April Craft Beer Report – NoDa Brewing, Triple C Brewing, Wilmington Brewing Company, Front Street Brewery, Flytrap Brewing
Whether a brewery sends me a courtesy sample, I visit a brewery on a press trip, or I just stop in a brewery because beer, I drink a lot of beer. Each month, I summarize my favorites in a craft beer report.
April marks the end of my wife’s favorite beer season of chewy stouts, rich porters, and hearty winter warmers and the beginning of my favorite beer season of bright hops, floral farmhouses, and tasty pilsners. I’m especially stoked to share my April Craft Beer Report as the month culminated with a few days exploring the beer scene in Wilmington, North Carolina. Y’all, Wilmington is North Carolina’s hidden gem for beer! Check out what out I found. But first… a few local brews from Charlotte that really impressed me.
NoDa Brewing Kind of Brew Dry Hopped Lager (Draught, 6% ABV)
Where: NoDa Brewing in Charlotte, North Carolina
Pairing: A bucket of roasted oysters
Notes: Dry hopped with Ella hops, Kind of Brew from NoDa Brewing drank more like a pale ale than a lager. Think fragrant, citrus aromas and flavors with a finish that was both dry and juicy at the same time. I paired Kind of Brew with one of the first warm days of spring and a bucket of roasted oysters at the brewery’s oyster roast. Kind of Brew is a limited release taphouse only beer. Go try one before it’s too late.
Triple C Brewing Sal’s Paradise Saison (Draught, 5.3% ABV, 32 IBU)
Where: Triple C Brewing in Charlotte, North Carolina
Pairing: A long walk on the Rail Trail
Notes: I’m very picky when it comes to saisons. I like them bone dry, yeasty, and with a spicy finish. I don’t go for all the modern versions, many of which add adjuncts. However, Triple C Brewing’s Sal’s Saison hit me just right. The hop additions of Sorachi Ace and Mosiac in the kettle along with a touch of Mosaic for dry hopping create a well-rounded saison with the earth and spicy ester that I love along with a touch of tropical fruit and citrus notes.
Wilmington Brewing Cool Kids Northeast IPA (Draught, 5.4% ABV)
Where: Wilmington Brewing in Wilmington, North Carolina
Pairing: A beer tour led by Port City Brew Bus
Notes: I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a huge fan of Northeast style IPAs (and Nickelback). They hit my palate with big, juicy hops. Wilmington Brewing, however, puts a slight twist on their hoppy haze bomb with a touch of resin that make it a beer more fitted for the spring. Once again, this is a one off beer. Hit up Wilmington Brewing before it’s too late. I know if I was a local, I’d be lobbying them to make this a year round brew.
Front Street Brewery Tomb Rocker Strong Ale (Draught, 8.6% ABV)
Where: Front Street Brewery in Wilmington, North Carolina
Pairing: A humongo flight of beers covering both Front Street Brewery’s flagship and seasonal offerings
Notes: Front Street Brewery released Tomb Rocker in conjunction with Easter when Father Timothy from Saint Basil the Great Orthodox Church came out to bless the beer. Many in the local beer community viewed this as a marketing ploy. However, Brewmaster Christopher McGarvey is an ordained minister and takes his brewing as serious as his faith. Tomb Rocker is a recipe he’s been working on for ten-years now. The strong ale is brewed with heather tips and no hops. It almost drinks with a wine like quality of bed of caramel and molasses from the hops. The floral notes add that special Easter kick.
Flytrap Brewing Sour Blackberry Saison (Draught, 6.8% ABV)
Where: Fly Trap Brewing in Wilmington, North Carolina
Pairing: Good conversation with a fellow travel writer
Notes: Flytrap Brewing’s Sour Blackberry Saison is the first kettle release sour the brewery has attempted out of their new brewing system. They completely knocked it out of the park. The beer was well balanced and beautiful. None of the flavor notes fought with each but worked together on a beer that’s ever so slightly astringent and dry with a bouquet of blackberry. If this is any indication of what to expect from Flytrap when it comes to sours, then look out Wicked Weed.
Which of these beers do you want to try? Leave a comment below!