Southern Brew News June/July 2015 : Page 1
Finds Far-Out Art By Steve Deason in Space Charlotte, North Carolina has the larg-est city population in the Southeast despite its metro area ranking fourth. After decades of exodus to the suburbs, families are embracing a new lifestyle in Charlotte’s urban communities. Craft Breweries are an ingredi-ent of this new lifestyle in the fast growing, historically y industrial, neighborhoods of f South End and NoDa. South End -From Rail to Rail A railroad line was built from Charlotte to South Carolina in the 1850’s fueling industrial development south of the ce center city. As businessmen worked to revive this area they repurp repurposed many of the industrial buildin buildings for residential and com-merci mercial use. The revival got a big boost in November of 2007 when Char Charlotte’s first light rail line ope opened roughly parallel to the old railroad. Along the LYNX Blu Blue Line are seven breweries w with at least one more opening in the fall. To visit all eight by ra rail would involve walking a total to o of 4.42 miles according to o MapQuest. Bland Station: From c center city your first stop is fo for Wooden Robot Brewery ( (.4 miles from the station) w which opens this month. C CEO Josh Patton says the I By Bill Pl B Plott tt Se e Tour p.2 t was almost a given that Straight to Ale’s beer names and promotions would play off a NASA or science theme. “Yeah, it was a natural fit,” said founder/CEO Dan Perry of the Huntsville, AL brewery. “We kind of grew up with it around here.” It’s just a short drive from the brewery to the Space and Rocket Center with its tre-mendous displays and popular Space Camp. So, those galactic kinds of themes were natural and predictable. One of the early STA beers was Monkeynaut IPA (7.25% abv), a tribute to Albert, Able, Gordo, Miss Baker, Bonny, and Goliath, the pioneering primates who paved the way for manned space flights. Another tribute is Wernher von Brown Ale in recognition of the German scientist who is sometimes called the father of the U. S. space program. Then, there is Laika Imperial Stout , named for the Russian space dog, and Gorillanaut , a 9% big brother of Monkeynaut. Two artists have created a popular series of posters and labels to celebrate and promote the Straight to Ale brews. The first four images were by Browan Lollar, who is now better known as the guitar-ist with St. Paul & the Broken Bones, an up-and-coming Alabama rhythm and blues band. The current artist is Matt Broadhurst. “Both of the artist have done a great job for us,” said Perry. The original pieces by Lollar were paint-ings used for posters when the beers were See Art p.3 Tennessee ..................4 Florida ......................5 Alabama/Mississippi ...6 Louisiana ...................7 Georgia ................... 11 The Carolinas .......... 14
Touring Charlotte's Craft Brew Neighborhoods
Charlotte, North Carolina has the largest city population in the Southeast despite its metro area ranking fourth. After decades of exodus to the suburbs, families are embracing a new lifestyle in Charlotte’s urban communities. Craft Breweries are an ingredient of this new lifestyle in the fast growing, historically industrial, neighborhoods of South End and NoDa.
South End - From Rail to Rail
A railroad line was built from Charlotte to South Carolina in the 1850’s fueling industrial development south of the center city. As businessmen d to revive this area they r p posed many of the industrial ngs for residential and comial use. The revival got a big oo t in November of 2007 when rlotte’s first light rail line p ned roughly parallel to the d railroad. Along the LYNX ue Line are seven breweries ith at least one more opening n the fall. To visit all eight by rail would involve walking a total of 4.42 miles according o MapQuest.
Bland Station: From enter city your first stop is for Wooden Robot Brewery (.4 miles from the station) which opens this month. CEO Josh Patton says the brewery is inspired by Belgian farmhouse brewing techniques. The flagship beers are Willie Saison brewed with Willamette Hops, and Overachiever Pale Ale which packs “IPA flavors” into a Belgian influenced Pale Ale. Patton describes the 1600 sf taproom as “… comfortable .. sort of a coffee shop vibe.” The Unknown Brewing Company (another .47 miles) according to owner Brad Shell differs because “We work hard to create a culture … all about people having adventures“ and cites the many zany activities held in their large taproom since opening in 2013. West coast hops are added seven times to Unknown’s best seller, Over The Edge IPA, which like Silverback Stout is available in cans.
