Birmingham District Brewing: Beer in the Spirit of Bham
Have you ever heard Birmingham, Alabama being called “Steel City” or “Magic City” and wondered what that was all about? One of Alabama’s craft breweries pays homage to the city’s origins and these nicknames in their name: Birmingham District Brewing. The “Birmingham District” is the only area in the world containing all the naturally occurring materials needed to create iron and steel within a 50 mile radius — a discovery that was made in the 1850’s. Just underneath the surface on the grounds between present day Springville and Vance was a 75 mile belt of hematite mineral (iron ore) — this valuable area of land would later be known as the Birmingham District. Soon after this discovery in the early 1900’s, Birmingham experienced sudden, almost unexplainable growth which contributed to the city’s nickname “Magic City”.
Fast forward to Birmingham in 2018, when Birmingham District Brewing first opened it’s doors, and the city’s humble beginnings are not forgotten. Cale Sellers, one of Birmingham District’s co-owners, started home-brewing craft beer with his father-in-law as a hobby and three years later, they opened up the brewery. “We would brew out in the driveway, in the garage, and after some time we realized we were making our favorite beer at home, better than what we could buy,” he said. The idea to open up a brewery became a family affair, with his brother-in-law and wife joining in. “We started this as a hobby and it’s something we became really good at, and it has taken off and done a lot better than we could’ve imagined,” Cale said.
Birmingham District Brewing Company is located in an area of downtown Birmingham that has seen a lot of revitalization in recent years. With several other breweries in the area, Birmingham District Brewing stands out for its wide selection of beer. When asked what makes District Brewing’s beer unique, Cale said, “Every brewery has its own taste, or style, and we try to make craft beer approachable for everyone.” The tap room typically has 10-12 different options on tap, including their two most popular beers: Lose Your Way IPA and the Birmingham Pilsner. They usually also feature seasonal beer, sours, blondes, etc.
When asked about the future of Birmingham District Brewing, Cale’s response was upbeat and excited. “We are wanting to expand within the next couple of years, we have added a few more brew tanks and are looking to get more into distribution and grow our brand,” he said. The brewery currently sells 16 oz cans in packs of 4 from their location onsite, and they also sell kegs for restaurant distribution.
Innovation and growth seem to be at the top of mind, as the brewery is already doing really cool stuff — from collaboration small batch brews like the Sucker Punch Imperial sour they released recently, to live music features and trivia on Wednesday nights. They also just announced a new hard seltzer lineup, the brewery’s first gluten free option. The blue collar spirit of Birmingham lives on in so many ways, and while we may not be shuffling in from the mines anymore, we are still meeting up at quittin’ time for a cold one at District Brewing.