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.

A view of the brewery’s main entrance.

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 TVs hovering around the counter top.  Additional seating is distributed throughout the remaining space, which provides guests with ample spots to relax and enjoy their beer.

As my wife Katie and I walked into the taproom, we made a bee line for the bar and sat down to order a flight.  Like many breweries in Birmingham, we have had several beers from Red Hills so we patiently took time double-checking the beers we had drank according to Untappd before ordering our flight.  We got A New Tella Porter, Geoffrey the Graff, Hipster’s Delight, and Nitro Hipster’s Delight.  We also shared a taster of Redtails.  A New Tella Porter is a chocolate and hazelnut porter.  Geoffrey the Graff is a blend of cider and gluten-free beer.  Hipster’s Delight is an espresso latte imperial stout made with Higher Ground coffee, which is a coffee company in Vestavia Hills that sells fair-trade coffee.  Redtails is an American amber brewed with peanuts.  Of the five brews we had during our visit, the Nitro Hipster’s Delight was the best beer.  It had noticeable chocolate and coffee notes and was smoother on nitrogen than the CO2 version.

After finishing the flight, I took advantage of a fairly quiet opening period on this Saturday to take a few more pictures of the taproom.  The mural over the bar is the most notable piece at the brewery.

An overview of the bar area.

While the mural primarily focuses on the fermentation tanks used in brewing and the chemistry of different components used in the beer, the most notable part of the mural is to the right near the hallway.

Artwork depicting the Vulcan statue and a Red Hills salamander.

The right side of the mural features one of Birmingham’s most visible symbols, the statue of Vulcan that sits atop Red Mountain.  Taking a unique twist on incorporating Vulcan, the mural shows his posterior as that is the portion of the statue that faces the Homewood neighborhood.  Next to Vulcan is a Red Hills salamander, which is the namesake of the brewery and Alabama’s official state amphibian.  Despite the brewery’s location near Red Mountain, the Red Hills salamander is not native to the area, but instead resides in the Gulf Coastal Plain.

Not far from the mural down a hallway is another homage to the brewery’s namesake amphibian.

The “Salamander Crossing” sign in the back hallway.

On top of the bar counter is a setup displaying the brewery’s merchandise along with some unrefrigerated beer for sale.

A view of some merchandise for sale.

In a display of typical Southern hospitality, there is a painted sign above the doorway as people leave.

A view of the artwork above the doorway encouraging people to visit again.

With its location in a bustling shopping area, it is very likely that visitors to Red Hills Brewing will come back again.  Like many taprooms, the beer select offers something for just about everyone.  The mural is humorous and delightful.  The space is eclectic and relaxed.


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