East/West Blvd. Station: Sycamore Brewing (.31) opened late 2014 with twenty ever changing taps. Countryside IPA and Southern Girl Blond Ale are their most popular. Lenny Boy Brewing Company (another .1) opened in 2012 as Lenny Boy Kombucha and added space and beer brewing in 2013. Owner Townes Mozer says LBB offers wild ales and is NC’s only certified Organic Brewery.
New Bern Station: Triple C Brewing Company (.17) opened in 2012 with a tap list ranging from Light Rail Pale Ale (4.5% ABV) to a Double IPA they call Baby Maker (8.5% ABV). The popular 3C IPA and Golden Ale are available in cans. Co-owner Scott Kimball says they have reworked their 20k sf of space to accommodate a new canning line and to support the largest barrel aging program in Charlotte.
Scaleybark Station: Sugar Creek Brewing Company (.67) opened in 2014 as “Charlotte’s first Belgian-inspired craft brewery”. Witbier, Saison, Pale Ale and Belgian Dubbel are available year round as well as a creative list of seasonals. The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery (.1) is the oldest (2009) and largest craft brewery in Charlotte. OMB expanded considerably last year on a new 8.5 acre site. The OMB beers, Festhall and Biergarten were inspired by owner John Marrino’s experiences in Germany. OMB’s altbier style Copper is a top seller throughout the city.
Woodlawn Station: Dr. Mwatabu Terrell says his Three Spirits Brewery (.35 miles) is on track to open in the fall. Terrell describes the beers “as comfort beers, beers that taste like beer. Most are between 4.5 to 5.5% ABV.” Terrell expects Southern Bliss, a golden ale with apricot, to be among the more popular in the “old school” pub style taproom.
NoDa - A Rail to Come
When the Lynx Blue Line is built north to the UNCC area it will cut through the “arts district” known as NoDa, short for North Davidson. On a 2.6 mile stretch of North Davidson Street are six craft beer outlets.
1016: Birdsong Brewing Company opened in 2011 and moved into a much larger space this year. Brewer Conor Robinson says Higher Ground IPA is their top selling beer overall and Jalapeno Pale Ale is tops in the taproom. Robinson speculates the spring release of Jalapeno Pale Ale in cans may change this ranking. Birdsong’s taproom features a special pilot batch each Thursday.
2229: NoDa Brewing Company opened in 2011 and will open a second location in August 1.2 miles away. The 2921 N. Tryon facility will quadruple production, triple taproom space, and add a canning line. Co-owner Suzie Ford says “We will be turning our existing (location) into a specialty shop with barrel aged beers, sours and one-offs.” Hop, Drop’n Roll IPA is NoDa’s most popular beer and won Gold at the 2014 World Beer Cup. Coco Loco, a robust porter with coconut and cocoa nibs won Silver at the GABF in 2012. Ford proudly shares that “Every Tuesday we make a new beer on our pilot system. In the 3+ years we've been open, we've never repeated a beer.”
2320: Brothers Jason and Jeff Alexander plan to open their 3 barrel Free Range Brewing this summer. Jason says they often used repurposed materials while creating their family friendly farmhouse style brewery . Food plans include fresh and fermented foods sourced locally until the brothers can produce their own. According to Jason, they will not have year round beers but instead will produce “something for everyone” often using seasonal ingredients from local farms.
2909: Heist Brewery is a beautiful brewpub with a varied food menu and a double digit brew list which is heavily Belgian influenced. 3306-B: Salud Beer Shop has recently added a 1 barrel system and will collaborate with homebrewers.
