50 Best Places to Drink Craft and Local Beer in Charlotte

From bars to breweries, brewpubs to bottle shops, your complete guide to best places to drink and buy craft and local beer in Charlotte

You'll want to raise a glass to — and at — each of the 50 places on this list. Be it a tiny pub or a sprawling market, these are the top beer destinations in Charlotte. And, in yet another sign of the beer revolution, several of these spots only opened within the past year:

Ass Clown Brewing Company
Are you a craft beer thrill-seeker? If so, Ass Clown is right up your alley. Tucked away in a Cornelius business park, the ride up I-77 North is worth it to sample innovative brews such as Buttered Apple Pie, Raspberry Jalapeño Stout, Orange Spice IPA and Imperial Pumpkin. Owner/brewer Matt Glidden’s batches often change weekly, and there is a small tasting room open Thursday-Saturday to sample beers or take home a growler of your choice. 10620 Bailey Rd., Suite E & F, Cornelius, 704-995-7767

Bad Daddy's Burger Bar
You're forgiven if you think of Bad Daddy's as, you know, a burger joint. But it also boasts a surprisingly impressive beer list. You won't find any boring brews among the 20 or so drafts (varies by location) — the Bell's Two Hearted Ale goes great with a burger. Of about 40 bottles, half are craft brews, including a rare gluten-free beer. On Wednesdays, bring mugs up to 40 ounces and fill 'er up for $4-$6, depending on the brew. 1626 East Blvd., 704-714-4888; 15105-A John J. Delaney Dr., 704-919-2700; 8625-A Lindholm Dr. (Birkdale Village), 704-237-4055. 

Birdsong Brewing Co. 
Just over a year old, Birdsong is a must-stop when you’re in the NoDa district. The brewery’s selections include mainstays such as Free Will Pale Ale and Lazy Bird Brown Ale, but the intriguing brew here is the Jalapeño Pale Ale, which uses fresh jalapeños to put a little heat on your beer. The tasting room is open Wednesday-Sunday to enjoy a pint or two or fill a growler to go. Birdsong also features live entertainment on certain weekends. 2315 N. Davidson St., 704-332-1810

Brawley's Beverage
If you want to put your finger on the pulse of what's happening in beer culture, then you need to speak to Charlotte's godfather of beer, Michael Brawley. His store reflects a connoisseur's love, stocked with more than 800 different beers, and there's not a dog in the mix (but plenty of Dogfish Head). Brawley also ages beers in his walk-in cooler, and he sells kegs of Sierra Nevada, Spaten, Foothills, and Dogfish, just to name a few. There are even meads, ciders, and gluten-free beers. Brawley will also offer recommendations, and plans to expand and open a tasting room with several taps at some point in the spring or early summer. 4620 Park Rd., 704-521-1300

Pizza and beer have been longtime companions, and Brixx does both right. You’ll find beer specials every day at each one of the five Charlotte-area locations. Brixx carries 24 beers on tap, ranging from locals in NoDa, Four Friends, Birdsong and Triple C to other favorites such as New Belgium, Dogfish Head and Bell’s. Brixx also has beer tastings at various times throughout the year, with both local and national breweries participating. 9820 Rea Rd., 704-940-2011; 1801 Scott Ave., 704-376-1000; 7814 Fairview Rd., 704-295-0707; 225 E. 6th St., 704-347-2749; 16915 Birkdale Commons Pkwy. (Birkdale Village), 704-894-0044

The Common Market
Among the items in this hip little store are more than 200 of the best cutting-edge craft beers: Lagunitas, He’brew, Green Flash, Stone, Great Divide, Hitachino Nest from Japan, Highland, Pisgah, French Broad, Thomas Creek, Catawba Valley, Duck Rabbit, and Mother Earth. There are free beer tastings and $3 drafts most Wednesdays, and you can shop for selections available in bottles, cans and growlers. Grab a pint from one of the taps while relaxing at the informal indoor seating or on the patio. 2007 Commonwealth Ave., 704-334-6209 

