Cat and I traveled to Colorado last month in search of some really good beers. We found many! In our journeys we met a bunch of really awesome people that are very passionate about the beers they brew and sell. The trip was a blast and I have to give it up to the people of Colorado- they know how to enjoy life!
After returning to Charlotte and drinking some local beers and conversing with many of my friends in the beer industry, we realized how good we have it here. Colorado IS amazing, but so is North Carolina! They have been doing it longer, but we are growing fast and catching up quickly. There are a few beers from right here in NC that I would put up against any in the world. Cat and I have been searching for those must-try or bucket list beers for the past several years. Frequently, we find them and are slightly disappointed. So when a certain over-hyped IPA came out this winter, I told my customers and friends that there were numerous IPAs I would choose over this one any day and there was no reason to go to great measures such as following a truck or camping out in front of your local beer store.
One of these IPAs was NoDa Brewing Hop, Drop, and Roll. A personal favorite beer of mine, and in fact I am sitting back and enjoying a fresh 16 oz can after a long shift in the restaurant on a Friday night while writing this article. Since Noda started canning Hop, Drop & Roll last year, it has been one of our favorites to send or bring to our beer loving friends in other states. Apparently a lot of very sophisticated palates at the World Beer Cup agree with me as NoDa won the Gold Medal for American Style IPA! The brewery is located in the North Davidson area of Charlotte, which is about a 4 minute drive from our apartment. Way to go NoDa!!! Hop, Drop, and Roll beat out 223 other entries in the American IPA category, easily the most contested and most sought after category. Great beer brewed and sold by awesome people!
Seven other North Carolina Breweries placed in the World Beer Cup. The Tarheel State proved we know a thing or two about Kolsch, with White Street Brewing winning Gold Medal with White Street Kolsch Style Ale, and Mother Earth out of Kinston winning Bronze in that category with their Endless River Kolsch. Out of Asheville, Asheville Brewing’s Ninja won Gold in the Brown Porter category, and Wicked Weed won the Bronze in Imperial Red Ale with their Tyrant Double Red. Olde Hickory Irish Walker won Silver in the Old or Strong Ale category, Lynnwood Brewing won Silver in the American Black Ale for “Once You Go,” and Outer Banks Brewing Station won Gold in the German-style Heller Bock/Maibock category with MeyerBock. A complete list of categories and winners can be found here.
It’s really no surprise to us that North Carolina breweries make some award-winning beers. We’ve been drinking them and introducing them to our friends for years now. But as our state continues to bring home medals from prestigious beer competitions like the World Beer Cup, I hope it won’t be long until it’s not a surprise to anyone, anywhere, that North Carolina is home to amazing beers!