Thursday, April 11, 2013

Trunks Up! - Road Trip - Gus #1

Doing a first of it's kind post for the blog today.  I've decided I'm going to get out more and see more of the breweries that interest me.  I happened to be in Birmingham, AL last week for a concert (Dave Matthews Band and yes it was an awesome show!) so I wanted to pop by and see a brewery or two.  I also wanted to pay a visit to some bottle shops there that have some pretty great stuff.  So this will be a blog style entry of my weekend spent in BHam.  I stayed with a couple good friends (Thanks Scott and Katy!) and took my buddy Zac with me.  He usually goes to the DMB shows with me.  This entry will be pic heavy so be warned!  HA HA

We left out on Friday just after lunch and made it to BHam mid afternoon.  I went straight for Hop City.  That place was amazing.  Tons of beer to choose from and some great stuff on tap.  I finally got to try Founders KBS on tap there.  They had sold out of their bottles so I didn't get any to bring back.  This beer was fantastic.  Really complex and not overpowering with the alcohol or bourbon.  I also had Great Divide's Grand Cru.  It's a Belgian Dark Strong style ale and pretty tasty as well.

 This aisle... The Belgian aisle is where I spent most of my time of course.

I was glad to see this.  I have been wanting to try this.  Also wanting to get some to age to see what the Brett does in there.

Also picked up the last one of these.  Heard good and bad about it but I wanted to give it a shot.  It will be my first Ommegang brew and it's based around one of my favorite shows!

This place has buggies for beer shopping!  Granted they have wine too but still... The beer is what it's all about.  As you can see, when I decided I had done enough damage, we headed out to got to my friend's house.

Scott cooked spaghetti so we grubbed out there and when our food had digested we struck out to find us a bar.  Katy was kind enough to give us a ride.  First spot we hit was ok.  Just macro stuff in there really.  A few things on tap but not what I was looking for.  The music was really putting a damper on the night so we called a cab and waited for an hour to pick us up.

While waiting I had scoped the beer scene out and found that the bar to be at was The J. Clyde.  We arrived there and I saw all the taps and knew it would be a good spot.  I started the night with Jolly Pumpkin's Oro de Calabaza.  I was a fan of this one.  Nice tart flavors and super drinkable.  Then I went to the Hitchhiker IPA from the local brewery Good People Brewing Company.  Solid IPA and really hoppy.  They had a few cask options so I had Old Engine Oil porter from Harviestoun Brewery next.  Definitely smooth off the cask.  I liked that one a lot.  Keeping with my Belgian theme I then tried a beer that was suggested by another patron in the pub.  He actually bought a couple of these for me.  It was Brouwerij Het Anker's Gouden Carolus Easter.  It was a nice Belgian Strong Dark Ale with hints of licorice and star anise with some faint cherries.  I would actually like to have more of this one on a fresh palate to get more out of it.  I finished that night with Avery's The Reverend.  Another fantastic Belgian Quad.  I need to get a few bottles of this as well.  I didn't take any pictures at the pub and honestly after those brews I doubt they would have been good photos.

The next day (Saturday) we did some shopping before the concert.  We decided we would go check out a brewery in between shopping and heading out for the show.  We decided on Avondale Brewing Company.  I really wanted to see this place as I had heard some good things about it.  They have a nice brew pub and a porch to sit on and sample beers.

As you can tell, when we pulled up it was packed.  I really like the theme of this brewery/pub.  It's in an old what seems like factory.  Really cool atmosphere.

This was awesome!  I loved the big logo on the floor when you walk in.  

I told you it was PACKED!! Zac is in there soldiering it up for us a couple of beers.  He also got us some T shirts.

People wall to wall!  And, it was packed outside.  We apparently picked the best day to come since they had a fish fry fundraiser as well.  Had a band playing out back and everything.  We stuck our heads out there but we really wanted to stay and hang out.

Few quick pics of the brewery area.




My first brew was a glass of their Flanders Oud Bruin.  It was a really nice tart and malty sour.  I really really enjoyed this.  I hope they start bottling this soon.  They just recently put their first beer into bottles.  I believe it was their Kriek.  I didn't get to sample it, they were out.
Check out that sweet new tulip I picked up while there!  Trunks Up!

My second brew was a Peach Saison style ale.  SUPER refreshing and easy to drink.  Quite tasty as well.  I think this one was Zac's favorite.

It was a fantastic time at the brewery.  We did have to skip out pretty quick so we could get ready for the concert.  But I will definitely be back there.  I sampled two of their brews and had a sip of Zac's Miss Fancy's Tripel.  It was also very good.  I will definitely try more of them the next time I go.

I highly recommend hitting these places if you have time and are in Birmingham.  I had a blast at them all.  I'm going to make another trip I believe when they release the Kriek in bottles.  I'll post some reviews soon of the other beers I picked up while I was there.

This was my first post of this kind but I think I'm going to do some more.  It will keep the blog expanding and having more information about beers.  I'll link in the info to the stops we took so you guys can look them up as well.  Until next time,

Cheers,

Gus

Links:

Hop City (also in Atlanta)
The J. Clyde
Avondale Brewing Company