Back Forty Birmingham is expanding—5 reasons why we’re excited

Back Forty Birmingham's expanding
Back Forty Birmingham has such a great location out at Sloss Docks. Photo via Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now

From the moment Back Forty burst onto Birmingham’s craft beer scene in July 2018, they had a vision and so far, nothing’s stopping them from moving toward realizing it. Fans of the hyperlocal brewery can look forward to expansions that will make the craft beer experience even better. We talked to owner Doug Brown to find out all the details.

Back Forty Birmingham's expansion
Back Forty Birmingham’s new “Barrel Room” will double as an aging beer storage room and event venue. Photo via Back Forty Birmingham

According to the BBJ, Back Forty Birmingham’s 5000-square-foot expansion will offer the following: 

  • A character-filled event space called the “Barrel Room” that’s perfect for an indoor show, a meeting or a wedding rehearsal party.
  • 100 or so barrels stacked up to four rows high to store beers as they age.
  • Room for expanded canning operations because sometimes you just want to take a six-pack down to the beach or back home.

1. Back Forty Birmingham’s already brewed 100 different beers, and they’re just getting started

Just like any good chef enjoys experimenting with new flavor combinations, so too with brewers. Back Forty Birmingham is focused on hyperlocal beer production and distribution, which means that you’ve got to head out to Sloss Docks if you want to try one of their beers. 

Owner Doug Brown said “We’re constantly trying to innovate.”

Side note: “I Shaved My Legs for This” may be the best beer name ever. And, it may end up being a keeper in the Back Forty Birmingham beer stable.

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2. All that experimentation requires space

If you’ve ever had a collection that outgrew your available space, you’ll understand Back Forty Birmingham’s need for extra real estate to house a growing collection of repurposed liquor and wine barrels. 

They’re getting 55-gallon drums fresh from distilleries. According to Brown, this allows them to “brew different beers we think will blend well with the residual flavor aged into the barrel and come up with some interesting products in the end.” Every two months, they taste the products to see how they’re progressing and keep detailed tasting notes. 

3. Sometimes you just want to take a six-pack (or a case) with you when you go

Back Forty Birmingham's expansion
Could that beer have picked a better spot for an Instagram shoot? We think not. Photo via Back Forty Birmingham’s Facebook page

Another driving force behind the Back Forty Birmingham expansion is to add a canning line. This will allow them to “take some of the core beers made here and can them so when customers come in and want to take a case instead of a growler, they can.” 

4. If you ever thought of hosting a meeting—or a rehearsal dinner—at a brewery, you’ll be in luck

Back Forty Birmingham's expansion
I mean, if you could walk out to views like that, why wouldn’t you want to plan a special occasion at a brewery? Photo via Back Forty Birmingham’s Facebook page

Brown explained that with a cool venue, a decent amount of space and a nice beer garden, they get lots of requests for meetings. As a business, they have to look at the amount of revenue they can generate on a given day or evening of the week and then charge a potential renter that amount to offset their costs. 

This makes rental for Friday evening or Saturday events cost-prohibitive, so the space expansion will provide them with just the perfect venue to accommodate these types of requests. 

The space will be set apart from the taproom, restaurant and other noises, and will be lined with all the beautiful barrels, making for a memorable experience.

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5. Meanwhile, executive chef Russ Bodner continues to cook up curbside deliciousness + the taproom’s open again

Back Forty Birmingham executive chef Russ Bodner
Back Forty Birmingham’s executive chef Russ Bodner. Photo via Becca Francis

Anyone who’s been to Back Forty Birmingham knows that in addition to an ever-evolving selection of craft beers brewed onsite, they have delicious food cooked up by executive chef Russ Bodner. He is continuing to cook up tasty food that’s currently available for curbside pickup

And, for those who feel ready, they are reopening their taproom today, Wednesday, May 20, taking care to help patrons stay socially distant. TabX will help people pay with smartphones. 

Location: 3201 1st Avenue North, Birmingham, Alabama 35222
Contact: 205.407.8025 | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

Curbside Pickup Hours:

  • Wednesday: 11AM-8PM
  • Thursday: 11AM-8PM.
  • Friday-Saturday: 11AM-8PM
  • Sunday: 11AM-8PM
  • Monday: 11AM- 8PM
  • Tuesday: Closed

Now tell us, Birmingham, what’s your favorite Back Forty Birmingham beer? Tag us on Facebook and Instagram @bhamnow and on Twitter @now_bham.

Sharron Swain
Sharron Swain

Writer, Interviewer + Adventurer | Telling stories to make a difference

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