The Beer has been a staple of the human diet for almost as long as humans have been around. It is the single oldest and most widely consumed alcoholic drink in history and each culture has made it their own in some way.

Through the years we’ve gotten to learn a lot about beer, it’s health benefits, it’s economy, and most importantly, how to brew better beer. The “Craft Beer Movement” has been growing steadily through recent years and bolstered the amount of smaller, independent breweries that are focused on bettering their community, local economy, and beer. Here are five local breweries in Charlotte to wet your whiskers.

NoDa Brewing Co.

Located in Charlotte’s art district of the same name, NoDa brewing company was founded by Todd Ford. Todd embraced home brewing as a hobby during his downtime as an airline pilot. During this time he perfected NoDa’s signature brew, “Hop, Drop ‘N Roll”. A few years after their opening in 2011, their signature IPA won the gold award in the World Beer Cup in 2014.

The Unknown Brewing Co.

Unkown Brewing Company boasts a culture of throwing caution to the wind and taking chances, this can be seen (and tasted) in their wide selection of beers that use an even wider variety of ingredients. From IPA’s and American ales to Imperial Porters and Key Lime Gose, there’s something for every taste in this taproom.

Wooden Robot Brewery

Wooden Robot was founded by longtime friends and homebrewers Josh Patton¬†and Dan Wade. Head Brewer Dan studied brewing and distillery in Scotland and brought his knowledge back to offer a selection of IPA’s and particularly Farmhouse Ales.¬† Your beer will taste even better when it’s paired with a dish of Twisted Eats, which works alongside the tap room for perfect pairings.

Birdsong Brewing Co.

Former bakery managers Chris and Tara Goulet opened Birdsong Brewing Company in 2011 selling a co-worker’s homebrew with just two full-time employees. After an impressive response, Birdsong continued to craft new beers before opening their taproom in 2015. Hosting free music as well as a slew of interesting brews, it’s one of the places to be in the Belmont area.

Blue Blaze Brewing

Sitting in the Savona Mill redevelopment in the West End, Blue Blaze hosts a modern feel as well as hosting beer of every shade, from golden Kolsch to dark milk stouts. Large Hoppers and distillers are visible from the bar and, if you’re lucky, you may run into Lucy, a friendly retriever-corgi mix. Dogs or no dogs, Blue Blaze is a place to swing by if you’re ever in the West End.

Grant Fagan is an intern and broadcasting student

Photos: Grant Fagan

Video: Joe King