I’ve written my fair share of brewery articles. I’ve interviewed maverick brewers in San Diego and old hands in Asheville. I’ve toured operations in Portland and Maui and Memphis. I’ve sipped and nodded along as dozens of brewers practiced their rehearsed speeches about their IPAs and lagers and ESBs. What I’m saying is, I’m a bit jaded when it comes to the beer bubble, and I thought maybe it was on the verge of bursting.
Until I spoke with Ben Dolphens of Charlotte’s newest brewery, Divine Barrel Brewing. Ben reminded me that this strange animal called the beer industry is still exciting; he reignited my belief in good beer brewed well. Then I spoke with Brian Beauchemin and Kevin Martin of GoodRoad CiderWorks, and then Carol Waggener of Bold Missy Brewery, and I was reinspired all over again. That beer bubble? It’s still growing—as it should be.
There are amazing things happening in Charlotte, in the beer we drink, the food we eat and the wine we sip. And at the core of those amazing things are amazing, passionate souls. I hope their stories reignite your palate and passion as they did mine.