As I type this, I’m still not sure if this will be the last column I write from my house in Midtown Mobile. My wife and I are packing up the family and headed to New Orleans, but our landlord won’t know when the new house will be ready until tomorrow.
In the meantime, I’ve started taking stock of the things I’ll miss about Mobile after 12 years of calling the Port City home.
I’ll miss our friends; we are grateful to have so many here.
I’ll miss Callaghan’s, its burgers and the joy of seeing an amazing up-and-coming band there before they make it big.
I’ll miss Mobile’s Mardi Gras, although I fully intend to embrace Carnival in the Big Easy and still return to raise Cain on the Sunday before Fat Tuesday.
Strawberry tea from Spot of Tea? Soon-to-be-famous Butch Burgers? R&R fried shrimp? Cammie’s Old Dutch Ice Cream and Heroes spinach and crawfish dip (not together, of course)?
Yep, I’m gonna miss ‘em all.
There are some beers I’ll miss, too, because the selection is vastly different in New Orleans.
Take the Causeway, for instance. This IPA from Fairhope was born in my driveway. It was a favorite of mine when I first homebrewed it and it remains a favorite, even though I left the brewery more than a year ago. I’m gonna miss fresh Causeway like hell.
Blue Pants Pils is another. Brewer Weedy Weidenthal has a wealth of brewing knowledge, and his time studying the craft in Germany has decidedly paid off. The Pilsner from this Madison, Alabama, brewery is traditional, well-balanced and a staple in my summer beer rotation. Keep an eye on these guys. They’re already the most-awarded brewery in the state, and their brews just seem to be getting better and better.
I’m going to miss Slap Fight IPA from Atlanta, Georgia’s Monday Night Brewing. It’s one of the first of the new-school “juicy” IPAs to get regular distribution in Lower Alabama, and it’s been a pleasure getting to know it in recent months.
Westbrook Gose will be greatly missed. The South Carolina brewery has managed to make a staple of its version of this once nearly extinct style. Its delicious combination of salty and sour make for some damn fine summer day drinkin’.
I’ll miss just about everything from Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing Co. Alabama native Wayne Wambles, a fellow homebrewer-turned-pro, has truly made a name for himself with beers like Jai Alai IPA, Florida Cracker, Maduro Brown and Huhnapu’s Imperial Stout.
I’ll miss half-price Sunday at LoDa Bier Garten. It seems I always manage to see at least one person I know enjoying some brews there on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
I won’t miss constantly wondering when Mobile is going to get a brewery, but I am truly bummed to be missing the grand opening of the Old Shell Growler Station. Midtown Mobile has needed a craft beer destination for years, and I think the guys at the Growler Station are going to be great stewards of craft beer in Mobile.
I intend to do the same. While I won’t be living here in Mobile, I’m still going to be writing this column, with my finger firmly on the pulse of the local beer community, and I look forward to watching as Mobile’s brewed culture continues to ferment.
After all, I need to come back and stock up on a few beers from time to time.
Dan Murphy is a Certified Cicerone® and the founding brewer at Fairhope Brewing Co. Follow him on Instagram @Grand_Krewe and on Twitter @Beer_Man_Dan.