Award Entries
8:10 am
Sat January 11, 2014

Best Series "What's Brewing in Alabama?" Alabama Public Radio

AUDIO CLIP IS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE

Until mid 2013, Alabama was the only state in the nation where the home-brewing of beer was considered a felony. State lawmakers changed that by loosening restrictions on craft breweries. The result was an explosion of nearly two dozen brands of micro-brewery beer across Alabama. APR's Stan Ingold took listeners on a tour of the state's "beer trail" in his three part series "What's Brewing in Alabama?"

WHAT’S BREWING IN ALABAMA/ INGOLD PART 1

SUMMER IS COMING TO A CLOSE, AND COLLEGE FOOTBALL SEASON IS IN THE AIR. FOR FANS NOT LUCKY ENOUGH GET A TICKET TO SEE A GAME, THERE’S ALWAYS THE LOCAL SPORTS BAR, OR WATCHING ON TV AT HOME. FOR MANY FANS, THAT MEANS BEER, AND ALABAMA IS BECOMING MORE AND MORE WELCOMING TO THE CRAFT BEER INDUSTRY. ALABAMA PUBLIC RADIO’S STAN INGOLD TRAVELLED THE STATE TO GIVE US ALL A TASTE OF WHAT’ BREWING IN ALABAMA…

(VARIOUS TYPES OF BEER BEING OPENED/POURED) ALES, AND LAGERS AND STOUTS OH MY….BEER IS ONE OF THE OLDEST PREPARED BEVERAGES IN THE WORLD, DATING BACK TO ANCIENT EGYPT. MANY FANS OF CRAFT BEER FEEL THEY’VE BEEN WAITING SINCE THE DAYS OF THE PHAROAHS FOR HAND MADE BEER TO CATCH ON IN ALABAMA. THEIR TIME MAY BE HERE…

(BREWERY SOUNDS)

HUNTSVILLE IS HOME TO YELLOWHAMMER BREWING. OPENED IN 2010, YELLOWHAMMER OFFERS EUROPEAN STYLES OF BEER BUT WITH A SOUTHERN INTERPRETATION. ETHAN COUCH IS CO-FOUNDER OF THE BREWERY… HE AND HIS FRIENDS OPENED SHOP TO EXPAND THE OPTIONS FOR CRAFT BEER IN THE ROCKET CITY.

“WHEN THE LAWS CHANGED TO ALLOW HIGHER GRAVITY BEERS, OVER 6%, WE BECAME INTERESTED, THERE WAS ONLY ONE BREWERY IN HUNTSVILLE AT THAT TIME, WHICH WAS OLD TOWN BREWING, WE WERE INTERESTED IN MAKING SOME HIGHER GRAVITY BEERS AND DOING SOME UNIQUE THINGS OLD TOWN WASN’T DOING AT THE TIME.”

(20SEC)(20ETHAN) KEITH JAEGER IS THE HEAD BREWER AT YELLOWHAMMER. HE SAYS WHEN NASA CAME TO TOWN IN THE LATE 1950’S, GERMAN ROCKET ENGINEERS CAME ALONG FOR THE RIDE. JAEGER SAYS THAT CHANGING OF THE CULTURAL MAKE UP OF HUNTSVILLE PLAYS A ROLE IN THE BEER THEY MAKE…

“THERE’S A LOT OF GERMAN HERITAGE IN HUNTSVILLE AND IT DID HAVE SOME INFLUENCE FOR SURE. I’M A BIG FAN OF BELGIAN BEERS, AND I LOVE GERMAN BEERS AS WELL AND I ALSO LIKE THE CONTRAST THOSE TWO STYLES GIVE SO THAT’S ONE OF THE REASONS WE DECIDED TO GO IN THAT DIRECTION.’

