5 Local Beers You Have to Try

1. Olde Mecklenburg Copper
This altbier (German-style brown ale) is the most widely sold local craft beer and the flagship of Olde Mecklenburg Brewery. A smooth and crisp beer with just the right amount of caramel and toffee flavors, the 2012 Great American Beer Festival silver medalist is enjoyable at any time.

2. Coco Loco Porter
Charlotte’s other GABF silver-medal winner offers a full taste of chocolate malt with hints of toasted coconut. This porter was one of the first beers NoDa Brewing Company produced, which showed the brewery isn’t afraid to push boundaries.

3. Greenway IPA
Triple C Brewing Company uses five different kinds of hops to create this well-balanced beer with pleasant floral aromas. Those ready to take their Triple C experience further can try the creatively named Baby Maker Double IPA, which packs a strong punch at 8.5 percent
ABV (alcohol by volume).

4. Jalapeño Pale Ale
Beer and hot peppers together? Check your doubts at the door of Birdsong Brewing Company and give this one a chance. Fresh jalapeños are added to Birdsong’s Free Will Pale Ale, and the result is a refreshing brew with a little heat on the side.

5. I-77 IPA
If you’re a hoppy kind of person, this IPA from Four Friends Brewing is right up your alley. The floral bouquet of this impressive craft beer transitions to a citrus taste that finishes solid with hardly any bitter aftertaste.

If your palate likes to live on the wild side, head to Cornelius and check out Ass Clown Brewing Company. Founder/brewer Matt Glidden’s taps change often, with intriguing beers such as gingerbread brown ale, chocolate blueberry stout, vanilla brown sour, and lemon wheat IPA among the offerings from the past few months.