Common Market South End
Like the original, this store is a neighborhood hub with plenty of parking and easy access. It has a cafe atmosphere — open, airy, well lit, and hip. The beer selection is eclectic and cold to go. Along with all the new craft brews, this store has an impressive collection of international lagers and pilsners from far-off places like Lebanon, Morocco, Spain, and India. The South End location also has six taps, which usually house an impressive selection. Drafts are $3 most Thursdays, along with a free beer tasting from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. 1515 S. Tryon St., 704-332-7782 

Crêpe Cellar Kitchen and Pub
Crêpe Cellar in NoDa serves excellent savory and sweet crêpes and has eight beer taps: seven rotating beers and one seasonal. Chimay White is a regular on tap, but also look for selections from Belhaven (a terrific Twisted Thistle IPA), Catawba Valley Brewing Company and Foothills. Finds on the bottle list include intriguing Belgian beer Rodenbach Grand Cru and Wells & Young’s Banana Bread Beer, which tastes as good as it sounds. 3116 N. Davidson St., 704-910-6543 

Dandelion Market
This is a bit of a restaurant industry anomaly, where the kitchen and bar come together in philosophical harmony. Dandelion Market — heralded for bringing the local and organic to a glitzy uptown nightlife — has 24 beers on draft, with usually six from in-state breweries. While you'll notice a couple Belgians like Klokke Roeland on the list, this is the place to find brews from homeboys like Big Boss and Highland.
118 W. 5th St., 704-333-7989

Davidson Beverage Company 
Every college or university needs a good beer shop. Enter Davidson Beverage Co., which opened its doors to students and craft beer lovers in the small town in May 2012. Grab a pint from one of the six taps (and they’re usually stellar brews from the likes of Delirium, Lagunitas, French Broad and Ballast Point) while shopping over a selection of more than 300 bottles. Growlers are available for sale, while Davidson Beverage Company also has tastings from time to time. 442 S. Main St., Suite 100, Davidson, 704-255-6232

Dillinger’s Taproom 
Longtime Charlotte residents know this Church Street restaurant as the former Stool Pigeons. Since changing hands midway through 2012, Dillinger’s has become a decent player in the city’s craft scene. There are 50 beers on tap and, while common treads Bud Light and Miller Lite are in tow, Dillinger’s also has had Highland Cold Mountain and Foothills Hoppyum IPA in recent months. All pints are $1 off on Tuesdays. 214 N. Church St., 704-358-3788

Dilworth Neighborhood Grille 
Several alumni clubs meet here for football and basketball games, and for good reason. Dilworth usually devotes at least four of its 12 taps to beer brewed in Charlotte, and patrons can also enjoy starting the weekend on Friday Pint Night, where all draft beer is half off. Come in on Wednesdays for “Think While You Drink” trivia, where teams have a chance to win gift cards. And if you’re not big into tailgating or traffic during Panthers games, Dilworth offers a free shuttle to and from the stadium on Sundays. 911 E. Morehead St. Suite 200, 704-377-3808

Duckworth's Grill and Taphouse 
Duckworth’s started with the 46-tap Mooresville Mecca for beer, expanded with another location near Myers Park featuring 60 taps and went even further with 80 taps at its newest location in Ballantyne (there’s also a future Duckworth’s scheduled to open this spring in Huntersville). While that might sound intimidating, the draft list is super accessible, with Beeradvocate.com ratings and taste guides to help you pick your poison. Plus, with $3 drafts on select nights (Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Park Road location, Mondays and Wednesdays at the Ballantyne location and Mondays and Tuesdays at the one in Mooresville) you have plenty of room for sampling. 560 River Hwy., Mooresville, 704-799-2881; 4435 Park Rd., 704-527-5783; 14015 Conlan Circle, 704-752-7284

