The best Alabama Beers and Breweries

Discussion in 'South' started by JackRWatkins, Nov 18, 2014.

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  1. JackRWatkins

    JackRWatkins Defender (677) Nov 3, 2014 Alabama

    This one's kinda just for any alabama members on here, what are your favorite beers and breweries in sweet home alabama? if you wanna include craft bars and specialty stores in the conversation, feel free to
    DamnYankeeHeadHunter likes this.
  2. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Poo-Bah (1,824) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    I know a guy from Huntsville that is the brewer at Yellowhammer, makes some good German style beers.

    Huntsville has more than a few breweries, the rest of the state has some catching up to do - or so I have been told.
  3. JackRWatkins

    JackRWatkins Defender (677) Nov 3, 2014 Alabama

    There are 4 in birmingham, all of which are competent, 2 of which are honestly good, and the other 2 have their appeal
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  4. denver10

    denver10 Poo-Bah (2,956) Nov 17, 2010 New Mexico

    Good People makes some good beer. Only tried their IPA and Coffee Oatmeal Stout, but a fan of both.
  5. JackRWatkins

    JackRWatkins Defender (677) Nov 3, 2014 Alabama

  6. denver10

    denver10 Poo-Bah (2,956) Nov 17, 2010 New Mexico

    Every time I have been down in Nashville to buy beer, I have been on the lookout for Snake Handler. Unfortunately, I have yet to come across it. When I do, I will be sure to grab it.
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  7. KMitch

    KMitch Initiate (0) Aug 29, 2012 Alabama

    In Birmingham, my favorite breweries are TrimTab and Good People. I've done a number of growler swap trades and I've had repeat requests for SnakeHandler by Good People. TrimTab is failrly new but is making some solid beers (imho). As far as a bottle shop, I really like HopCity mainly because they have 60 beers on tap and I can drink a beer while shopping.

    In Huntsville, my favorites are Blue Pants and Straight To Ale. Weedys DIPA by Blue Pants to me is actually better than SnakeHandler. I've sent a few bottles of those in trades as well and the guys really liked it. Its best to get it really fresh because it falls off really fast. As far as a bottle shop in Huntsville, I like Wish You Were Beer. They have a nice selection for a small shop and you can get a beer to drink while you shop like HopCity.

    In south Alabama, Fairhope is really good. They were even featured in a small article in BA about a year ago. I have yet to find a bottle shop down there that I like. When we go down to the coast I usually just bring my own beer.
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  8. wde83

    wde83 Initiate (0) Nov 9, 2012 Texas

    Personally, I'm a huge fan of Good People and Avondale. Snake Handler is my single favorite beer brewed in the state (see my avatar) and Michael and the other guys there are awesome. I really think that Avondale is also doing some amazing things. Their IPA isn't the best out there, but I love the No Joka Mocha stout and you can get some awesome barrel aged and sour beers if you go to the brewery. I also enjoy Straight to Ale and Rocket City, but not living in Huntsville has made it difficult to try a ton of their stuff.

    All things considered, the state has really started to boom both in what's made here and what's available here. I'd love to see the ABV cap pushed even higher so that we had a shot at some of the really big beers out there (BCBS comes to mind as it is about to release), but ultimately can't really complain with the progress so far.
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  9. freduardo

    freduardo Initiate (0) Feb 19, 2007 Alabama

    tough question. my answer is always changing and definitely depends on the season (probably gp coffee oatmeal stout right now), but every brewery in the state is going to be at fall festivale on friday at regions field, so it will be a great place to do some research. hopefully i will see some of you there. it's always a really great event.
    zookerman182 likes this.
  10. JackRWatkins

    JackRWatkins Defender (677) Nov 3, 2014 Alabama

    sadly i'm outta town and cant make it which is a shame cuz i really wanted to go
  11. honkey

    honkey Disciple (319) Aug 28, 2010 Arizona
    Brewery Trader

    Thanks for the kind words! I agree that the DIPA is best fresh and does drop off very quickly. I'm trying to remedy that, but it is proving to be quite a challenge to do so while retaining the intensely hoppy flavor that it is known for.

    ZMWTally likes this.
  12. wjrainer

    wjrainer Initiate (118) Feb 21, 2014 North Carolina

    Straight to Ale and Good People are my favorites. If I had to choose one, I'd take Straight to Ale. Their two DIPAs are really good and their barrel aged beers are great!
  13. ManUtdSooner

    ManUtdSooner Initiate (0) Jul 16, 2014 Alabama

    Have lived here for 11 years. The Cain's Piggly Wiggly in Foley has a tremendous selection of high gravity beers. Mellow Mushroom Pizza in Foley has over 60 taps of awesome beers. Try the 21 flight paddle. It's built for two!

    Stuart is spot on. Fairhope Brewery is a must stop. The Painted Black IPA is my favorite.
  14. MOVERTON1284

    MOVERTON1284 Initiate (0) Jul 23, 2014 Alabama

    Good People & STA are head and shoulders above everyone in the state. They both do certain beers very well. Good People with hop forward styles and STA with all the barrel aged beers. BA seems to agree given that the top 3 beers are from GP, including el Gordo which will be at Fall Festiveale tomorrow night.

