What's Brewing in Alabama? Pt.2
4:07 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

What's Brewing in Alabama? Part 2

  We’ve talked about the growing beer industry in Alabama, but what is it like getting started in this business?

Trim Tab Brewing Company is one of the newest kids on the block, they’re still getting their facility put together, but 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," says Stewart. " 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.”

Standing in the open room that will one day house enough fermentation and holding tanks for mass production, Stewart says lot of work has already gone into setting up. However, he says that law background has helped considerably, especially with paperwork…

 “It’s a complicated enterprise, because you’ve got the federal government looking at you, you’ve got the state government looking at you," he says."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.”

About sixty miles west, in Tuscaloosa, there is a brewery taproom that is already finished and full of patrons. Druid City Brewing Company has been in operation for almost a year. Brewery co-founder and brew master Bo Hicks says, when it comes to standing out, 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.”

Getting started isn’t exactly easy but like Stewart said earlier, paperwork is what catches most people new to the business off guard. Hicks seconds this opinion…

 “Start doing your paper work early, especially with the federal government, there is a wealth of information online. Just do your homework, stay diligent be prepared for some confusion in whatever municipality you’re in, be it from the health department or the city you’re in," says Hicks. "They don’t mean to make it hard, they’re just trying to figure it out right so it can be done the right way, so it is always best to talk early and talk often.”

So far, 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… don’t miss the final installment of our series “What’s brewing in Alabama” as we take a look at the draw of the craft beer industry in Alabama.