Birmingham has a thriving craft beer scene and is home to some amazing breweries. Thanks, in large part, to the Free the Hops grassroots movement, which has been instrumental in revising Alabama’s antiquated beer laws, home brewing is now legal (allowing those 21 or older to make up to 15 gallons of beer, wine, mead or cider every three months for personal use), the restrictions on gourmet beer alcohol limits and size constraints have been lifted and local breweries are now able to offer on-site samplings and sell pints of beer via a taproom. All of which means, beer enthusiasts have a lot to say “Cheers!” about. Check out what’s on tap around town:
Avondale Brewing Company
Co-founders Coby and Hunter Lake opened the Avondale Brewing Company
in November 2011 in the heart of the Avondale community and it has been a huge part of the revitalization of that area. The brewery is located in an historic building erected in 1895 that has housed a pharmacy, firehouse and brothel, among other things. The brewing company has named each of their craft brews after the folklore of Avondale. The company’s logo, “Miss Fancy” the elephant, is a nod (or a “trunk’s up,” as they say) to an elephant acquired in a bet, who became known as the Queen of Avondale and performed a host of tricks at her home in Avondale Park, the original site of the Birmingham Zoo. The taproom is open daily and the large patio with outdoor bar lends itself to live music and festive events throughout the year. The folks at ABC are very community-minded and host frequent events aimed at preserving and bettering the Birmingham community. (In fact, tonight’s Autumn Celebration supports Trinity Counseling. For more information on this event, click here
Monday – Thursday: 4 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Friday: 3 p.m. – 12 a.m.
Saturday: 12 p.m. – 12 a.m.
Sunday: 1 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Contact [email protected] to schedule a brewery tour. Regularly scheduled tours coming soon.
Each beer is named after the Avondale areas historical folklore. Photo credit: www.telegraphbranding.com
Cahaba Brewing Company
A group of friends with a common interest in home brewing joined together to form the Cahaba Brewing Company
, which is located in the Pepper Place/Lakeview district of Birmingham on 3rd Avenue South. CBC was founded in the summer of 2011 and serves a line of small-batch beers with an emphasis on consistent, hand-crafted quality. The company was named for the iconic river whose waters flow through the area with a shared emphasis on quality, not quantity.
Wednesday & Thursday: 3 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Friday: 3 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Saturday: 2 p.m. – 10 p.m.
For information on tours contact CBC at [email protected]
The owners of the Cahaba Brewing Company are, from left: Eric Meyer, Andy Gwaltney, Taylor DeBoer and Burton Dunn. Photo credit: www.otmj.com
Good People Brewing Company
Friends Michael Sellers and Jason Malone teamed up to form Good People Brewing Company
, which opened in 2008. Good People offers five different year-round beers as well as four small-batch seasonal brews and an occasional one off brew. The Bearded Reserve series (a nod to the beards donned by many of their employees) is the company’s showcase of eccentric, experimental brews that stretch the boundaries of more conventional styles. Good People even allows patrons to bring in outside food. The company also heavily supports our local community so they really are good people
Monday – Friday: 3 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Saturday: 1 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Sunday: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m. with tours from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
For more information [email protected].
Trim Tab Brewing Company
The former site of Barber’s famed motorcycle collection in the Lakeview District will soon be home to a new Birmingham brewery. Trim Tab Brewing Company
, owned by Harris Stewart, plans to open by the end of October and will produce a rotating selection of beers with an India Pale Ale and an Alt, a German brown ale, likely to be its standard bearers, according to Stewart. Trim Tab takes its name from a small piece on a ship’s rudder called the trim tab which, though small, plays an instrumental part in moving the whole. Hence the company celebrates the small, unassuming sources that is able to create large-scale positive changes. While the doors aren’t open yet, Trim Tab is partnering up with folks around town so you can sample their wares at upcoming events, like the Harvest Craft Beer and Artisan Cuisine event pictured below. Check out their Facebook page for more information at www.facebook.com/trimtabbrewing
Trim Tab founder Harris Stewart standing in what will become the Trim Tab tap room. Photo credit: al.com.
Trim Tab and Veranda will be pairing craft beer with artisan cuisine.
, which has been contract brewing through Back Forty in Gadsden, AL, will be relocating to the historic Wood Wade building, located opposite the new Barons stadium and Railroad Park. The company will offer a full production brewery plus a tap room and restaurant dedicated to making the South’s finest high gravity beers. Their motto is “better by design” and they claim an experimental approach to their craft. Peanut Butter Porter
and White Chocolate Stout
are among the offerings. The name came to owner, DB Irwin III, while traveling on Highway 119 in Alabama with his wife. When they spotted an old bronze plaque reading “engineers” and thus the name beer engineers was borne. A first for the Birmingham market, Beer Engineers will be the areas first true brewpub with its plan to serve a limited upscale menu of gourmet dining items ranging from easy to share appetizers to entrees specially designed to pair with their unique beers. Renovations are underway now with a planned opening in spring of 2014.
And if you’d like to try your hand at brewing at home, Hop City sells home brewing kits and supplies and offers classes on Saturdays. There’s even a women-only group which meets monthly to learn about craft beer and its larger culinary potential with tastings and guest speakers, known as Hops for Honeys
, formed in 2010 by Melinda Sellers and Kerri Malone, the wives of the Good People owners. Follow them on Twitter at @hopsforhoneys
or email them for more information at [email protected]
So, who’s ready to bend an elbow? CHEERS!
SB Note: While Alabama has made headway in the last few years, there are still a number of restrictions in place that our local breweries would like to see changed to allow for more economic development in the area and to be on par with other states. To learn more about Alabama’s beer laws and the continuing efforts of Free the Hops, check out their website at www.freethehops.org.
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