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General Category => Beer Travel => Topic started by: jeffy on October 19, 2021, 03:22:37 pm

Title: Huntsville
Post by: jeffy on October 19, 2021, 03:22:37 pm
My wife and I will be spending the upcoming weekend in Huntsville, AL.  I know BrewBama and Majorvices are residents.  Any good tips on stuff to see and places to eat and drink?   
Title: Re: Huntsville
Post by: majorvices on October 19, 2021, 06:47:27 pm
For beer you might check out Beezr/Chandler's Ford. The brewer is making some good beers and the brewhouse is a homebrewer's dream system with horizontal lager tanks and everything (it's a tiny system but really sweet). Campus 805 (Yellowhammer and Straight to Ale). Yellowhammer beers are good still (I'll take credit for that) ... STA is kinda hit or miss.

Space and Rocket Center is neat -- Check out the Davidson Center to see a horizontal Saturn V and some neat exhibitions without spending a ton of money.

There's a lot to do downtown near Beezr/Chanler's Ford (restaurants and such) and also at Campus 805.

I'm running Rocket Republic brewery right now but only have a couple beers on tap. They do have a downtown tap room. But I'm not ready to recommend it yet.
Title: Huntsville
Post by: BrewBama on October 19, 2021, 07:27:27 pm
Straight to Ale, Yellowhammer, and Old Black Bear breweries all have good food and beers.

The Space and Rocket Center is pretty cool if you’re into space stuff.

If you’re looking for outdoor activities HSV has a lot of hiking, biking, and birding trails, and kayaking on the Flint River, or a picnic on Monte Sano Mountain or Big Spring Park.



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Title: Re: Huntsville
Post by: tommymorris on October 19, 2021, 08:17:33 pm
Check out Burritt on the Mountain. https://burrittonthemountain.com/

Monte Sano State Park has some great views on the North and South Plateau loops. It’s $5 to get in.

Walk around Big Spring Park and walk to the spring itself.

I like Sam and Gregg’s Pizza downtown. Good pizza on the square and 10-12 beers on tap (several local).

Something different: head west to the Rattle Snake Saloon. It’s 1.5 hours west.

I’ve heard good things (mostly about the views) about this brewery 1.5 hours East. https://yelp.to/4MegUKTRukb

Head North 1 hour to Lynchburg, TN, home of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey.
Title: Re: Huntsville
Post by: jeffy on October 20, 2021, 05:13:53 am
Thanks, guys.  We hope to see some Fall colors or at least escape from the Florida heat and humidity for a couple days.
BTW we took a tour of the Jack Daniels distillery many years ago.  At the end the tour guide took a photo of our group (on film back in the day) and sent it to us in the mail later.  Except we weren't in it.
Title: Re: Huntsville
Post by: majorvices on October 20, 2021, 05:48:33 am
Old Black Bear??? They do have good food ... not always great beer. At least that's my experience.

The JD tour is different now. They charge (years ago they did not) and you can get certain tours with whiskey tastings. Still a really neat tour but it has gotten pricey.
Title: Re: Huntsville
Post by: Drewch on October 20, 2021, 10:09:46 am
Don't forget Cross-Eyed Owl across the bridge in Decatur.
Title: Re: Huntsville
Post by: Drewch on October 20, 2021, 10:16:32 am
Also, check the calendar and see if anything's going on at Lowe Mill. If you like tea, check out Piper and Leaf.

My info's a little dated, but Casa Blanca used to have really good carnitas with nopalitos and everything. And there were a couple of good German restaurants. Grounded in Madison was a pretty good locally owned coffeeshop.

Phuket if you like Thai.

And the Botanic Garden is pretty good ... but maybe underwhelming in October.
Title: Re: Huntsville
Post by: Drewch on October 20, 2021, 10:23:08 am
Yellowhammer beers are good still (I'll take credit for that) ...

I take my hat off to you, sir, if you had anything to do with Midnight Special.
Title: Re: Huntsville
Post by: mchrispen on October 20, 2021, 11:54:50 am
Go hit the original Big Bob Gibsons in Decatur of you want some pretty fantastic BBQ.


