In 2017, business partners Julie Paddison and Lew Hendricks opened a Chapel Hill location of Raleigh-based bottle shop, Bottle Rev. After only two years of operation, their location closed and they set out to create their own beer-focused brand. Leveraging off their longtime relationship with NoDa Brewing Co. crafters and owners, Suzie Ford and Chad Henderson, the four collaborated with each other to expand the NoDa Brewing fan base beyond its three Charlotte locations and develop a tasty tapas-style eatery to compliment—thus creating NoDa Brewing Tapas.
Working with a local chef to develop the menu, Hendricks says they both were enticed by the relaxed and sharable nature of tapas (Spanish-style appetizers). “Noda is community-driven and if you are having a beer in a taproom, it is communal and you are talking, so the tapas style was a fun way to add to the vibe of eating and sharing around the table,” he says.
The menu offers small plates such as Cuban Frita, Clams and Smoked Prawns, and a full-service bar with flights of NoDa-only beer (or wine) to compliment. As an extension of NoDa Brewing, the taproom has the capacity to carry not only the classic flagship beers, but also the smaller batched flavors that Hendricks describes as the more fun and unique options to the lineup.
As a growing brand, NoDa is always looking for ways to elevate their brews both in and beyond the taproom. Entering their juicy imperial IPA, the Big Slurp, into the Experimental IPA Category at the Great American Beer Festival in 2022, the company came out with a shiny new bronze award to commemorate their passion, hard work, and creation of bold flavor. The Big Slurp is most notable for its burst of citrus with the infusion of bright orange and tangerine zest—the perfect refreshing sip.
Respected in the craft beer community, Hendricks says that it is an honor for the new restaurant to team up with such a successful beverage company. “Their name brings a lot of credibility and noteworthiness.”
Though food and brew are the focus at NoDa Brewing Tapas, Hendricks emphasizes the importance of creating a space to help foster meaningful relationships, and to provide a helping hand to the community beyond the taproom. “I want to be more than a restaurant,” he says.
And what brings people together more than food, drink, and cute animals? Combining their love for all three, with the addition of philanthropic passion, NoDa Brewing Tapas and NoDa Brewery Company implemented a program that gives back to rescues in need. Encouraging community members to submit photos of their favorite furry companions, fans are encouraged to register for a $1 vote to decide the winner. The first-place honoree, or the most loved pet, gets its face on a custom can, and the proceeds are then donated to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
“I want to do more than most as far as the level of outreach we are doing,” he says. “It’s about how we can help and how we can be a community place.”