With a growing number of options for beer festivals, Charlotte Oktoberfest remains one of the most popular thanks to its long standing reputation for great organization, diversity and quality of beer, and work in the community with the event’s proceeds effect on local charities.
This year’s beer lineup brings favorites from our hometown breweries, will expose drinkers to regional beers not often found in Charlotte and sees national breweries pulling out small batch rarities. Festival attendees will also enjoy a wide variety of ciders and other specialties, like rum from local distillery Muddy River.
As a homebrewer the word “leak” typically brings forth images of me sadly scrubbing a sticky beer fridge. But, in this case, I’ve gotten my hands on the Oktoberfest lineup and excitedly bring you a sneak preview of what’s to come.
- Scare City – Laguanitas – The festival’s title sponsor brings some specialty beers like this imperial pilsner and Fusion 24.
- Barrel Aged Wee Heavy – Heist Brewing – Busting in at 12% ABV, Heist used dates and plums in this Scotch ale. If your last view of Heist was at 2013 Oktoberfest, check out their entire lineup from new brewers Eric Mitchell and Josh Johnson who took the helm in March. They’re also bringing a sage saison, double IPA, farmhouse and American-Belgain stout.
- Black Jack Bacon Slap – Left Hand – Left Hand’s Black Jack porter gets infused with brown sugar and bacon bits. Bull Dog Beer & Wine will be pouring this, plus Habanero Hop Notcho (a habanero pepper infused version of Uinta’s Hop Notch) and Kenturkey Breakfast Stout (Anderson Valley’s Barney Flats Wild Turkey Stout infused with Starbucks Morning Blend).
- Sour Cherry Imperial Stout (2012) – Blue Point
- Kaldi Imperial Coffee Stout – Quest Brewing The brewery out of Greenville, SC, brings a lineup featuring this coffee stout along with a west coast IPA, smoked porter and Belgian pale.
- ESB – Fortnight Brewing – Coming from Cary, Fornight brings their ESB with figs and biscuit malt. A brewery that enjoys American twists on traditional English ales, they’ll also feature a mashup of an English/American IPA.
- Midnight Hoppiness – Knee Deep Brewing – An imperial black rye IPA from California.
- Hop Knife – Troegs – Many familiar with this Hershey, PA brewery cheered the arrival of their beers to Charlotte a couple weeks ago. They’ll bring this harvest IPA, as well as Dream Weaver Wheat, Troegenator Double Bock and Perpetual IPA, an imperial lager.
- Gourd Rocker Imperial Pumpkin – Double Barley Brewing – The Smithfield, NC brewery promises this 11% seasonal tastes like grandma’s pumpkin pie complete with whipped cream.
- Head of the Horseman – D9 – The brand new Cornelius brewery (grand opening September 13) brings their pumpkin ale.
- Gordgeous – NoDa Brewing – Pumpkin Ale
- Seasonal Sour & Kombucha – Lenny Boy – Still putting their final touches of these beers at last check, Lenny Boy brings seasonal love with their signature styles.
- Jack-O Shandy – Traveler Beer Company – A shandy twist on a seasonal style.
- The Harvester – Green Man – A marzen-style lager.
There’s simply too many great beers to mention here and many more to come. Lineups are still to be announced from Birdsong, Triple C, Sycamore, Fonta Flora, Wicked Weed, Catawba Valley, Brawley’s Beverage, Beer Growler Charlotte and New Sarum out of Salisbury.
Haven’t gotten your tickets yet? They will sell out so go ahead and grab them at http://www.charlotteoktoberfest.com/. Feeling lucky? Enter the Cheers Charlotte Oktoberfest VIP Contest by taking a picture of yourself in front of the Cheers Charlotte sticker at any of our sponsors. Share your pic and we’ll announce the winner September 20 at the Oktoberfest Pre-Party at Salud.