“24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence?”
If you weren’t at The Fairhope Brewing Company’s “Back to the Future,” second anniversary celebration last Saturday, you missed the premiere gala event of the early Mardi Gras season. Sadly, I was not. But I heard everyone had fun and seemed to enjoy the cool signature anniversary glassware for patrons to take home.
Luckily however, I was treated to a personal tour of the brewery prior to the event, where I learned one of the reasons for the celebration was that the brewery is expanding and plan to bottle their beer by Memorial Day. Currently their beers are available only in kegs, therefore only available at bars and restaurants that have a draft system.
By expanding to a bottling line, the product will be available at grocery stores, convenience stores and at restaurants that don’t have taps.
When this phase begins, FBC will be capable of producing almost 20,000 bottles per day. Their inventive mascot, the pelican, will be featured prominently on the bottles’ label.
They will also be unveiling some new recipes, but my personal favorites remain their Everyday Ale, Painted Black IPA and Fairhope 51. You might also try the Lil Poison Brown Ale, a Mardi Gras special, named after a Grayson Capps song.
On Saturday, the party kicked off with guitarist and singer Mitch Johnston while The Hungry Owl and Bean & Bistro provided the scrumptious food. The brew magicians had roughly 25 small-batch beers on tap, including the brewery’s most successful seasonal ales from 2014 and new offerings brewed just for the celebration. RonDale and the Kit Katz apparently really got the crowd into the groove.
The Fairhope Brewing Company is the only brewery within a 150-mile radius in Alabama, offering arguable the freshest beer in the area. It’s the 12th craft-brewing operation to open in the state.
Head brewer Dan Murphy, along with partners Brian Kane and Jim Foley got off to a phenomenal start. There was a line out the door at the grand opening, and the brewery sold about 800 beers that night.
Dan credits his wife Amy for encouraging him to pursue his passion for creating beer. There are windows behind the bar, and you can literally see the vats making beer. The brewing is hot, the fermenting warm and the carbonation & storage are cold. Barley is the main ingredient and cork wine barrels add sweetness and tartness.
Fairhope Brewing Company has a spacious taproom — an artfully designed and unique oasis — that somehow blends sophistication and elegance with an underlying rusticity. The atmosphere is masculine, but the ladies like it, too.
The taproom accommodates 60 comfortably, and features reclaimed pine tables by a Fairhope carpenter & unusual metal chairs crafted by a welder from Loxley.
Although they don’t serve food in the taproom, you’re welcome to bring your own or have it delivered. When I’m on the Eastern Shore, I like to pick up seafood or cheeseburgers at Seafood by the Bay, and I think anything on their menu would be complimentary.
Fairhope Brewing Company has movie nights and are frequently booked for wedding parties. The beers retail for $5 to $6, and on the chalkboard, which changes frequently, were Causeway IPA, Fairhope SI, Patented Black IPA and Imperial Stout.
In other news, Good People Brewing Co., a craft brewery located in Birmingham, has sent a limited-release canned beer to Mobile. It’s their most popular beer, a Double IPA called “Snake Handler” that has a huge cult following. The four-packs hit shelves in Birmingham last week and sold out within minutes. Another 60 cases have just arrived in Mobile recently and should be on shelves where available. Good People is the largest and oldest brewery in the state of Alabama, and was the first craft brewery in the Southeast to can their beers.
As a side note, beer is one of the world’s oldest prepared beverages, and possibly dates back to the early Neolithic Era or 9500 BC. The Fairhope Brewing Company is located at 914 Nichols Ave., in Fairhope, Alabama, just west of U.S. Highway 98.
At the end of the day it’s a good thing to support your local brewery. It’s an American tradition.