring in your own growler or purchase one there.

Carolina Beer Temple at Ayrsley

2127 Ayrsley Town Blvd Suite 101-B

Carolina Beer Temple Ayrsley

Owned by the same beer ministers that brought us Temple Mojo Growler Shop, Seaboard Taproom & Wine Bar and the original Carolina Beer Temple in Matthews, Carolina Beer Temple at Ayrsley just celebrated its first anniversary with a bang. From open until close, the bar was jammed with revelers craving one of the rare and hard to find beers available on draft that day, like Hi-Wire Brewing’s Pulcinella Imperial Stout.

On the regular, CBT Ayrsley offers 26 taps. Four of those taps are dedicated to Belgian beers and the rest are heavily focused on local and regional craft breweries, with a smattering of national craft breweries mixed in. Don’t like anything on draft? CBT Ayrsley offers over 800 bottles that you can either enjoy onsite or take home with you. The best part? I work there two nights a week, so come by and say hi!

Other important stats:

Dog friendly – Yes, on the patio only

Family friendly – Yes

Non-beer offerings – 28 wines by the glass and bottle, along with cider on tap and in retail

Food available – Scoops of snacks like Cheetos or Fruit Loops (just because) or snacks of sustenance, like giant hot pretzels, pimento cheese or hummus (all locally made), plus the option to bring in your own food.

Events – Tap takeovers, board game nights, trivia nights, run club, music trivia and special events, like rare beer days

Growler fills – Yes, bring in your own or purchase one there

Pintville

329 Main St., Pineville

Pintville

Pintville is the original of Pineville’s two dueling beer bars. The other, Kit’s Trackside Crafts, is across the street and mentioned below. Pintville offers 24 taps of the freshest beers they can find. Its goal is to only pour beers kegged within the past seven days. You’ll find local favorites, like Juicy Jay IPA next to one-off and seasonal releases, like Birdsong’s Honey Pie Double IPA. Pintville is also one of only a few on this list that still serves Anheuser-Busch InBev owned Wicked Weed.

In comparison to Kit’s, Pintville offers more seating, but in a much darker setting. Even with the drab interior, customers are friendly and it is easy to strike up a conversation with fellow beer lovers. Pintville’s retail selection is also almost non-existent.

Other important stats:

Dog friendly – Yes, both inside and outside

Family friendly – Yes

Non-beer offerings – A dozen or so wines by the glass and bottle, along with a cider on tap and in retail

Food available – Food trucks a few nights a week, plus the option to bring in your own food

Events – The occasional tap take-over

Growler fills – Yes, bring in your own or purchase one there

Kit’s Trackside Crafts

330 Main St., Pineville

Kit’s Trackside Crafts

Like its competitor across the street, Kit’s Trackside Crafts has a very Cheers-ish neighborhood feel, interrupted by the occasional train hammering through. The beer bar boasts 24 taps, highlighting mostly local beers with a few national and international craft beers sprinkled in. For the most part, those beers are seasonal or one-offs, as your Juicy Jays of the world are available on draft at restaurants and bars up and down Main Street in Pineville. The bright natural light from the front window, coupled with the exposed brick walls, creates a warm and welcoming environment.

Kit’s differentiator in the marketplace is its focus on beer education. The beer bar has one cicerone on staff and offers occasional beer education sessions, like lessons on style, beer history or how to spot off flavors.

Other important stats:

Dog friendly – Yes, on the patio only

Family friendly – Yes (juice boxes and Lunchables are available for kids)

Non-beer offerings – Three wines on tap, along with a small selection available by the glass and bottle and ciders and meads available on draft

Food available – Food trucks a few nights a week, plus the option to bring in your own food. Soon, Kit’s will offer charcuterie plates.

Events – Aforementioned beer education sessions, tap takeovers, and Music Mingo

Growler fills – Crowlers only

Growler USA

12206 Copper Way #124

Quenching Ballantyne’s craft beer thirst is another locally owned franchise, Growler USA. The tiny but mighty beer bar boasts the largest tap list with 104 total taps. Of those, at least 85 are beer, with the others often pouring wine and ciders. On those taps you can find anything from local and national favorites to one-off and seasonal offerings. Like everyone else on this list, beers do rotate out daily. While Growler USA doesn’t offer a retail selection, they do fill growlers.

The bar is bright and welcoming, with a touch of that corporately refined atmosphere found amongst franchises. A distinguishing factor for Growler USA is the number of TVs. Four may not sound like a lot, but that’s more than the rest of the bars on this list, making it a great spot to catch a game while enjoying your favorite craft beer.

Other important stats:

Dog friendly – Yes, on the patio only

Family friendly – Yes

Non-beer offerings – A half-dozen wines on draft and a variety of ciders

Food available – Full kitchen cooking up everything from burgers and wings to salads and wraps

Events – Music trivia, trivia, tap takeovers and live music on Thursdays and Saturdays.

Growler fills – Yes, bring in your own or purchase one there

Vintner Wine Market

8128 Providence Rd

Rounding out the list is Vintner Wine Market. Don’t let its name fool you, Vintner has a legit beer selection with 16 taps that focus heavily on hard to find IPAs and sours from both local and national craft breweries. And yes, you can find offerings from the likes of Wicked Weed. Beyond the taps, they have a respectable retail selection, with around 800 bottles.

The atmosphere is a little date-night-ish, given the overarching wine theme of Vintner. Make it a bro-date or arrange a babysitter for a date night with your main-squeeze. With a food menu of small plates and flatbreads, along with a respectable selection of both beer and wine, there’s something for everyone!

Other important stats:

Dog friendly – Yes, on the patio only

Family friendly – Yes

Non-beer offerings – Vintner Wine Market is a wine bar and retailer first, so the selection is ample

Food available – Yes

Events – Live music on the weekends, tap-takeovers, beer pairing dinners and special events like Christmas in July

Growler fills – No

Although there are plenty of great beer bars in South Charlotte, don’t be like Frank the Tank; keep the streaking to a minimum.

 Photos: Bryan Richards

6 COMMENTS

  1. South Charlotte should also include places like Weddington, Waxhaw, Matthews, Mint Hill, Fort Mill, Lancaster etc… I feel like these areas are consistently left out of articles about great places to go. Breweries and Craft Bottle Shops do exist outside of Charlotte itself.

      • Greg…..good stuff! Just spit some coffee out my nose!!

        Dear Anita: South Charlotte is self explanatory. And for all others…..the godforsaken area of Steele Creek is actually “south west” Charlotte. Nobody in south park will be caught eating or drinking in Rivergate….nor shall they be galavanting in “south east” charlotte, in the pristine places around 74, albemarle, or idlewild.

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