With over 20 breweries in the Charlotte, NC area and another 20 or so in various stages of planning, finding the time necessary to experience the best craft beer that the Queen City has to offer can be daunting. North, South, East, and West, beer enthusiasts can spend more time travelling to the various taprooms than getting to partake in their delectable delights.
Fortunately, some local craft beer aficionados have setup a system to take the guesswork out of brewery visits. Ben Singleton, Liz Nutter, and Nick Campo recently launched Charlotte Brewery Tours with the goal of showing off the best beer and taprooms in the QC.
Bryan O’Neal and the crew at Benford Brewing in Lancaster, SC have taken craft brew in the Carolina’s to a whole new level.
The brewery itself is located on a farm (2271 Boxcar Rd) in the beautiful countryside south of Charlotte in Lancaster County. As South Carolina’s only certified agricultural brewery, Benford is a perfect getaway for those who want to escape the typical brewery set up. Be prepared to kick back with “family” and enjoy great conversations while tossing back a few brews back. Although they are only open only on Saturdays, but do offer several family friendly events throughout the year with live music, giant beer pong and wheelbarrow racing.
Since South Carolina loosened up the rules for Breweries in the Palmetto State, Greenville, in the Upstate area has witnessed a renaissance in craft beer. We took a road trip along I-85 to checkout the areas craft beer scene and get a little taste of what’s to come.
Founded in 2014, Brewery 85 is a craft Microbrewery in Greenville that specializes in what they call “Marrying Southern culture with Craft Beer Spirit.”
We made our trek to the Brewery 85 taproom / brewery at 6 Whitlee just one week after the Clemson Tigers upset the Alabama Crimson Tide in the College Football Playoff National Championship. We should have known that the folks in Greenville, located just 45-minutes from Clemson University, would still be celebrating. The whole town was in party mode and parking was a challenge.
The D9 Brewing Company located at 11138 Treynorth Dr in Cornelius, North Carolina is no stranger to change. Founders Aaron Burton, John Ashcroft, and Andrew Durstewitz started home brewing in a garage. Needless to say, the trio quickly became neighborhood favorites for all sorts of parties and events. Fortunately for us word of their brews spread beyond the cul-de-sac leading to their launching the D9 Brewing Company in 2013.
Since opening their doors to the public, the success of D9 has been nothing short of amazing and has resulted in one relocation and another expansion. Their first upgrade occurred in 2014 when they moved to their current site just off of Old Statesville Road in Cornelius. In 2016 D9 once again started the expansion process and now occupies the entire 10,000 sq ft. office park building they settled in in 2014.