Ed's Tavern
This longtime Dilworth favorite (and Homeland filming spot) carries 26 drafts and around 50 bottles, featuring local suppliers such as Olde Mecklenburg along with the likes of Highland, Duck Rabbit, Breckenridge and Smuttynose. And since the list is already wallet friendly (you likely won't find a draft here for more than $5), you'll definitely want to stop in on Monday night for $1 off nights. 2200 Park Rd., 704-335-0033

Flatiron Kitchen and Tap House
This Davidson spot is part of a new wave of small, chef-driven restaurants (see The Liberty and Dandelion Market) that feature thoughtful beer lists. The creative American cuisine is the star here, but there are also two-dozen taps behind the bar. Selections include house favorites such as Ballast Point Big Eye IPA, and Flatiron keeps its craft patrons happy with guest voted drafts, including beers from NoDa Brewing Company and Lagunitas. 215 S. Main St., Davidson, 704-237-3246

Flying Saucer
This is where quantity and quality find equilibrium. With 82 taps and close to 150 bottles, Flying Saucer is the mother ship for beer lovers in north Charlotte. About half the list is American craft beers, with Belgians and other imports mixed in. Be sure to stop by on Monday nights for Pint Night, when most beers are $3 a pint. And on Sundays enjoy local offerings, as all North Carolina brews are just $3. 9605 N. Tryon St., 704-717-8179

Good Bottle Co.  
It’s not hard to find where the breweries from Good Bottle’s 12 taps are located, as stickers on a giant U.S. map across from the bar show their location. Usually three of those taps are dedicated to Charlotte beer, and the “father-in-law” tap features a lighter beer. Grab a pint or half-pint while shopping the expansive bottle selection, which is split up by style and includes, among others, IPAs, porters, seasonal beers and pilsners. Growlers from local breweries are also available, and Good Bottle has a free tasting from a different brewery every Thursday night. 125 Remount Rd., 704-527-1003

Growler's Pourhouse
Sharing a kitchen with the Crêpe Cellar is Growler's Pourhouse, a place dedicated to the love of the pint. It's a little less formal, with old pallets made into tables and booth-style seating. At the long southern yellow pine bar there are 14 taps pouring great craft beers from the likes of Terrapin, Uinta, Smuttynose and Bell's. A couple of the taps are dedicated to the "beer engine," a 1935 English system that pulls from casks of beer naturally carbonated using a vacuum as opposed to CO2. 3120 N. Davidson St., 704-910-6566

Heist Brewery 
Charlotte’s newest brewery is actually a brewpub that is quickly becoming known for its intriguing food offerings. Lobster bisque test tubes? Shrimp spun in cotton candy? Get it at Heist and, while you’re at it, wash it down with one of the brewery’s six main beers. The oatmeal stout is tasty, but the true jewel here is the I2PA, a double IPA that is brewmaster Zach Hart’s favorite. There are also seasonal offerings, and growlers are available for purchase. 2909 N. Davidson St., Suite 200, 704-375-8260

Icehouse Southend
This is, in fact, the same place where Southend Brewery cranked out beer for years. Icehouse keeps beer drinkers happy with a list you can get lost in. The draft selection is small, but bottles abound from a list of more than 200 beers. Relax at the blue-infused cavernous bar area or on one of the largest patios in Charlotte. Beer on tap is half price on Wednesdays. When Southend Brewery closed, the folks who opened Olde Mecklenburg Brewery bought the old brewing equipment (kettles and tanks), and they use it to make their beer now. Which is sold at Icehouse. Full circle. 2100 South Blvd., 704-375-1128

Intermezzo Pizzeria and Cafe
At this simple neighborhood restaurant that features great pizza and Serbian cuisine, the beer selection is small but carefully chosen. Along with the usual bottle offerings, there are 12 beers on tap starting with average choices in Stella Artois and Yuengling, but then it gets serious. Five of the taps change on a monthly basis (which includes local selections), and a favorite among regulars is Blanche de Bruxelles, a light, thirst-quenching Belgian wheat beer. 1427 E. 10th St., 704-347-2626

