Alabama Brewers Guild Celebrates 10 Years of Change with Release of Bitter Constituent IPA

artworkThe Alabama Brewers Guild has announced that it will recognize the 10th anniversary of the passage of the Gourmet Beer Bill – along with all members of Free the Hops, the homebrewers of Right to Brew, and the multitude of other advocates who made a true craft beer experience possible in Alabama – with the release of their fifth collaboration beer, Bitter Constituent, on January 12.

Not too long ago, the idea of craft beer in the state of Alabama seemed like more of a dream than anything else.  Local breweries were almost non-existent, beer was restricted to 6% ABV, large format bottles were illegal, and homebrewing was outlawed.

After several years of attempts, hope finally arrived in 2009 when the members of Free the Hops – a grassroots non-profit consumer advocacy organization focused on changing the hostile laws restricting the beer community in Alabama – rallied enough legislative support to pass the Gourmet Beer Bill and raise the ABV limit to 13.9%.  This change was just the spark the area needed as it inspired local brewers to step out of the shadows to open their own breweries in Alabama and enticed respected breweries from all over the world to seek distribution in the state.  As beer shelves and taps quickly filled across the state, that spark caught fire and shined a bright light on those willing to raise their voices for change.  At long last those cries were being taken seriously and led to a rapid succession of legislative accomplishments: the Brewery Modernization Act in 2011, allowed for “breweries to sell on-premises like a brewpub, or to wholesalers, or to both, and removed the crippling restrictions which prevented new breweries and brewpubs from opening”; the Gourmet Bottle Bill in 2012, legalized the sale of bottles up to 25.4 oz./750ml and opened the door for the acceptance of growlers in Alabama; and the Alabama Homebrew Legalization Bill in 2013, Right to Brew – a grassroots homebrew legalization organization – sees their efforts come to fruition as homebrewing in Alabama is legalized.  With these new laws in place, the Alabama craft beer community has since grown to become one of the most welcoming in the country.

“Over the last decade, groups like Free the Hops and Right to Brew have pushed for legal changes to make the craft beer industry possible and viable in Alabama. They showed how ordinary people can come together to enact real change.”

 

– Dan Roberts, Alabama Brewers Guild Executive Director

Recognizing that the work of Free the Hops, Right to Brew and throngs of other passionate beer lovers in Alabama should never be forgotten, the Alabama Brewers Guild has decided to use these groups as the inspiration behind their upcoming collaboration beer.  Arriving as the fifth release in the Guild’s Capital Series, Bitter Constituent (7.5% ABV) is an American India Pale Ale brewed with “a one-time, special recipe developed by Guild members and made with five different hop varietals.” This recipe was executed by several brewers in the Alabama Brewers Guild on December 4, 2018, at the recently-opened Common Bond Brewers in downtown Montgomery.  Bitter Constituent was made possible with the help of the following sponsors:  Baker Street DigitalCountry Malt GroupCrowler NationResource Label GroupWhite Labs, and Yakima Chief Hops.

Developed in cooperation with the Alabama Bicentennial Commission, the Alabama Brewers Guild Capital Series is a series of limited release collaborations that “celebrates each one of Alabama’s five historic capitals, culminating with Montgomery in 2019, the 200th anniversary of Alabama’s statehood.”  Previous releases in the Capital Series acted as tributes to St. Stephens | St. Stephens Stout (2015); Huntsville | Badlun Brothers Imperial Porter (2016); Old Cahaba | Mulberry Road Belgian-Style Dubbel (2017); and Tuscaloosa | Duffie’s Tavern Strong Ale (2018).

“Ten years ago, my dream of bringing craft beer to Montgomery wouldn’t have been possible and, thanks to others paving the way, here I am today, the Alabama Brewers Guild collaboration producer. It’s amazing and humbling.

“We have the best fans in the world. Not only are they loyal customers and evangelists for craft beer, they are also dedicated advocates. We owe them everything.”

 

– Andrew McNally, President & Co-founder of Common Bond Brewers

Bitter Constituent will debut at 3 p.m. on Saturday, January 12 with a release party at Common Bond Brewers that “will include the opportunity to meet craft brewers from around the state and to win brewery gear in a door prize raffle.”  This event is free to attend, and Bitter Constituent will be available for purchase “in the taproom and in on-demand, to go packaging” (a.k.a. crowlers).  Bitter Constituent will also see limited availability at select craft beer-friendly establishments in Alabama shortly after the launch party.  Prost!

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Members of the Alabama Brewers Guild participating in the annual collaboration beer brew day, held on December 4, 2018, at the recently-opened Common Bond Brewers in downtown Montgomery. (Photo credit: Holly Rainey)

 

 

 

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Alabama Brewers Guild Continues Capital Series with Limited Release of Duffie’s Tavern Strong Ale

ABGDuffiesThe Alabama Brewers Guild has officially announced that it will soon hit the Alabama craft beer community with the fourth release in its Capital Series, Duffie’s Tavern Strong Ale.

