It started with a mutual love of beer and the same resounding question: Why isn't there a local craft brewery in Lower Alabama? We all asked it, and while others may sit around and bemoan the answer, we decided to do something about it. That was way back in the year 2012, and while we didn't know it at the time, that one question would lead to the adventure of a lifetime for a bunch of beer geeks (parading as lawyers and journalists) who were simply looking to slake the thirsts of beer lovers along the Gulf Coast.
On the back porch of a quitessential Midtown Mobile home, Brian sipped - and enjoyed - a selection of beers with Dan Murphy, a homebrewer and beer columnist for the local newspaper who had been working for years to cultivate a better beer culture in Lower Alabama. Brian was sold on the beer and on Dan, but he still wanted to know what others thought of these handcrafted concoctions.
After connecting with the president of Free The Hops, Gabe Harris, and having him join the team, Brian traveled to Atlanta to meet some college buddies and seek out investors. It just so happened that Brian's law school roommate, Jim Foley, was also in town and intrigued by Brian's new project. Upon taking his first sip off what would become Fairhope 51, Jim knew this was some craft beer he could get behind. At the point, the team was assembled and the decision was made: We were going to open Lower Alabama's first production craft brewery since prohibition.
Our first batch of beer was brewed less than a year later, on Dec. 21, 2012, what was supposed to be the end of the world according to the Mayans. If the world was going to end, then by God, we were going to have at least one batch of beer in a fermenter when it happened. What was supposed to be the end of the world was actually the start of a process that would bring a great amount of joy to the Gulf Coast portions of Alabama. Fortunately for all of us, the world kept on spinning and our first batch of Everyday Ale kept on fermenting, and on Jan. 6, 2013, the Fairhope Brewing Company opened its doors to an eager public thirsty for locally crafted beer made with only the finest ingredients.
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