Monkeynaut To Crooked LetterThursday, June 06, 2013
If each state doesn't already have one, their tourism office could probably come up with a 'beer trail' now that so many breweries have popped up. Didn't this start getting serious in the '90s and it's really taking off now? I've heard of some of these, but the other day when I was at Whole Foods, there was Monkeynaut IPA from Straight to Ale in Huntsville -- which is appropriate since Huntsville = NASA and there's even a monument to the rhesus monkey astronaut Miss Baker at Marshall Space Flight Center there (I've got a picture of it somewhere! People leave bananas.).
At the same display was Lily Flag Milk Stout -- another Huntsville-themed beer as Lily Flagg was a jersey cow owned by a couple of men there, and she was famous for producing the most milk-to-butter in the world. There's even a part of town named after her.
Straight to Ale also makes Brother Joseph's Belgian Dubbel, named after the monk in Cullman who made Ave Maria Grotto:
Not a big surprise that they also have an ale named after Wernher Von Braun.
Elsewhere in Alabama:
Avondale Brewing and Cahaba Brewing in Birmingham, Blue Pants Brewery in Madison, Fairhope Brewing Company, Folklore Brewing in Dothan, Old Black Bear and Yellowhammer Brewing and Salty Nut Brewery in Huntsville, Beer Engineers in Gadsden, Black Warrior Brewing and Rocket Republic in Huntsville, Patriot Joe's Ales and Cheaha Brewing in Annison...
Chattahoochee Brewing in Phenix City's flagship beer is the 'Little Yuchi' -- and if you're remembering that Yuchi is a tribe, that's the tribe of Tom Henrix's g-g-grandmother...he's the gentleman who built Teh-Lah-Nay's Wall off the Natchez Trace in the NW corner of Alabama, the largest monument to a woman in the US:
Back Forty in Gadsden has Truck Stop Honey, Kudzu, Naked Pig, and Freckle Belly. They call their beers 'liquid folk art'.
Druid City Brewing in Tuscaloosa -- their logo's familiar:
Good People in Bham has Snake Handler (which...really should be serpent handler, right?):
Railyard Brewing Company in Montgomery is a place I want to go for lunch! Not only do they brew beer, they are serving fried Wickles pickles (I've met those brothers, they are nice!), scotch egg with Conecuh sausage, pimento cheese with charred jalapenos, a burger called 'All Hail the Pig' with cracklins, and for dessert a fried Moon Pie with vanilla ice cream.
When our family hosted the brunch after each of our sons' bris -- the meal is called 'seudat mitzvah' -- I advised the caterer what to serve, and while he was eager to leave those details to me, there were two things Av wanted to make sure we had on hand: Texas Jewboy cigars from Kinky Friedman, and He'Brew Beer. He got both his wishes.
Breweries in Mississippi (as close to a complete list as I can get right now):
Lazy Magnolia in Kiln
Southern Prohibition Brewery in Hattiesburg
Gordon Creek in Hattiesburg
Old Abbeville Brewing Company
Crooked Letter Brewing in Ocean Springs
Lucky Town in Gluckstadt
Georgia breweries listed here. Louisiana here. Tennessee here.
The New Yorker just came out with maps on growth of craft breweries as their 'Idea of the Week' feature, and Alabama is first in fastest-growing producers.
But such statistics and anecdotes fail to communicate a fascinating aspect of the craft-beer boom. The beverage is colonizing what one might call the craft-beer frontier: the parts of the country that are far from the major craft breweries of the West Coast and the Northeast.