Creative Loafing’s 4th Annual Moo & Brew Craft Beer and Burger Festival takes place at the AvidXchange Music Factory on April 28. The festival will offer samplings from over 50 local, regional, and national breweries as Charlotte’s most notorious burger joints compete for the coveted title of “Creative Loafing’s Best Burger.” As an official sponsor of the event, we’re profiling some of the vendors you’ll rub elbows with, like NoDa Brewing Company!
Located at 2921 N Tryon St, NoDa Brewing Company was founded in 2011 by Suzie and Todd Ford. Named after the Queen City’s most bohemian and artistic neighborhood—NoDa, named after North Davidson Street — NoDa Brewing Company was created out of love for great beer and a desire to share it with friends. NoDa proudly offers more beer varieties than most other local breweries and are always stretching their creative muscles to look for new, exciting flavors. Their award-winning brews include Jam Session, an American pale ale, Gordgeous, a delicious pumpkin ale, and Hop Drop ‘N Roll, the 2014 World Beer Cup America-Style IPA Gold Award Winner.
I sat down with “Her Hopness” Lindsay Sprick to talk about what you can expect out of NoDa at this year’s Moo & Brew. When she isn’t making beautiful baked goods, reading, or hanging out with her two Australian shepherds, Lindsay is reppin’ NoDaBrewing Company around the Queen City. She decided to pursue a career in craft beer after concluding that a career in law wasn’t for her.
Tell me about the beers you’ll be showcasing this year at Moo & Brew…
Lindsay: We’ll definitely have one or two options from our weekly NoDable series available, including a juicy IPA. I’m planning on bringing our Jam Session Pale Ale, our favorite music-loving beer, and one of my personal favorites, NoDa Bandito Mexican Lager.
Bandito is our Spring seasonal option, but it’s a fantastic Mexican lager with a crisp body, a slightly fruity nose, and a low ABV (4.9%) that makes it crushable in the Charlotte heat. Jam Session is our American Pale Ale with clear hop flavor that shines through without being too dominant, and there’s a great malt flavor uncommon to the style. Look for pine and citrus flavors of Centennial, Simcoe, and Citra hops in Jam.
What’s your favorite burger in Charlotte and why?
Lindsay: If I have to pick a few off the top of my head, I’d say the Ding Dong Burger from Pinky’s Westside Grill, the Peter Piper from Moo & Brew, the Cheeseburger All-The-Way from Brooks’ Sandwich House, the Umami Burger from Cowbell Burger & Whiskey Bar, and the Booty Burger at Kickstand Burger Bar. There are a ton of wonderful burgers in the city, and I’m happy to taste-test any of them!
What’s the weirdest pairing of beer and food you’ve ever tried?
Lindsay: Once I had pig tongue paired with a black saison and Chiriboga Blue cheese. It was absolutely phenomenal! When I tell people about it, I can tell most folks are put off by the idea, but it was really, really good. I’m game to eat pretty much anything pig-related, and I’ve found that trusting the chef to pair the beer with something off the wall usually ends up going well. It can bring out flavors in the beer that you didn’t even know were there.
What’s something about NoDa Brewing Co. that people may not know?
Lindsay: That we have more than one national/international beer medal! So many people think that Hop Drop ‘n Roll IPA is our only medal winner (Gold for American IPA at the World Beer Cup), but we have multiple! Coco Loco, another personal favorite of mine, won Silver for Robust Porter at the Great American Beer Festival. No gold was awarded that year; we were considered the winner but docked the gold due to adding coconut to the beer, which is considered uncommon to the style.
We also won Gold last year for NoDajito Witbier in the Herb and Spice Beer category at the Great American Beer Festival! I keep hoping that Jam Session will medal (I think it’s a fantastic beer), but the Pale Ale and IPA categories are the most competitive and have the most entries. Jam Session is Hop Drop’s little sister in my head, so I always hope it will get some recognition.
What has been your favorite event or experience at NoDa?
Lindsay: It’s been five years for me at NoDa, so it’s hard to choose! I would say our Oyster Roast is a phenomenal experience! The beer we brew for it, Mother Shucker Oyster Stout, is delicious. When we brew it, the employees come out and eat extra oysters that Front Street Brewing brings up for the collaboration, and then we partner with Sea Level for the big release party and oyster roast event.
As for private events, every year Todd and Suzie Ford rent out the dugout suite at BB&T Ballpark for the employees and give us the day off so we can relax and unwind together. It’s a ton of fun and a great experience!
Get Your Moo & Brew Craft Beer and Burger Festival Tickets Now!
The Moo & Brew Craft Beer and Burger Festival will take place on April 28, 2018, at the AvidXchange Music Factory Fairgrounds, located at 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd. Don’t forget to stop by the AvidXchange booth for fun and games! While Moo & Brew celebrates beer and food, the festival also raises funds for Second Harvest Food Bank. Proceeds will be given directly to these organizations. Moo & Brew was able to raise over $26,000 with previous festivals and will continue to work with Charlotte charities to help them help others in our great city.
There will be a VIP session (12:30 p.m.-2 p.m.) that will feature special releases and beers from each brewery, with a General Admission open tasting session to follow (2 p.m.-6 p.m.). The VIP session will feature small batch and rare offerings from our breweries, special edition Belgian style sample glass, a ticket good for one free burger, swag from some of our sponsors and a covered VIP area with great sight lines to the stage!