Quick Pours: Queen City Brewers Festival recap, NC Brewers and Music Festival tickets on sale and yes, Hopslam is here
• Had a fantastic time at the Queen City Brewers Festival this past weekend. This is an event that keeps getting better each year, and the move to the Silver Hammer Studios in the N.C. Music Factory allowed for more space, more vendors and most importantly, more beers. Most of the people I talked to enjoyed the new breweries along with some of the other beers from outside of Charlotte that vendors poured.
If you weren’t there or want to relive the sessions, the NC Beer Guys were filming all day Saturday and have a great recap on their Web site, featuring many of Charlotte’s brewers and breweries. Next up in the local beer festival scene is the esteemed Brawley’s Black & Blue March 1, followed by Charlotte Craft Beer Week beginning March 14.
• Tickets are now on sale for the North Carolina Brewers & Music Festival May 10 in Huntersville. I wrote a little about the festival a few weeks ago, and since then the initial brewery lineup has been released. Already booked to appear are NoDa, Birdsong, Four Friends, District 9, Free Range, Hi-Wire, Lonerider, Catawba Valley, Highland, Natty Greene’s and Oskar Blues. Many more will be announced in the coming months. Right now, tickets are at an early bird special, with the price rising as the festival draws closer.
• The Winter Olympics are almost here, and Good Bottle Co. is opening early this Saturday in honor of the famed Games. Good Bottle will open at 9 a.m. and have the Olympics on TV along with a morning, winter and USA inspired tap selection (for example, Bell’s Smitten Golden Rye, Cottonwood Frostbite and 21st Amendment Bitter American). Roots Farm Food will be on site serving breakfast from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and there will also be donuts from Your Mom’s Donuts. While there, also pick the brain of owner Chris Hunt about one of the Winter Olympics’ best sports, curling (Chris is perhaps Charlotte’s biggest curling fan).
• Finally, if you’ve been on social media at all today, yes, Hopslam is here. The famed double IPA from Bell’s hit Charlotte in a whirlwind earlier Tuesday afternoon. Many places immediately sold out even with limits, as usually is the case. If you didn’t get your hands on one, don’t fret. In the past there has been a second shipment, and I expect the same this year. Also, most bottle shops and local beer bars will get a keg or two. And if you’re willing to make the drive (think outside Charlotte city limits), you just may be able to find a six-pack lying around.
While Hopslam is a great beer, I also encourage you to read Ryan Self’s post on CharlotteBeer.com. Hopslam comes with a lot of hype (much of it deserved), but there are other beers worth a try as well, including ones you don’t have to chase a beer truck for.