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Lower Alabama’s beer scene continues to boom, with some local brews now available in bottles and cans for off-premises consumption.
With the opening of Serda Brewing four months ago in Mobile to join Fairhope Brewing Co. and Big Beach Brewing (in Gulf Shores), along with the (hopefully) soon-to-open Haint Blue Brewing Co. and Iron Hand Brewing downtown, the local beer scene in Lower Alabama continues to improve. Not only can you get fresh local beers at the Fairhope, Big Beach and Serda taprooms, but a wide range of local bars and restaurants have our hometown beers available on tap.
It is now becoming increasingly easy to enjoy a number of these local brews at home as well. While all the taprooms offer beer to go in growlers (32- or 64-ounce refillable bottles) or crowlers (32-ounce cans), Fairhope, Haint Blue and now Serda also have a number of beers available in six-packs at local grocery and package stores.
Haint Blue, which is currently brewing in Mississippi while its home at the old Crystal Ice House in Mobile is being renovated, may not have a taproom to visit yet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try its beers. In addition to being found on tap at local bars and restaurants, both its India pale ale and its saison are available in bottles. I especially like Haint Blue’s IPA, which is smoother and easier drinking than a lot of craft IPAs, which tend to go overboard with the hops. Haint Blue’s IPA has some floral notes, and while it has a bitter finish, is not overpowering.
Fairhope Brewing Co. currently bottles five styles that can be found in stores all over Lower Alabama, including its Take the Causeway IPA, which comes in a four-pack and has won the Nappie as our readers’ favorite craft beer the last two years. I Think Therefore I Amber is another Fairhope style available in bottles. It’s a great everyday beer, tasty but not nearly as strong as Fairhope’s Causeway. If you haven’t had one, give it a try.
Serda Brewing Co. is also now making two of its everyday beers — the Hook, Line & Lager pilsner and the Tidewater Vienna-style lager — available in cans. The Tidewater is probably my favorite of all of Serda’s regular offerings, and it’s not what most people expect from a lager. It has a dark amber color and is bitter, with a nice malt favor as well. It is a really unique beer. The Hook, Line & Lager, on the other hand, is a much lighter-tasting beer, but with some noticeable hop flavor. It is sure to be a favorite as the temperatures start to rise — a great beer for sitting at the beach or poolside.
Serda Brewing will host a can launch party on Thursday, April 26, at 6 p.m. to celebrate the release of its canned offerings, with prizes, live music and a food truck. The beers will be available at local Rouses, Cain’s, Publix and Piggly Wiggly supermarkets, as well as Cottage Hill Package Store and some Circle K locations.
Of course, if you really care about craft beer, you should get to the taprooms in our area and try out some of the various styles that they only serve there. But if you can’t, look for our homegrown beers in bottles and cans in your local grocery stores.