It’s been 10 years since North Carolina passed new legislation raising the alcohol limit on beer. No one knew that this would lead to putting NC on the map as the best craft-beer state in the Southeast, as well as one of the best in the country. Our Charlotte marketing agency fully supports local businesses, and we raise our glass to all the wonderful breweries that make our city/weekends great – especially that particular one who gets confused with us all the time (you know who you are).
Now that Oktoberfest is at the tail end (fun fact: Oktoberfest is actually celebrated in September in Munich – the reasons deserve an article all its own) it’s time to take this opportunity and reflect not only on the vast number of different brews Charlotte offers, but also on the impact over the last 10 years.
Pop the Cap, was the legislation that raised the alcohol limit on beer sold in the state from 6% to 15% and encouraged Charlotte to become a frontrunner in the national trend toward artisan-style beers. It took around 21 years (ironic) for the six small words “and not more than 6 percent” to be stricken from the General Statutes, but the impact of the change is clear. At the time, one of the sponsors claimed the legislation would potentially create 300 jobs in the state’s microbrewing industry.
It actually created 3,000. And that’s just counting those who work in North Carolina’s 132 craft breweries, not including servers, delivery truck drivers, etc. which some say bring the number of new jobs in the state closer to 10,000. Doing the math: if Charlotte takes claim to 18 of those breweries (roughly 14%) we could say that the legislation has created around 1,400 jobs in the past 10 years. Not to mention the 15-20 new breweries that are now in the works.
Plus, North Carolina breweries are often located in former industrial buildings close to neighborhoods, so they become community centers.
The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery is Charlotte’s oldest craft brewery, planting its flag in 2009, and has become a regular hang out spot for Panthers games and all manner of events and activities.
Although the 17th Annual Oktoberfest in Charlotte was tainted with the rain from hurricane Joaquin, that didn’t stop the 1,000 VIP tickets holders from enjoying a refreshment – a true testament to the power of a good brew and a Prost! to Pop the Cap.
And for the newbies to the Charlotte microbrewery scene, here are 3 of birdsong gregory’s favorite breweries and seasonal beers…