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Title: Re: Huntsville
Post by: majorvices on October 20, 2021, 12:22:58 pm
Yellowhammer beers are good still (I'll take credit for that) ...

I take my hat off to you, sir, if you had anything to do with Midnight Special.

Yep. All the original flagship beers are mine. Thanks!
Title: Re: Huntsville
Post by: BrewBama on October 20, 2021, 12:57:46 pm
Old Black Bear??? They do have good food ... not always great beer. At least that's my experience.

The JD tour is different now. They charge (years ago they did not) and you can get certain tours with whiskey tastings. Still a really neat tour but it has gotten pricey.
I liked their Cave City Lager. I haven’t had it in a while but I remember it as a pretty good Dunkel.



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Title: Re: Huntsville
Post by: majorvices on October 20, 2021, 04:55:07 pm
Well, I know the owner. So that may tarnish my opinion of the beers.  ;)
Title: Re: Huntsville
Post by: tommymorris on October 20, 2021, 06:07:56 pm
The Breweries

Campus 805 (central Huntsville)
Yellowhammer- Good beer. Good pizza. Nice patios. 
Straight to Ale- hit and miss.  Speak easy. Good patio. Good burgers.
Salty Nut- hit and miss. Owned by Straight to Ale. Do lots of homebrewer collaborations with 256 Brewers.
Innerspace- lots of Saisons. Closed a lot.
Note: the above 4 are very close to each other and in a Purple cup district (you can carry a glass of beer outside)

Downtown:
Beezr - small unique place. Good beer and good. Check the hours. They aren’t always open.
Green Bus- meh. Great location and nice bar. Beer is okay.
Below the Radar- good food. They seem to rotate head brewers and recipes. The last time I was there I was really happy. But, many times before the beer has been bad.
Note: These 3 are within walking distance of each other and in a purple cup zone.

Madison:
Rocket Republic- Majorvices works here. Two locations. The one in Madison is where the says the beer is better right now.
Mad Malts- some good hefes and dark beer. Strange location in a warehouse in a mediocre neighborhood.

Old Black Bear- “downtown” Madison. It’s been okay when I went.
Bowler Hat- fairly new. Good reviews.

South Huntsville:
Fractal- good patio. Beer is hit and miss. I like their Amber and Pilsner. Their is a new math problem to solve each time you go.

Decatur:
Cross Eyed Owl- too far for me. Sorry.

Good beer bars:
The Nook- great patio
Old town beer exchange (downtown I. purple cup district)
The Liquor Store- a liquor and beer store with a whole lot of taps
Das Stahl Bierhaus- beer store and bar. The owner selects the beer so he does a good job with putting unique beers on tap.
Brass Tap- this is a chain. Don’t go here.
Note: all of the above have great selection of beers.
Title: Huntsville
Post by: BrewBama on October 20, 2021, 06:24:25 pm
Pretty good run down Tommy. I think i pretty much agree with you down the line.

Well, I know the owner. So that may tarnish my opinion of the beers.  ;)



Bier bewusst genießen

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Title: Re: Huntsville
Post by: jeffy on October 20, 2021, 06:41:29 pm
One other question: each state will have different rules for who sells what and where.  Will my wife be able to order a Chardonnay or a gin and tonic at a brew pub?  Are there separate stores for beer, wine and spirits?
Title: Huntsville
Post by: tommymorris on October 20, 2021, 07:40:48 pm
One other question: each state will have different rules for who sells what and where.  Will my wife be able to order a Chardonnay or a gin and tonic at a brew pub?  Are there separate stores for beer, wine and spirits?
There are separate stores: wine and beer are together, spirits are separate. The Liquor Store has both. You just go left or right inside the outer door.

Some breweries make vodka and gin and therefore sell some mixed drinks: Yellowhammer and Straight Ale

Brewpubs sell food and other beer and other alcoholic beverages: Below the Radar, Old Black Bear (Brewpubs must get half their revenue from food and must sell other brands of beer)

Many breweries sell cider.

