The light rail brew trail is filling out nicely. Over the next month, two new Charlotte breweries – Sugar Creek and Sycamore – less than two miles apart in South End will host grand openings. With the grand openings, Mecklenburg County’s brewery presence will grow from 10 to 12 breweries. Four of the currently open breweries lie along the light rail’s blue line, and these two will not only lie along the light rail, they will be within a few hundred yards of another brewery.
Sugar Creek Brewing
Sugar Creek Brewing exterior
Sugar Creek has spent 2014 making the former Olde Mecklenburg Brewing site its own, finishing construction precisely one week before its grand opening weekend, which kicks off on Friday, October 10th. The Belgian brewery has been successfully producing beer for months, and initially expects to produce 5,000 bbl/year. Shortly after the grand opening, a restaurant will open also with a Belgian approach, offering food in the style of Belgian street food carts.
Sugar Creek has three founders. Owner/Founder Eric Flanigan is a Charlotte native who also started and managed Whisky River in EpiCentre with Dale Earnhardt Jr. He served in the Marine Corps as a gunner and instructor. Owner/Founder Joe Vogelbacher and Todd Franklin – previously nuclear engineers for Newport News Ship Building – brew the beer. The brewery is named after Little Sugar Creek, on which Joe grew up near Park Road Shopping Center.
The taproom has a colorful and eccentric yet classic, turn-of-the-[other]-century feel. It partners well with its German brethren – OMB – a very short stroll away. Around town, Sugar Creek has 30 accounts and continues to grow.
At the grand opening, Sugar Creek will have four wits, a dubbel, a Saison, and a pale ale. Soon after will be a porter, Tripel Sugar Creek XV, with the maximum legally allowed 15% ABV (in the original recipe, it was 20%).
Festivities on Friday will include live music, BBQ, and giveaways, including great Charlotte Hornets tickets for opening night.
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Owners Justin and Sarah Brigham behind Sycamore Brewing’s bar. The taproom will have 20 beers and ciders, 16 of which will be Sycamore’s.
In the northern part of South End, a very short stroll from Lenny Boy Brewing Company near the Tremont light rail stop, Sycamore Brewing will host its grand opening on November 1st. Starting at 2:00 p.m., their opening will also include food and music in the festivities. Sycamore is working on a small kitchen onsite and will have some food prepared in-house, but food trucks still will be part of the equation.
Founders and husband-and-wife team Justin and Sarah Brigham have spent three years teeing up the brewery. Justin is a Charlotte native who spent years working on his craft in Colorado while attending UC-Boulder. Sarah, a native of Bermuda, specializes in marketing.
Sycamore Brewing in South End, Charlotte
The two flipped a former auto garage into a 15 bbl brewery. The taproom, complete with a copper-topped bar, will serve 16 beers of all types produced in-house by brewers Justin Brigham and Jordy Smith. The taproom will have four additional beers and ciders, as well as some wine. At this point, the beers they have announced for the opening are the Peak Farm Pale Ale and the Southerly OPA (Oat Pale Ale). Out back is a large patio area
Find them on Facebook here.