Wandering around Charlotte, North Carolina one afternoon I found myself near The Unknown Brewing Company and in need of a break from the heat and cold drink. In I went to this gorgeous modern meets industrial brewery and tap room that seemed to be THE place to be that afternoon. Brewing eclectic and sometimes downright strange beers since 2013, this popular spot is situated in the heart of south Charlotte’s trendy beer scene. So grab a beer, relax, and listen as I venture into unknown territory in this review.
- Beer – As per usual, their tap list consists is composed of a nice mix of year-round and seasonal offerings. The year-round beers lean heavy into the lighter side, both in color and ABV and embracing that funky edge this place cultivates. Where they really shine is the seasonal and one-off beers, where they mix and match flavors and ingredients to create some unique and flavorful beers. Cognac simmered raisins in a Belgian quad? You bet. Bourbon-soaked cherries in an imperial stout? Absolutely. Well crafted, from the fundamentals to the weird, these beers are bold and beautiful, and a delight to drink, especially on a hot day. Score: 4.5/5
- Brewery – The outside is a nondescript brick building with roll-up doors and a moderately sized seating area. Step inside and you can see the work that went into their recent remodel to create a bright, airy, and modern tap room. Mosey up to the large, wrap around bar and grab a seat, or for larger parties you can sit at any of the scattered tables around the room, all with a view into the spacious and shiny brew floor at the back of the house. If you get there early enough you might even be able to snag a table on their roof-top patio, complete with lovely views of downtown Charlotte and the football stadium. While they do not technically have a kitchen, there is a permanent food truck in residence, serving up some delicious pizzas. The prices are commensurate with this trendy section of town, with a flight running $8 for 4 pours. They are open every day of the week, with longer hours on the weekend, allowing ample opportunity to stop in if you are in the area. Score: 4/5
- Ambiance and Entertainment – If you are looking for brewery-centric things to do in the Queen city, this seems to be one of the places to go. They host weekly trivia, yoga, bootcamps, and bike rides around town. Plus, every Tuesday they release a new small batch test beer for tasting. And those are just the recurring events. They also host a plethora of live music, new beer release parties, and other one-off celebrations like Father’s Day. Add in a bunch of games available to play and ample televisions and it seems like there is something for every taste here. Score: 4/5
- Location – Just blocks from the Carolina Panthers football stadium, it would seem like this would be a great place to pre- and post-game party due to its convenience. Within easy walking distance are a bunch of fun looking restaurants and other breweries, as well as the heart of downtown with its attendant museums, theater, and art galleries. Parking can be a little hard to come by depending on the time of day and is mostly street level spots though they do have a small lot next to the building. Score: 4/5
- Customer Service – Service was quick if a little perfunctory. It was quite busy but even so I was greeted quickly after sitting down at the bar and my order was taken after a few minutes of letting me peruse the menu. The drinks were poured with equal speed and I was checked on frequently throughout. Food is delivered to you if you order it, but refills must be handled at the bar as they do not seem to have table service. Score: 3/5
Total Score: 19.5/25
Favorite Beer: Venture – 6.5% Stout
Final Thoughts: A delightful find on a hot day in Charlotte, I only wish I lived closer so I could sample more of their odd yet delicious beers. I definitely recommend checking out the Unknown Brewing Company next time you are in Charlotte.