Our breweries technically can’t sell food (brew pubs can). But, they can rent space inside to a restaurant: Straight to Ale and Yellowhammer.

Other breweries often have a food truck or may let you order in with Uber Eats, etc.
Title: Re: Huntsville
Post by: tommymorris on October 20, 2021, 07:49:35 pm
PS. Take your wife to L’Etoile Patisserie for coffee and a pastry. She’ll love you for it. You’ll like it to.

https://www.facebook.com/100810318285638/

While your there check out the two stores on each side; Holtz Leather Co. and Preservation Co. They are cool too.
Title: Re: Huntsville
Post by: majorvices on October 21, 2021, 02:35:57 am
Yellowhammer and STA both have distilleries and both serve mixed drinks/liquors. Some of the other pubs may have them as well. In AL the restaurant must have a certain manufacturers lic. to serve both and in most cases also serve food. Hard to be more descriptive than this without going into loads of detail.
Title: Re: Huntsville
Post by: jeffy on October 21, 2021, 04:53:03 pm
Well, we’ve been here about eight hours now and had a diner-like breakfast at Gibson’s BBQ, walked downtown a bit, strolled the Botanical Gardens, had a flight at Yellowhammer, went to the Art Museum, and had a beer or two at BeeZr (Chandlers Ford).  I’m drinking a can of Midnight Special in the hotel room and working on a plan for tomorrow.
Title: Re: Huntsville
Post by: tommymorris on October 21, 2021, 06:47:54 pm
Well, we’ve been here about eight hours now and had a diner-like breakfast at Gibson’s BBQ, walked downtown a bit, strolled the Botanical Gardens, had a flight at Yellowhammer, went to the Art Museum, and had a beer or two at BeeZr (Chandlers Ford).  I’m drinking a can of Midnight Special in the hotel room and working on a plan for tomorrow.
and you’re like, “Now what?! We done everything on the list.”
Title: Re: Huntsville
Post by: majorvices on October 21, 2021, 07:09:27 pm
Well, we’ve been here about eight hours now and had a diner-like breakfast at Gibson’s BBQ, walked downtown a bit, strolled the Botanical Gardens, had a flight at Yellowhammer, went to the Art Museum, and had a beer or two at BeeZr (Chandlers Ford).  I’m drinking a can of Midnight Special in the hotel room and working on a plan for tomorrow.

Come out to Rocket Republic in Madison tomorrow (close to the HSV Airport) and I'll show you the brewery and pour you a couple beers.
Title: Re: Huntsville
Post by: jeffy on October 22, 2021, 06:09:33 pm
Well, we’ve been here about eight hours now and had a diner-like breakfast at Gibson’s BBQ, walked downtown a bit, strolled the Botanical Gardens, had a flight at Yellowhammer, went to the Art Museum, and had a beer or two at BeeZr (Chandlers Ford).  I’m drinking a can of Midnight Special in the hotel room and working on a plan for tomorrow.
and you’re like, “Now what?! We done everything on the list.”
Today we went to the L’Etoille Patisserie for coffee and pastries (thank you tommymorris, it was delicious), toured the Twickenham neighborhood and Five Points by car, spent several hours looking at rocket parts at the Space Center, then walked around Monte Sano Park a little bit before heading back to BeeZr for beers.  I like those guys.  They’re making really interesting beers. 
Not sure what to do tomorrow. 
Sorry we didn’t make it to Keith’s brewery yet.
Title: Re: Huntsville
Post by: majorvices on October 23, 2021, 05:40:06 am
Chattanooga is a 90 minute drive from Huntsville. The Chattanooga Aquarium is the tits, rivaling Atlanta's and Baltimore's. If you go check out "Odd Story Brewing". The brewer there (Jay Boyd) was my very first assistant brewer at Yellowhammer. He's making some great beers. There's some good restaurants there as well and it used to be free public transportation (not sure if it still is).
Title: Re: Huntsville
Post by: majorvices on October 25, 2021, 05:13:30 pm
Well Jeffy, how did you like Tennessee Valley/Rocket City?
Title: Re: Huntsville
Post by: jeffy on October 25, 2021, 06:21:34 pm
Well Jeffy, how did you like Tennessee Valley/Rocket City?
We had a nice trip.  It has a nice small town vibe.  The beer scene is good, with a nice variety - not heavily NEIPA or fruited/lactic sours - I found good beer at almost every beer place.  I especially liked Beezr’s selections, but didn’t mention your name to the brewer, although he did recognize that I’d been there more than once.  Your warning about the beer at downtown Rocket Republic was on point, but the mural inside was nice.
Saturday we drove to De Soto Park to see some fall colors.  Oh and the Harrison Bros. Hardware store is pretty cool.
We were good tourists.  Thanks for all the recommendations.
Title: Re: Huntsville
Post by: tommymorris on October 25, 2021, 07:31:17 pm
I’m glad you enjoyed the trip!
Title: Re: Huntsville
Post by: Ron756 on November 28, 2021, 05:08:50 am
This string is good to help us too.  My son lives in town and we will be down to visit the week after Christmas.  Is anything going to be open?  Still looking for places to retire, Alabama keeps coming back up the list.
Title: Huntsville
Post by: tommymorris on November 28, 2021, 10:01:38 am
This string is good to help us too.  My son lives in town and we will be down to visit the week after Christmas.  Is anything going to be open?  Still looking for places to retire, Alabama keeps coming back up the list.
Everything should be open except for Christmas Day.

