• 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. …

  • Alabama,  craft beer

    A pint at Ghost Train Brewing Co. in Birmingham, Ala.

    Within a year of brewing and distributing its beer, Ghost Train Brewing Company went from a startup brewing contracting its production to opening its own brewery and taproom in the Lakeview district of Birmingham.  The husband-and-wife team of Taylor and Paige DeBoer began operations in 2015 brewing their beer at a facility in Mississippi before moving into the former home of Cahaba Brewing Company off 3rd Avenue South in Lakeview in 2016.  The brewery sits in the shadow of U.S. 280 as it heads out to the Birmingham suburbs, which is where my visit began. The brewery’s space is quite compact, but despite its size there is a lot inside…

  • Alabama,  craft beer

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

    A positive sign of the growth of craft beer in any place is breweries growing and moving to new, larger spaces.  After four years operating at a location off 3rd Avenue South in the Lakeview district, Cahaba Brewing Company moved to a former industrial site in the Avondale neighborhood.  The brewery opened the new taproom on Jan. 19, 2016 in an expansive 51,000-square-foot building that used to be part of the Continental Gin.  It isn’t always easy to find the brewery when driving north on 5th Avenue South, even though a sign points visitors in the right direction. The brewery draws its name from the longest free-flowing river in Alabama,…

  • Alabama,  craft beer

    A pint at Red Hills Brewing Co. in Birmingham, Ala.

    Nestled in a plaza on Central Avenue in a former A&P grocery store, Red Hills Brewing Co. may get overlooked by visitors who focus on the nearby dining establishments.  In fact, as visitors drive to the brewery they may overlook it because it is tucked into the corner of the plaza.  However, there is plenty of space to enjoy a cold beer in the shadow of Red Mountain. Once inside the building, there is no mistaking that you are in a brewery taproom.  The numerous tanks are visible in the distance the moment you walk in the door.  The bar sits in the center of the wall with two large…

  • Alabama,  craft beer

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

    Nestled in the area that formerly housed the Birmingham Zoo is a budding restaurant and brewery district.  The district lends its name to one of Birmingham’s earliest craft breweries, as Avondale Brewing Co. opened its doors in 2011. With its location in the heart of the Avondale neighborhood, the brewery lacks significant parking as it sits near the intersection of 4th Avenue South and 41st Street South. The building has a long and interesting history that has been incorporated into the brewery’s beers.  It was originally built in 1885 and served as a bunkhouse for railroad workers.  It was later used as a bank, a candy company, and a saloon. …

  • Alabama,  craft beer

    A pint at Interstellar Ginger Beer & Exploration Co. in Alabaster, Ala.

    In a craft beer scene getting more and more crowded, it is getting difficult for newcomers to make their mark on the landscape.  So when Shane Kelly and Daniel Sims decided to open a brewery, they decided to differentiate themselves in the marketplace by brewing ginger beer.  The duo settled on a location south of Birmingham in Alabaster off Interstate 65 near the Shelby County Airport in order to sell their product to an under-served population.  So the first thing visitors see when coming to the brewery is its signage at the entrance to an industrial park. The building that houses the brewery is at the end of a cul-de-sac…