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Muchacho is a light, crisp Mexican-style lager that pairs well with pizza, burgers, Mexican and Cajun cuisine, roasted meats and seafood.
Birmingham’s Good People Brewing Co. celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, the oldest craft brewery in the state. Founded by homebrewers Jason Malone and Michael Sellers in 2008, the brewery now produces almost 25,000 barrels per year and is available not only in Alabam but also in parts of Georgia, Tennessee and Florida.
The taproom on 14th Street, a short walk from the UAB campus and right across from Regions Park — where the Birmingham Barons play every summer — is a sleek, refurbished warehouse. It has an industrial but cleaned-up feel, with great indoor and outdoor spaces to enjoy a beer or two if you’re in the Magic City. The actual brewery can been seen behind glass from the taproom, and there are brewery tours most Saturday afternoons from 1-4 p.m., on the hour. Tours cost $15 and include a souvenir glass and one beer.
Along with being a great destination spot, the taproom features a host of beers not available anywhere else. The last time I was there I had their Oktoberfest special, an amber lager crafted with German hops (although not very hoppy at all), with spice notes at the finish.
Even if you don’t get up to Birmingham, most of Good People’s styles are available in our area, on tap and in cans in your grocery aisle. The brewery’s very first style, the Brown Ale (5.8 percent ABV), is a perennial favorite, as is its IPA (7.2 percent alcohol by volume, or ABV) — noticeable in its red, white and blue can. My favorite Good People style, however, is its Pale Ale (5.6 percent ABV), which really reminds me of what most IPAs tasted like a few years ago before everybody decided to go crazy with the hops. It has nice hop flavor, but is not overpowering — a great everyday, all-day beer.
One of the trends in craft brewing this year is the rise of rise of Mexican-style lager. If 2017 was the year of the sours, it seems cervezas are the trendy new style this year, and Good People is on the bandwagon with its Muchacho (4.8 percent ABV). It looks a lot like what we expect from a Mexican lager — a light golden color with little head — but Muchacho is malty, with a spicy finish — no lime needed!
Last year Good People acquired Avondale Brewery, just across town on the corner of 41st Street and 2nd Avenue South. The two taprooms have very different feels, and the beers are different as well. Housed in a great old building that was previously a post office, firehouse, bank, saloon and (allegedly) a house of ill-repute, Avondale’s taproom has an elegant old bar that opens to a great large outdoor courtyard, which often hosts concerts.
Avondale also has a secondary taproom, the Sour Room, just around the corner from the main brewery. It is here that you can sample the really unique beers in Avondale’s arsenal, ones you just can’t find anywhere else. Last time I was there they had a Sweet Tart sour on the menu along with a number of other interesting sours; like nothing I’ve ever had before — took me back to candy at the movies as a kid.
In our area, there is a great event coming up at The Hangout in Gulf Shores on Nov. 2 and 3. The Oyster Cook-off and Craft Beer Weekend will feature beers from 36 brewers from across the region and the nation, including Good People and our own local favorites, Fairhope Brewing Co., Big Beach Brewing and Serda Brewing. There are a variety of ticket packages available; information can be found at hangoutcookoff.com.