The Charlotte Brewery Bracket is a tournament style series featuring the 26 Charlotte breweries and cideries in weekly head to head match ups where you can vote for your favorites on Facebook and Instagram to determine the winner. Which Queen City brewery will be crowned?
Congratulations to Wooden Robot Brewery, winner of the 2019 Charlotte Brewery Bracket!
I’m not that into basketball.
But you know what I’m really in to? Beer.
Especially craft beer. And if we’re going to get really specific, beer that’s brewed in Charlotte.
(Read all about our favorite Charlotte breweries here.)
Even though I’m not that into basketball, I get really hyped every year when the annual tournament starts in March.
(You know the tournament I’m talking about, it’s total madness. If you didn’t know, I work as a lawyer and am aware that I can’t use the tournament’s official name because it’s trademarked and I would prefer not to get sued.)
March comes, and I get really into basketball. I fill out more than one bracket. I watch all the games. I start yelling at the TV and get really excited about buzzer beaters and bracket busts.
I’m all about the madness that happens in March.
So a few months ago, I was thinking (while I was on my way to work. My car is where I do my best thinking). What if I combined my interest in Charlotte breweries and beer with my annual interest of filling out brackets?
And the Charlotte Brewery Bracket was born. On I-77 in the middle of a traffic jam.
WHAT IS THE CHARLOTTE BREWERY BRACKET?
Created to celebrate Charlotte’s growing local beer and cider scene, the Charlotte Brewery Bracket is a tournament style series (you know, inspired by the madness that is March) featuring the 26 Charlotte breweries and cideries in weekly head to head match ups.
Which Queen City brewery will be crowned champion?
You get to decide!
Vote weekly for your favorite Charlotte breweries on Facebook and Instagram; the Charlotte brewery or cidery with the most votes in each match up will head on to the next round until you pick the winner!
A few notes:
The Charlotte Brewery Bracket is supposed to be a fun, friendly competition. It’s supposed to highlight and support the local craft beer movement in Charlotte.
When I moved to Charlotte in 2012 I think Charlotte’s 4th brewery had just opened (Heist and I have about the same Charlotte anniversary.)
The growth of our local beer and cider scene is incredible and I love that we have enough Charlotte breweries and cideries to field an entire bracket now.
The Charlotte Brewery Bracket was not created to put down any of our local watering holes or bash the hard work of our local brewers. Come back each week. Vote for your faves. Have fun. No trash talking or brewery bashing please.
Deciding on seeds was the hardest part of this entire process.
It was very difficult for me to design this bracket without byes, because if there was a field of 32, I would have had to pick and choose a few breweries outside of city limits (and there are so many great ones) that I didn’t feel it would be fair to have some participate, but not all.
The entire Charlotte metropolitan area is home to a booming brewery scene, and we love the breweries in the surrounding areas of Charlotte, but due to time and space limitations, the Charlotte Brewery Bracket is limited to those breweries and cideries within Charlotte, N.C. that were open as of February 2019.
Because of that, we are left with a field of 26, giving six breweries a bye in the first round (this bracket is designed after an actual basketball tournament bracket with 26 participants.)
So how did I pick the seeding order and which breweries got a bye?
Prior to seeding, I did a lot of research including referencing other local Charlotte publications, more regional and statewide publications, brewery history, awards won, as well as surveying my audience based on a number of criteria including beer, taproom, atmosphere, food and ambiance.
I also spoke with a local certified cicerone as part of my research. I think I drafted and reworked the seeds over about a month-and-a-half to two-month period, and while I’m sure there will be people who have qualms with certain seeds or maybe disagree with the seeding overall, after working on it over a period of time I felt that this was a good result.
And one last, quick note: if you aren’t drinking local and support Charlotte’s local breweries already, what are you doing with your life?
Let the games begin!
I’m gonna go pour a beer and listen to Jock Jams.
CHARLOTTE BREWERY BRACKET VOTING SCHEDULE
Here’s the full Charlotte Brewery Bracket voting timeline:
March 4: Voting starts.
March 4-8: First round of voting. There will be two matchups each day.
March 11: Second round of matchups announced.
March 12-15: Second round of voting. There will be two matchups each day.
March 18: Third round of matchups announced.
March 19-22: Third round of voting. There will be one matchup each day.
March 25: Fourth round of matchups announced
March 26 and 27: Fourth round of voting. There will be one matchup each day.
March 28: Final matchup is announced.
March 29: The winner will be crowned!
Each round of the Charlotte Brewery Bracket will be announced on Off the Eaten Path, Facebook and Instagram weekly. Polls will open every morning at 8 AM and each matchup will be open for voting for 24 hours.
CHARLOTTE BREWERY BRACKET: HOPS DIVISON
NoDa Brewing: Put Charlotte craft beer on the national map with it’s award winning Hop Drop ‘n Roll
Unknown Brewing: It’s not about being mysterious or because they couldn’t come up with a name; instead it’s about adventure and taking risks which is reflected through the brewery’s culture and beers.
Salud Cerveceria: Sister brewery to the NoDa neighborhood’s popular bottle shop that’s known for unique brews and relaxed, comfortable atmosphere in the space they share with coffee shop Trade and Lore.
Heist Brewery: Charlotte’s first craft brewpub home to small batch beers, an extensive craft cocktail program, and a small plates, tapas style menu.