(15SEC)(15KEITH) (KEITH WALKING US THROUGH THE BREWING AREA)

JAEGER SAYS YELLOWHAMMER DOES MORE THAN JUST BRING NEW KINDS OF BEER TO HUNTSVILLE…

“YOU KNOW WE’RE DEFINITELY BRINGING LOCAL BUSINESS, WE’RE BRINGING SOME JOBS. WE LOVE TO BE PART OF EXPANDING THE BEER CULTURE IN ALABAMA AND BREWERIES THAT STARTED HERE IN LAST THREE OR FOUR YEARS, WE’RE THE CREST OF THE WAVE AND ITS FINALLY COMING TO ALABAMA ITS ALREADY BEEN ALL OVER THE REST OF THE COUNTRY AND ITS REALLY EXCITING TO SEE IT HAPPENING HERE AND BE ONE OF THE FIRST BREWERIES THAT’S PUSHING IT.”

(22SEC)(22KEITH) HOWEVER, YELLOWHAMMER BREWERY IS NOT THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN… (SOUNDS FROM THE FLOOR) HUNTSVILLE IS HOME TO AT LEAST SIX CRAFT BREWERIES, AND THE NEXT ONE WE GO TO IS ACROSS TOWN…STRAIGHT TO ALE IS A MUCH BIGGER OPERATION…AND RICK TARVIN IS THE MAN IN CHARGE. WHEN IT COMES TO MAKING BEER, TARVIN SAYS ALABAMA WAS LESS THAN WELCOMING COMPARED TO OTHER STATES…

“I MOVED HERE ABOUT SEVEN YEARS AGO, MAYBE A LITTLE BIT LONGER NOW AND I JOINED A HOME BREW CLUB AND THEY TOLD ME IT WAS ILLEGAL TO HOME BREW IN ALABAMA. BUT I MET DAN, MY PARTNER, AND HE HAD HOPES OF OPENING A BREWERY AND HE TALKED ME INTO IT.”(15SEC)(15RICK)

SINCE THEN, THE LAWS HAVE BEEN CHANGED, AND BREWERIES HAVE BEEN POPPING UP ALL OVER THE STATE. TO KEEP HIS BREWERY DISTINCT, TARVIN FOCUSES ON BRANDING AS WELL AS FLAVOR…

“STARTED OUT VERY HUNTSVILLE CENTRIC. WE’VE DONE A FEW THINGS THAT ARE JUST ALABAMA, BUT WE’RE BRANCHING OUT AS WE FIND MORE AND MORE BEERS. WE’VE SPREAD OUT, IT’S STILL PRETTY MUCH ALABAMA AND THE SOUTH.”

(13SEC)(13RICK) REMEMBER THE REFERENCE TO NASA EARLIER IN THIS STORY? STRAIGHT TO ALE TAKES A TONGUE IN CHEEK APPROACH TO ALABAMA’S SPACE CONNECTION WITH FLAVORS LIKE WERNER VON BROWN ALE. IT’S A TIP OF THE HAT TO THE MAN WHO BUILT NASA’S MOON ROCKETS. THERE’S ALSO MONKEYNAUT, FOR THE CHIMPANZEES WHO WERE LAUNCHED INTO SPACE BEFORE HUMANS. AND BUSINESS SEEMS TO BE SKYROCKETING FOR TARVIN AND HIS WORKERS, HIS BREWERY CURRENTLY SELLS BEER THROUGHOUT ALABAMA, INTO TENNESSEE, MISSISSIPPI AND THE FLORIDA PANHANDLE. HOWEVER, STRAIGHT TO ALE RECENTLY ANNOUNCED THEY ARE DOUBLING THEIR FERMENTATION CAPACITY AND PLAN ON EXPANDING INTO THE ATLANTA MARKET NEXT YEAR.

(SOUNDS OF GOING TO THE TAPROOM) WE MEET DAN ROBERTS IN STRAIGHT TO ALE’S TAP-ROOM. HE IS THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE ALABAMA BREWERS’ GUILD. HE SAYS THE RISE IN INTEREST IN CRAFT BREWING IS NOT ONLY LIMITED TO ALABAMA.

