Avondale Brewing Company

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Avondale Brewing Company logo.jpg

The Avondale Brewing Company is a brewery at 201 41st Street South in Avondale. The business is a partnership between real estate agent Coby Lake, his brother Hunter Lake, Chris Donaldson, and contractor and brewer Craig Shaw.

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.


  • 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 is named for 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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Vanillaphant Porter, a porter flavored with Madagascar vanilla. Also named for Miss Fancy.
  • Long Branch Scottish Ale, a dark ale named for the Long Branch Saloon

Seasonal/special beers

  • 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.
  • Pachyderm Pale Wheat
  • Mr Todd's Double IPA
  • Strawberry Kolsch, a German-style Kölsch, flavored with strawberries
  • Peach Saison, a farmhouse ale, flavored with peaches
  • Spring Kriek Saison, a farmhouse ale named for Spring Street, the brewery's home, flavored with cherries
  • Meredith Marzen Oktoberfest, a lager made with Vienna and Munich malts, named for a supposed former prostitute said to haunt the brewery
  • No Joka Mocha Stout, an oatmeal stout flavored with Finer Grind Coffee Roasters Blue Batak Sumatran coffee
  • Oud Bruin
  • Whiskey Barrel-Aged Vanillaphant Porter
  • French Oak Barrel-Aged Brett Saison
  • Scottish Export 80


  • 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

External links