JJ’s Red Hots 
Is there a better pairing than hot dogs and beer? Well, yes. Hot dogs and craft beer. And JJ’s Red Hots has both. There are only four taps, but all of them are devoted to beers brewed in Charlotte. If bottles and cans are your preference, JJ’s has that covered as well, with choices ranging from New Belgium to Anderson Valley to 21st Amendment. Grab a dog and a pint before heading up to the rooftop seating for a relaxing view. Oh, and might we recommend the pickle bar as well? 1514 E. Blvd., 980-225-8880

Kalu Asian Kitchen and Bar
This swanky sushi spot, which serves dishes like Kobe beef meatballs and exotic sakes, may not be where you'd expect to find one of the city's most unique beer selections. Think again. Dedicated to creating authentically Asian food pairings, Kalu’s bar includes Japanese beers Sapporo and Kirin Ichiban on draft as well as several bottled beers from Japan and China. In the mood for something different with your dim sum? Try the Koshihikari Echigo. It's a Japanese rice lager with a light body and crisp finish, perfect for cutting the sting of some of the chef's spicier dishes. 505 E. 6th St., 704-910-4877

The Liberty Gastropub
Beer is so integral to this gastropub that it's part of the décor. A giant mural of ale covers one wall of the dining room, and columns are made of kegs. Behind the large and comfortable bar are 20 taps, many of which rotate out on a regular basis. A few are familiar, such as Sam Adams and Guinness, but also look for harder-to-find brews like Ballast Point Victory at Sea, a delicious porter brewed with coffee and vanilla beans. Among the 60-plus bottles are many you've heard of, plus a selection of "big bottles." 1812 South Blvd., 704-332-8830



The Lodge 
Of the many specials offered at The Lodge, perhaps the greatest is Mystery Beer Fridays. Every Friday, give the bartender $3 and wait with anticipation to see what is pulled out. Sometimes you’ll get a rare beer, other times you may not be so lucky. But that’s the fun of it all. Other specials include $3 drafts on Wednesdays and all beers brewed in North and South Carolina for $3 on Thursdays. The Lodge boasts 16 taps, with at least half given to local brews. And there’s also a selection of 90 bottles to choose from. 7725 Colony Rd., 704-544-5226

Mac's Speed Shop and BBQ
Head in on a Harley, pig out on some of Charlotte's best barbecue, and feast your eyes on Mac's long list of craft beer. The BBQ joint with a biker bent offers a chalkboard full of seasonal favorites and solid drafts, along with so much high-gravity brew that you'll feel like you're on Jupiter. Beer specials abound every night except Sunday, including $1 off North Carolina brew on Thursdays. 2511 South Blvd., 704-522-6227; 2414 Sandy Porter Rd., 704-504-8500; 19601 Liverpool Pkwy., Cornelius, 704-892-3554 

Mellow Mushroom 
This popular pizza spot left the Charlotte area for several years, but has since returned strong with locations in Myers Park and Ballantyne. With an impressive amount of taps (more than 35 at Myers Park and nearly 50 in Ballantyne), there’s plenty to choose from here as you check out the diverse and artistic decorations inside the restaurant. Looking for a different kind of beer event? One Wednesday a month, the Myers Park location has a “Drink N Draw,” where aspiring artists sketch live models (bonus points for them dressing up like superheroes) while enjoying craft beer. 2820 Selwyn Ave. #100, 704-966-7499; 14835 Ballantyne Village Way, 704-369-5300

Olde Mecklenburg Brewery
Beer in Charlotte doesn't get any fresher than this. Grab a handful of pretzels and get your fill of German-style Copper (a 2012 silver medalist at the Great American Beer Festival), Captain Jack Pilsner and OMB's seasonal offerings inside the beer-hall taproom and biergarten. Giant windows let you peer into the brewery, where free tours are offered on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. And if you want OMB beer outside of the taproom's limited hours, growlers are available to buy and take home. 215 Southside Dr., 704-525-5644