Don’t get me started on the greatness of Huntsville! I think Huntsville is a great place for retirement. To me the weather is perfect here. We have four seasons but they are pretty mild. We have two hot months in the summer and the rest of the year is perfect. For example today it was 33F in the morning and it will go up to 55F in the afternoon. Lots of sun, but also plenty of rain so you hardly have to water your lawn.

When I moved here, my work recruited me based on the beer scene. It’s good but, really it is the outdoors that I have come to love. The mountains (really hills) are beautiful and just out our back door. So much great hiking. The lakes are also great. Most of the lakes are damned up between the mountains and so you have cliffs and rocky shores. It’s very pretty.

Huntsville has a real commitment to providing the amenities that make life nice. We have a new concert venue because people wanted bigger bands. We have several entertainment districts around town where you can have a drink to go in a purple cup.  The bars in those areas have lots of live music. In just the last few years the city has  created a cross country park (who has that?!), championship sand volleyball courses, a mountain biking course, and a new skateboard park is coming.  We have greenways. We have the North Alabama Land Trust with hundreds of miles of free trails on the various mountains. We have the US Space and Rocket Center- read Smithsonian affiliated museum and German nights with German beer and schnitzel. I know a lot of cities have many of these things. But, a lot don’t.

PS. We also have good jobs.
PPS. It’s not crowded here.
Title: Huntsville
Post by: BrewBama on November 28, 2021, 01:50:49 pm
... For example today it was 33F in the morning and it will go up to 55F in the afternoon. Lots of sun,…

We went to Yellowhammer for lunch today. Great pizza, great beer, great outdoors so the grandkids can run and play. We had to pull our jackets off it was so nice out.

I would add that if you’re a fisherman, the TN River has some of the best fishing in the country. That’s why the Bass Master’s and American Crappie Trail has a stop here every year.

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Title: Re: Huntsville
Post by: tommymorris on November 28, 2021, 05:18:08 pm
... For example today it was 33F in the morning and it will go up to 55F in the afternoon. Lots of sun,…

We went to Yellowhammer for lunch today. Great pizza, great beer, great outdoors so the grandkids can run and play. We had to pull our jackets off it was so nice out.

I would add that if you’re a fisherman, the TN River has some of the best fishing in the country. That’s why the Bass Master’s and American Crappie Trail has a stop here every year.