“THERE’S BEEN A NATIONAL KIND’VE MOVEMENT IN THAT DIRECTION, A LOT MORE OF PEOPLE COMING TO APPRECIATING THE VARIETY AND INNOVATION THAT GOES INTO SMALL BREWERS. ALSO LOCAL BEER HAS BECOME A BIG THING, LOCAL BREWERIES OFTEN HAVE THEIR OWN TAKE ON THINGS, THEY USE LOCAL INGREDIENTS AND PEOPLE SEEM TO LIKE THAT. OF COURSE THE BIGGEST THING THAT I THINK THAT THEY MAKE GOOD BEER.”

(18SEC)(18DAN) ROBERTS SAYS LIKE MANY SMALL BUSINESSES, ALABAMA’S BREWERIES OFTEN HAVE A GRASSROOTS BEGINNING…

“MOST BREWERIES ARE ORGANIC BUSINESSES, THEY MIGHT HAVE SOME OUTSIDE FUNDING SOME CAPITAL INVESTMENT FROM OUTSIDE SOURCES, BUT FOR THE MOST PART THEY’RE ENTREPRENEURS, I MEAN THEY’RE HOMEBREWERS FOR THE MOST PART. THEIR FRIENDS AND FAMILY TELL THEM THEIR BEER IS GREAT FOR YEARS SO THEY DECIDE TO TRY AND STRIKE IT OUT ON THEIR OWN.”

(15SEC)(15DAN) HE ADDS, THE BREWERIES, AS A WHOLE, HAVE MORE THAN DOUBLED THEIR PRODUCTION NUMBERS EVERY YEAR SINCE 2009, AND HE BELIEVES IT’S NOT GOING TO SLOW DOWN FOR A WHILE…

“GOING FORWARD I EXPECT THIS TREND TO CONTINUE FOR A WHILE, WE DID A PROJECTION ALSO, THIS LAST SURVEY, WE’RE BEING A LITTLE CONSERVATIVE, WE’RE SAYING WE’RE GOING TO BE AROUND 100-104 PERCENT, SOMEWHERE AROUND THERE FOR 2013. I THINK WE’RE GONNA SURPASS THAT.”

(13SEC)(13DAN) ROBERTS SAYS MOST BREWERIES ARE NOW FOCUSING ON INCREASING THEIR PRODUCTION TO MEET THE DEMAND FOR THEIR PRODUCT.

(SOUND OF A GLASS BEING SET DOWN ON A TABLE…MAYBE AN “AHH”)

BE SURE TO JOIN US FOR THE SECOND PART IN OUR SERIES ON THE CRAFT BEER INDUSTRY IN ALABAMA AS WE TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT IT’S LIKE WHEN YOU’RE JUST GETTING STARTED IN THE BUSINESS. …I’M STAN INGOLD, A-P-R NEWS IN HUNTSVILLE…  

WHAT’S BREWING IN ALABAMA PT.2

WE’VE TALKED ABOUT THE GROWING BEER INDUSTRY IN ALABAMA, BUT WHAT IS IT LIKE GETTING STARTED IN THIS BUSINESS? IN PART TWO OF OUR SERIES ON WHAT’S BREWING IN ALABAMA, A-P-R’S STAN INGOLD TAKES LOOK AT WHAT IT IS LIKE GETTING ESTABLISHED IN A RAPIDLY GROWING FIELD…

(SOUNDS OF HEAVY EQUIPMENT)

A LARGE SHINY STEEL TANK SLIDES ITS WAY OUT OF THE BACK OF A TRACTOR TRAILER. IT TAKES TWO FORKLIFTS TO MOVE IT. ONCE IN PLACE, THE TANKS WILL BE NEWEST EDITION TO TRIM TAB BREWING COMPANY IN BIRMINGHAM. IT’S FOR MAKING BEER…

(AMBI FROM THE BUILDING)

TRIM TAB IS ONE OF THE NEWEST KIDS ON THE BLOCK IN ALABAMA’S BREWING INDUSTRY, AND THEY’RE STILL GETTING THEIR ACT TOGETHER. STILL, COMPANY FOUNDER HARRIS STEWART SAYS HE IS ON A MUCH DIFFERENT PATH THAN HE ORIGINALLY PLANNED…

“I HAD JUST BEEN A HOME BREWER FOR SEVEN YEARS, LIVED UP IN ASHVILLE NORTH CAROLINA, JUST FELL IN LOVE WITH BREWERY CULTURE. REALLY ABOUT TWO AND HALF YEARS AGO IS WHEN I STARTED PLOTTING THE BUSINESS PLAN AND STARTED PUTTING EVERYTHING TOGETHER, I WAS IN LAW SCHOOL AND FOUND THOSE CLOTHES DIDN’T QUITE FIT RIGHT, I FOUND I WAS BREWING BEER MORE THAN I WAS STUDYING TORTS.”

