Alabama’s craft beer scene has been brewing up a storm in recent years, with a diverse range of breweries offering unique flavors, welcoming atmospheres, and engaging experiences for beer enthusiasts.
In this guide, we’ll take you on a journey through the best breweries in Alabama, showcasing their distinctive beers, taproom environments, and the art of craft beer brewing in the Heart of Dixie.
So, let’s raise a glass to Alabama’s fine brews and explore the hidden gems of the local craft beer heaven.
- Explore Alabama’s craft beer scene with top 10 breweries and events
- Learn about the history, brewing techniques, flavors & sustainability of local beers
- Support local brewers to help grow economy & promote community engagement
Top 10 Alabama Breweries You Must Visit
A craft beer adventure in Alabama is an unforgettable experience. The state boasts a variety of breweries, catering to every beer enthusiast’s preference.
We present to you the top 10 Alabama breweries that every beer aficionado should visit.
From Birmingham to the Gulf Coast, these breweries offer a diverse selection of craft beers, unique flavors, and welcoming atmospheres that are sure to delight both casual drinkers and craft beer connoisseurs alike.
The breweries on our must-visit list include:
- Good People Brewing Company
- Cahaba Brewing Company
- Black Warrior Brewing Company
- Big Beach Brewing Company
- Red Clay Brewing Company
- Druid City Brewing Company
- Fairhope Brewing Company
- Yellowhammer Brewing
- Trimtab Brewing Company
- Avondale Brewing Company
Each of these breweries has its own distinct character, offering a mix of traditional and innovative brewing techniques, as well as a variety of unique ingredients and flavors.
Here’s a detailed overview of each of these exceptional Alabama breweries and their offerings.
Good People Brewing Company
As the oldest brewery in Alabama, Good People Brewing Company has a long and storied history of serving excellent beers since its establishment in 2006. Located in Birmingham’s Parkside District, this brewery is renowned for having 11 top-ranked beers in the state.
With a wide range of offerings, from a light and crisp wheat ale to a strong double IPA, Good People Brewing Company caters to all tastes and preferences.
The lively taproom, featuring a beer garden, live music, food trucks, and seasonal beer menus, offers an engaging and memorable experience for visitors.
Cahaba Brewing Company
Established in 2011 in Birmingham, Alabama, Cahaba Brewing Company is known for its dedicated team, extensive beer selection, and ample event space for celebrations and nuptials.
With a core lineup that includes an IPA, Blonde, Pale Ale, and Lager, the brewery caters to a wide range of tastes. Similar to Chattahoochee Brewing Company, Cahaba focuses on providing quality craft beers to its patrons.
The taproom provides an ideal setting for reunions, parties, and weddings, allowing guests to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere while sipping on their favorite brews.
Black Warrior Brewing Company
Located in Downtown Tuscaloosa, Black Warrior Brewing Company offers a vibrant and lively experience for beer enthusiasts.
The brewery boasts a wide selection of beverages, a gaming library, and a pet-friendly atmosphere, making it a perfect spot for both humans and their furry friends.
Not far from here, you can also find the Black Bear Brewing Company, another great option for craft beer lovers.
Discover our selection of highest rated beers, including signature options like:
- Bama Blonde Ale
- Strawberry Blonde
- Apricot Wheat
- Broad Street Brown
- Crimson Ale
- Old Tavern Scotch Ale
- Lock 17 IPA
- One & Only Mosaic Pale Ale
- Snake Handler Double IPA
There’s a flavor for everyone to enjoy.
Big Beach Brewing Company
Nestled on the Gulf coast in Gulf Shores, Big Beach Brewing Company offers a variety of beer styles and a relaxing outdoor taproom, making it an ideal spot for casual drinkers and craft beer aficionados alike.
With offerings such as:
- Cream Ales
- Stout Beers
- Belgian-style beers
There’s a brew for every palate. Visitors can enjoy the laid-back atmosphere while sampling beers and indulging in delicious food from the surrounding food trucks.
Red Clay Brewing Company
Located in Opelika, Alabama, Red Clay Brewing Company is a popular brewery featuring a taproom, souvenir shop, and restaurant. With unique beers like Red Clay IPA, Red Clay Pale Ale, and Red Clay Porter, this brewery offers something for everyone.
