Whether you’re in the Charlotte area or the surrounding South Carolina area, explore the Ridgeline Craft Beverage Trail. If you or your group enjoy visiting a mix of wineries, breweries, and distilleries, then the Ridgeline Craft Beverage Trail is perfect for you! Check out our exploration of where to enjoy a craft drink near Shelby, NC.
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WINERIES ON THE RIDGELINE CRAFT BEVERAGE TRAIL
BAKER BUFFALO CREEK VINEYARD & WINERY
3521 Fallston-Waco Road, Lawndale – Website
Baker Buffalo Creek Vineyard and Winery offers the whole package — from special events to tastings. Part of the Ridgeline Craft Beverage Trail, Baker Buffalo Creek Vineyard is the only winery to offer a dozen wines to taste. With an iconic red barn (Hickory Farms even used it in its advertising!) the grounds of this beautiful winery provide the perfect respite from our fast-paced lives. Relax in an Adirondack chair under some trees while sipping your glass of wine. It quickly becomes evident why so many couples choose this special place to exchange their vows.
Located just outside of Shelby, tastings are amazing and only cost $7. Featuring twelve wines, owners Ann and her husband Charles explain each wine, from the history of how they came to cultivate the grapes to how they made the wine. They also describe to us neophytes what to look for in each wine. Their variety of dry wines, with a few sweeter ones, suited all of our taste palates. I even walked out with a bottle of their Milk House White!
Ann and Charles warmly welcomed us. We felt like we were sitting in our own (but prettier) backyards, enjoying a lovely discussion with folks we’d known for a long time while enjoying some delicious wines.
Open weekends, bring a picnic basket and enjoy this wonderful stop. Plus it is pet-friendly!
VERONÉT VINEYARDS & WINERY
1549 Ike Brooks Drive, Kings Mountain – Website
Looking for a vineyard with refined wines and sweeping views? Then Veronét is just what you’re looking for! The newest addition to the Ridgeline Craft Beverage Trail, Veronet opened its doors in the fall of 2019. Currently serving eight different wines, Veronét offers a wine tasting flight – three 3 oz glasses of your choice for $12. Want to learn more about each wine? Choose a guided tasting – a pour of all wines including a souvenir glass for $15. Or try the Sip & Enjoy tasting of four of your choice for $5. Already know which wine is your favorite? A glass of any wine is just $8. Not a fan of wine? Craft beer is available for only $6, pleasing the non-wine drinkers in the group.
Veronét also offers some of the fanciest charcuterie plates I’ve ever seen. Choose a cheese board comprised of three cheeses, crackers, bruschette crisps, dried apricots, mixed nuts, olives, strawberries, grapes, whole grain mustard and fig spread for $15. The magnificent charcuterie plate contains two types of cheeses, three types of cured meats, crackers, dried apricots, mixed nuts, drunken tomatoes, apples, strawberries, whole grain mustard and fig spread for $21.
Veronét hosts special events too. Choose to host your bridal event or wedding in these beautiful surroundings. Choose to sit inside or on the patio overlooking the vineyard, enjoying views of Crowders’ Mountain and the Pinnacle.
Located 30 minutes from Charlotte, visit this winery Friday through Sunday, though be forewarned that it gets busy during the middle of the day on Saturdays. Out of the six places on the Ridgeline Craft Beverage Trail, Veronét was the fanciest one. It felt like a place to celebrate a special occasion. And while not intentional, I felt underdressed with everyone else looking their best!
This winery offers a pet and child-friendly environment (check their policies for questions).
BREWERIES ON THE RIDGELINE CRAFT BEVERAGE TRAIL
OLE DALLAS BREWERY
136 Durkee Lane, Dallas – Website
Opening in 2014, Ole Dallas Brewery serves as a local gathering spot in Gaston County. Their menu includes four flagship beers: Pale Rebel Y’Ale (an American pale ale), Cross Roads IPA (a citrusy IPA), Wildcat Wit (a Belgian specialty), and Ole George’s Porter (a full-bodied ale). And if you like unusual beers, try the Jalapeñ Yo Face.
The brewery’s strong belief in family, friends, and fellowship comes across in their setting and facilities. With lots of outside areas, including outdoor picnic tables, Ole Dallas is big enough to even host the occasional wrestling event. A stage showcases live entertainment. Once a month they host a concealed carry class and basic pistol class, or participate in their weekly Thursday trivia night.
Ole Dallas is open Wednesday through Sunday. While they do not serve food, check their website to see which food truck is visiting. This brewery is child and pet-friendly too.