(19HARRIS) WE’RE STANDING IN THE OPEN ROOM THAT REPRESENT’S STEWART’S FIELD OF DREAMS. HE SAYS LOT OF WORK HAS ALREADY GONE INTO SETTING UP…

“REALLY STARTED LIKE, PUTTING PEN TO PAPER BUILDING THE TEAM, STARTING TO RAISE MONEY BECAUSE WE KNEW THE SCALE OF THE PROJECT WE WANTED TO DO, IT WAS GOING TO BE A TEAM APPROACH. SO STARTED BUILDING THE TEAM AND REALLY IT WAS A GAME CHANGER, WILL, GETTING ON BOARD, BECAUSE HE CAME FROM A MORE INDUSTRIAL, COMMERCIAL APPROACH TO IT.”

(18HARRIS) “THE FOLKS OVER AT AVONDALE, I MEAN, WHEN OUR FIRST EQUIPMENT SHOWED UP AND WE REALIZED WHAT WAS GOING ON, I RAN DOWN THERE AND BORROWED SOME FORKLIFT EXTENSIONS. WILL CRENSHAW IS THE BREW MASTER AT TRIM TAB. THE FOLKS AT GOOD PEOPLE HAVE BEEN VERY SUPPORTIVE OF US, YOU KNOW VERY HELPFUL AND FOLKS OVER AT CAHABA AS WELL, VERY NICE AND HAVE HELPED US SHOW SOME IDEAS FOR GROWTH AND IMPLEMENTATION OF WHAT WE’RE DOING NOW.

”(22WILL) AND CRENSHAW IS NO NOVICE. HE CUT HIS TEETH IN THE BEER BUSINESS BY WORKING AT SWEETWATER BREWERY IN ATLANTA. THAT EXPERIENCE HAS TAKEN THE JITTERS OUT OF STARTING A BREWERY. HE ALSO HAS A BACKGROUND IN LAW, WHICH CAME IN HANDY…

“IT’S A COMPLICATED ENTERPRISE, BECAUSE YOU’VE GOT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT LOOKING AT YOU, YOU’VE GOT THE STATE GOVERNMENT LOOKING AT YOU, YOU HAVE THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT THAT’S WANTING TO MAKE SURE THAT FROM A HEALTH CODE, PERMITTING, AND THEN YOU’RE DEALING WITH AN INDUSTRY THAT SERVES ALCOHOL, SO WE’VE GOT A LOT OF PARTIES IN THE MIX WITH IT.”

(BEER POURING, HARRIS TALKING ABOUT THE ROOM)

WHILE SAMPLING SOME OF THEIR PRODUCT, STEWART EXPLAINS THE ROOM WE’RE STANDING IN MAY BRING BACK SOME MEMORIES FOR SOME…

“ITS FIRST USE WAS THE BARBER MOTORSPORT MUSEUM, SO THIS WAS A MAUSOLEUM FOR ABOUT 300 MOTORCYCLES AND WHERE WE’RE STANDING RIGHT NOW IN THE TASTING GALLERY OR WHERE THE TASTING GALLERY WILL BE IS WHERE THE OLD PAINT SHOP WAS. SO IT’S GOT THIS OLD INDUSTRIAL, VERY RAW FEEL AND A LOT OF WHAT WE WANT TO DO IS JUST PRESERVE IT RATHER THAN MODIFY IT.”

