• Alabama,  travel

    A guide to Civil Rights sights in Montgomery

    Many cities across the American South have connections to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s, but perhaps none more so than Montgomery, Ala.  There are several sights spread across the city, so visitors can choose to see as many or as few places as time permits. It is possible to spend several days diving into the sights around town or see the highlights in half a day.  So whether you are making a daytrip or spending a long-weekend in the city, here is a guide to the city’s Civil Rights sights. Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church (454 Dexter Ave.) Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has connections…

  • Alabama,  travel

    A guide to Hank Williams sights in Montgomery

    The death of legendary country music star Hank Williams is shrouded in mystery.  However, there is no mystery behind visiting some of the most notable sights associated with Williams in his adopted hometown of Montgomery, Alabama. In 1937, Hank, his mother, and his siblings moved to Montgomery from nearby Georgiana.  It was in Montgomery that 13-year-old Hiram Williams started using “Hank” as his stage name.  After winning a local talent show and landing a twice-weekly, 15-minute radio show, Hank dropped out of school in 1939 and began touring with The Drifting Cowboys. He eventually moved to Nashville as his career gained momentum, but Montgomery remained close to his heart.  He…

  • Alabama,  ballparks,  travel

    A Minor League Baseball road trip through Alabama

    People who enjoy baseball, and especially Minor League Baseball, regularly plan their summer vacations around visiting ballparks.  These trips are often based around individual goals, whether it’s to visit new states or new ballparks or to watch top prospects or even the most ambitious goal of seeing all 159 active, affiliated Minor League baseball stadiums. With good timing, visiting all of the Minor League ballparks in Alabama can be done in a matter of four days.  I undertook this adventure earlier this summer with my wife Katie. The Basics Currently, Alabama has three Minor League Baseball teams: the Birmingham Barons, the Mobile BayBears, and the Montgomery Biscuits.  From north-to-south, the…

  • Alabama,  ballparks,  travel

    Touring Hank Aaron’s childhood home in Mobile

    It is not every day that a ticket to a baseball game gets people admission to the childhood home of a baseball Hall of Famer.  However, that is precisely what you will find at Hank Aaron Stadium in Mobile, Ala., home of the Mobile BayBears.  In 2008, the city moved the childhood home of Mobile-native Henry Louis (“Hank”) Aaron to the grounds of the stadium that bears his name.  Following a lengthy renovation, the home was re-opened as the Hank Aaron Childhood Home & Museum. History of the home Herbert Aaron, Hank’s father, built the house in 1942.  It initially had three rooms, but the Aaron family gradually expanded the…

  • Alabama,  craft beer

    A pint at Big Beach Brewing Co. in Gulf Shores, Ala.

    Opening a brewery takes a lot of time, effort, and patience.  However, Jim and Julie Shamburger navigated the process relatively quickly to open Big Beach Brewing Co. in Gulf Shores, Ala.  Jim started homebrewing after his daughter bought him a Mr Beer kit, but he quickly advanced and in July 2015 petitioned the city to open a brewery.  Construction of the building was completed and the brewery opened its doors in October 2016. The brewery sits on the corner of East 2nd Street and East 24th Avenue in the Waterway Village District, so it is easily accessible to locals or people coming for a beach vacation.  During a recent visit…

  • Alabama,  craft beer

    A pint at Serda Brewing Co. in Mobile, Ala.

    Opening a brewery is a labor of love for a lot of reasons.  One of the primary reasons is because of the long time it can take for a brewery to go from being someone’s idea to becoming a reality that craft beer lovers can visit. A great example of this process is Serda Brewing Company in Mobile, Ala. The idea started with John Serda and his father Ed in 2013, but did not come to fruition until late in 2017.  The plan started to come together after the father-son duo found a vacant former Goodyear Tire Store in downtown, but even after identifying the building it took several months…

  • Alabama,  craft beer

    A pint at Fairhope Brewing Co. in Fairhope, Ala.

    A town of approximately 15,000 people may not seem like the ideal location for a brewery, but it was precisely the place Brian Kane and Jim Foley thought would be perfect for a brewery.  Just over five years ago, the pair opened Fairhope Brewing Company in Fairhope, Ala.  Not only has the brewery survived for five years, it has thrived and expanded about three years ago. The brewery consists of two buildings, one used exclusively for production and one that serves as a taproom.  The production facility recently had a mural added to it while the taproom sits next door. Local artist Sarah Rutledge Fischer painted the mural, which covers…

  • Alabama,  ballparks,  craft beer

    Alabama Memorial Day weekend road trip preview

    As the summer travel season is almost upon us, my wife Katie and I will be making our first extended trip of the year over the Memorial Day weekend.  The inspiration for our upcoming trip is baseball and craft beer, as we are setting out to see every Minor League Baseball team that plays in Alabama while also visiting more of the state’s craft breweries. Our schedule is built around attending MiLB games, but we will assuredly be visiting craft breweries and seeing other local sights.  Here is our schedule… Saturday, May 26:Biloxi Shuckers at Mobile BayBears, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, May 29:Jackson Generals at Montgomery Biscuits, 6:35 p.m. Wednesday, May…

  • Alabama,  craft beer

    A pint at TrimTab Brewing Co. in Birmingham, Ala.

    Someone who enrolls in law school and influenced by the philosophy of Buckminster Fuller is sure to create a unique brewery.  That is without a doubt what people will find when they visit TrimTab Brewing Company in the Lakeview District of Birmingham. While enrolled at the University of Alabama School of Law Harris Stewart spent his spare time homebrewing and researching hop varieties before pursuing his calling of brewing craft beer full-time in 2012.  Stewart won a contest to re-purpose a lot in downtown from George Barber as “TrimTab Brewhouse & Hot Chicken Kitchen,” but ultimately realized the brewery operation would need more space.  Stewart convinced Barber to lease him…

  • Alabama,  craft beer

    A pint at Good People Brewing Co. in Birmingham, Ala.

    After operating for two years in the Five Points South area of Birmingham, Good People Brewing Company relocated to its current location near Railroad Park.  After moving into a former warehouse, the company former Auburn University graduates Jason Malone and Mike Sellers started has blossomed into one of the biggest craft breweries in Alabama.  Despite its tremendous growth, Good People remains true to its roots as a brewery aiming to serve Alabama and neighboring states where you can find “good people” drinking great beer. Upon arriving at the brewery, I met with sales team manager Stefano Daneri.  We immediately dove into a tour of the production side of the brewery. …