Four breweries, a beer shop and a cidery
Apples to apples
“There were obviously a lot of breweries in town,” says GoodRoad Ciderworks founder Brian Beauchemin. “We decided to do something different.”
GoodRoad, which opened its doors last St. Patrick’s Day, specializes in dry ciders made from fresh-pressed juices — the dryer, the better.
Beauchemin also shuns adding sugars or artificial sweeteners to his ciders, and 90 percent of the apples he uses are local, from Perry Lowe Orchards in Taylorsville. Currently, the cidery offers four single-varietal dry ciders.
In much the way a varietal wine uses just one grape, these ciders use just one apple. But there are plenty more ciders to choose from. Flavors at GoodRoad include hops, ginger, blueberry, peach and a general-blend cider.
“Technically we are a winery,” Beauchemin says, “because we make cider, which is a fruit wine, and mead, which is honey wine.”
Ah, mead. For many, it is a brew sloshing around in Thor’s flagon at Asgard. But the honeyed elixir is growing in popularity in Charlotte.
“Once we decided to do ciders, I felt the meads were a natural compliment,” Beauchemin says, citing the compatibility between apple and honey flavors. Right now, one of the more popular meads is one made with avocado honey.
“People ask if it’s going to taste funky or like guacamole,” Beauchemin says, laughing. “It gives the mead a unique flavor profile. It has the sweetness of honey along with some earthiness.”
For the more adventurous imbibers, there are even cysers, which blend cider and mead, on tap. GoodRoad boasts a full tasting room, two outdoor patios and a mezzanine. A private event room is right off the taproom, set off by two large barn doors that can swing open to allow people to flow through the facility.
“I grew up in Vermont surrounded by barns and apple orchards,” says Beauchemin, who has lived in Charlotte since 1990. “We’ve tried to add some of that New England feel to the décor.”
So, for a break from plain old craft beer, Good Road may be the new path for you. — Pat Moran
For the rest of the Creative Loafing article, click here.