Amy Aussieker, co-owner of Tank’s Tap in 7th Street Public Market, wants you to enjoy the market as much as she does. Her eyes light up when she talks about the food and gifts available in Charlotte’s own mission-based food hall. But, despite the market’s accessibility and popularity, Amy insists there is room for more people to take advantage of the fruits of the market.
What are some of your favorite foods in 7th Street Public Market to enjoy with a beer from Tank’s Tap?
Well, that’s a really hard one because everybody has good food. I love the chorizo pizza at Pure Pizza. It’s great—so is the mushroom pizza. Actually, there’s not a bad pizza there. I love the grilled cheese sandwich at Orrman’s Cheese—the pickles on it. I mean, pickles on a grilled cheese? I love it. The Southwestern crepe with chicken (Hazelnuts Creperie) is my favorite ever. The sushi guys (Bonsai Fusion) are amazing.
And with what beer?
I like doing the chorizo pizza with the Mexicali Stout (Birdsong Brewing Co., Belmont).
What are your most popular beers?
Jade IPA (Foothills Brewing, Winston Salem)—people love it. And it’s actually the only beer we do a full-keg of. All the rest are sixtels (1/6 of a full keg). Captain Jack (The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, LoSo) is an easy-drinking beer. And ciders always sell well.
What is the reaction from Charlotte visitors when they first try our local craft beers?
Oh, they love them. First of all, they love all the names—that always sucks people in. But then they’re shocked at how many breweries we have here. And so, while we only have 12 on tap, we’ve got another 60-80 cans. People just stand there looking at all the different beers and the different breweries. And we do a pretty good job at changing the taps a lot. Visitors love it. I’d say 75 percent of the business are visitors.
If I am a domestic beer drinker, what beer or type of beer would you recommend to introduce me to the craft beer scene?
Captain Jack all day long. It’s a pilsner, it’s easy-drinking, and it’s better than Bud Light.
If I am a craft beer drinker, looking to try something more adventurous, what would you suggest?
Well, what I would do is a flight. We have four little beers (4 oz., $5-7). And my thing would be to try what’s seasonal. Pumpkin beer in the fall, people love. And we change them all the time. I think it’s around Valentine’s Day, we have Sexual Chocolate (Foothills Brewing). There are some really fun beers to try and so I would do a flight with what is out for that season.
What is the most unique thing you’ve served with beer in the market?
We did a tasting of Girl Scout Cookies that we paired with beers. We paired Sexual Chocolate with peanut butter cookies. It was great.
What was your path to 7th Street Public Market?
Michael Smith (President & CEO, Charlotte Center City Partners) and I go way back—we worked at the Chamber together. I was sitting in there (at 7th Street Public Market) for a meeting with Envision (a Charlotte public private plus collaborative) And he said, “We want a craft beer wall.” And I’m looking around in the market and it was packed. So, I called my business partner, Denise, who loves beer, and said, “Do you want to open a craft beer bar?” And she was like, “Uh, yeah!” So, she manages the people and the beer, and I do all the marketing, payroll, technology. We’ve had so much fun since then.
How has the 7th Street Public Market supported you as a small business owner?
I think one of the things that Charlotte Center City Partners does the best is how they market what to do in Charlotte. Their marketing of it being a destination is the number one thing they’ve done. We have people coming from the airport, who have a layover, come to the market—and then go back. And they love sitting at that bar, ordering food, and drinking a beer! I think they’ve done a really good job of bringing in a mix of vendors so that there is a little of everything for everyone.
Anything else you want to include?
More locals need to come up here. We get a lot of visitors but the one thing that Charlotte natives ought to do is come up to the market, start their day there and then roam around the city. Get your breakfast or lunch and go see Charlotte. I think Charlotte residents are missing out on a great place.
Don’t miss out. Stop by the market on your way to work, or your way home. Bring the family by on the weekend and make a morning out of it. Or bookend the day with breakfast and dinner while you enjoy all the things Charlotte Center City has to offer in between. And then tell your neighbors about how much fun you had so they get a case of FOMO too.—Ben Jarrell
A big thank you to Adam Rhew and Ben Jarrell from Charlotte Center City Partners for this write up.