Plaza-Midwood and beyond
Co-owner Philip Buchy will open Legion Brewing later this summer in the “hip pedestrian” neighborhood of Plaza-Midwood. Buchy has a background in construction and for Legion is revamping a building that housed Brodt Music Company for sixty years. Legion will be the only non-chain brewery in the city that didn’t start in South End or NoDa, but not for long. Blue Blaze Brewing and Dukbone Brewing locations have yet to be announced and one brewer said he knew of at least a dozen more being considered. Visitors and residents are sure to enjoy yet another Charlotte craft brew neighborhood soon!
Straight To Ale
Finds Far-Out Art in Space
It was almost a given that Straight to Ale’s beer names and promotions would play off a NASA or science theme.
“Yeah, it was a natural fit,” said founder/CEO Dan Perry of the Huntsville, AL brewery. “We kind of grew up with it around here.”
It’s just a short drive from the brewery to the Space and Rocket Center with its tremendous displays and popular Space Camp. So, those galactic kinds of themes were natural and predictable.
One of the early STA beers was Monkeynaut IPA (7.25% abv), a tribute to Albert, Able, Gordo, Miss Baker, Bonny, and Goliath, the pioneering primates who paved the way for manned space flights.
Another tribute is Wernher von Brown Ale in recognition of the German scientist who is sometimes called the father of the U. S. space program. Then, there is Laika Imperial Stout, named for the Russian space dog, Gorillanaut, a 9% big brother of Monkeynaut.
Two artists have created a popular series of posters and labels to celebrate and promote the Straight to Ale brews.
The first four images were by Browan Lollar, who is now better known as the guitarist with St. Paul & the Broken Bones, an upand- coming Alabama rhythm and blues band. The current artist is Matt Broadhurst.
“Both of the artist have done a great job for us,” said Perry.
The original pieces by Lollar were paintings used for posters when the beers were only available on draft. The first four were Monkeynaut, Lily Flagg Milk Stout, Brother Joseph Dubbel and Unobtanium.
As STA moved to bombers, then to cans, the images required some tweaking.
“He did the originals as 8x10 and 11x14 paintings,” said Broadhurst. “But he wasn’t a graphic designer.
Nobody knew how to get them into a digital format.
I did that with some editing.”
Broadhust, 41, is from Chicago and holds an art history degree from Northern Illinois university. He wound up in Huntsville a few years ago on a fortuitous visit.
“I got sick of winter, sick of freezing all of the time. I came down here February to visit my dad and it was 60 degrees.”
His connection with STA began in 2010 when Perry posted on Facebook about some T-shirt designs.
“People were making comments on them. I was already a fan of the beer, so I whipped together a rough design and sent it to Dan. He wrote back and asked if I could design T-shirts,” said Broadhurst.
He joined the staff full time last July and wears the title of Operations Manager, “doing kind of everything.”
“For me it has been easy,” he said of the designs. “The NASA theme gives me a good starting point on a design. I try to add a little bit of whimsy. There have been some hits and missing with trying to put humor into it. I’ve got a pretty dry sense of humor. I’ll come up with an idea and bounce it off the other guys to see how it plays. ”
When he’s not designing beer labels, Broadhurst paints a lot of science fiction themes, usually with watercolors. He’s a huge Star Wars fan.
“I have a 5-year-old daughter. I draw with her nightly, but I can’t seem to get her into Star Wars,” he said.
But everything at Straight to Ale isn’t space oriented. As their market area has spread over the entire state, they’ve pursued some new ideas.
Brother Joseph Dubbel is named for the monk who built the acclaimed miniature buildings at Ave Maria Grotto in Cullman. Sand Island Light House toasts the southern-most point in Alabama, and Monte Sano Bock recognizes a mountain park in Huntsville.
And for something totally different, Lily Flagg Milk Stout is named for a Huntsville cow that was honored in 1892 as the world’s best butterfat producer at the Chicago exposition.
Broadhurst may have some new design challenges ahead. STA beers are now in Florida, Georgia and Tennessee.
Read the full article at http://sbnonline.brewingnews.com/article/Straight+To+Ale/2027846/261454/article.html.