NoDa Brewing Co. 
The slogan for this brewery is “the beer on everyone’s lips,” and that’s an accurate description. Since opening its doors in October 2011, NoDa has made an immediate imprint on Charlotte’s craft beer scene, capped off by a silver medal at the 2012 Great American Beer Festival for its Coco Loco, a porter that blends the taste of chocolate with toasted coconut. Free brewery tours are offered Monday-Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturdays at 5 p.m. Swing by the taproom to have a few pints of Ramble on Red, NoDaRyeZ’d and Monk’s Trunks, a Belgian pale ale. Growlers are also available to take home. Every Tuesday, NoDa brews its NoDable Series, a small batch that often uses unique ingredients and is available only at the taproom. 2229 N. Davidson St., 704-451-1394

Picasso's Sports Café
Charlotte's sports history is shown in frames on the walls of Picasso’s and giant projector screens show whatever game is on while you enjoy craft beer. The original location in Dilworth is now another restaurant, but the Uptown and University Picasso’s always draw in crowds. There are a dozen drafts on tap, and on Wednesdays, pints are just $2.50. Take it all down with some pizza and wings. 222 S. Church St., 704-376-8767; 230 E. W.T. Harris Blvd., 704-595-9553 

Pizza Peel & Tap Room
Serious beer lovers know Pizza Peel is a laid-back Cotswold oasis for better beer. The pizza's not bad, but the beer selection is tremendous. The 40-plus draft list changes regularly, but look for choices from primo craft brewers Bell’s and Rogue, as well as local selections from Birdsong, Olde Mecklenburg, and NoDa. Pizza Peel also has some of the best craft specials in Charlotte, including $1.50 half-pints on Mondays and $3 N.C. beers on Thursdays. 4422 Colwick Rd., 704-714-8808

Queen City Q 
Some of the city’s best barbecue is found at this Uptown location, and the craft beer list is just as impressive. Nine of the 40-plus drafts are dedicated to Charlotte brews, with other North Carolina breweries represented as well. Birdsong, Olde Mecklenburg, Green Man, NoDa and Natty Greene’s are just a few of the selections you’ll find here. A short walk away from Time Warner Cable Arena, many come here to grab a bite and a pint before and after Bobcats games and concerts. Bonus: Queen City Q also validates parking for its patrons. 225 E. 6th St., 704-334-8437

Revolution Pizza and Ale House
It may not be the biggest draft list, but all 40-plus taps are choice. There are always at least a dozen North Carolina beers, including local favorites from Charlotte breweries. Other nationwide heavy hitters featured are Lagunitas, Heavy Seas, Stone, and Terrapin, among others. There are also more than 60 bottled beers, with new arrivals coming in weekly. And did we mention that the pizza is quite tasty? $3 N.C. pints on Tuesdays, and all drafts are $3 on Thursdays. 3228 N. Davidson St., 704-333-4400 

Rí Rá Irish Pub
Sure, some of the best-selling beers in this popular pub are probably the $2 PBRs, but that doesn't mean you won't find an impressive selection of craft brews here as well. With 16 beers on tap and more than 100 bottles, the European staples you'd expect from an Irish pub are well augmented by regional beers from breweries like Asheville's Highland and Big Boss in Raleigh. And be sure to keep an eye on the rotating tap for harder-to-find import beers. If you’re undecided, the draft sampler lets you try four different kinds of craft beer at once. 208 N. Tryon St., 704-333-5554

River's Edge Bar and Grill
Ahhh … a brew with a view. The U.S. National Whitewater Center's restaurant has 15-plus beers on tap, with a focus on state beers such as Red Oak and Foothills. The best part? The patio overlooks the Olympic section of the circulating river — dubbed "Big Drop" — and offers one of the best sunsets in the city. Just remember: don't drink and kayak. 5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy., 704-391-3900

