A few nights ago I stepped inside Heist Brewery in NoDa (it’s a place in Charlotte, NC, look it up).
In case you couldn’t tell by the name, Heist makes beer. And they really, really want you to know it. They pretty much have two things: really nice, tall tables, and GIGANTIC tanks of beer and beer-making paraphernalia. It’s a nice-looking place, and the beer-making stuff is all kept behind a big-ass glass wall in case you slip and hit your head and forget that yes, they do indeed make beer.
As much as they throw that beer in your face, there’s a good reason for it: it’s damned tasty. I tried the IPA, Oatmeal Stout and Hefeweizen, and they all struck a nice balance between hoppy bitterness and flavors you can actually put a finger on. That is, when one of the descriptions says “banana and clove hints”, you can actually pick those out, instead of going all egghead on you and expecting you to hunt down “a light charcoal-mint-mahogany-signing of the Magna Carta-3rd season of Oz on DVD” flavor profile. I ain’t no Dora the Explorer, calm the hell down with your taste bud treasure maps.
That’s what I like about Heist. They know they have a good product, they tell you, and then they leave you alone. They don’t go around trying to be a restaurant bistro bar and grill on the water (to quote one MF DOOM) when they’re not. The food’s delicious and ambitious, sometimes a bit too much so, but it’s all there to make your beer taste better, not the other way around. Along with the beers I got the Oven Roasted Beer Cheese, Chicken and Waffle Sushi, and Kurobuta Pork Belly Corn Dogs. They all had their little flaws, sure. The chicken and waffles came topped with a pink peppercorn sauce that drowned out the flavor of the chicken and syrup just a bit too much, and the corn dogs seemed a little undercooked in the middle. But hot damn, it was pork belly in a corn dog. With root beer BBQ sauce. I didn’t care.
So. If you want a beer, and you want it to be really good and homemade, go to Heist. If you’re secretly a fat person on the inside like me? Go there twice.
You can find Heist at 2909 N Davidson St. #200, Charlotte, NC 28205.