The Capital Series is a line of annually released collaboration beers brewed by members of the Alabama Brewers Guild “to bring attention to Alabama’s 200th year of statehood, and to promote local historical and preservation organizations.”  Each year’s release is specifically designed to honor and celebrate one of Alabama’s five historic capitals.  Previous limited releases in the Capital Series include 2015’s “St. Stephens Stout, paying homage to the territorial capital of Alabama”; 2016’s Badlun Brothers Imperial Porter, named for the men that established Alabama’s first brewery in Huntsville “during the year it served as the temporary capital and Alabama was admitted as the 22nd state”; and 2017’s Mulberry Road Belgian-style Dubbel, brewed to recognize Cahawba as the first permanent capital of the State of Alabama from 1820-1826 and “inspired by the stately mulberry trees lining the streets of the scenic town of Old Cahawba.”

Duffie’s Tavern Strong Ale is the 2018 installment in the Capital Series and has been brewed to recognize Tuscaloosa, which served as Alabama’s capital from 1826 to 1846.  The beer’s name – chosen after a meeting with the Tuscaloosa County Preservation Society – is a nod to the Old Tavern (a.k.a. Duffie’s Tavern), “a historic stagecoach inn and political headquarters during Tuscaloosa’s capital days” and presently a museum located near the city’s Capitol Park.

As far as the actual beer goes, Duffie’s Tavern is a take on “old English ales of the mid-nineteenth century.”  Deep red-orange in color, this “bold and warm” Strong Ale boasts “hints of toffee and dried fruits on the nose, . . . a classic earthy hop presence throughout, . . . [a] rich malt sweetness and a semi-dry, lingering crisp and bitter finish.”

Duffie’s Tavern Strong Ale was created with the assistance of the following sponsors “who provided services, products, and expertise to help [the Alabama Brewers Guild] develop a great beer with authentic flavors”: White Labs, Country Malt Group, Dalton Box, Resource Label Group, Hopsteiner, and Iron Heart Canning Co.

12 oz. cans of Duffie’s Tavern Strong Ale will be hitting shelves any day now and “a portion of the proceeds from the sale of this beer will benefit the Tuscaloosa County Preservation Society.”  You can expect to find this Limited Release at select craft beer establishments located throughout the state of Alabama.  Prost!

Alabama Brewers Guild Names Mulberry Road as Third Release in Statewide Collaboration Series

Alabama Brewers Guild St Vert FullThe Alabama Brewers Guild has officially announced that Mulberry Road Belgian-style Dubbel will be the third release in their Capital Series, a line of collaboration beers created by brewery guild members throughout the state.

Established with cooperation from the Alabama Bicentennial Commission, the Alabama Brewers Guild created the Capital Series in celebration of the state’s 200th birthday that is fast approaching in 2019.  Launched in 2015, this series traces the story of Alabama’s five historic capitals through the medium of fine, handcrafted beers created by the state’s artisan brewers.  Previous limited releases in the Capital Series were 2015’s “St. Stephens Stout, paying homage to the territorial capital of Alabama”; and 2016’s Badlun Brothers Imperial Porter, named for the men that established Alabama’s first brewery in Huntsville “during the year it served as the temporary capital and Alabama was admitted as the 22nd state.”

The 2017 edition of the Capital Series will recognize Cahawba – the first permanent capital of the State of Alabama from 1820-1826 – with Mulberry Road Belgian-style Dubbel, “inspired by the stately mulberry trees lining the streets of the scenic town of Old Cahawba.”  Since the Dubbel is known for its rich malt complexity and notes of dark fruit, it was the perfect beer style choice to properly showcase “the natural sweetness of the mulberry.”  To add a poetic touch to this release, “Mulberry Road will be produced at Cahaba Brewing (Birmingham, Alabama) with brewers from across the state lending their hand in crafting the beer.”

The release of Mulberry Road Belgian-style Dubbel is slated for January of 2017.  This limited release offering will be available in 12 oz. cans and on draft throughout the great state of Alabama.  A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Mulberry Road will be donated to the Cahawba Advisory Committee for preserving the Old Cahawba historical site.  In addition to Mulberry Road, “many member breweries will also be developing and brewing their own beer styles based on the mulberry for release in their tap rooms.”

What we all need to recognize here is that the Alabama Brewers Guild Capital Series not only provides context to Alabama’s history, but it also acts as a means to preserve the state’s rich and beautiful heritage.  This is certainly something that the craft beer community should rally behind, so be sure to pick up those cans of Mulberry Road in January to support this amazing project.  Prost!

Vital Information for Mulberry Road created by the breweries of the Alabama Brewers Guild

Release – Limited, tentatively scheduled for January 2017
Style – Belgian Dubbel
Added Ingredients – Mulberry fruit

Availability – 12 oz. cans & draft
Distribution – Alabama

Fun Fact – Capital Series Timeline:

  • 2015: St. Stephens, territorial capital from 1817-1819
  • 2016: Huntsville, site of the constitutional convention in 1819
  • 2017: Cahawba, first permanent capital of the State of Alabama from 1820-1826
  • 2018: Tuscaloosa, the state capital from 1826-1846
  • 2019: Montgomery, the state capital since 1846

 

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The Alabama Brewers Guild brewing team for Mulberry Road

 

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Cahaba Brewing’s Eric Meyer adds mulberry juice to the brew