Birmingham’s local food and beverage scene seems to always have something new brewing — including when it comes to adult beverages. From a brewery to a bar to a new wine shop, here are three places in Birmingham that recently opened where you can grab a beer, a cocktail or a top-notch bottle of wine (and charcuterie fixings)!
2316 2nd Ave North, Birmingham, AL 35203
Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.
With years of experience in the nightlife scene around Birmingham, husband and wife duo, Larry “Mudd” Townley and Laura Newman, set off to design a neighborhood bar to complement their nationally recognized cocktail bar, Queen’s Park. Explaining the difference, Laura says, “We both knew that we wanted to open a bar that reflected his taste and style of bartending. Queen’s Park is very much me in terms of the drinks program and aesthetic, while Neon Moon is all him.”
The bar features a neighborhood vibe and a menu of tasty and “irreverent cocktails,” along with craft beers, wine and other specialty spirits. There’s also karaoke and live music as well as a private back patio and fun decor. “We’ll be a location that checks a lot of boxes for a lot of people,” adds Laura.
Now open after some lengthy pandemic-related delays, Neon Moon is serving up tasty libations. According to Laura, you’ll want to try the John Deere Green. “It’s rum-based, with coconut, sweetened condensed milk, pandan, and pineapple — it’s a total banger but it’s also complex and interesting. Plus it’s bright green, which looks super cool.” She’s also a fan of the house PB&J shot, with peanut butter-washed whiskey and a concord grape syrup. “It’s like a boozy version of a childhood snack,” she adds.
Come for happy hour after work with the regulars or for a late-night party. Describing the scene, Laura says, “Our giant disco ball is spinning, the LED dancefloor is throwing off light, our killer sound system would be rattling décor off the shelves if they weren’t glued down, the bartenders are setting stuff on fire … just a usual weekend for us.”
With a little something for everyone, Neon Moon won’t disappoint as a weekend go-to bar.
Oak Mountain Brewing Company
110 Cahaba Valley Rd, Pelham, AL 35124
Hours: Monday through Wednesday, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Thursday, 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday, 2 p.m. to midnight; Saturday, noon to midnight; Sunday, noon to 9 p.m.
If a more relaxed place to unwind with a craft beer is more your style, check out Oak Mountain Brewing Company. After identifying North Shelby County as an underserved area for craft breweries, Peter Genereux decided to fill the need. Nestled at the intersection of Highways 119 and 31, the brewery is close to destinations like the Oak Mountain Amphitheater, Pelham Civic Center, which hosts the Birmingham Bulls, and Oak Mountain State Park. While Peter’s background is in restaurants, catering, and beer and wine distribution, he partnered up with Clay Baldwin from another local brewery to make his dream a reality.
Oak Mountain Brewing Company opened in January as a taproom hosting a variety of local and national beers. The brewery has its own beers available in-house, and they are looking to sell four core beers — a pilsner, blonde, kettle sour, and IPA — locally by this month. The brewhouse will serve their four core beers on draft along with eight other specialty beers on rotation. You can expect to see seasonal, high gravity, and other varieties of beer. Peter wants to “attract a variety of people looking to try new things.”
Alongside the extensive beer menu, Oak Mountain Brewing Company hosts food trucks Thursday through Saturday as well as Thursday Trivia Nights and some live music events. “[I hope] that Oak Mountain Brewing Company provides a convenient location with great service, a welcoming atmosphere, and quality beers for Pelham and the surrounding area,” Peter says.
Make sure you try out Oak Mountain Brewing Company when you’re down for a Birmingham Bulls game, a summer concert, or maybe a night out just a little closer to home.
186 Oxmoor Rd Suite 100, Homewood, AL 35209
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
If you’re looking to curate a special night in, West Homewood’s Buka has everything you need. After closing their beloved Woodlawn Cycle Cafe during the pandemic, the team behind that concept decided to launch a new venture across town. A natural progression, Buka’s concept was born from the fact that customers at Woodlawn would always ask to purchase the cafe’s selection of wines, jams and charcuterie items. Buka owner Armand Margjeka grew up in Albania, and the word “buka” means bread in Albanian, with its broader meaning referring to the essential needs for the table and sometimes food in general. Armand feels that the name honors his family’s daily shopping experience in the neighborhood.
In an effort to build a shop for daily essentials, the Buka crew focused on food, wine, and specialty retail. The take-away cafe menu focuses on seasonal produce with nutrient-minded dishes for easy grab and go. But you can also buy meat and cheese by the pound to pair with the specialty wine selection. Buka outsources nutritional staples like fresh-pressed juices and kombucha, and keep an eye out for wine tastings in the future.
Buka seems like the perfect place to pop in for a bottle of wine and charcuterie board essentials to share for a casual, low-key but incredibly delicious night at home.
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