Pilot Brewing: Calling Plaza Midwood home, this neighborhood nano-brewery is one of the newest breweries in Charlotte’s scene and focuses on small and experimental batches
Sugar Creek Brewing: Bringing high quality Belgian-inspired beer to Charlotte in a style and commitment representative of Belgian Trappist Monks.
Thirsty Nomad Brewing: The intimate taproom is tucked off of S. Tryon Street and emanates a cozy, living room feel with a splash of steam punk.
CHARLOTTE BREWERY BRACKET: MALT DIVISION
Wooden Robot Brewery: Middle school best friends own this popular South End brewery with a particular passion for Belgian farmhouse beers.
Brewers at 4001 Yancey: A place for people who love craft beer: two national breweries (Southern Tier and Victory Brewing), one roof.
Town Brewing: Neighborhood taproom in Wesley Heights with a focus on crafting good beer and community.
Catawba Brewing: The Asheville based brewery’s third location in the state nestled in the Belmont neighborhood with skyline views
Red Clay Ciderworks: Charlotte’s first cidery went from a garage operation to a lower South End taproom specializing in small batch hard ciders made from locally sourced apples.
Birdsong Brewing: With a collection of beers whose names nod to song titles, Birdsong has been brewing innovative, unfiltered brews since 2011.
CHARLOTTE BREWERY BRACKET: WATER DIVISION
Olde Mecklenburg Brewery: The OG of Charlotte breweries full of German inspiration and a beautiful Biergarten
Lenny Boy Brewing: Named after the founder’s dog, Lennox, Lenny Boy is a one stop-shop for not only beer, but organic kombucha, wild ales and gluten free offerings.
Bold Missy Brewery: A brewery owned by women that is celebrating women
Free Range Brewing: “Let your tastebuds roam” at this locally sourced, small batch brewery in Villa Heights
Three Spirits Brewery: Charlotte’s first (and only) black owned brewery home to unfiltered, easy drinking beers and a relaxed, cozy coffee shop-esque taproom.
Legion Brewing: Both Plaza Midwood and SouthPark’s first brewery
Suffolk Punch Brewing: Hybrid brewery, coffee shop and restaurant (also totally sparked the hanging plant movement in Charlotte)
CHARLOTTE BREWERY BRACKET: YEAST DIVISION
Sycamore Brewing: Popular powerhouse thriving in in South End, with beer, cider and wine on tap, plus tons of weekly events and live music.
Divine Barrel Brewing: With a dual definition of “divine” as “you often need a little help from the universe” and “unusually lovely,” Divine Barrel brews wood fermented and barrel aged wilds and sours, small batch brews and other unique experiments.
Blue Blaze Brewing: Opt outside with Blue Blaze’s strong outdoors motif that carries through the taproom to the names of the brewery’s core beers (which are named after different trail markings)
Triple C Brewing: A neighborhood favorite since 2012 named for the three original founders. (Speaking of names…Baby Maker is in contention for best beer name ever)
GoodRoad Ciderworks: Artisan ciders and meads served in a barn-inspired tasting room.
Resident Culture Brewing: Popular Plaza Midwood brewery featuring “beers brewed with neighborhood funk.”
CHARLOTTE BREWERY BRACKET MATCHUPS: ROUND ONE
Unknown Brewing v. Salud Ceveceria
Heist Brewery v. Pilot Brewing
Sugar Creek Brewing v. Thirsty Nomad Brewing
Brewers at 4001 Yancey v. Town Brewing
Catawba Brewing v. Red Clay Ciderworks
Lenny Boy Brewing v. Bold Missy Brewery
Free Range Brewing v. Three Spirits Brewery
Legion Brewing v. Suffolk Punch Brewing
Divine Barrel Brewing v. Blue Blaze Brewing
Triple C Brewing v. GoodRoad Ciderworks
NoDa Brewing, Wooden Robot Brewery, Birdsong Brewing, Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, Sycamore Brewing and Resident Culture Brewing all have a round one bye.
CHARLOTTE BREWERY BRACKET MATCHUPS: ROUND TWO
NoDa Brewing v. Unknown Brewing
Heist Brewery v. Sugar Creek Brewing
Wooden Robot Brewery v. Town Brewing
Red Clay Ciderworks v. Birdsong Brewing
Olde Mecklenburg Brewery v. Bold Missy Brewery
Free Range Brewing v. Legion Brewing
Sycamore Brewing v. Divine Barrel Brewing
Triple C Brewing v. Resident Culture Brewing
CHARLOTTE BREWERY BRACKET MATCHUPS: ROUND THREE
NoDa Brewing v. Heist Brewery
Wooden Robot Brewery v. Birdsong Brewing
Bold Missy Brewery v. Legion Brewing
Divine Barrel Brewing v. Triple C Brewing
CHARLOTTE BREWERY BRACKET MATCHUPS: ROUND FOUR
Heist Brewery v. Wooden Robot Brewery
Bold Missy Brewery v. Divine Barrel Brewing
CHARLOTTE BREWERY BRACKET MATCHUPS: FINALS
Wooden Robot Brewery v. Divine Barrel Brewing
THE CHARLOTTE BREWERY BRACKET
CHARLOTTE BREWERY BRACKET IN THE NEWS:
Let the Madness Begin: Off the Eaten Path to Host Charlotte Brewery Bracket, NC Beer Guys, February 27, 2019
Let the Madness Begin: Off the Eaten Path to Host Charlotte Brewery Bracket, Carolina Epicurean, March 2, 2019
Charlotte Brewery Bracket, Charlotte Today WCNC-TV, March 4, 2019