The taproom hosts various special events, such as live music, trivia nights, Oysterfest, and their Annual Fall Bash, making it a vibrant and engaging spot to enjoy a cold brew.
Druid City Brewing Company
Druid City Brewing Company, a small brewery in Tuscaloosa, is known for its innovative and distinct beers, particularly its pale ales.
Founded in 2012, this brewery has made a name for itself with its creative approach to brewing, offering beers such as Druid City Lager, Druid City Pale Ale, and Druid City IPA.
With a focus on quality and craftsmanship, Druid City Brewing Company and Railyard Brewing Company are must-visit destinations for those seeking unique and delicious craft beers, including those inspired by folklore brewing traditions.
Fairhope Brewing Company
Offering a variety of regular and specialty beers, live music, and food trucks, Fairhope Brewing Company provides a rustic taproom setting for beer lovers to enjoy.
Located in Fairhope, Alabama, this brewery is known for its innovative brews, such as Fairhope 51, Take the Causeway, and Fairhope I.P.A..
With a focus on quality ingredients and unique flavors, Fairhope Brewing Company ensures a memorable experience for all who visit.
Yellowhammer Brewing in Huntsville, Alabama, is dedicated to producing high-quality ales and beers, with a large taproom offering a wide selection of year-round and seasonal beers.
Known for their Rebellion Red Lager and Midnight Special, a dark lager, as well as their signature Belgian White, Yellowhammer Brewing provides an enjoyable and diverse experience for beer enthusiasts.
Trimtab Brewing Company
Birmingham-based Trimtab Brewing Company is known for its flavorful IPAs, stouts, and sours, boasting 21 top-ranked beers in Alabama.
With a strong focus on quality and creativity, Trimtab Brewing Company offers a diverse selection of beers that showcase the innovative spirit of Alabama’s craft beer scene.
From their TrimTab IPA and Paradise Now (Raspberry Berliner Weisse) to their rotationally brewed hazy IPAs and fruited sours, there’s a brew for every taste at Trimtab Brewing Company.
Avondale Brewing Company
Located in a historic building in Birmingham, Avondale Brewing Company offers a must-visit destination for beer lovers.
With a selection of distinctive beers like:
- Brunch Punch Shandy
- A-OK IPA
- Spring Street Saison
- Sour Pash
Avondale Brewing Company serves unique beers and hosts lively music events, making it an engaging and memorable experience for all who visit.
Alabama Brewery Tours: What to Expect
Once you’ve decided to explore Alabama’s thriving craft beer scene, you may wonder what to expect from brewery tours in the state.
Whether you prefer a guided group tour, a self-guided adventure, or a private event at a brewery, there’s an option for everyone.
We will detail the different types of brewery tours available in Alabama and the experiences they offer.
Guided Group Tours
Guided group tours offer an informative and social experience, led by knowledgeable guides who share insights into the brewing process and history of the breweries you visit.
These tours typically include:
- Tasting and sampling of different beers
- Educational insights into the brewing process
- Visits to multiple breweries in the area
- Expert guidance throughout the tour
Highly rated guided group tours in Alabama, such as the Sips of Birmingham Tour and the Birmingham Original Brew Tour, provide an engaging and enjoyable way to explore the local craft beer scene.
Self-guided tours allow visitors to explore breweries at their own pace, sampling beers and learning about the brewing process independently.
These tours typically involve visiting multiple breweries and tasting rooms, where you can sample a variety of craft beers and gain insights into the breweries and their brewing processes.
With the freedom to explore the local beer scene at your leisure, self-guided tours offer a unique and personalized experience for craft beer enthusiasts.
If you’re looking to celebrate a special occasion or host a memorable gathering with friends, family, or colleagues, private events at breweries offer a unique and enjoyable experience.
From birthday parties and anniversaries to corporate gatherings and fundraisers, Alabama breweries offer private event spaces and tours tailored to your needs and preferences.
Some popular breweries in Alabama that provide private event spaces include:
- Cahaba Brewing Company
- Avondale Brewing Co.
- Fairhope Brewing Company
- Brock’s Gap Brewing
The Art of Craft Beer in Alabama
Brewing in Alabama is truly an art form, with a rich history and a diverse range of techniques, styles, and flavors to be explored.
We will detail the art of craft beer in Alabama, highlighting:
- Its intriguing history
- Diverse brewing techniques
- Styles used by local breweries
- Unique ingredients and tastes that make Alabama craft beer genuinely special.
