It seems too good to be true: a small Birmingham craft brewery looking to make it big moves to an out of the way warehouse in Alabama, a state peculiarly unfriendly to beer makers and just downright rude to beer drinkers. Before them obstacles fall and opportunities arise. The City of Birmingham green lights a plan to build a new 8,500 seat stadium for AA baseball’s Birmingham Barons directly across the street from them. The pro-beer organization Free The Hops successfully lobbies the state legislature to pass The Brewery Modernization Act allowing them to open a tasting room bar in the brewery itself. Luck? Insider knowledge? Well placed bribes? Shrewd business sense? On condition of anonymity, a Good People Brewery employee gives mightstainyourshirt.com a glimpse of those behind an ambitious brewery on the cusp of realizing their dreams.
“It has to be about the beer,” says our insider, Qfwfq (not his real name). “The beer has to come first. If you skimp on ingredients, if you take shortcuts, you fail yourself and you fail your customers. Early on… we were learning as we went so, sure, we played up the Good People ethos,” he continued. “Not exactly ‘oh shucks’ or anything like that, but we knew there would be mistakes in the beginning so we adopted an attitude that said to our customers ‘Look, we make great beer, but the scope of this thing is new to us. We will fuck something up, but we are on the lookout and whatever mistakes we make, we’ll fix.’ People understand that. If you let them know where you are headed and demonstrate that you are on the path, they forgive the occasional foamy keg or sour ale.” He pulled on his cigarette and looked at me with earnest eyes. “We made it this far and can see even brighter days coming. We have a product we are really excited about, experience, and a tried and true process that consistently scores us high caliber brews. We are where we want to be now, but I really feel like it was our ability to convey our goals to our customers that kept us afloat in the early days. As a back up, we sold our souls to Satan, our Dark Lord and Master.” Continue reading