Thanks to BEER NC, a complete roundup of North Carolina’s breweries is just a few taps away on your mobile device. This fall, we’re making the experience even easier with our regional ale trail series. Designed to help you navigate the brewing scene in cities across North Carolina via walkable itineraries, these monthly guides will quench your thirst for great beer — and travel — across the Old North State.
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In Charlotte’s South End neighborhood, you’ll find a particularly walkable (and bikeable) area filled with breweries and beer gardens, perfect for enjoying the weather with Fido on a fall afternoon.
To start your journey, drive to Hyde Brewing — or take the train. It’s located directly along the Charlotte Light Rail, right next to New Bern Station. Inside, plants hang from the ceiling and crawl down shelves, giving the open interior a greenhouse vibe. Try the Patchwork Orange, an IPA with notes of orange peel, grapefruit, and papaya, or the Lavender Skies, a saison brewed with lavender buds and locally sourced honey from Wehrloom Honey in Robbinsville.
Next, walk right across the street to Triple C. Grab a bite from a food truck in their beer garden, and, on Saturday evenings, stick around for live music. They’re well-known for their award-winning 3C IPA, but if you prefer a lighter option, try the Golden Boy blonde ale.
Leave Griffith Street behind and hop onto the Rail Trail, a 3.5-mile paved path that follows alongside Charlotte’s light rail, for a 20-minute stroll down to Sycamore Brewing. Along the way, you’ll pass art installations and “pocket parks,” and you can take in the beauty of the Charlotte skyline. Sycamore’s huge beer garden is the perfect place to crowd around a picnic table with friends. To celebrate the season, we suggest trying the Gourd Have Mercy Pumpkin Amber.
Raleigh’s flourishing brewing scene means plenty of options no matter what part of the city you find yourself in. A visit to these three breweries is easily combined with a day of shopping and strolling along Glenwood Avenue.
With white tile, brass accents, and sleek modern furniture, this space branches out from the typical brewery surroundings in favor of more upscale digs. Try the award-winning Mosaic Reprise, a session IPA.
Explore along Glenwood Avenue on your way to Boylan Bridge Brewpub in historic Boylan Heights. You’ll find tasty brews, good food, and one of the city’s best views from their open patio.
A 10-minute walk could turn into an all-day adventure on the next leg of your journey to Crank Arm. You’ll pass the Contemporary Art Museum of Raleigh, Boxcar Bar + Arcade, and Videri Chocolate Factory, but don’t get too distracted — the Whitewall Wheat Belgian-style wit and the Rickshaw rye IPA are worth staying focused for.
Try the three newest additions to the city’s blossoming downtown brewing scene, all located in former warehouses and industrial spaces.
Start your visit at Wise Man, where you’ll find an ever-changing lineup of beers, daily food trucks, and plenty of room to spread out in an airy brick taproom, a renovated 1929 warehouse.
Leave Wise Man for a walk around the block to Fiddlin’ Fish, located in a former tobacco warehouse. The brewery was started by two cousins who grew up with a love of the outdoors. Their brewery’s name comes from childhood summers spent in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and — true to its name — you’ll find a colorful mural of a fish painted by locals, wooden fish-shaped flight trays, and, yes, some appropriately named brews. Get in the spirit and try That Fish Cray, a New England IPA.
A 10-minute walk will take you to Incendiary Brewing, an ultra-cool spot with sparse, industrial construction paired with an outdoor space inside a former power plant. Try the Honey Blonde while you take in the surroundings — it’s the perfect place to end your day.