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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Free Range Brewing: Let your taste buds roam

Saturday seemed like the perfect day to check out Noda’s newest brewery: Free Range Brewing.

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Doors opened at 5 PM and the place was pretty packed by 5:30. They offer half pints, which is a great way to try each of their eight brews without having to drink eight beers, I mean, unless of course you want to drink eight beers.

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Jenny Bought a Farm and Pure Intentions were my favorites, while I felt the Caroliner was lacking a bit in taste. It’s nice that they also offer non-alcoholic drinking options.

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The space was well utilized inside. There’s plenty of seating, a long bar, and you can see up close where they brew the beer. There’s also a good amount of standing room outside on the patio.

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While this may be one of the smaller breweries, they actually have a pretty good space for starting out. And if you remember, OMB, NoDa and Birdsong all had smaller first spaces and have moved or are moving into larger facilities. It’s exciting to have a new brewery in the area since Birdsong moved earlier this year farther down N. Davidson and NoDa Brewing plans to move in the near future.

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It’s worth checking out this new spot next time you’re in the neighborhood. Grab a bite to eat from the food truck outside, grab a pint or three inside and take a break from this heat.

High five, Free Range! See you again soon!

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!

BBQ at the Q

Queen City Q is one of Charlotte’s newest barbeque spots. Located off 7th street, with a convenient parking deck attached. The light rail also runs right beside of the restaurant so if you don’t need to drive, that’s an excellent choice for transportation.

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They have all the delicious choices of most BBQ places, including mac n’ cheese, collards, fried okra and two types of slaw. The barbeque is good, as is the Cuban sandwich and the wings. You really can’t go wrong with your choices. (I was so excited to eat that I forgot to take a picture before digging in!).

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They also have a wide selection of beers, including many local craft beers. Their draft selection is extensive and provides options for any taste…. from jalapeno beers to pumpkin to peach to chocolate stouts. Flights are a good option too, you can try 4 oz. pours for a small price to determine which one you’d like to have in a pint.

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There are two bars in the place, along with high top tables in the bar area, so there’s plenty of seating if you’re looking to hang out or watch a game. The dining area is also fairly large, but requires being seated by a hostess, and on certain nights, you may encounter a wait (such as concerts or sporting events).

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It can be a little loud in the restaurant, but is otherwise family friendly.

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Overall, it has a great atmosphere. The food is quick and good, and most of the time the service matches. Compared to local staple Mac’s Speed Shop, I’d personally say it falls below but is definitely a quality place to go. I highly recommend adding it to your bucket list in Charlotte. And here’s a tip, if you’re needing your parking validated while going uptown, it’s the perfect place to start out!

 

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.