One word best describes Gilde, a Charlotte German brewery: legacy.
Hailing from Hannover, the origin of Queen Charlotte herself, German beermaker Gilde opened its first brewery outside of Germany this February in Charlotte’s Lower South End. Initially founded in 1546, Gilde is the oldest commercial enterprise in Hannover, following the brewing tradition of its founder Cord Broyhan, whose trademark “Taler” (rooster) still adorns each of Gilde’s bottles.
However, Gilde’s legacy extends past its centuries-old history to the present day. Many of Gilde’s chief team members, including Willi Wallstab, a renowned German brewmaster, and the talented executive chef Dominik Kuehne, have moved from Germany to Charlotte to provide their knowledge and authenticity to Gilde’s new brewery.
A German Brewery in Charlotte with a Fully Immersive Experience
Gilde’s design also pays homage to its German heritage with the help of local makers. Amidst the sea of brick mill buildings of the LoSo community, Gilde’s brewery embraces its functional shape. industrial materials with custom wooden outdoor tables, chairs, and bar crafted by Kerf & Burled of Greensboro give character. Tucked just beside Gilde’s bold black entry reminiscent of the Bauhaus architecture of Weimar, Germany, lies Carla Garrison-Mattos’s striking mural. The painting shows Queen Charlotte and Gilde’s proud rooster, which stretches across Gilde’s southern wall.
Once inside, more of Gilde’s immersive architecture draws its guests into an authentic bierhaus experience. Custom millwork from Charlotte’s own Tenon & Tailored, Caspary copper kettles, and stainless steel fermenting tanks add to Gilde’s modern flair. The energetic buzz of patrons and Friday-night live music perfectly completes the ambiance of this Charlotte German brewery.
Come Hungry to Gilde Brewery
Yet nothing quite captures Gilde’s legacy like its menus. This Charlotte German brewery has a core beer lineup that consists of six traditional German recipes. Each is brewed with only the finest malted barley and hops, according to the German Purity law of 1516.
Gilde’s flagship beer, the Gilde Pilsner, balances its delicate hop-forward aroma with a crisp malt finish. It honors founder Cord Broyhan’s original distinctive light beer, divergent from the traditional dark, heavy beers drank by Germans at the time. Gilde also offers its full-bodied Red Rooster Amber Lager, a bittersweet, unfiltered Radler, a toasty Urbock German Lager, an aromatic, Hefeweizen-style Pale Wheat, and a dark, dry-malted black beer called “Miner Beer”. There are also beers unique to Gilde’s Charlotte brewery.
In addition to its time-honored beers, Gilde delivers exquisite culinary choices of all sizes. Starters include the traditional Bratenbrot, featuring sliced roasted pork with shaved red radish, pickled pearl onions. Bratenbort sits under Dusseldorf mustard and a dark beer sauce made from Gilde’s “Miner Beer” and rests atop toasted German bread. Alternatively, start with sharable orders of Obazda & Brezel. This dish is a salted pretzel served with German cheese dip and slivered red onions.
Entrees at the Charlotte German Brewery include familiar German classics such as Schnitzel, a succulent breaded veal cutlet served with tart lingonberries and an elevated German potato salad. The menu also introduces discerning diners to regional delicacies, like Mecklenburg Pork. This is a heavenly sweet and sour dish starring roasted pork smothered in a dark beer prune sauce and accompanied by seared Brussel sprouts, mushrooms, and savory brown butter potatoes.
A Future Rooted in Heritage
Gilde’s commitment to its roots includes the spirited companionship of German hospitality. Guests won’t feel like newcomers for long as Gilde’s family continues to grow in its new Charlotte home. Prost y’all!
Want to read more about the Charlotte beer scene? Check out Charlotte Craft Beer Week.