Wow. Our first festival in Charlotte, NC was an incredible time. We were fortunate to have great weather and we were all very excited to see so many folks in their best Tune Squad gear. Beer was flowing, Phillip McLamb from Resident Culture set up a kickass basketball hoop, and good times were had. A huge shoutout to the Resident Culture team and the entire Charlotte community. I had a few awesome days with the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA) and look out for some upcoming articles on Charlotte’s food and drink scene.

We enjoyed plenty of beer during our time in the Queen City but we also made sure to try some brews sent to the office. Here are five of the best beers we drank from March 18th to the 25th.

Three Times Three Times

Brouwerij West — San Pedro, CA

Double NE IPA — Brouwerij West’s Marketing Manager Vito Trautz said this was one of Brouwerij West’s best ever beers. That’s a high standard considering we’ve had some phenomenal beers from the San Pedro brewery. After the 4-pack arrived, I cooled them down in the fridge and cracked one open. And I have to agree with Trautz–it was a world-class IPA. “Like smoking weed in a tropical rainforest,” Trautz described. I couldn’t characterize it better. The dank, resinous notes balanced by explosive fruit flavor. I need more of this beer.

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Pét-Nat Rosé (East Village)

Shacksbury — Vergennes, VT

Cider — Shacksbury teamed up with three wineries across the country to deliver a highly drinkable Pét-Nat Rosé cider. We happened to try the East Village edition with grape skins from Brooklyn Winery. It was perfectly dry with lovely apple and grape notes on the nose. I talked about this cider at length in a separate article, but the bottom line is: Drink this cider ASAP.

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Heart of Matters

Deciduous Brewing Co. — Newmarket, NH

Double IPA — Deciduous continues to lead the new-wave charge of delicious beers in New Hampshire. The brewery’s offerings tend towards the trendy and juicy IPAs, but they almost always excel at these styles. This double IPA was well-crafted with lush fruit notes that never pushed the beer too far. We got to this beer a little late so some sweet malty notes came through, but that didn’t detract from the quality of this brew. If you still have a can, crack it open and give it a try!

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Tough Folks

Trophy Brewing Co. — Raleigh, NC

American Light Lager — Nothing like a simple lager. After a Juicy Brews fest, that’s all I want to be drinking. Tough Folks from Trophy was exactly what I needed. Flavorful, refreshing, crushable. Perfect for these first few warm days of spring.

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Troon Brewing — Hopewell, NJ

Kettle Sour — We happened to be in the area when Troon announced the can release for this guava, passionfruit, and lactose kettle sour. I don’t tend to seek out this style but founder Alex Helms has a knack for nailing any style. The guava and passionfruit flavors balanced each other perfectly and the lactose addition brought a well-rounded mouthfeel that softened the fruity tartness. Plus, how can you say no to this glorious can art.

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