THE KING: I know you love taking care of sick kids, but how would you feel about trying some local beers instead?
THE KING: Right now.
HER: Don't twist my arm.
7.8 minutes later.
THE KING: You look like a lollipop.
HER: Perhaps. But I am not actually a lollipop. Don't be superifical.
THE KING: I like your lollipop dress.
HER: Don't get sentimental. Let's run before the chorus starts.
Run we did. Straight to Wilhagan's, where the 4th Annual Suds of the South was brewing. The entry lines stretched along the street. At one point, even Wilhagen's looked as if it might be too small to accomodate all the eager beer festers.
From Birmingham, Avondale Brewing Company introduced us to the saison, a pale ale that in modern versions is generally around 7% abv, highly carbonated, fruity, spicy - sometimes from the addition of spices -, and is influenced by Saison Dupont Vieille Provision. Then Good People Brewing Company shared insight about the Hops for Honeys, a group for women interested in the study of beer and brews which meets monthly in Birmingham. Something about beer education for women sounds better than a book club (and I'm the girl who adores book clubs).
Hailing from Huntsville and environs, ye Old Black Bear, Straight to Ale prides itself on being southern-born and southern-brewed, Yellowhammer Brewing harks back to European traditions and serif fonts. There's quite a bit of brew-haha going on in Huntsville these days, with a beer fest on the calendars soon. No self-respecting Huntsvillian should miss out on it.
From Gadsden, Back Forty Beer brings kudzu and swine to the tasting table in original, fragrant combinations. Hailing from Madison, we thoroughly enjoyed the company of Blue Pants Brewery folk. And they won our personal prize for the hoppiest brew. In Montgomery, Railyard Brewing Company combines food and good brews for those who care to cultivate the combinations.
Keeping it by our bed....
And then there is Tuscaloosa's own Druid City Brewing Company, whose logo pays tribute to one of Alberta City's classiest no-tell motels, the Moon Winx Lodge. When the King and I first signed those Free the Hops petitions a few years ago, little did we know how beautiful freedom would taste. But, as some folks are wont to say, freedom isn't free, and the beer revolution is still revolving. It's exciting to learn more from the brewers and to begin our own beer education- the kind of education that creates local jobs, builds small businesses, and rewards passionate entrepreneurs that enrich our local communities with their visions and creations.
More to chase in this direction:
Well That's Cool has the requisite spiffy blurb.
David Smith has the vertigo-inducing photo gallery as well as the more fleshy description.
Ben asks Bo a few worthwhile questions about the Druid City Brewing Company.
Plan a local beer pilgrimage as part of your summer schedule.