Rock Bottom Brewery and Restaurant
Located in the heart of uptown, this brewpub and restaurant recently underwent a complete remodeling from the inside out. One of the longest lasting breweries (Rock Bottom just celebrated its 15th anniversary) in Charlotte makes its beer on site—from tank to tap, as they describe it. The brewery keeps six main selections on tap (with seasonal offerings mixed in), but the most interesting beer in the house is the brewmaster’s choice, described as a “one-of-a-kind beer to elevate your notion of what a great brew can be.” Rock Bottom also offers growlers to go. 401 N. Tryon St., Suite 100, 704-334-2739

Salud Beer Shop 
NoDa is arguably the center of the city’s craft scene, with three breweries and a host of bars and restaurants offering up solid brews. Complementing it all is Salud Beer Shop, which opened in March 2012 and has already expanded to add a small express store at the 7th Street Public Market Uptown. Drink from a half-dozen taps while checking out the massive selection of craft bottles. The folks at Salud will even order a keg of your favorite craft beer, provided you give them a few days notice. Need another reason to come here? Revisit your childhood by playing original Nintendo games on the couch. Craft beer and Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out? Sold. 3306-B N. Davidson St., 704-900-7767; 224 E. 7th St. (7th St. Public Market), 704-222-2550

Taco Mac
You'd probably expect to find a lot of beer nerds in a place with the top number of taps in the city, beers of the month, a blogging Beverage Director, and local craft brews such as Highland, Mother Earth, and NoDa. But you'd be wrong. After all, this Atlanta-based chain now has three locations in the Charlotte area where patrons come to watch sports on the huge high-def plasma TVs and eat the famed buffalo wings that come in orders up to 50 pieces. The SouthPark location is the top dog of the trio with 140 beers on tap and another 200 bottles (the other two spots aren’t too shabby either, with 100 taps and more than 100 bottles). 4625 Piedmont Row Dr., Bldg. E, Suite 11, 704-972-0503; 517 University Center Blvd., 704-717-7083; 8700 Sam Furr Rd., Huntersville, 704-897-1315

Tilted Kilt
Men, here's how to diplomatically explain Tilted Kilt to your woman: "It only seems like a Hooters with pleated flannel skirts, but have you ever wanted to mix a Smithwick's with a Guinness? They do that at Tilted Kilt. Come on. They also have Olde Mecklenburg Copper and more than 15 other beers on tap. The green walls are covered with Scottish relics and big-screen TVs. That's all I'm going to look at. Seriously." 13230 Carowinds Blvd., 704-910-5353; 1625 Windsor Square Dr., Matthews, 704-845-2211

Total Wine & More
The beer selection here gets better all the time; Total Wine now carries more than 2,000 different brews. Buy a 12-pack, sixer, single, bomber, growler, keg … the list goes on and on. Simply put, the craft beer selection here is huge and well stocked. Favorites from Terrapin and Rogue can be found here, while there are several special release bottles that are worth checking out as well. Beer classes are also offered at each location, usually one Thursday a month. 1600 E. Woodlawn Rd., 704-295-9292; 440 E. McCollough Dr., 704-714-1040; 5341 Ballantyne Commons Pkwy., 704-841-1212

Trader Joe's
Among the respectable selections here are well-known craft brewers like Chimay, Ommegang, and Stone. But what's interesting at TJ's is its "house" beers, which range in quality and price from weak lager to strong stout. Some of them are good, but some are not. Try these: Bohemian Lager, Mission Street IPA, Oatmeal Stout, and the Trader José Dark. If you want to try them all or venture out on your own, you can make your own six-pack. 1133 Metropolitan Ave., 704-334-0737; 6418 Rea Rd., 704-543-5249; 1820 E. Arbors Dr., 704-688-9578

Triple C Brewing Co. 
Located right near the New Bern Station stop, light rail riders can stop in on their way home to work and have a, well, Light Rail Pale Ale. That’s just one of the six main beers offered at Triple C. Those who had a really bad day at work (or even a really good one) can expand their horizons with the Baby Maker Double IPA, which comes in at a powerful 8.5 percent ABV (alcohol by volume). There’s usually a food truck nearby to satisfy your appetite, and brewery tours are offered on the third Saturday of every month at 4 p.m. 2900 Griffith St., 704-372-3212 

