Beer & Donuts

Last night, I went to Salud Beer Shop in NoDa to try some beers and stuff my face with Joe’s Doughs donuts. Central Coffee was also there to provide coffee along side the beer.

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We got to sample four beers, all stouts and porters from Stone Brewing Company, Highland Brewing, Bells Brewery and Founders Brewing. As you can see, they were pretty small pours – similar to what you’d get in a flight at a local brewery (maybe even less).

Donuts were passed around and we each got ONE. Now, it was delicious because everything Joe makes is completely amazing but I was prepared to fill up on donuts. Actually, I kind of thought that since it was a “pairing” that we’d get either a small donut to try with each beer or pieces of donuts and not just one regular sized donut to ration out though the tasting (you don’t ration with Joe’s. You gobble.).

Central Coffee provided a cup for everyone and there was plenty for seconds. The event started at 7 PM though, so I wasn’t really trying to get hopped up on caffeine just to try to go to sleep in three hours. I sipped about half of mine and left the rest. The part I drank was very good. If I lived in Plaza Midwood, I’d go there often. There are also several local breweries that use Central Coffee’s coffee in their specialty brews.

The beer, coffee and donuts were all delicious. I was a little surprised that the event cost $10 to get those four small pours and just one donut. I think moving to an actual pairing type event would make it better in the future, especially if they could get mini-donuts from Joe’s to accompany the beers. Otherwise, I say buy your own milk stouts and stake out the next time Joe is doing a pop-up and grab your donuts then.

If you haven’t checked out Salud and Fud at Salud, you should. The beer selection is abundant and the food is quick and tasty. While last night’s event was fun but somewhat disappointing, I’d definitely give it another shot.

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Tap Some Ass Clown

Finding Ass Clown Brewery in Cornelius was trickier than I thought. It’s in an industrial area that almost looks like an empty strip mall. The inside is a different story. It’s decorated beautifully (for a brewery) and is welcoming once inside.

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There’s a seating area to the left when you walk in, another to the right and then a bar. We chose to sit at the bar when we arrived (it was not crowded when we got there around 2 PM on a Saturday).

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The bartender was exceptionally friendly and pleasantly answered all of my questions (I had more and more questions as I got closer to finishing my flight). Apparently the name was thought up after the owner attended a beer festival and thought to himself that the brewery names needed to be more clever so people remembered them the next day when they sobered up. Makes sense, right?

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Once inside this brewery, there’s no way you’re forgetting the name. Ass Clown is plastered EVERYWHERE. There were about 20 beers to choose from. I mostly stuck with stouts the first time, and one orange IPA. My husband, the adventurous one, picked a little bit of everything. My favorites were the Orange Spice IPA, Coffee Coconut Stout and the Simcoe.

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There are SO many flavor options to choose from. This is when apps like UnTappd come in handy.

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While there are at least 5 breweries closer to my home, I’m glad we stopped in at Ass Clown. D-9 is just around the corner but we didn’t make it there. Two in one day is too much for this light weight. Highly recommend checking it out if you’re ever in the North Charlotte/Cornelius area.

PS – pick up a glass when you’re there so you can always have the reminder to “drink one, don’t be one.”

Saluting Salud

The craft beer scene has exploded in Charlotte, but you don’t have to go to a brewery to get a fresh pour. Most of our local brews can be found in grocery stores, but if you’re looking for a wider selection, venturing over to Salud in NoDa is worth it.

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Bottles, cans and even a bar await you inside the neon green store. You can buy your beer and drink it while still in the store (and then buy another!). The selection goes well beyond local NC beers, although they do carry most of them.

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Creating your own six pack is an option if you’re not looking to get six of the same brews. Watch the prices on the individual beers though, it can add up quickly. The larger bottles can especially be expensive, but mostly because those are your higher octane beers.

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If you’re just looking to hang out, that’s alright, too. Plop down at the bar and order up your choice draft. Or, order a beer and go sit by the windows and play some old school Nintendo.

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Shopping local is the way to go! Buy your beer from Salud or Good Bottle Company and support the little guys.

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Even if you’re not stocking up on beer, it’s worth stopping in Salud and checking out their selection. You’re certain to find something to make your tastebuds happy!

The best bottle

IMG_5352As a lover of craft beer, places like Good Bottle on South Blvd. excite me. Not only can you purchase individual bottles at Good Bottle, you can get beers right there and drink them in the store at one of their two bars.

IMG_5341On this particular trip, we were on the hunt for pumpkin beer, because who doesn’t love pumpkin beer in the Fall? The selection is almost overwhelming, although it is organized well by type of beer (wheats, pilsners, stouts, etc.).

IMG_5340I love that Good Bottle proudly supports local brews, as well as craft beer across the state. Although, I must say, we have some of the best breweries right here in Charlotte (NoDa, Birdsong, OMB, Unknown…).

IMG_5349And how cool are these cans?

IMG_5345With so many options, you’re likely to leave with more than just a six pack, but at least you can mix it up. Most of the beers are reasonably priced between $1.50-3.00; however, some of the larger bottles and/or specialty bottles can be quite expensive, more in the $6.00-13.00 range.

IMG_5347There isn’t food available in the store, so if you’re planning on drinking, you might want to stop by Mac’s across the street before you arrive, or grab a sub from Penn Station (in the same set of buildings).

IMG_5346If you’re looking for variety, this is your best bet. It kicks Harris Teeter’s butt, and Trader Joe’s, too. None of the bars offer this many options either. So, next time you’re having people over, or want some new brews for football watching on the weekend, check out Good Bottle, you won’t be disappointed.

Birdsong Brewing

NoDa quickly became the spot to find craft beer after NoDa, Birdsong and Heist set up shop. Birdsong found it’s fame with it’s jalapeno pale ale, which is offered at bars and restaurants around the city.

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Birdsong has a laid back atmosphere with it’s open porch area for sitting and inside which is small but rarely feels cramped.

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Even though they don’t serve food, or even have food trucks come like NoDa, they are always busy with folks hanging out having a beer or picking up a growler to go. Occasionally, they’ll have a local artist playing music inside.

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Feel free to ride your bike to Birdsong, as parking is limited in the area (especially when there are events or run club at NoDa). They have bike racks out front for safe keeping.

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As much of NoDa is, Birdsong is dog friendly, so your pooch can come hang out while you try some of their signature brews like the Jalapeno Pale Ale, Doin’ Thyme, Lazy Bird Brown Ale or Higher Ground IPA, these are all available year round, in addition to their seasonal releases.

birdsong3Be sure to check out Birdsong in their current location, they’ll be moving closer to the city (still off of N. Davidson) in the near future! Make a day of it and grab some food from the food truck that’s usually at NoDa Brewing and then grab a natural popsicle from King of Pops!