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I like Sam and Gregg’s downtown for pizza, beer, and custard. They have good pizza on the square and about 15-20 taps. Prost!
Title: Re: Huntsville
Post by: Ron756 on November 29, 2021, 04:32:50 pm
Tommy & BamaBrew,
Thanks.  I am Navy so aside from my time at Auburn (War Eagle) I haven't spent much time in the state, and only a very little since 1996.  Alabama (and a few other states) won't tax my military pension when I retire, one of the attractions of several states in the south.  We are also tired of the cold.  We have lived in Maine, Washington State, Hawaii, Guam, Florida, the Carolinas and Virginia.  Stuck in DC now and way too crowded. 
My son lives in Huntsville and likes the area.  We have been down twice to visit and liked the space and friendliness of the people (they aren't that way in Boston or DC). 
I get serious and drop my papers the first of the year.
We did get to try Yellowhammer last time we were down and liked the beer and the pizza.  Thinking about Rocket Republic to try out this time. 
There aren't any homebrew shops in the area, how do you get supplies?
Title: Re: Huntsville
Post by: tommymorris on November 29, 2021, 04:55:22 pm
Tommy & BamaBrew,
Thanks.  I am Navy so aside from my time at Auburn (War Eagle) I haven't spent much time in the state, and only a very little since 1996.  Alabama (and a few other states) won't tax my military pension when I retire, one of the attractions of several states in the south.  We are also tired of the cold.  We have lived in Maine, Washington State, Hawaii, Guam, Florida, the Carolinas and Virginia.  Stuck in DC now and way too crowded. 
My son lives in Huntsville and likes the area.  We have been down twice to visit and liked the space and friendliness of the people (they aren't that way in Boston or DC). 
I get serious and drop my papers the first of the year.
We did get to try Yellowhammer last time we were down and liked the beer and the pizza.  Thinking about Rocket Republic to try out this time. 
There aren't any homebrew shops in the area, how do you get supplies?
Some breweries will sell you a sack of grain. A health food store, Pearly’s, sells homebrew supplies. They don’t have liquid yeast. They will order you a sack of grain. They are expensive, but not terrible. My main beef with them is they don’t understand homebrewing. So, all the grain is in one pound bags and they don’t seem to have enough base malt to actually build a recipe. I do buy some specialty malts there. I bought a 1.5 years expired pack of dry yeast there last week (it was on sale).

Then there’s the Internet. I buy most ingredients there.
Title: Re: Huntsville
Post by: BrewBama on November 29, 2021, 05:40:11 pm
Homebrewing supplies arrive on my front step. I can’t count on Pearly’s but I go there from time to time for common items. MoreBeer is my go to.

I am also retired military. If you are looking for a post military job the area is very vet friendly especially aviation or missile careers.  Also, a lot of medical facilities honor TriCare.



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Title: Re: Huntsville
Post by: majorvices on November 30, 2021, 05:20:37 pm
... For example today it was 33F in the morning and it will go up to 55F in the afternoon. Lots of sun,…

We went to Yellowhammer for lunch today. Great pizza, great beer, great outdoors so the grandkids can run and play. We had to pull our jackets off it was so nice out.

I would add that if you’re a fisherman, the TN River has some of the best fishing in the country. That’s why the Bass Master’s and American Crappie Trail has a stop here every year.

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We are transforming the Downtown Rocket Republic ... there will be a restaurant (run by the Church Street Wine Group) and we will be featuring some very exclusive beers. This will happen around the first of '22. I'm really excited about it and hope y'all will come check it out when it is finished.
Title: Re: Huntsville
Post by: BrewBama on November 30, 2021, 05:41:44 pm
Sounds like a great idea!  I am a member of a small group of vets that meets at various places around town monthly. This sounds like a good meeting place. Keep us posted.


