Creative Loafing’s 2nd Annual Moo & Brew Craft Beer and Burger Festival takes place at the AvidXchange Music Factory on Saturday, April 16. The festival will offer samplings from over 30 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 The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery!
Located at 4150 Yancey Road, The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery was declared the “Best of the Best” by Charlotte Magazine for 2015 through their annual BOB Awards. The 10.5-acre brewery includes a 60-barrel brewhouse, Brauhaus (German-style taproom and restaurant) and a Biergarten with seating for 600+ visitors. I sat down with OMB Offsite Events Manager Jessica Barbour to talk about what you can expect out of OMB at this year’s Moo & Brew:
Tell me about the beers you’ll be showcasing this year at Moo & Brew…
Jessica: We’ll be showcasing three beers this year:
- Copper – OMB Copper is an authentic Düsseldorf style “Altbier.” Alt means “old” in German, as in “old school.” So there are no crazy flavors or gimmicks with Copper; it’s just an amazingly fresh, easy-drinking beer that tastes like beer. We use expensive (but worth it) Bavarian hops and brew in strict accordance with the “Reinheitsgebot” German beer purity law to guarantee it. Once you drink this lagered ale, you’ll know why it’s the beer that put OMB on the beer-drinking map.
- Captain Jack Pilsner – We created this crisp, smooth pilsner as a salute to the courage and vision of Captain James Jack and the members of the Mecklenburg Convention, who on May 20, 1775, signed the first declaration of independence in America! This straw-colored lager captures their rebellious spirit with a subtly assertive hoppiness that complements the beer’s malty backbone.
- Fruh Bock – In German, Früh means “early,” but it’s also short for Frühling, which means Spring. Our seasonal “Spring Bock” captures the promise of warmer days ahead, combining a slight malty sweetness with a refreshing touch of citrus aroma from its noble Bavarian hops. The result is an amazingly fresh, crisp beer that masks a higher alcohol content in its smooth character. There’s no better way to greet a fresh Spring day than with Spring’s freshest beer!
What’s the weirdest pairing of beer and food you’ve ever tried?
Jessica: OMB doesn’t really do “weird,” but we’ve done some creative food pairings. One of our best was BBA Fat Boy Maple Syrup for the pancakes at our Annual BBA Fat Boy Breakfast Release & Bottle Share.
What’s something about OMB that people may not know?
Jessica: OMB is Charlotte’s oldest craft brewery and was named Best Brewery Tour in America by the Readers of USA Today, besting industry giants such as Budweiser in St. Louis and Sam Adams in Boston. We offer free brewery tours on Saturdays and Sundays at 2, 3, and 4 p.m. – no purchase is necessary, but we think you’ll want to try the beer!
What has been your favorite event or experience at OMB?
Jessica: We’ve had a lot of great events over the years at OMB, but my top three favorites are: Mecktoberfest (a traditional German Oktoberfest in October), Weihnachtsmarkt (a Christmas market in December), and the Louisiana Spring Fest (a crawfish boil in April).