A Brand New Charlotte Brewery: Gilde Finds Its Way To The Queen City

New Charlotte Brewery
New Charlotte Brewery

Born in Germany, Gilde is one of the newest in the Charlotte brewery scene, and it’s totally unlike any of the others in the Queen City.

Gilde joined lower South End in the Spring of 2022. It was their first ever North American location. They established a top-of-the-line brewhouse that features traditionally made brews and authentic German cuisine. They provide a unique customer experience that immerses you in centuries of German brewing heritage. It is what makes Gilde’s trained team stand out.

By combining the traditional German art of brewing with the creativity of the American craft beer movement, Gilde has managed to make its mark on the Charlotte beer community.

The new location in LoSo is a sight to see. They have beautiful murals welcoming the whole family in to explore its well-curated menu. The interior is beautiful. And there are events on the patio to enjoy.

Why choose Charlotte for the new location? 

Charlotte and Gilde have an interesting connection. Queen Charlotte, the namesake of Charlotte, hailed from Gilde’s hometown in Germany (Hannover) She even served as the Electress of Hannover. Gilde enjoyed that connection but was also drawn to the Queen City because of the sophisticated brewing community. They also knew of its reputation for producing high-quality beer (and a city that craves it).

New Charlotte Brewery
New Charlotte Brewery Gilde Photographed by Jamey Price

How big is the brewery? Is there any outdoor space to spread out? 

Our brewery, taproom and semi-private event space spans 9,500 square feet. We do have a sizable outdoor patio with shade coverings. We invite our outdoor guests to use the QR codes on their tables to have authentic German food delivered directly to them. Gilde is both kid and dog friendly. The brewery provides water bowls for dogs and has plenty of kid-friendly food options, like spaetzle (similar to mac and cheese), fried chicken sliders and house-made chicken tenders.

What is the significance of Gilde’s heritage in German brewing? 

The founder of Gilde, Cord Broyan, first brewed his beer in 1526 – 496 years ago!! Gilde was formed in 1546 when the city of Hannover brought Broyhan together with other brewers who had begun to copy his light, top-fermenting beer that was well-hopped and refreshing. It was vastly different from the traditional dark, heavy beers Germans typically drank. Hannover combined them into the Gilde (Guild) to regulate the quality of beer and brewing techniques. That heritage is incredibly important to Gilde — to uphold the standards of their founder and carry on his legacy.

Tell us what events will be held at the new location.

Every week Gilde hosts trivia with Mindless Minutia on Thursdays and Music Bingo on Tuesdays. Gilde is also planning more authentic German events-definitely a huge Oktoberfest celebration and smaller, seasonal beer festivals.

New Charlotte Brewery

Will you be hosting any German traditions here in the Queen City? 

Yes! Oktoberfest will be a month-long event at Gilde, and Gilde will be holding its first stein holding competition on July 23rd. This is a traditional German competition that Gilde looks forward to bringing to the Charlotte brewery scene. One other German tradition that Gilde has introduced to the Queen City is Luttje Lage, or as we like to call it, “shot and a bier.” It is a dark beer and a grain spirit served in two separate glasses to drink at the same time. Confused? See here. 

What kind of atmosphere can guests expect in the brew haus and bier garden? 

It is a very authentic German atmosphere–from the decor to the expansive taproom with German-made copper brewing kettles in the center and often, German music. Gilde also shows all of the Charlotte FC games, both home and away, on a projector and on TVs around the taproom.

Charlotte brewery Gilde

How do you honor the German heritage of Gilde Brewery through your cuisine? 

Gilde’s menu is elevated German cuisine, but it is also comforting, not stuffy or pretentious. We have the expected items like bratwurst and sauerkraut and pretzels (all done very well), but also standout dishes like roasted Mecklenburg pork with dark beer sauce, seared brussels sprouts, mushrooms and brown butter potatoes.

The cuisine absolutely makes Gilde stand out from any other Charlotte brewery. Chef Dominik Kuehne trained with a two-Michelin Star chef from Germany and brought his expertise to Charlotte when Gilde opened its doors. Charlotte is lucky to have his talent!

Aside from the classic Gilde Pilsener lager, what other kinds of brews do you offer and how many total? What are some seasonal brews folks can look forward to?

Typically there are at least ten beers on tap. They are all German-style, such as lagers, wheat beers, bock, and schwarzbier, but some are German fused with American styles, such as “Hopp’d Up,” which is Gilde’s take on an IPA. Brewer Willi Wallstab releases new beers just about every month. 

This summer, there will be Broyhan’s Summer Session, which is a lower ABV beer, and in September he will debut a Festbier for Oktoberfest, which is a golden German lager that is a slightly higher ABV.

How does the German Purity Law of 1516 play a role in producing Gilde Brewery’s beers? 

The German Purity Law means that Gilde can use only hops, barley, water and yeast to brew its beers. It means you won’t get ingredients like chocolate, orange rind, or other fruit in Gilde’s beer. However, it doesn’t mean they are less flavorful. It means the beers are brewed according to tradition and with the utmost expertise to create a flavorful drink, the way beer was originally intended to taste. 

Can we find Gilde beer elsewhere around Charlotte?

Yes, you can purchase cans of beer at the brewery or find Gilde throughout the Charlotte area in stores, restaurants and bars. The beer finder on the website is constantly updated with the locations where you can find Gilde beer: gilde1546.com/beer-finder/.

Be sure to check out their website and follow them on Facebook and Instagram @gilde1546 to find out about upcoming events and learn about new seasonal brews.

In partnership with Gilde Brewery. Photography by Jamey Price.