Bier bewusst genießen

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Title: Re: Huntsville
Post by: majorvices on November 30, 2021, 06:19:54 pm
Awesome! You can expect some serious hand pulled firkin action (beer engine!). Also going to put in some guest taps and a Belgian bottle selection along with my own beers.
Title: Re: Huntsville
Post by: tommymorris on November 30, 2021, 09:00:41 pm
Can’t wait to try it.
Title: Re: Huntsville
Post by: Ron756 on December 09, 2021, 06:34:26 pm
I suspect you won't have the new downtown Rocket Republic done when we are down, so will look for it on our next trip. 
Title: Re: Huntsville
Post by: Ron756 on December 09, 2021, 06:42:57 pm
Homebrewing supplies arrive on my front step. I can’t count on Pearly’s but I go there from time to time for common items. MoreBeer is my go to.

I am also retired military. If you are looking for a post military job the area is very vet friendly especially aviation or missile careers.  Also, a lot of medical facilities honor TriCare.



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I drive submarines by trade, but a desk for the past four years - which is why I need to retire. 
Title: Re: Huntsville
Post by: majorvices on December 11, 2021, 02:54:24 am
I suspect you won't have the new downtown Rocket Republic done when we are down, so will look for it on our next trip.

It's open though, we just won't have the beer engine or the side poor taps. The beer is good now and the lines are cleaned bi-weekly so you can get a good pint there. There's also the Madison location where the brewery is actually located. Stop out and I'll give you a brewery tour a d a beer sample.
Title: Re: Huntsville
Post by: Ron756 on December 18, 2021, 09:08:49 am
I suspect you won't have the new downtown Rocket Republic done when we are down, so will look for it on our next trip.

It's open though, we just won't have the beer engine or the side poor taps. The beer is good now and the lines are cleaned bi-weekly so you can get a good pint there. There's also the Madison location where the brewery is actually located. Stop out and I'll give you a brewery tour a d a beer sample.

Excellent.  Looking forward to it.  Always like to try new beer and new places. 
Title: Huntsville
Post by: BrewBama on December 18, 2021, 09:51:53 am
Middle of Dec and I opened the windows to get the beautiful 70*F day’s fresh air into the house.

Edit: spoke too soon. Had to close the windows for a cpl rain showers passing thru.
Title: Re: Huntsville
Post by: Ron756 on December 18, 2021, 03:41:36 pm
Warm up here in DC as well, had to cut the grass it has been so warm.
Title: Re: Huntsville
Post by: Drewch on December 21, 2021, 09:05:00 pm
I get serious and drop my papers the first of the year.

We were stationed there for three years, and unless something drastic changes, greater HSV is our leading contender for retirement locales.  South enough for me; north enough for my wife; and the job market is strong. I just hope I don't get priced out of the real estate market...
Title: Re: Huntsville
Post by: Drewch on December 21, 2021, 09:25:10 pm
We are transforming the Downtown Rocket Republic ... there will be a restaurant (run by the Church Street Wine Group) and we will be featuring some very exclusive beers. This will happen around the first of '22. I'm really excited about it and hope y'all will come check it out when it is finished.

Are you still tracking to finish the revamp after the first? My old co-worker just built a house up there near Big Cove / Owens Crossroads ... I'll have to tell him to go check it out.
Title: Re: Huntsville
Post by: Ron756 on December 25, 2021, 12:37:22 pm
I suspect you won't have the new downtown Rocket Republic done when we are down, so will look for it on our next trip.

It's open though, we just won't have the beer engine or the side poor taps. The beer is good now and the lines are cleaned bi-weekly so you can get a good pint there. There's also the Madison location where the brewery is actually located. Stop out and I'll give you a brewery tour a d a beer sample.

Excellent.  Looking forward to it.  Always like to try new beer and new places.

We are headed into town today Merry Christmas.
We will be here for the week. If you are going to be in on Wednesday or Thursday we would love to come by. Would you mind if I bring my kids (26 and 23 - so adults for the most part)? 
Ron
Title: Re: Huntsville
Post by: Ron756 on January 12, 2022, 08:53:27 pm
Enjoyed our trip to Huntsville.  Shout out to majorvices for the welcome at Rocket Republic and the great beer selections. 
Title: Re: Huntsville
Post by: majorvices on January 16, 2022, 10:16:43 am
It was great to meet you, ron!