Review of Atlantic Beer & Ice

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Nestled among both the old fashioned brick and modern dark mirrored glass buildings of downtown Charlotte, North Carolina is Atlantic Beer and Ice. With 20 quality micros on tap, this place contrasts sharply with other bars and restaurants in this part of the country. The large rectangular light wood bar sits in the center of the bar half of the building while the dining room contains three dozen tables and booths along with lots of windows. From the bar, three soundless TVs are visible while CDs provide the music. The brick interior is well-lit by track lights and old fashioned beer signs are interspersed with large mirrors engraved with local contemporary brewery names. The full liquor line up is accompanied by draft Bass, Guinness, Rogue, and Anchor.

The Johnson's Brown Ale (Charlotte) was a dark brown color with a medium body, well carbonated, malty sweet flavor and just a touch of hops, finishing dryly. The Old Raleigh Honey Ginger Wheat (Raleigh) was a hazy gold and led with an intense ginger aroma followed by a strong sweet ginger flavor. The Flagstone First Reserve Lager (Winston Salem) appeared a clear light brown, lightly carbonated, with subtle hops, malty flavor, and with a sweet aftertaste (molasses). The Highland Old Style Irish Ale was a copper color, well carbonated, with a medium body and malty flavor. The smooth mouthfeel was well matched to the mellow hops and the clean finish left a good impression. The Highland Oatmeal Porter appeared opaque with a malty aroma, dry, dark malt chocolaty flavor and aftertaste. The Highland Celtic Ale was a clear dark amber color with a creamy head, smooth medium body, even balance, malty/hoppy flavor, and dry finish. The Johnson's Amber was a light amber color, very carbonated, very light-bodied, with a medium hop flavor and aftertaste. The Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar was a very dark brown, lightly carbonated, with a sweet malty and Kahlúa-like nutty flavor. The Wild Goose Pale Ale (Cambridge, Maryland) was a dark amber color with a creamy white head, full-bodied and nice hop and malt flavors.

Although street parking is practically non-existent downtown, this was no impediment to the weekend crowds. Roughly 50/50 men and women, some came for the live jazz in the basement and some just for the $12 per hour upstairs pooltables. The $3.50 pints are served up by knowledgeable staff who even hide a supply of Coors Light, Buckler N/A, and Rolling Rock behind the bar. Opened November 1, 1995 by the owners of nearby Dilworth Brewing, the Atlantic Beer & Ice Company seems wildly popular due to its blend of music, beer and environment.

Atlantic Beer & Ice Co.
330 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, North Carolina

Reviewed by Tom Ciccateri - July, 1996

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