    HopCity is the best bottle shop, we are lucky to have it. Some of the newer breweries have potential, but there is also a lot more competition now..
  15. KMitch

    KMitch Initiate (0) Aug 29, 2012 Alabama

    I want to mention 2 other breweries that are a bit out of the way but I was well pleased with the beer I had there.

    First, Chattahoochee Brewing in Phenix City. I've been there twice and have not had any of their beer. They didn't even have any of their beer on tap. This brewery is right across the river bridge from Columbus, GA and according to the owner they get limited availability beers because they are so close to Columbus. I've had Hopslam KBS, and one of the Game of Thrones beers.

    Second, Back Forty in Gadsden. Their packaged beers are good but what I really like are the one offs you can only get at the brewery. Their Cuban Coffee Stout and Hogchocker DIPA are to me their best beers. I've even had a Belgian Naked Pig that I like even better than the standard Naked Pig pale ale.
  16. RocketCityVol

    RocketCityVol Initiate (0) Feb 9, 2014 Alabama

    I am from and live in Huntsville. In my opinion Good People and Straight to Ale are easily the best breweries in Alabama. Good People has Snakehandler which is great, but there Hitchhiker IPA may be better. Plus their coffee oatmeal stout and fatso stout are pretty solid too.

    Straight to Ale has some good brews as well. Their Laika RIS is good and their Bourbon and Cabernet Barrel aged versions of Laika are great. Straight to ale has a lot of barrel aged beers that are pretty decent, such as, Unobtanium, Illudium, Velvet Evil, and their International Space Saison variants. Their standard beers are decent as well. STA is in the process of moving to a bigger facility. I honestly think they will turn the corner and eventually become the best brewery in Bama.
  17. PALMEJ1

    PALMEJ1 Initiate (0) Dec 8, 2008 Alabama

    In my opinion, the best Alabama beers are Hitchhiker IPA and Bourbon BA Laika.
  18. BlackNotesIII

    BlackNotesIII Initiate (0) Jun 6, 2014 Alabama

    Trim Tab in Birmingham is killing it. They haven't even been open for a year and they consistently make some of the best stuff from top to bottom. Their Four Roses BA Rye Brown is great (Although it's usually in Bulleit barrels) and the Raspberry Berlinerweiss is really good.
    JuliusPepperwood likes this.
  19. Roxie_B

    Roxie_B Initiate (0) Jun 1, 2014 Alabama

    Blue Pants is my favorite. I enjoyed the heck out of the Chocolate Oatmeal Porter and the Tuxedo from this year. And they are right around the corner from me.
    honkey likes this.
  20. JuliusPepperwood

    JuliusPepperwood Aspirant (212) Jul 21, 2013 North Carolina

    Good People, Trim Tab, and Back Forty are my favorite AL breweries. Honorable mentioning goes to Railyard Brewing in Montgomery. Decent beer but great food and atmosphere.

    As for bars and stores, J. Clyde and Hop City are the best.
  21. brahmar

    brahmar Initiate (0) Dec 11, 2014 Alabama

    Good People is probably my favorite, especially in terms of consistency. Off the top of my head, I'd go:

    Good People
    Trim Tab
    Straight to Ale
    Back Forty
    Blue Pants

    Fairhope shows promise and most of the others in-state,I think, are still trying to find their identities. Time will tell.
    JuliusPepperwood likes this.
  22. CIBoy10

    CIBoy10 Initiate (0) Nov 13, 2012 Alabama

    Good People (Birmingham) and Straight to Ale (Huntsville) are both great. Druid City in Tuscaloosa makes a good porter. Hop City (Birmingham) is by far the best store I've been in. The closing of Bruno's in Tuscaloosa has really put a hamper on beer selection in west Alabama stores. It was one of the only stores west of Birmingham with a really good selection (lots of Unibroue, etc.). However Corks and Tops in Tuscaloosa has some good stuff (Stone Enjoy By IPA, and other cool things) just don't expect too much from it. Birmingham or Huntsville are the places to go.
  23. Davidstan

    Davidstan Aspirant (252) May 24, 2014 Alabama

    Cheha Brewing Company in Anniston has some great hopped up brews and on site restaurant has incredible food.
  24. BayouBeerGeek

    BayouBeerGeek Initiate (0) Nov 22, 2013 Louisiana

    I thought Corks & Tops had a great selection. They had westbrook 4th anniversary, snake hander on tap.. CCB selection, lots of bombers. But I guess it doesnt take much to be better than Louisiana distrobution
  25. CIBoy10

    CIBoy10 Initiate (0) Nov 13, 2012 Alabama

    Agreed. It is awesome for what it is, size-wise and all.
  26. Sanderson

    Sanderson Initiate (0) Sep 5, 2014 Washington

    Born and raised in Huntsville and I am extremely proud to be drinking Straight to Ale way up here in the Pnw. Solid stuff.
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  27. DamnYankeeHeadHunter