(20HARRIS) THIS ROOM, CURRENTLY FILLED WITH CONCRETE BLOCKS AND OTHER BUILDING MATERIALS WILL BECOME THE BEER GALLERY, WHERE GUESTS CAN BELLY UP TO THE BAR AND TRY TRIM TAB’S LATEST FLAVORS.

(SOUND FROM DRUID CITY TAPROOM)

AND THE HOMEY EXPERIENCE OF A TAPROOM IS WHAT THE OPERATORS OF DRUID CITY BREWERY HAVE IN MIND AS WELL. THIS BEER OUTLET HAS BEEN IN OPERATION FOR ALMOST A YEAR. THE SMELL GREETS US EVEN BEFORE GOING INSIDE. CO-FOUNDER AND BREW MASTER BO HICKS IS HARD AT WORK STIRRING IN (INGREDIENTS)

“THAT IS THE SWEET, SUGARY WORT THAT WHEN IT BOILS REALLY OPENS UP AND ALSO, DEPENDING ON WHEN YOU ADD THE HOPS SOMETIMES YOU GET A FULL REAL BOOM OF SOME OF THOSE HOPS, BUT THE SMELL I’M GETTING RIGHT NOW IS CERTAINLY A MALT FORWARD IT’S THAT SWEET TEA THAT’S BOILING AWAY AND BECOMING MORE AND MORE CONCENTRATED.”(18BO)

'WHEN IT COMES TO STANDING OUT, HICKS SAYS KEEPING TRUE TO YOUR ROOTS HELPS…

“WE STRIVE REALLY HARD TO KEEP IT LOCAL IN TUSCALOOSA, WILL NOT ONLY HELP US HERE IN THE TUSCALOOSA MARKET, BUT ALSO PEOPLE ALL OVER THE STATE WHO CAME TO SCHOOL HERE OR HAVE AN AFFINITY FOR TUSCALOOSA OR SOME SPORTING TEAM, I DUNNO.”

(13BO) WHILE BREWERIES LIKE TRIM TAB ARE PLANNING TO OPEN UP AT A LARGE CAPACITY, BUT DRUID CITY HAS HAD TO BUILD THEIR MARKET OVER TIME, AND HICKS SAYS THE DEMAND IS GROWING FOR THEIR BEER…

“WE’VE JUST TRIPLED CAPACITY HERE IN OUR PRESENT FACILITY AND ITS GETTING TO WHERE WE ARE RUNNING OUT OF ROOM IN THAT FACILITY, WE’RE ALREADY THINKING OF EXPANSION BUT IT’S A TOUGH ROAD TO HOE.”

(11BO) (22BO) WE’VE TAKEN A LOOK AT THE CRAFT BEER INDUSTRY IN ALABAMA AS A WHOLE AND NOW, WHAT IT’S LIKE GETTING STARTED AS A BREWER…JOIN US NEXT TIME FOR THE FINAL INSTALLMENT OF OUR SERIES “WHAT’S BREWING IN ALABAMA” AS WE TAKE A LOOK AT HOW WE GOT TO THIS POINT AND WHERE THE INDUSTRY COULD BE HEADING… I’M STAN INGOLD…A-P-R NEWS IN TUSCALOOSA…  

WHAT’S BREWING IN ALABAMA 3: 

CRAFT BEER MAKERS IN ALABAMA HAVE GONE FROM OUTLAWS TO ENTREPRENEURS. FOR YEARS, HOME BREWING WAS AGAINST THE LAW IN OUR STATE. HOWEVER, THAT’S WHERE MANY OF ALABAMA’S CRAFT BREWMASTERS LEARNED THEIR CRAFT. TIMES HAVE CHANGED IN THE STATE, AND SO HAVE THE LAWS. ALABAMA PUBLIC RADIO’S STAN INGOLD REPORTS ON PLANS TO PUT TOGETHER A BREWERY TRAIL. HERE’S PART THREE OF WHAT’S BREWING IN ALABAMA…

(SOUND FROM THE FAIRHOPE TAPROOM)

SOUTH ALABAMA IS HOME TO MANY OF THE STATE’S TOURIST ATTRACTIONS…THE U.S.S ALABAMA BATTLESHIP, DAUPHIN ISLAND, AND OF COURSE,THE BEACHES…BUT NOW THERE’S SOMETHING NEW ON THE HORIZONS…

(MICHELLE WALKING US THROUGH THE BREWING AREA)

MICHELLE AND BRIAN KANE HELP RUN FAIRHOPE BREWING COMPANY.

