Unicorns, Raptors, & Spiders, Oh My... Twenty-Six Acres Brewing
Last night brought the tour to Twenty-Six Acres Brewing Company in Concord, North Carolina. Concord ia northern buburb of the greater Charlotte area, and is also home to the Charlotte Motor Speedway, which wasn't too far from the brewery.
Twenty-Six Acres is located in a large building in an office-complex sort of area, and they have plenty of space. Very high ceilings, overlooks, and lots of tables (along with a very long bar, the taproom also has large cargo bay doors that open to a side patio area with tables and, on this night, two different food trucks. Lots of indoor and outdoor games, and the venue is also both kid and dog friendly, with a fair number of each on hand.
Twenty-Six Acres Brewing Company - Concord, NC
Cans and kegs are distributed throughout North Carolina, both to retailers and restaurants/drinking establishments. The taproom serves drafts, and sels cans and growlers
The brewery has been around for about 2 years, and is already distributing cans and kegs retail throughout the region, as well as being on tap in many restaurants and barns throughout North Carolina. It's good stuff, look for it when you're in the area or passing through.
On this night there were actually two different food trucks on hand, the bay doors were open to a mild breezy night, I don't think there was an empty seat to be found. The crowd was a wide assortment of families with kids and just groups out for a Friday night at the local brewery. I was a little worried that the ACC tournament would cause me a little trouble, but luckily the UNC/Duke matchup wasn't until a little later, so the tournament was on a few TVs but not terribly distracting for me while playing music.
In addition to a nice variety of beers, the bar also served several wines, ciders, and a few cocktails. I was obviously here for the beers, though, so I can't comment on the other drink selections (and from what I could tell it appeared pretty much everyone was there for the beer).
At the suggestion of the helpful ladies working the taps, I started with their brand new Raptor Juice (7.2%) New England IPA. Perhaps the most popular subgenre of the IPA, this was a very nicely done New England Haze... an appealing orange pour, light head, and obviously opaque, hence the “haze” nickname of the genre. While the foggy appearance of the beer would tend you think they'd be milky or creamy, it is smooth in the mouth, yet still crisp on the finish. This one has a fair amount of Citra and Mosaic hops, providing a fruity aroma and flavor, very refreshing and thirst quenching. A great beer to start with if you're coming in very thirsty and eager to get down to business.
Next up was the Unicorn Milk (6%) cream ale. I actually couldn't remember the last time I had a real cream ale, so I was anxious to try it... and it did not disappoint. Twenty-Six Acres makes this with the addition of Mexican vanilla and blueberries... resulting in a slightly sweet brew, with a somewhat creamy smooth and satisfying texture.
During my second set I sipped on the Industrious People Ale (6.7%), the brewery's American IPA. Dry hopped with Citra, Magnum, and Centennial hops, this was another impressive IPA with a fruity aroma, and lightly citrusy flavor, and just a hint of bitterness. Very drinkable and refreshing.
My final beer of the night was the Second Rodeo Joe (6.9%), which was the coffee-infused porter. Twenty-Six Acres also has a non-coffee version, simply called the Second Rodeo. A rather crisp porter, I enjoyed the maltiness and slight chocolate flavors that you'd expect in a porter, but I was looking for a little more coffee in it. It had a coffee aroma, and I could taste a little coffee when really hunting for it, but it just wasn't as coffee-forward as I have come to like in coffee porters and stouts. Not a big complaint, in the scheme of things, and really more of a matter of personal taste (I'm sure a lot of people prefer only the slightest hint of coffee in their beer), as it was a fine porter on it's own. As the winter fades into Spring, it was good to have another porter while there was still a little chill in the air, as soon it will be too warm and porters will seem to be out of season, so I still enjoyed it, despite it falling a little short on the coffee that I was expecting.
Twenty-Six Acres is quite the operation for only being two years old. The taproom is quite impressive, the beers very good, and they attract a fun and diverse crowd. As noted earlier, they do distribute throughout North Carolina, so If you're in the area I'd recommend them highly for a hang in the taproom, or pick up some cans and check them out for yourself.
Next stop is just down the road in Charlotte, at Lenny Boy Brewing on Saturday, and then hussle all the way to Indiana for St. Paddy's Day Sunday.
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