Every year for the past 17 years the Carolina Brewmasters home brew club hosts the Charlotte Oktoberfest. This is the perfect beer fest to end the season. This year it was held at the NC Music Factory, a perfect place with plenty of free and ample parking. The Brewmasters are so well-organized that this festival has a sense of ease and light heartedness. Everyone looked relaxed and ready to roll. The weather up to the event was ominous and threatening, yet the rain held off and everyone was excited to drink great craft beer on a chilly NC fall day.
Beers to talk about:
NoDa Brewing: Hop, Drop n’ Roll Fantasy Cask – this cask was dry hopped with multiple hops varieties as well as grapefruit zest and tangerine peels. I also heard there were unicorn tears and dragon egg yolks included in this fantastic and special cask of Hop, Drop, n’ Roll. The citrus notes from the hops and fruits were straight-forward and up front. At the end of the sip you still got that quintessential IPA flavor.
Triple C Brewing Company: Eyes of the World – this beer was a cherry wood smoked porter that had been aged in bourbon barrels for 6 months. This was the first beer I tried and it was a perfect autumn warmer on a chilly day. This will be available in bottles for a limited time at the brewery on 10/10/15. If you live near Charlotte, I would recommend attending this bottle release.
Oskar Blues: Ten Fidy – what is there not to like about this beer? To me, this is the ultimate Russian Imperial Stout. I was excited to see the guys from Oskar Blues ready to pour you a taste. Once poured, Ten Fidy has the color of black ink. At first taste there is hints of chocolate and mild bitterness. Ten Fidy is available in cans and a perfect beer for cool weather camping.
Bull City Ciderworks: these guys brought some great ciders with them from Durham, NC. My favorite is the Off Main. This cider to me is semi-dry with a wonderfully bubbly and effervescent mouth-feel. Whenever I see this cider in town, Off Main is my go to. A perfect change from all of the great beers at Oktoberfest. I have to thank the Bull City guys again for my great new t-shirt. THANK YOU!!!!
My recommendations for survival of Charlotte Oktoberfest:
- Take Uber. The average Uber ride in town is 18-25.00. You can’t beat that price especially if you are sharing the car with others. Remember Uber lets you split the fare.
- Carry a purse large enough to hold the necessities. For me, that was an umbrella, snacks, and any great swag I was able to snag.
- Pace yourself, this is not a beer sprint. I would recommend buying the VIP tickets. With those you actually have time to talk with the brewers about what beers they brought to share.
The annual Charlotte Oktoberfest is a great event that should not be missed. Every year the festival grows with more surprises. I hope to see everyone at #18.