If you’re looking for a spot that offers craft beer, then look no further cause Charlotte’s got you covered. The industry is exploding and the Queen City is right in the middle of it all. For seventy years, North Carolina had imposed a 6% ABV (alcohol by volume) restriction on beer sold and brewed within the state. Only 4 other states have such a severe restriction.
However, that all changed in 2005 when Governor Mike Easley signed House Bill 392 into law, which lifted the 6% ABV cap to 15%. The aftermath surprised almost everyone. Mecklenburg County is home to 18 breweries and there are estimates that at least 15 more are in the works. Not only has the interest in craft beer sparked since the passage of House Bill 392, but NC’s 132 craft breweries have added approximately 10,000 jobs to the economy.
Part of the reason that the industry has been so successful is because of the brewery-friendly laws in NC. For example, small breweries (those that make less than 25,000 barrels a year) can distribute their own beer to retailers, which means they do not have to share profits with a wholesaler. Additionally, unlike many other states, NC does not require breweries to also sell food. One of the best ways to spend a sunny, North Carolina afternoon is to enjoy a craft beer at your favorite Charlotte brewery.
Local favorites include Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, Sycamore Brewery, Birdsong Brewery Co., and The Unknown Brewing Co. Many of these locations are pet-friendly. What are you waiting for? Get out there and enjoy a smooth brew while supporting local business at the same time.