LOCAL BREW IS THE BEST BREW
Local, local, local! That’s all we seem to hear these days. Well I for one am tired. Tired of NOT hearing it more!
Local is great! And not just in some long haired hippy sort of way. Anyone who knows me knows I don’t like hippies.
Actually, just hippies who don’t shower.
Otherwise hippies are pretty cool. So shine on you crazy hippies and by all means ladies, keep burning those bras. Some of you younger, bra-less, free love types won’t understand why I just told you to incinerate your under garments.
Ask Gloria Steinem. She’ll explain.
But this isn’t about the aforementioned unwashed, free love set. It’s about locally brewed spirits! Right here in Birmingham! Much like so many communities in our city and cities around the country, we love to shop local.
There’s something about going into a locally owned restaurant serving locally grown food. Sure it feels good and tastes good, but more importantly it makes a whole lot of sense without even thinking hard about it. And I don’t like thinking hard about things. I don’t want to wear out my figurin’ muscle, or “brain” as I’ve heard it called. Fortunately the local brewmasters do all the thinking for us.
First off there’s the Good People Brewing Company, founded in 2008. They’re called Good People, but one wonders, are these people actually good?
So being a scientist, I did an experiment. You don’t know I’m not a scientist so don’t say I’m not! I asked the folks at Good People if they’d rather kick a puppy or kick a football. Unanimously they chose the pigskin over the labradoodle. Way to go Good People! Their kindness to small animals and dedication to the art of brewing has made them very popular. Ask around and they’ll tell you that Good People equals Good Beer. Their pale ales, stouts and 15 other brews can be found at grocery stores and many local restaurants. You can even try them at their taproom located at the brewery itself! A couple of the beers are even available in cans. Please refrain from calling your favorite restaurant or store and asking if they have Good People in a can, and after saying yes, replying to them with, “Well you better let them out!” They don’t like it.
The new kid on the block is the Avondale Brewing Company. Speaking of kids, don’t give them beer. They’re too young. Unless the kid you’re talking about is a baby goat, which is also referred to as a “kid.” Anyone will tell you there’s nothing funnier than a drunken goat. Plus, a drunk goat won’t try to talk your ear off all night, vomit in your car or try to hit on your girlfriend. What a jerk that guy was. It was so obvious she was with me! Fortunately, Avondale Brewing Company always checks for I.D. and never allows livestock in their establishment. Worry not, none of God’s creatures get to drink the delicious wet stuff at Avondale. More tasty beer for the humans. Yea! It’s called evolution, animals suck at it! One animal you will see there is the image of Miss Fancy, the elephant that emblazons the company’s t-shirts. During prohibition in the 1920’s, Avondale Zoo’s star attraction was Miss Fancy. Miss Fancy’s zookeeper, Mr. Todd, would delight audiences with her while at the same time giving her a nip from his bottle. If you give a mouse a cookie is a far cry from if you give an elephant some booze. Stop in for a Battlefield India Pale Ale or maybe a Spring Street Saison Ale. Oooh, Saison. That sounds fancy. But fancy you do not have to be to enjoy these beers that have been quickly growing in popularity in a very short time. It’s beer for the people!
For those of you who prefer vino to beer-o, there’s The Winery At Pepper Place. And don’t worry, I’ve run out of animal references for the rest of this column. Formerly in the spot now occupied by Ona’s Jazz Club, the Winery continues to serve tasty wines just across the parking lot in their newer location.
The Winery is not just a cool spot to sip wine, but it’s also the ONLY Jefferson County winery! Maybe the Winery can talk to Jefferson County about replacing the water supply with a nice Sauvignon Blanc. That’ll solve the water works board problem! Admittedly, I’m more of a wine drinker than a beer drinker, even though I enjoy the occasional tasty sip of Good People and Avondale. The last time I was at the Winery, Daniel DeMonia gave me a great wine tasting. He’s general manager and has been vinting since 1992, as opposed to venting, which I’ve been doing since 1988.
Vinting is making wine and Daniel is very good at it. At the risk of sounding uncultured, I asked Daniel, “Is it uncouth of me to say that your wines aren’t too... well, winey?” He graciously said I wasn’t uncouth. By too “winey,” I was referring to the smooth taste of his wines as opposed to the harshness or “wineyness” I taste in a lot of other wines. The wines there, which are all made on the premises, were delicious. Pinot Grigio, Zinfindel and Malbec can be found on the menu along with some surprises. The Peach Chardonnay and Blackberry Cabernet were very flavorful and not at all what I expected. Now that’s my idea of fresh fruit! Daniel says in the spring, they should start serving pita chips and hummus. Pita, humus, wine... the trilogy of a mellow Saturday afternoon.
So get out there and enjoy some local libations made right here in our city.