Thirsty Nomad opens, Red Clay Ciderworks celebrates one year and Charlotte Oktoberfest forced to cancel 2016 festival

Thirsty Nomad Brewing will have its grand opening this Saturday beginning at 2 p.m.

–Thirsty Nomad is Charlotte’s newest brewery, located at 4402 Stuart Andrew Boulevard, Suite A (this is in an office park nearby to the so-named “LoSo” district). Following a soft opening preview earlier this week, Thirsty Nomad is ready to officially throw open its doors this Saturday from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The three-barrel brewhouse at this nanobrewery will have plenty to offer, including flagship beers and Thirsty Nomad’s Mad Science Experiments (or its small batches). For Saturday’s grand opening, the taplist includes Valkyrie, a chocolate stout; Seeker (IPA); Noble (saison); and Branch in the Road, a strawberry hibiscus saison that Thirsty Nomad brewed in collaboration with High Branch Brewing in Concord. (You can check the brewery’s Facebook page for the full list).

With demand likely high and a smaller space to brew only so much beer, Thirsty Nomad has a number of kegs set aside for Saturday’s crowd, but once those kegs are gone they’ll stop serving beer (this is being done so the brewery doesn’t totally deplete its supply). If you miss out, Thirsty Nomad will next be open the next Friday at 4 p.m. Regular hours once things get going are expected to be 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays and noon to 10 p.m. on Saturdays. You can keep up with all things related to the brewery via its Web site.


–It’s going to be 100-plus degrees all weekend, and what better way to cool down than with some refreshing great cider? Head to Red Clay Ciderworks this Saturday to celebrate its one-year anniversary, which begins at noon.

To honor the occasion, Red Clay is releasing some special ciders, including Bramblin’ Blackberry, a semi-dry cider created with blackberries and Brushy Mountain Wild, a dry farmhouse cider. Of course, Red Clay’s staple ciders (Queen City Common is always a solid choice) will be available, as well as a few guest taps from local breweries.

Red Clay will use drink tickets for the event, and these can either be purchased here in advance or at the door (there’s no charge for admission, just the drinks). There will also be food trucks and live music throughout the day.


–Finally, it was announced via press release Thursday that there will be no Charlotte Oktoberfest this year. The main reason has to do with location, or lack thereof, and everything that leads up to putting such a huge event together (meaning permits, logistics, etc).

Charlotte’s largest (and longest-running) craft beer festival has been at the N.C. Music Factory grounds the past couple years, but ongoing construction for a parking deck there caused that location to be unavailable. Previous sites in Memorial Stadium and the Metrolina Expo Fairgrounds were out of play and with such a large festival, it was seemingly near impossible to find (and prepare for) a suitable location this year.

On a personal note, this is unfortunate news, not only for festivalgoers but also the hard-working members of the Carolina Brewmasters who literally work almost all year to put on this event. This group gives their time to volunteer, and also are the ones who help raise the money to give to local charities at the end of every festival (more than $600,000 since the first one in 1999). The good news is this hiatus is just temporary, and I’m certain 2017 Charlotte Oktoberfest will be better than ever, no matter the location.

Categories: Agenda, Beer, By Matt McKenzie