Craft beer is booming in Alabama. Birmingham’s beer scene took off in 2011 when Good People Brewing Company, Avondale Brewing Co. and Cahaba Brewing Co. opened taprooms. And it’s only getting better. With a new craft brewery opening its doors in February and one more on the way next year, Birmingham is solidifying itself as a destination for craft beer lovers. Across the city you can find everything from peach saison to coffee oatmeal stout. Here’s what you need to know if you’re visiting the Magic City.
Located in the heart of Birmingham’s Avondale neighborhood, this small brewery is the ideal location for good weather hangouts. The taproom itself is somewhat small, but it’s the patio that draws crowds during the warmer months. Taking up almost a quarter block, you might as well call it a park with a beer. Dogs are welcome, often there’s live music, and sometimes the food trucks set up shop too. While the brewery doesn’t serve food, they’re more than happy to let you bring in your own. Post Office Pies and Saw’s, two very popular local eateries are just down the street. There are plenty of options on tap, from the Spring Street Saison to the No Joka Mocha, but be careful with the Miss Fancy’s Triple—that one packs 10% ABV.
You’ll find Good People just across from Birmingham’s new Region’s Field. You might pass it by thinking it’s just a warehouse, but if you see a sign with a yellow truck on it, you should go in. Good People is cool because the taproom is located inside the actual running brewery. So you can sit there and sip an IPA while people are making the next batch just a few feet away. It has an industrial feel: concrete floor, fork-lifts driving around beer, lots of beeping. And if you sit at the bar and look up, you’ll see that the lighting fixtures are made out of kegs. Pick from one of five year-round beers, or a seasonal. The flagship brew is a pale ale. Other year-rounds include a coffee oatmeal stout, a brown ale, Snake Handler (a double IPA), and an IPA. No food available, but feel free to bring your own.
Located just east of downtown near Pepper Place, Cahaba is open in the late afternoon and evenings…and they have Skee-Ball. Try the Oka Uba IPA, a hoppy IPA that’s not too bitter, or the Ryezome Rye Stout, a medium-bodied stout with notes of chocolate and coffee. During fall, the Oktoberfest bier is pretty popular, too. But really, who can resist Skee-Ball and beer? BYO food. Occasionally food trucks set up in the parking lot. Did we mention they have Skee-Ball?
Trim Tab is Birmingham’s newest brewery, brewing its first batch of commercial beer in January, and opening its doors in February. Though the tasting room is in a 2,000-square-foot room, it’s more refined than industrial. Globe lights hang from the ceiling, and local artwork decorates the walls. The actual brewery is viewable through windows, but it’s separated from the tasting room. Trim Tab’s flagship beers are its Pillar to Post Rye Brown and an IPA.
Want to try all of Birmingham’s local brews, but don’t want to spend the entire day brewery hopping? The J. Clyde is your place. Located down a cobblestone alley, the J. Clyde is the perfect place to take a group with varied tastes. Not only will you find over 80 beers on tap, and over 250 bottles, you’ll also find ciders, wine, hand-crafted cocktails, and of course, food.
If you’re looking for a great selection of craft beer to take home, this is your place with its rows and rows of bottles. There’s also a long bar with more than 60 beers on tap. And it’s open surprisingly late for being attached to a beer/wine store.