While a gallery/bar might seem more like a spot for Stoli and sake sippers, Twenty-Two's (albeit short) beer list is as well decorated as its walls. Its 14 taps has been known to include gems such as Jolly Pumpkin Noel and Fullsteam El Toro, and Twenty-Two also carries bottles from prized American crafters in Lagunitas and Avery. 1500 Central Ave., 704-334-0122

VBGB Beer Hall and Garden 
Beer is always better when shared with friends. That’s the idea at VBGB, located at the N.C. Music Factory and set up with numerous picnic tables in a German beer garden style. Choose from a selection of 30 taps, which often change weekly. Most of the craft beers are poured into four different sizes: 12 ounces, 18 ounces, 34 ounces and pitchers. And if you sit at the U-shaped bar, keep your brew cool by putting it on the five-inch frost rail that runs the length of the bar. Enjoy your beer on the outside patio while playing cornhole, ping-pong or life-size Jenga, Connect Four, checkers and chess. Oh, and don’t leave without trying one of their infamous pretzels (and make sure to dip it heartily in the beer cheese sauce). 920 Hamilton St., 704-333-4111

Vintner Wine Market
Don't let the name fool you. Just a few shelves down from the hundreds of wine bottles, Vintner carries more than 400 specialty beers, boasts 16 taps (which change often but are always the likes of sought after breweries such as Ballast Point, Epic, and Great Lakes, among others) and even keeps a temperature-controlled room behind the bar for rare bottles. Add in the excellent bistro-style bar menu, and you've got one cool nightspot. 8128 Providence Rd., 704-543-9909

Waldhorn Restaurant
Want a short trip to Germany? Go to Pineville. Waldhorn pours Spaten, Warsteiner, and Bitburger from the tap, and then complements it with an authentic German menu full of schnitzel and sauerkraut. For a fee, join the beer club, get your own mug, and save 50 cents on each pour. Beer clubbers meet on Tuesday nights to talk bier, and everyone can imbibe from a list of 12 German drafts and 27 German bottles. 12101 Lancaster Hwy., Pineville, 704-540-7047

The Wine Shop at Foxcroft
This cozy retail shop doubles as a café, meaning you can pop the cap on your beer right there at the table. The small, light menu is excellent — the cheese platter is great for sampling your brew — as is the beer selection. There are more than 100 craft, import, and high-gravity beers, many available as singles, including a wide section of Belgian ales. 7824 Fairview Rd., 704-365-6550


The Wine Shop at Rivergate
A sister shop to the Foxcroft location, this impressive place boasts a 25-foot beer cooler that would reduce Homer Simpson to a puddle of tears of joy. There are more than 200 selections, including many hard-to-find imports. And you can try most of them right there at the wine bar while you nosh on excellent light fare. Also, look for beer tastings each month. 14142 Rivergate Pkwy., 704-831-9000

World Market
Sure, you can get baskets, candles, and lamps. But World Market also boasts a decent beer selection. You'll find some of the U.S.'s better craft brews, like Stone, plus a nice variety of imports. And — bonus! — you can buy a bar to serve them from, made from exotic hardwood. 9557 South Blvd., 704-554-1692; 10530 Northeast Pkwy., 704-849-2004; 590 K River Hwy., Mooresville, 704-658-1730

World of Beer 
The name says it all. With 50 taps that are constantly rotating and more than 500 offerings per bottles and cans, World of Beer has something for almost any craft beer lover. And this national chain quickly formed its roots in the Queen City. At least five taps are devoted to local beer, and every Monday all Charlotte brewery pints are half off. World of Beer features a different special every night, and often has different breweries come to its SouthEnd location for special tap takeovers. Devotees can sign up for a loyalty card that gives you points for each new beer you try, and it can also be used for discounts on certain nights. 222 E. Bland St., 704-333-2080

Note: This list is updated from an article originally published in October 2010.

Categories: Beer, Beer & Wine, Food + Drink