History of Craft Beer in Alabama
The history of craft beer in Alabama dates back to the early 19th century, with the first commercial brewery opening in Huntsville in 1819. However, the industry faced challenges with the introduction of Prohibition laws in 1909, which prohibited beer brewing in the state.
It wasn’t until May 2009, thanks to the efforts of the grassroots lobbying group “Free the Hops,” that craft brewing was once again allowed in Alabama.
Since then, the craft beer scene in Alabama has grown steadily, with new breweries emerging and contributing to the flourishing industry.
Brewing Techniques and Styles
Alabama breweries employ a variety of brewing techniques and styles, from traditional methods such as German techniques for carbonation to innovative approaches like using Alabama-grown barley malt in the brewing process.
In addition to core lineups of various beer styles, Alabama breweries are known for their experimentation with bold flavors and unique brewing techniques, resulting in a diverse range of beers that cater to a wide range of tastes and preferences.
Unique Ingredients and Flavors
Alabama craft beers are known for their use of unique ingredients and flavors, such as Alabama-grown barley malt, Cascade hops grown in Mobile, and locally sourced fruits like peaches and watermelons.
Breweries in the state also incorporate exotic fruits and spices into their beers, adding interesting and unexpected flavor profiles to their creations.
From oatmeal stouts and Scotch ales to fruity sours and hoppy IPAs, Alabama craft beers offer a diverse range of flavors that showcase the state’s rich brewing tradition and innovative spirit.
Supporting Local Breweries and Sustainability
Supporting local breweries is not only about enjoying great beer; it’s also about contributing to the growth of the local craft beer industry, the economy, and sustainable practices.
We will detail the importance of supporting local breweries in Alabama, their dedication to sustainability, and their active involvement within the community.
Local breweries in Alabama play a significant role in the state’s economy, creating jobs, providing wages, and generating economic impacts.
Craft beer in Alabama currently generates 2,466 full-time jobs and has an overall economic impact of $238 million, while the beer industry as a whole contributes a total of $2.8 billion to the state’s economy each year.
By supporting local breweries, you’re not only enjoying delicious brews but also helping to boost the local economy and promote job creation.
Alabama breweries are committed to sustainability, employing various sustainable practices such as energy efficiency, waste reduction, and water conservation in their operations.
From installing rooftop solar systems and optimizing their brewing processes to reduce energy use, to repurposing wastewater and implementing closed-loop recycling systems, these breweries are working to minimize their ecological footprint and promote sustainability within the industry.
Local breweries are deeply involved in their communities, hosting events, collaborating with local businesses and artists, and supporting local causes and charities.
By engaging with their communities, these breweries not only foster a sense of belonging and connection, but also contribute to the overall well-being and growth of the community.
When you support local breweries, you’re not only enjoying great beer but also investing in the future of your community.
From innovative brewing techniques and unique flavors to their commitment to sustainability and community engagement, Alabama’s breweries offer a diverse and exciting craft beer experience.
As we’ve explored the top 10 Alabama breweries you must visit, delved into the art of craft beer, and learned about the importance of supporting local breweries, it’s clear that the craft beer scene in Alabama is thriving and well worth a visit.
So, raise a glass to Alabama’s vibrant craft beer scene and embark on a journey that will leave you inspired and thirsty for more.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the number one beer in Alabama?
Budweiser is the most popular beer in Alabama, taking the top spot according to data from TopAgency.com for beer consumption between 2020-22. It was followed by Pabst Blue Ribbon, Coors Light, Heineken and Dos Equis.
What is the highest alcohol content beer in Alabama?
Alabama law currently restricts beer with an alcohol content higher than 6 percent by volume, making it the highest legally available in the state.
What 3 states have the most craft breweries?
California, Colorado and New York lead the way in terms of craft brewery numbers, boasting more than 500 each.
What is the brewpub law in Alabama?
The brewpub law in Alabama permits licensed breweries that produce fewer than 60,000 barrels of beer per year, and brewpubs producing 10,000 barrels or fewer annually, to sell up to 864 ounces of beer per customer per day.
Distilleries are also able to sell up to 4.5 liters of liquor per customer per day for off-premise consumption.
What is the oldest brewery in Alabama?
Good People Brewing Company is the oldest brewery in Alabama, having been established in 2006.