Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Beers Over Birmingham

Rumbled into Birmingham, with a spent rear wheel bearin', lookin' for some lubrication.

The Good People Brewing Company (GPBC) kind.

Fixin' to try their beer. Fer sure.

Fixin' the wheel bearin': secondary.

Headed into the Five Points South area of the city where beer lore has it Good People Brewing Company is told to exist.

Turns out Five Points South is where they send all the good chilin' lookin' to have a good time--the area has a lot of bars, restaurants, live music venues and such.

The area boasts some real cultural treasures too: the 24x7x52 bar being the most important.

Come to find out, the city elders have had the forethought to grandfather bar licensing laws to grant a few bars this honor. Was told that if the doors lock for even for one minute, the license go bye-bye. Well they have to catch you first. The Quest is one of these bars but sadly we did not inhabit it.

No garages here but who cares? Beer was our quest and beer we would find.

Found a parking garage. It was about 100 inside. In the basement. We parked the car and stumbled outside towards 1035 20th Street South. Where the brewery was told to exist.

Mr. GPS lied.

This is not the first time.

The brewery was not there but there was a bar.


We once again were able make the best of a bad sitchiation and turn a bad happenin' to a good happenin' when we wandered into the Mill to cool off with a beer. Nice taproom with an old-school bar--maybe 15 beers on tap with about 10 craft beers--a few from Sweetwater Brewery in Atlanta but none from GPBC. The Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale caught my attention and turned out to be a quenching delight.

Unable to score a GPBC beer, I became disenchanted.


I held a hopvine torn from the earth, to my ear and learned that there was a beer bar nearby named J. Clyde that carried ALL the GPBC beers--not just the two mainstream dark and light carried by most.

Torn between locating the legendary GPBC beer and a 2nd beer in the Mill, I opted for the GPBC and left on a quest.

Into the heat.

Now, I can usually find my way around a horseshoe pit even after splitt'n my shin on the post with sweat in my eyes and blood in my sneakers. But find'n J. Clyde took all my sleuthin' capabilty. Was it the heat? Was it the humidty? Cant tell fer sure but once I found my way out back I was faced with a series of doors eventually pickin' the right one. By smell.

Doesn't it just crack you up when you hear ``Cool Air Conditioning''? Well I'm here to tell you J. Clyde's was mighty cool inside as was the beer.

“Give me something great from GPBC I barked” at D the competent bar keep. “Try this one, I love it.” he offered. “What is it?” “Snake Handler”.

Well this 9.3% ABV Double IPA is one of the best I've tasted on this trip: five hop varieties with a 103 IBU. Yeee Haww!


I asked for a beer menu--look close at the draught list--they have an impressive selection and a whole book detailing their bottle collection--perhaps 300 bottles. They even have the beers indexed by style which is a nice touch. This has got to be one of THE beer destinations for beer aficionados. Certainly one of the best I've visited.

The bar was an unusual ess-shaped layout with diagonally laminated bar top. The back bar behind the taps was stone laminate as were the walls on the side. Nice looking and clean place. The tap room extended to the left into a dining room with tables.

I had heard their food is good but I did not try it.

“Good people drink good beer.” HST

Add to that great one: “At J. Clyde”.

Highly recommended.

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