CAVENDISH BREWING COMPANY
207 North Chester Street, #2234, Gastonia – Website
Housed in a former retail space, Cavendish’s non-assuming outside hides the fabulous beers made inside. Specializing in Old World beer, Cavendish also offers sandwiches — including peanut butter and jelly! They frequently have 12 beers on tap. You can also find Cavendish beers at Lowe’s and some local restaurants.
Focusing on old-world beer styles, Cavendish shines in several categories. Their award-winning beers such as Foggy Mountain Cave-In, a New England IPA, is balanced with their porters, oatmeal stouts and brown ales. Serving sandwiches and other snacks such as nachos, pretzels and quesadillas, Cavendish offers a relaxing atmosphere. Watch the game with friends on several big screen tvs. Saturday nights offer rotating entertainment – such as bands and comedians.
Cavendish has a second tap room in town, but the original brewery taproom was the site we visited. This brewery is open Wednesday through Sunday. It is child and pet-friendly too. We found the bartender very helpful and the other patrons very nice as well.
NEWGRASS BREWING COMPANY
213 S. Lafayette Street, Shelby – Website
The only brewery in Cleveland County, Newgrass Brewing Company brought craft beer to the Uptown Shelby area. Located in the former Hudson’s Department Store, Newgrass features local farm products in their tasty craft beer and food. And, of course, the brewery preserved the strong bluegrass roots of the area – their logo is an upside-down beer bottle that looks like a string instrument neck. Grab a beer and enjoy live music most weekends, or enjoy your pint in their outdoor beer garden. Fostering a family-friendly atmosphere, not only can you drink your beer here, but the food is pretty spectacular. They even have a kids menu!
Offering farm to table specials (each farm is even listed on their weekly board), all types of appetites will be satisfied. We sampled the hummus plate, the Guernsey cheese curds, and the Swig & Swine Pimento Cheese, perfect accompaniments to our pints. Unfortunately, we ate them too fast for photos! Those with a larger appetite will be happy to see burgers and sandwiches available too.
Offering a variety of beers, including several beers with funny names, like a New England IPA named Always Sunny in CitradelphiaI or a Berliner Weisse called Zero Flux Given, I found their Baby Keys, a New England IPA, absolutely amazing! With a large variety of options from porters to Marzens and everything in between, fans of all different beers will find something to like.
Open Tuesday through Sunday, Newgrass is family-friendly, but not pet friendly, spot to enjoy on the Ridgeline Craft Beverage Trail.
DISTILLERIES ON THE RIDGELINE CRAFT BEVERAGE TRAIL
MUDDY RIVER DISTILLERY
1500 River Drive, #100, Belmont – Website
Do you prefer rum over beer and wine? Then a visit to Muddy River Distillery is for you! As the oldest legal rum distillery in the state, Muddy River opened its doors in 2011. The distillery began in an old textile mill that the owners found on Craigslist. With their initial success, the two owners ended up leaving their full-time jobs two years later. Robbie and Caroline Delaney invested their own money and time, with the help of friends and family. And they’ve made the best rum you can drink!
Tours and tastings take place every Saturday at 1 pm, 2 pm and 3 pm. Led by one of the owners, each tour lasts about 30-45 minutes and costs $8. NC law allows guests to purchase five bottles per person per year directly from the distillery. You can also find Muddy River products at ABC stores in both North and South Carolina. Muddy River makes six versions of rum: Silver Carolina Rum, Queen’s Charlotte Reserve, Coconut Carolina Rum, Spiced Carolina Rum, Basil Carolina Rum, and Queen Charlotte’s Reserve Single Barrel 4 Year Carolina Rum.
Tours are for guests 21 and over and pets are not allowed (blame the FDA for this rule!).
This Google map of all the locations makes for ease of reference in planning your travel through all the points on the Ridgeline Craft Beverage Trail. As always — make sure that you have a designated driver! We encountered several groups of women, bachelorettes, and even bridal parties, who rented drivers for the day. Consider making this one of your days if spending a weekend in nearby Shelby.
Have you found your favorite spot yet? No matter what, you’ll enjoy a fabulous day touring all six spots on the trail!
I’d like to thank Tour Cleveland County and Gaston County Travel & Tourism for sponsoring my Ridgeline Craft Beverage Trail visit. As always, my write-ups are an accurate reflection of the experiences I had. This post contains affiliate links, which simply means if you make a booking using one of the links, I may receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you.
Annick, The Common Traveler