    DamnYankeeHeadHunter Initiate (0) Feb 11, 2014 Alabama

    When it comes to drinking local brews I'd have to say that Straight to Ale is at the top of my favorites, their selection has great depth and quality; (Brother Joseph's Belgian Dubbel, Monkeynaut, Unobtanium, Rocket Bock.....) Yellowhammer is a close second; their (Miracle Worker Tripel) is quite tasty and (Lost Highway) isn't all that bad either. I still have not tried much from Blue Pants or Good People, although (Snake Handler) was a sweet brew! I'm not a big fan of Old Black Bear's narrow range and selection although there is much to be said from simplicity. After reading previous posts it looks like I still have a long way to go to get a fair taste of all the beer this fine state has to offer, thankfully I'm sure that my favorite beer store - (Liquor Express) in HSV - will have just what I need to widen my local taste buds.
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  28. ldhughes3

    ldhughes3 Initiate (0) Jan 4, 2013 Louisiana

    My vote goes to Straight to ale Cabernet barrel aged laika! That beer is so good, I can't get enough of it!
  29. honkey

    honkey Disciple (319) Aug 28, 2010 Arizona
    Brewery Trader

    Let me know if you want to come by the Blue Pants taproom at some point... I'll sit down and have a few beers with you. Always glad to meet fellow BA's!

    DamnYankeeHeadHunter likes this.
  30. wde83

    wde83 Initiate (0) Nov 9, 2012 Texas

    Finally tried Straight to Ale's bourbon barrel aged laika last night. Wow. Seriously the best offering I've had from the state. I have tried tons of big barrel aged stouts and I would put it right up there against any of them.
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  31. Freeod

    Freeod Initiate (0) Dec 8, 2011 Virginia

    I am heading to Huntsville next week and interested in trading some hard to find beers from either Huntsville or the area. I have had some of the locals there already and interested in beers that I can't buy from the store or brewery while I am in town. I am coming in from VA/DC area and willing to bring down some beers from here to trade. Let me know.
  32. ZMWTally

    ZMWTally Initiate (0) Dec 15, 2014 Florida

    It's very out of the way, but stop at Folklore. It's just off 231 a little bit south of Dothan. I've had a couple of sessions at the brewery, and the guy makes some very interesting stuff. I've had a bunch of stuff from Good People and Fairhope, and enjoyed both. Back Forty bottles & cans sometimes make there way down here to Florida and have been very well received.
  33. Roland

    Roland Initiate (168) Apr 18, 2012 Georgia

    I am going to throw some love for a relative small brewery out of Dothan, It's called Folklore. I all can say is if you find yourself down in lower Alabama you should look them up....
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  34. JWH90

    JWH90 Initiate (0) Nov 26, 2015 Alabama

    I see I'm joining in a little late.. But the Snakehandler might be my favorite beer regardless of the brewery/state. I live in Tuscaloosa and would love to take a 6 pack of it home to my dad for Christmas. Anyone know the best places to find it? Also, I haven't been a member for 30 days yet, and I can't wait to start trading when it hits that time. If anyone has access to Snakehandler I can get my hands on a few bottles of Dogfish Head 120. (Not trying to break any rules. Let me know if that last part isn't allowed.)
  35. JuliusPepperwood

    JuliusPepperwood Aspirant (212) Jul 21, 2013 North Carolina

    Good People rarely cans Snakehandler, maybe once a year. Your best bet is to find it on draft near you or at a craft beer store that fills growlers like Hop City in Birmingham. They often have Snakehandler on draft and you can take a 32oz or 64oz growler of it home. The Good People beer finder is helpful to find their beers near you.
  36. MOVERTON1284

    MOVERTON1284 Initiate (0) Jul 23, 2014 Alabama

    Snake Handler is not canned regularly, although I hear it will be canned in January. It seems the winter months is the only time they can produce enough to can.
    zookerman182 likes this.
  37. BrandonM

    BrandonM Initiate (0) Nov 9, 2015 Alabama

    We have many legit breweries in the state now.. My favorite at the moment is from Straight to Ale (Velvet Evil) but I am a sucker for dark dessert beers.
  38. Marklaker

    Marklaker Initiate (0) Jun 5, 2014 Florida

    From the Florida panhandle so my vote doesn't count, but Fairhope's Take the Causeway IPA can hold it's own with any other AIPA.
    inspektor likes this.
  39. brentk56

    brentk56 Poo-Bah (10,523) May 13, 2004 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    I will be in Birmingham for a couple of days this week - Mon and Tues only. Other than Snake Handler, any other beers I should keep an eye out for?
  40. JuliusPepperwood

    JuliusPepperwood Aspirant (212) Jul 21, 2013 North Carolina

    @brentk56 if you go to Good People Brewing I highly recommend El Gordo their limited release 13.9% imperial stout.

    Hop City also has their Fatso Stout and some other really good stuff on draft and they do growler fills. Also Snakehandler drops Tuesday in cans, they only do it once a year so you may be able to snag a 4 pack or 2.
    brentk56 likes this.
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