Avondale Brewing Company
The Avondale Brewing Company is a brewery at 201 41st Street South in Avondale. The business was founded in 2010 as a partnership between real estate agent Coby Lake, his brother Hunter Lake, Chris Donaldson, and contractor and brewer Craig Shaw. Since October 2017 the brewery, tap room and patio have been owned by Orchestra Partners, and the brewery business by Jason Malone and Mike Sellers of Good People Brewing Company.
The 6,000 square foot building was built in 1885 and has served as a bunkhouse for railroad and mill workers, a bank, a wholesale confectionary, and the Long Branch Saloon. It had been vacant since the late 1980s and needed significant structural repairs, including a rebuilding of the entire front facade which had settled and cracked. For brewing, the company purchased a German-made 17-barrel system capable of producing 10,000 barrels per year at full production.
The brewery's logo, unveiled in February 2011, features a portrait of Miss Fancy, a former resident of the Birmingham Zoo at Avondale Park who was often treated to bootleg whisky and mash during prohibition.
On October 1, 2013, the company began selling its beers in 25-ounce bottles for the first time, staring with its Spring Street Saison. Four of Avondale Brewing Company's beers, the Meredith Marzen, Long Branch Scottish Ale, No Joka Mocha and a French Oak Barrel-Aged Brett Saison, won medals at the 2013 Craft Beer Awards International competition in Los Angeles, California.
Hunter Lake filed a lawsuit against his brother, Coby, in 2015, alleging misrepresentation over ownership shares in the brewery and another business, Turn Key Homes. In August 2016 the brewery opened a separate Sour Room, featuring farm ales fermented with wild yeasts.
In October 2017 the brewery property, along with several other associated parcels in Avondale, were sold to a subsidiary of Orchestra Partners. The Brewing Company itself was also purchased in the deal, then sold to the founders of Good People Brewing Company, who plan to continue to operate the brewery and tap room under the same name.
In 2019 the Sour Room closed, with plans for it to relocate to part of the former Demarais Automotive, directly adjacent to the main tap room. In August 2020, with on-site revenues suffering from the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic, Malone took advantage of favorable financing conditions and formed an LLC to acquire the brewery property from Orchestra Partners for $4.975 million.
- Spring Street Saison, a Belgian-style farmhouse style made with a blend of four malts, Slovenian hops, and fermented in open vats using a special house yeast. It honors the older name of 41st Street South.
- Battlefield IPA, an American India Pale Ale using American and European malts with a heavy dose of west coast hops. It is named for the Battle of Avondale.
- Streetcar Kolsch, a German-style Kölsch. Named for the No. 41 Avondale streetcar line.
- Mill City White, a Belgian style wheat ale, brewed with coriander and dried bitter orange peels (curacao), hopped with Sorachi Ace and conditioned with Valencia orange peels. The name honors the community that grew around Avondale Mills.
- Miss Fancy's Tripel, a strong Belgian-style golden ale given an extra fermentation with candy sugar. It is named for Miss Fancy the elephant.
- Train Hopper, a strongly-hopped Pale Ale, named to remember Miss Fancy's early career as a circus elephant.
- Vanillaphant Porter, a porter flavored with Madagascar vanilla. Also named for Miss Fancy.
- Brothel Brown, a Belgian-style dark brown ale with tart notes from the brewery's house yeast. It was formerly named Mr. Todd's Brown for elephant keeper John Todd.
- Dry Hopped Reunir, tart farmhouse ale
- Farmhouse Cider, apple cider
- French Oak Barrel-Aged Brett Saison
- Long Branch Scottish Ale, a dark ale named for the Long Branch Saloon
- Meredith Marzen an Oktoberfest-style lager made with Vienna and Munich malts, named for a supposed former prostitute said to haunt the brewery
- Mr Todd's Double IPA
- No Joka Mocha Stout, an oatmeal stout flavored with Finer Grind Coffee Roasters Blue Batak Sumatran coffee
- Oud Bruin
- Pachyderm Pale Wheat, named for Miss Fancy
- Peach Saison, a farmhouse ale, flavored with peaches
- Queen's Reserve Farmhouse IPA, named for Miss Fancy, the "Queen of Avondale"
- Scottish Export 80
- Spring Kriek Saison, a farmhouse ale named for Spring Street, the brewery's home, flavored with cherries
- Strawberry Kolsch, a German-style Kölsch, flavored with strawberries
- Warning Shot, Double IPA, named for the Battle of Avondale
- Whiskey Barrel-Aged Vanillaphant Porter
- Williams, Roy L. (June 24, 2010) "Birmingham's second brewery brings hops to Avondale." The Birmingham News
- Tomberlin, Michael (October 14, 2010) "Brewers hopping to the Alabama suds rush." The Birmingham News
- Diel, Stan (March 3, 2011) "Birmingham's Avondale Brewing Co. close to getting OK to start making beer." The Birmingham News
- Godwin, Brent (September 30, 2013) "Avondale beer available in bottles on Tuesday." Birmingham Business Journal
- Tomberlin, Michael (January 16, 2014) "Avondale Brewing Co. captures gold, silver medals in international competition." The Birmingham News
- Reed, Jon (July 2, 2015) "Co-owner of Avondale Brewing Company sues brother in dispute over business ownership." The Birmingham News
- West, Ty (October 16, 2017) "Good People acquires Avondale Brewing Co." Birmingham Business Journal
- Van der Bijl, Hanno (January 14, 2019) "Bar at Avondale Brewing Co. relocating." Birmingham Business Journal
- Van der Bijl, Hanno (August 12, 2020) "Good People Brewing owner acquires Avondale property." Birmingham Business Journal
- Avondale Brewing Company website
- Avondale Brewing Company on Facebook.com