Best IPAs in Charlotte: Charlotte Magazine Staff and Contributors’ Picks

It's National IPA Day. So what's your favorite IPA, Mr. or Ms. journalist?
Peter Taylor
Legion's Juicy Jay was the top choice for a few folks. Head to the brewery Saturday for a big Friends and Beerfest party.

NATIONAL IPA DAY is the first Thursday in August. The celebration lasts through the weekend in Charlotte this year with the Friends and Beerfest IPA Edition at Legion Brewing on Saturday. With such a big and important holiday upon us, we asked a few of our staffers and most frequent and recent editorial contributors to tell us about their favorite local IPA. And wouldn’t you know it? They responded. Turns out journalists still drink beer.

Here are their answers, with a few giphy gifs from Jerry Maguire, released 20 years ago this winter.


Name: Logan Cyrus, freelance photographer

Favorite local IPA: Juicy Jay from Legion 

Favorite thing about it: It has its own T-shirt. 

Editor’s note: Logan seems like he'd be hard to please at Christmas.


Name: Andy Smith, contributing editor (arts, digital)

Favorite local IPA: Legion Brewing's Juicy Jay

Favorite thing about it: There's a big dog painted on a big wall inside that place! Oh, wait. What was the question? 

Editor’s note: Least surprising thing about this list: Andy and Logan chose the same beer.


Name: Michael Graff, editor

Favorite local IPA: Triple C’s 3C

Favorite thing about it: Brewer Scott Kimball is from Maryland. I’m from Maryland. Go O’s. Go 3C. 

Editor's note: Don't trust this guy.



Name: Erin Maddrey, contributor, fact checker, fashion blogger, and most amazing person ever (I may have embellished a bit here)

Favorite local IPA: NoDa Brewing Company's Par 4 

Favorite thing about it: NoDa’s Par 4 is perfect for the hot Southern summer months. Refreshing, but still packs a punch of flavor with every sip. 

Editor’s note: Erin's answer is a breath of fresh air in this room full of beer snobs. … Then again, she's also the most amazing person ever; just ask her bio.


Name: Rick Thurmond, publisher

Favorite local IPA: Wicked Weed’s Pernicious

Favorite thing about it: Asheville’s local enough, right? If not, Charlotte breweries, let’s just say: bar, set. For I believe there is no better IPA in all the land.

Editor’s note: He chose an Asheville beer. Do you see what it’s like to work for this guy?


Name: Jen McGivney, writer

Favorite local IPA: What He’s Having, Wooden Robot

Favorite thing about it: Drinking it, mainly. Refilling, also.

Editor’s note: Hurry and get this woman another beer before she adopts another dog



Name: Peter Taylor, photographer

Favorite local IPA: Whatever IPA Free Range Brewing is pouring.

Favorite thing about it: It’s at Free Range Brewing.

Editor’s note: Get outside Free Range much there, Peter?


Name: Martin Rickman, contributor

Favorite local IPA: Hop, Drop & Roll

Favorite thing about it: This was the first local beer I ever had in Charlotte. It's not exactly a deep cut of a pick, but it has sentimental value to me. Every time I see those dang cans, I think about my first trip here looking for places to live, seeing the skyline as I crawled up Central Avenue, and the feeling I got that I could be home here. 

Editor’s note: Martin’s from Ohio, where young girls and boys dream of the day theyll move to Charlotte.


Name: Adam Rhew, associate editor 

Favorite local IPA: NoDa Hop, Drop ’n Roll

Favorite thing about it: Well, after a few of ’em, everything’s my favorite. 

Editor’s note: Clear eyes, full hearts, Adam.


Name: Matt Crossman, freelance writer

Favorite local IPA: A simple equation: IPA is to beer as lemon juice is to lemonade. (Rhymes with Valade)

Editor’s note: Yeah, we have no idea what he’s talking about, either.


Name: Kristen Wile, senior editor

Favorite local IPA: Wine from Sycamore

Favorite thing about it: We don’t all have to love IPAs.

Editor’s note: Well then …


Name: Greg Lacour, contributing editor

Favorite local IPA: Birdsong’s Higher Ground

Favorite thing about it: Potent hop-bite, viscosity, and octane level, just this side of improper. On the first sip, I can hear Stevie Wonder playing clavinet in my mind, and it is good. 

Editor’s note: That’s just damn beautiful, Greg. I’d like to change my answer now.


Name: Cat Carter, writer

Favorite local IPA: Birdsong Higher Ground

Favorite thing about it: It's not a one-note IPA.

Editor’s note: Seriously, guys. I’m in. Birdsong Higher Ground for president!



Name: Chris Edwards, photographer

Favorite local IPA: “I like Birdsong’s Higher Ground.”

Favorite thing about it: Chris left this line blank. But he did say, “3C is good too!”

Editor’s note: Everybody loves Higher Ground. Chris loves everybody.



Name: Jared Misner, contributing writer

Favorite local IPA: Confession time: I cannot stand IPAs. Even the Charlotte ones.

Favorite thing about it: N/A.

Editor’s note: That’s OK, Jared. It’s not for everyone.


Name: Alyssa Ruane, freelance writer and editor

Favorite local IPA: Bayne Brewing’s Jalapeño IPA

Favorite thing about it: Turns out you can hate two things individually, but love them when they come together. Newfound appreciation for jalapeños and IPAs, but, like, don't you dare serve them to me separately. I'm not there yet.

Editor’s note: In a time of increasing division in our country, we need more stories of unity like this. Thanks, beer.


Categories: Beer, The Buzz