Tuscaloosa’s third microbrewery, Band of Brothers Brewing, just opened on Thursday, Sept. 24 — and the community is pretty darn excited (and thirsty).
The brewery’s taproom, which is located off 15th St. and Greensboro Ave. near downtown Tuscaloosa, put three beers on tap for its grand opening: Station One Saison, Monk on the Radio Belgian Blonde, and VooDoo Mild English Mild.
The company is owned by three local men: brothers Jeremy and Jeremiah Donald, and their friend Quintin Brown (whom Jeremy Donald said “is basically like a brother to us.”). The name was inspired by the Donald’s grandfather, Jimmie Lee James, who taught Jeremy and Jeremiah how to make muscadine wine on his farm in Choctaw Bluff, according to AL.com.
Band of Brothers is currently distributing through Supreme Beverage and is only distributing in kegs, but they hope to begin bottling their brews in the near future.
“It’s all about building up the culture of craft beer here in Alabama, and that’s what every brewery here has been attempting to do,” said Jeremy Donald. “For so long, there’s been very few craft beers here. You had American lagers and import beers such as your Coronas and your Heinekens. But craft beer brings diversity.”
And Alabama residents certainly seem to be ready for that diversity, too. An AL.com article from this past July stated that “Alabama’s craft beer industry is definitely enjoying a boom.”
At that time, there were 31 breweries registered in the Alabama Brewers Guild. Beer production throughout the state increased by 21% between 2013 and 2014, totaling over 39,000 barrels in one year.
Alabama’s breweries are just a part of the state’s small business sector, but they certainly have contributed to the overall growth of small businesses throughout the state — and these businesses have played a major role in reducing unemployment rates. According to Intuit’s Small Business Employment Index, the number of job opportunities in small Alabama businesses has increased each month of 2015.
Despite the tough financial environment of a post-Recession economy, many small businesses in Alabama have found ways to circumvent expensive advertising; online blogging and social media activity, for example, typically increases revenue by about 63% compared to paid newspaper advertising.
This trend does not appear to be widespread, Yellowhammer News reported; overall small business employment nationwide fell by 5,000 jobs this past August.