“WE ALL LOVE BEER. WHEN BRIAN AND I MOVED BACK FROM ALASKA, WE’D BEEN IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR NEARLY 5 YEARS.WE KNEW THE CRAFT BEER INDUSTRY WAS HUGE, IT WAS A WAY TO, IT WAS A CULTURE ALMOST UP THERE. CAME DOWN HERE, AND WE NOTICED THAT THE LAWS HAD CHANGED AND KINDA DECIDED WE NEEDED TO START A BREWERY.”

(17SEC)(MICHELLE1)

AND THE FAIRHOPE BREWERY SORT OF STANDS OUT IN A CROWD IN MOBILE. IT’S THE ONLY ONE IN ALABAMA SOUTH OF MONTGOMERY. THAT IS SOMETHING MICHELLE WISHES WOULD CHANGE…

“WE HAD A GOOD QUOTE COME FROM SOMEBODY WHO SAID, CRAFT BREWERIES ARE NOT IN COMPETITION UNTIL EVERY CRAFT BREWERY IS NOT SELLING EVERYTHING THAT THEY MAKE, WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT WE’RE DOING AND ITS WHAT EVERY BREWERY AROUND THE STATE IS DOING. I’D SAY THAT IS A GREAT INDICATION AS TO HOW THE INDUSTRY IS TAKING OFF, THAT EVERY BREWERY IS SELLING EVERYTHING THEY MAKE AS FAST AS THEY CAN MAKE IT.”(20SEC)(MICHELLE2)

(BEER BUBBLING)

BEER ISNT THE ONLY THING BREWING IN FAIRHOPE, THEY BRING PEOPLE IN WITH THEIR PRODUCT, BUT THEY ALSO HAVE LIVE MUSIC AND A FRIENDLY ATMOSPHERE. THAT IS WHAT BROUGHT IN TAPROOM REGULAR, MITCH JOHNSTON, WHO SAYS IT’S THE SENSE OF COMMUNITY IS WHAT KEEPS HIM COMING BACK…

“I COME EVERY THURSDAY, IT’S ALWAYS EXCITING, ITS WHEN THE HOUSE GETS PACKED, THEY TRY TO LIVE MUSIC EVERY FRIDAY. THE OWNERS ARE GREAT. AND UH, EVERYBODY’S KNOWS YOUR NAME!”(12SEC)(12MITCH)

BUT, FOR THOSE ALABAMA BEER FANS WHO HAVEN’T VENTURED TO THEIR LOCAL BREWERY—BEER MAKERS ARE PREPARED TO COME TO YOU. AMBY FOR BEER FEST THE SECOND ANNUAL TOP OF THE HOPS FESTIVAL IN ORANGE BEACH ATTRACTED CRAFT BREWERS FROM ALL OVER THE COUNTRY COME TO SHOW WHAT THEY CAN DO. THAT INCLUDES SEVEN BREWERIES FROM ALABAMA. THIS IS WHERE WE MEET GABE HARRIS, THE PRESIDENT OF FREE THE HOPS…HIS GROUP WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN CHANGING MANY OF THE LAWS HERE… HE SAYS THERE IS ACTUALLY A MOVEMENT TO ESTABLISH AN ALABAMA BEER TRAIL, AND HARRIS SAYS THAT IS SOMETHING THE STATE CAN HANG ITS HAT ON…

“WHEN I GO PLACES, AND EVERYONE I TALK TO, WHEN THEY GO TO DIFFERENT CITIES, THEY’RE LIKE WHAT IS THE LOCAL BEER? WHERE IS A LOCAL BREWERY I CAN CHECK OUT? SO IT’S A DEFINATE DRAW FOR PEOPLE TO COME IN AND BRING PEOPLE TO ALABAMA.”

