Updated: Mar 31
As I sit here pondering the future, I also reminisce of the past. Hello! My name is Ernest Stevenson and I started Beer With Me CLT initially as a Facebook group back in 2018. It has grown into social media content and YouTube videos and now, this website. But how did it all begin?
The Unknown Brewing Bronco 2015
Discovering Craft Beer
The journey began with the discovery of craft beer back in 2015. Not just Charlotte craft beer but craft beer as a whole. I had drank beer from all over the world but I had no idea of the movement that was taking place in America. So picture this, I'm driving down I-85 South when I happen upon this Bronco with bright, fluorescent green BEER on the tailgate. My first thought was, "this redneck really loves beer". As I'm passing this Bronco, I look over and see The Unknown Brewing Co on the side and ,who I now know was, Brad Shell driving. When I got home I jumped on the computer and typed "Unknown Brewing" into the ol' Google machine. The information provided had me quite intrigued. I called a friend of mine and told him there was a place I would like to try out after work the next day and if he was interested in joining me. He was game so when 4:20 pm rolled around the next afternoon we headed to 1327 S. Mint Street. It was an incredible experience with beer like nothing I had before. Battle O' Shirts Scotch ale became my fast favorite. We met Brad and, his wife, Lisa and we just hit if off. So many an afternoon I visited Unknown and learned more and more about craft beer. Unfortunately Unknown Brewing has closed and now in it's place is another outstanding brewery, Hopfly Brewing.
Unknown was just the beginning. I wanted to know more about this Charlotte craft beer scene. With the search and find of Birdsong, Olde Mecklenburg, NoDa and Triple C I felt like I had discovered a whole new passion.
Beer With Me Charlotte is Born
I wanted to find other like-minded people in Charlotte who were lovers of craft beer. I joined a few different online groups. In these groups there were people who were certainly passionate about craft beer but I also discovered the seedy side of this collective, the beer snob. After some time of reading argument after argument about what is craft beer, and trades gone awry, and just a atmosphere of negativity, I had enough. I decided to start my own group and Beer With Me Charlotte was born in April of 2018 with the tagline of, "What's better than a beer? A beer with friends". I wanted people to discover craft beer as I had but without all the garbage. Why focus on what all you think is wrong and take a look at all that is good instead? Beer brings people together! Enjoy it!
One thing that arose from that early group was when were new beers being released. We started a Facebook page, Instagram account and a short-lived Twitter feed with a primary focus on finding new beer releases and posting about those releases. We still focus on that today!
We had high hopes going into 2020 with some collaborators and launched four shows on YouTube. Those shows were Beer with Brewpreneur, Beer with Friends, Behind the Beer and Craft Course. Of course we all know what happened in 2020 and by the end of the year the shows were shelved. However, we would love to bring back at least a couple of these shows possibly in podcast form and are constantly
on the look out for talented collaborators.
We also want to bring you Charlotte craft beer news as well as other beer related articles in this blog section. If you haven't checked out the calendar on our Events page, be prepared to be blown away at all that is happening at breweries in the greater Charlotte area.
2023 is our 5th anniversary year so we may have a celebration at some point or at least a bottle share. We will also continue to keep you updated on social media as we have for these past 5 years. Also, stay tuned for more original content in photo and video form. Who knows what we may think up next?
We hope you are discovering great craft beer in the Charlotte area and we would love to be a part of that journey with you. What's better than a beer? A beer with friends!