Author: Tom Ward

Big Beach makes Gulf Shores a taproom destination

When the Fairhope Brewing Co. opened in 2013, those of us in Lower Alabama who love craft beer hoped its success would spark the development of other local taprooms. After all, Birmingham boasts four breweries, Huntsville nine (nine!) and even Montgomery has two, while here on the Gulf Coast, despite many promises and plans, we still have only the taproom in Fairhope. That is until now. At the end of October, the Big Beach Brewery opened its (large) doors across the street from Tacky Jacks in Gulf Shores. I used the grand opening as a good excuse to head...

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Abita getaway

For many of us on the Gulf Coast, Abita was the original craft beer, long before Alabama laws were relaxed to allow for the development of our now-thriving microbrewery industry. Founded in the tiny hamlet of Abita Springs, Louisiana, the Abita Brewing Co. has been creating a host of distinctive brews for three decades, from perennial standbys Turbodog and Purple Haze to seasonal favorites such as Peach Lager and Mardi Gras Bock. However, as Abita has grown from a regional treasure to a national brand, many of us who love craft beers have moved on to newer, shinier objects...

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Customize your Oktoberfest six-pack

As autumn descends on Lower Alabama and the mercury dips below 90, “Fall Collections,” “Oktoberfest” lagers and the dreaded pumpkin-infused brews appear in local bars and grocery stores. A recent stroll through the beer aisle of my neighborhood market turned up no fewer than six different brands (Shock Top, Sierra Nevada, Sam Adams, Sweetwater, Dundee and Blue Moon) offering fall variety 12-packs. I am a sucker for these collections, and I always end up purchasing a couple of different varieties during the fall months. Most include four different varieties, and, invariably, there is always one totally unpalatable brew (usually...

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The fine art of paring beer with food

In Brooklyn, New York, tucked behind a cozy, wood-festooned beer bar called Tørst, is the 16-seat Michelin-starred restaurant Luksus. It is the brainchild of Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø, best known as the gypsy brewer of Evil Twin beers, and Daniel Burns, a well-known chef with experience at some of the world’s greatest restaurants. Luksus isn’t just any Michelin-starred joint; it’s the only one in the world that pairs beer exclusively with each course of every meal. The prix-fixe menu changes weekly along with the pairings, based on what’s fresh and in season. Simply put, Luksus elevates the marriage of beer and...

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