Neighborhood Guide: Breweries of South End

Charlotte has outstanding local breweries, and South End is a great place to explore them all: on your brewery tour, you can also can get a great meal, walk along the Rail Trail, take in the public art and walk from one stop to the next.

The South End Spring Craft Crawl is just a few weeks away. Until then, here is your primer on our neighborhood breweries and the people behind them:

The Unknown Brewing Company – 1327 S Mint St.

Unknown Brewing Co. believes that a name does not make a good beer and a good beer does not have to have a name; a philosophy they have lived by since their doors first opened. Their call to you…. step into The Unknown.

Meaning behind the name

Lisa Shell and husband Brad opened The Unknown Brewing Co. in 2013 and believe their name describes “whatever your wildest adventure is, to step out of your comfort zone and live without boundaries. The Unknown.”

Favorite brew

Lisa Shell, who has deemed herself the “chaos coordinator” for Unknown, says her favorite beer is the Scratch N Sniff: an aromatic IPA with six additions of Cascade and Lemon Drop hops.  The IPA was made using a technique called “hop bursting” creating a citrus aroma without the bitterness.

Fun fact about The Unknown Brewing Co.

There’s not just beer and good times at The Unknown; their mantra is to help others while having fun doing so. Every Saturday at 2:30 p.m. there is a Bike & Brew which, so far, has raised hundreds of thousands for the MS Society, Alzheimer’s, Bike Luck and 24 Hours of Booty. They also have an annual amateur cooking competition that raises money for Purple Heart Homes.

Wooden Robot Brewery – 1440 S Tryon St.

What started as a friendship in middle school led to the creation of Wooden Robot Brewery in 2015. Josh Patton and Dan Wade, co-owners of the brewery, describe their journey as bringing science to the art of the brew and living out a college dream.

Favorite Brew

Patton says there are three brews that were first made at the brewery and will always be available: Good Morning Vietnam, Overachiever Pale Ale and the What He’s Having IPA. The Good Morning Vietnam is the brewery’s best-known and top selling beer.

Meaning behind the name

Wade says the name came from two disparate elements: wooden and robot. He says wooden represents the artisanal farmhouse while robot represents the American innovative spirit. THe co-owners say the name serves as a reminder to never take themselves too seriously.

Sycamore Brewing – 2161 Hawkins St.

Sycamore Brewing, previously an auto-garage turned operational brewery, sets out to brew beer that brings people together. Justin Brigham, co-owner of Sycamore with wife Sarah, started the brewery with the goal of making each beer easy to drink from the first sip to the last.

Why South End

Brigham, who got his start in the beer industry while taking a summer job at Coors Brewing Co., says they chose South End because it’s “the greatest neighborhood in the city!” Being only a short, two-minute walk from the nearest light rail station makes Sycamore easily accessible by any mode of transportation.

Fun fact about Sycamore Brewing

In the five years Sycamore has been in South End, the family-owned company has brewed more than 370 beers. The brewery will also now be the home of Front Porch Sundays starting in April!

Suffolk Punch Brewing – 2911 Griffith St.

Brewery, culinary café, taphouse and coffee bar are all on the list of descriptions for The Suffolk Punch. Housed in a former furniture warehouse, the co-founders wanted this space to feel open with natural light and a welcoming front door that faces New Bern station.

Meaning behind the name

Seth Stidham, co-owner of Suffolk Punch, said the name comes from the Suffolk horse, an English breed commonly referred to as the “Suffolk Punch” due its strength and solid appearance.

Favorite brew

Stidham’s current favorite brew is the 16 hands, a double IPA named after the average mature height of the Suffolk horse. It’s packed with fruity notes of mango, juicy berries and apricot.

Why South End

The people, energy and businesses of the neighborhood are why the co-owners chose to call South End home for the brewery. Stidham said “the light rail breathed new life into the area and created a space where people love to work, exercise and play.”

Triple C Brewing Co. – 2900 Griffith St.

Triple C Owner Chris Harker was born in Zimbabwe and spent time living in England and Belgium before moving to North Carolina, bringing with him a taste for great beer and a philosophy of giving back to the community whenever he can.

Triple C’s annual Know Your Craft 5k benefits the Urban Ministry Center and their efforts to end homelessness in our community.

Meaning behind the name

Harker says they named the brewery Triple C after its original three founders: himself, Chris and Christina Murphy. The other two founders have moved on to other adventures, which is when Scott Kimball then stepped in and became head brewer.

Fun fact about Triple C Brewing Co.

The home brewers turned co-owners of Triple C first got the idea to make their own beer at different stages in life. Kimball says his inspiration came while hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2006 and Harker says his father was his main inspiration because of being accustomed to well-crafted beer from across the pond.

Lenny Boy Brewing Co. – 3000 S Tryon St.

After opening in 2012, Lenny Boy started off producing non-alcoholic kombucha in South End. Shortly after, Lenny Boy’s founder Townes Mozer became the only Certified Organic kombucha producer in the southeast and by September became a licensed microbrewery.

Favorite brew

A favorite of Mozer’s, due to being aged in Heaven Hills barrels, the Breakfast in Heaven is an imperial stout with 10% ABV. The stout gets its name from being made with Madagascar vanilla beans, Counter Culture Coffee, cacao nibs and lactose.

Fun fact about Lenny Boy Brewing Co.

From staff volunteer events to donating kombucha and beer to charitable organizations, Lenny Boy likes to take care of the community. Some of the organizations they help on a regular basis include Piedmont Culinary Guild, Catawba River Keepers, Sustain Charlotte and BEE Mighty.

Whether you are new to South End or make the area a part of your plans every weekend, these awesome breweries are constantly coming out with new drinks to satisfy any craving.

The March Craft Beer Crawl is right around the corner so click here to check out more details about the event!

If your drink of choice is a refreshing crisp white wine or a rich full-bodied red, click here to read about the wine shop you’ll want to go to every night of the week.