Charlotte has hit the brewery boom and one of the newest members of that team is Three Spirits Brewing. I had a chance to sit and chat with the head brewer and owner Tabu Terrell. He is a true renaissance man, he was at one time an ER doctor who dabbled in home brewing to relieve stress and now he owns a brewery in Charlotte, NC. When I asked him why he left the hustle of the medical world, with out hesitation he stated “Family.” There were times when he did not get to see his family very often because of the schedule physicians must have and he knew that had to change. So he followed his passion of brewing and created Three Spirits Brewery.
Three Spirits is directly related to the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carole. The feeling of that story starts at the front door. The brewery is tucked in an industrial area and yet the front façade is reminiscent of a formal English Pub. What a wonderful change of scenery. As soon as you pass through the front doors you are greeted warmly by the staff behind the bar. Somedays you will get to see Tabu sitting at the end of the bar. That’s where I met him and his taproom Manager Debbie.
Tabu and his staff have created an atmosphere of ease and comfort in the taproom. The tap room is open with a great long bar and tables. There is a large window that looks directly into the brew house and it is impressive. Tucked on the sides of the tap room are the Curmudgeon Corners, these are literally little nooks that allow for people to get away for a brief moment. I can see myself sitting there having a beer and working on blog posts. Puppies are allowed as well, as long as they are well behaved. I know that Frida will be making a pit stop there soon.
The comfort of the taproom flows right into the beer that Tabu is brewing. He will tell you that he is creating “comfort beers.” These are beers that are meant to be enjoyed with friends on a patio while the sun is shining. The core lineup is impressive and ambitious.
Tabu is brewing beer that he would want to drink, focusing on the process. He does not filter any of his beers so they have to sit a little bit longer than most allowing for gravity to do the work. I asked him what his first batch of homebrew was and he said “a lager.” I asked him why and it was because they said that they are the hardest to master. Each one of the core beers was a home brew recipe that had to be amped up for the new 10bbl system.
While many are trying to tempt your palate with a feast of hops, Tabu is focusing on delicate flavors, such as lemon peel, coriander, and even lavender. I was lucky enough to have a beer of Three Spirits a year ago at a beer festival and it was Lavender and Coriander Cream Ale, the aroma and taste is what I want to drink in the spring. I asked about this special beer and he said that it will make its return around May.
Red Moon Rising-this is a classic American Amber Lager. This beer undergoes a long, cold lagering period thus creating a unique flavor profile. There is a depth of flavor allowing for you taste buds to be fooled into thinking that this beer is heavier that it really is.
Ain’t No Hop Steppin – I love IPA’s and this is a solid beer. There are 5 different types of hops allowing for each to play together creating a unique aroma and mouthfeel. At the fist sip I was able to taste a little pine and resin. It was after the sip was done there was a little floral and citrus. This is a great day drinking beer on my patio.
Southern Bliss – this is truly my favorite in the line up. I know I should not be biased but that it is hard when a beer drinks this easy and has a slight hint of apricots. The aroma of this beer is wonderful and smells like a summer day. I could see myself drinking this camping and on my kayak.
Agate Have It – this beer is one that will cross all seasons. This brown ale has a smoothness yet feels robust once you have the first taste.
Honey Porter – this porter is lightly sweet from the honey and has that roasty flavor that we all love in a porter. This beer is not at all heavy on the palate thus allowing you to drink this during the summer months.
Three Spirits also brews beers that are available as the seasons change. While I was there I got to try the King Rassafasa Ale – this Belgian style Saison was so light and again Tabu focused on delicate ingredients, like lemon peel, orange peel, wintergreen, and cardamom. I was able to sneak a little taste and trust me this will be a bottle release I will be attending.
Three Spirits Brewery is a wonderful brewery with a sense of ease and comfort. Tabu has created a beer line up that anyone can find a new favorite. So take a chance on Three Spirits. Tell them Amanda sent you.
PS: All the photos for this post were taken by Mike Nido, who is a home brewer, wonderful neurosurgery PA, and my friend.
Three Spirits Brewery
5046 Olde Pineville Road