Brewery Tour – Birmingham, AL

Avondale Brewing

IMG_3412The place was almost empty on the Sunday that I visited. Considering it was one of the only brewerys opened at that late, I was surprised that the crowed was so sparse. The people actually present were  mostly older, more sophisticated drinkers. In the background, they mostly were playing relaxing vocals. The beer was served behind a dimly lit wooden bar. There were  wooden insulated mash tuns in the background. In short, this is the type of place I like to drink.

IMG_3413The tap menu was relatively diverse, if not very long. I decided to grab a flight of their core beers to get a good ide of the location. I also had absolutely nothing to do that evening and an uber to drive me home so it just made sense. I was very pleased to find that the bar provided very generous pours… even though at the end of the night they proved to be rather expensive. My matronly barmaid set before me a plethora of beers to sample. A few of their beers stood out in my mind.
Their white was lightly spicy, with a good bit of yeast to give it some body. It had a good expressive character with coriander playing  major role. The Saison had a very resinous sweetness which lingered on the tongue. Their version of a trippel had a strong and powerful flavor, tasting similar to the saison with a bit more punch. It did a very good job of masking the 9% abv. Finally my personal favorite of their line up was a Scottish ale. At around 5% abv it was both sessionable and highly delicious. It had a lovely roasted tone with a good malty backbone that kept me coming back for more!

Rating:7/10

Web Page: http://avondalebrewing.com/

Address: 201 41st St S, Birmingham, AL 35222

Cahaba Brewing

IMG_3410

Cahaba has a very relaxed vibe, despite the fact that trying to pronounce its name will put you into a twist. The tap-room and brewery are located in a huge warehouse. The wide open space gives a sense of comfort and provided excellent acoustics to the live jazz band that was playing during my visit. The crowed is very vibrant, young people drinking on the front porch, and people with family’s enjoying the ambiance inside. The staff is very friendly and happy to recommend a beer to suit your mood or preference.

Although none of their beers stood out as exceptional, they were all well brewed and suited the relaxed mood of the brewery. The house blond was an easy drinking beer, with a light hint of lemon. Although it was a bit yeasty, it was a highly quenching brew. The dunkelweiss had a strong chocolate character, unusual but not unpleasant. There was not too much estery banana flavor although it had a stronger clove profile. My personal favorite in their line up was their double IPA. It was solidly dank, a  bit malty, but it does have an overall balanced palate. It’s a beautiful Amber color, almost a burnt pumpkin.

Rating: 8/10

Web Page: http://www.cahababrewing.com/

Address: C, 4500 5th Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35222

 

Good People Brewing

IMG_3419When I went to good people, it was during a baseball game at the local stadium. I had to trudge for about 10 minutes to get to the brewery from my parking spot a half mile away. On my arrival, I was ready for a beer! Thankfully Good People has a very large selection of beers to choose from. The tap-room is a wide open space, with lots of seating and very wide windows to allow a nice breeze to cool down the weary traveler. There is relaxed soft music in the background, hop cone lights, and comfortable beat up furniture in the corner. Although their line up is extensive, many of their beers are unremarkable, all be it pleasant. Only a few beers stood out of the mix.

IMG_3416One of their best sellers is Snake handler, a double IPA. I thought it was pleasant, with a big malty character, although the hops are very subtle. In my opinion, it is more like an American barley wine than a double IPA. All that said, it is overall pleasant with a solid bitterness and not too much alcohol burn. I believe it was well fermented but lacked substantial hop nose and flavor. On the other hand their beer el Gordo was a very good Russian Imperial Stout, with smooth roast and coffee flavor with chocolate on the finish. It was like mixing Kona coffee and Godiva Chocolate. It had a fantastic silky mouthfeel, and did a great job concealing it’s almost 14% abv.

Rating: 7.5/10

Web Page: http://www.goodpeoplebrewing.com/

Address114 14th St S, Birmingham, AL 35233

 

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