The Brew Crew and I had D9 on our radar for some time and as we planned our trip to the Charlotte area. After not so much discussion we knew we had to include a slight detour to the suburban town of Cornelius to visit this brewery. It was their unique beer list that attracted us to this taproom located in a business park. Our Brew Crew founder Ed really pushed for us to check out this place. He sold me on the idea when he told me about their Viking Fraoch. I was like “What ancient Viking beer? Hell Yeah!” So we put on our horned helmets and hit the road to invade Cornelius!
Located near beautiful Lake Norman there is a lot of reasons to be visiting the area. However, making a special trip just to visit D9 would certainly be a valid reason. After out growing their initial location in their first year they have only been at this larger locality for a year. The problem with making a special trip to the Charlotte region just to visit breweries is… we wanted to visit quite a few in a single day. I would have been quite content staying at this one the entire afternoon. I wish I had a chance to speak with the brewers or owner about the unique beers I was sampling. On my next trip I’ll have to learn more about the processes they employ in making these great sours. Maybe I should have been there in time to take the tour.
The taproom was very comfortable well-lit, stylish and the perfect size. A Brewery tour was in progress on the rainy Saturday afternoon we arrived. We found the parking adequate, a food truck was parked outside and beer was being poured by a friendly severs. A great first impression, but this brewery wasn’t done impressing us yet. The beer list is fantastic, the three sours on tap caught our attention, while sours are gaining in popularity, we don’t often see multiple sours offered at the venue.
The following beers were some of our favorites…
Twelve– This pale ale is pleasant but mild. It is an easy drinkable beer, a good beer for a Craft beer novice.
Viking Fraoch Scottish Sour– This is a re-imagined historical ale, inspired by the Nordic Heather Flower Ale made 4,000 years ago with a Scottish twist. Sour lovers will no doubt enjoy this beer. This beer is the reason I agreed to travel 3 hours to come to this brewery and it was worth the trip. At least I didn’t have to travel by “longship”.
Hakuna Matata– No worries about this great IPA, with a very pleasant bitter bite and a clean finish. I know everyone has an IPA, but not everyone has a real good one.
Whiskers on Kittens– This blonde Sour will force you to pucker big time. Way too sour for me to enjoy but both of the sour lovers in my crew were in heaven with this beer.
Our Town Brown Ale– Crazy sweet beer. A bit too sweet for my taste… however, I know there are some dessert beer drinkers who will really like this one.
Ezekiel 25:17– A black sour… Yes this is the third sour ale on tap at one brewery. If this was the only sour they had it would have been the headline beer of this brewery review as it is a very solid sour ale. However it was our third favorite sour at D9. A sour beer drinker will still love this beer.
Sour ales are gaining in popularity, but they are not an easy style of beer to get right. There is always a chance of “funk” when attempting to make one and the cost of losing even a small batch is rather high. So it is a gamble to bring so many Sour ales to your taps. In this case it is a gamble that has turned this small brewery into a destination brewery for sour lovers.
Michael Cole lives in Sanford, NC, and loves great food and beer. His taste tends to favor malts over hops so he’s an avid fan of ambers and dark beers. Follow him on twitter @barbqguy44