(15SEC)(15GABE)

TALKING TO THE PEOPLE HERE, IT IS EASY TO SEE HOW BEER TOURISM COULD REALLY TAKE OFF… KIRSTEN GENTRY IS FROM MOBILE…

“ I THINK PEOPLE ARE EXCITED THAT THEY HAVE BEER THAT THEY CAN SPEND THEIR MONEY ON AND IT GOES TO SOMEONE CLOSE BY, I THINK IT LETS PEOPLE KNOW THAT THERE IS A LOT OF NEW STUFF OUT THERE AND THAT THERE ARE A LOT OF NEW THINGS OUT THERE THEY WANT TO TRY THAT THEY DIDN’T KNOW THEY WERE INTERESTED IN.”

(16SEC)(16KIRSTEN) ROGER MATHEWS LIVES IN PENSACOLA FLORIDA, AND BEER IS ONE OF THE REASONS HE TRAVELS…

“I LOVE BEERS, ALL KINDS OF BEERS, THE DIFFERENT TASTES FLAVORS. I LOVE TO TASTE DIFFERENT BREWERIES, SOMETIMES WE DRIVE AROUND TO DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE COUNTRY JUST TO TRY THEIR BEERS.”

(10SEC)(10ROGER) WE MET BO HICKS EARLIER IN OUR SERIES. HE RUNS DRUID CITY BREWING. TODAY’S HE’S MINGLING WITH FELLOW BREWERS AND LETTING LOCALS GET A TASTE OF HIS BEER…

“IT’S JUST FABULOUS FOR US, EVEN THOUGH WE WONT BE IN THE LOWER ALABAMA MARKET FOR MAYBE A YEAR, JUST HAVING PEOPLE TRY OUR PRODUCT AND GET IT INTO THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF THE CONSUMER AND ALSO BEING ABLE TO TALK SHOP WITH OUR FRIENDS WHICH HAS HELPED US OUT MORE THAN WE CAN SAY.”

(15SEC)(15BO) THE CRAFT BEER INDUSTRY IS GROWING SO RAPIDLY, THERE ARE EVEN STORES THAT HEAVILY PROMOTE IT LIKE BEBO’S SPRINGHILL MARKET IN MOBILE. MARY PETTIT IS THE MANAGER…

“I’VE GOT THREE FROM GOOD PEOPLE, SEVERAL FROM STRAIGHT TO ALE IN HUNTSVILLE, I’VE GOT BLUE PANTS FROM MADISON ALABAMA, I’VE GOT TWO OF THOSE. THEY’RE DOING GREAT I THINK THIS IS A BIG MOVEMENT TO DRINK LOCALLY.”

(16SEC)(16MARY) AND THE FESTIVAL SCENE IS NOT ONLY LIMITED TO THE COAST. THROUGHOUT THE YEAR CRAFT BEER DRINKERS MAKE THEIR WAY ACROSS THE STATE TO TRY THE NEW OFFERINGS FROM BREWERIES. THIS WEEKEND IN TUSCALOOSA, IS THE ALABAMA BREWFEST. BILL LLOYD IS ONE OF THE ORGANIZERS AND HE SAYS CRAFT BEER CULTURE IS SPREADING EVERYWHERE… '

“PARTICULARLY IN THE STATE OF ALABAMA, WHERE ITS EXPANDING JUST TREMENDOUSLY, WE PROBABLY HAVE AS MANY BREWERIES OPENING IN ALABAMA AS WE DO ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE COUNTRY AND WE’RE TRYING TO SHOWCASE THOSE ALABAMA BREWERIES, HENCE THE NAME ALABAMA BREWFEST.”

(12SEC)(12BILL) AND IF MOBILE IS TOO FAR TO DRIVE, BEER FANS IN CENTRAL AND NORTHERN ALABAMA CAN DRIVE TO TUSCALOOSA. A CRAFT BEER IS COMING THIS WEEKEND, SO ALL INTERESTED PARTIES CAN SEE FOR THEMSELVES WHAT’S BREWING IN ALABAMA. …I’M STAN INGOLD…A-P-R NEWS…