To show your North Carolina craft beer credentials, just tip back a can of NoDa Brewing’s Hop Drop ‘N Roll.
The Charlotte brewery is now stamping a special message on the bottom of its tallboy cans: 2014 WBC Gold IPA.
It references the gold medal NoDa Brewing won earlier this month in the World Beer Cup’s India pale ale category, the most contested subdivision in one of the most contested beer competitions.
The brewery, led by head brewer and Chapel Hill native Chad Henderson, beat 243 others to win the coveted crown for the most popular beer style in the industry right now.
North Carolina won four gold medals and eight overall in the competition, which is held in conjunction with the Craft Brewers Conference each year. It’s far less than the major craft beer states, but a good showing.
“I’m even more excited about that,” NoDa owner Todd Ford told my colleagues at our sister paper, The Charlotte Observer, speaking of the strong showing for in-state breweries. “It shows we’re all pulling together in North Carolina.”
Other gold medal winners: Outer Banks Brewing Station in Kill Devil Hills for its MeyerBock, White Street Brewing in Wake Forest for its kolsch, and Asheville Brewing Co. for its Ninja brown porter.
In the kolsch category, another North Carolina brewery received a bronze: Mother Earth in Kinston for its Endless River. Other winners: Lynnwood Brewing Concern in Raleigh took a silver for its Once You Go black ale, Olde Hickory in Kinston won a silver for its Irish Walker old ale and Wicked Weed in Asheville received a bronze for its Tryant Double Red in the imperial red ale category.
What I’m tasting
On a recent trip to the mountains, I visited one of the state’s newest craft brewers, Flat Top Brewing.
Located off Main Street, just east from downtown Banner Elk, the brewery and beer is still a work in progress. Two highlights: the IPA with a heavy loads of citra hops that lent a great aroma and an easy drinking brown ale with good toffee notes. Info: flattopbrewing.com.