Co-founders and brothers Coby and Hunter Lake unearthed the secret recipe for success when they opened Avondale Brewing Company in October 2011. After years spent working in the real-estate industry, these history buffs managed to blend their passions for history, community, building preservation and hops, and in doing so, they transformed their once-dilapidated Southern neighborhood into a thriving community.
The Avondale neighborhood sits just east of downtown Birmingham, Alabama, and before the Lake brothers, it was generally considered to be a less-than-desirable part of town. The brothers moved their brewery into a historical building off the main street of Avondale and encouraged friends and other businesses to do the same. Today, the neighborhood is full of walkable streets, renovated historic homes, creative businesses and tons of heart and soul. Not only was Avondale Brewing Company the catalyst for this transformation, with its forward-thinking owners offering incentives and promotions for anyone willing to move into town, but the brewery has also become the core of the neighborhood and the hot spot for hosting memorable meetings and events.
The brewery and event space reside inside a preserved and restored 6,000-square-foot historic building that dates back to 1885. Over the past years, the building has been used for many things, including a bunkhouse for railroad workers, a saloon, a confectionary and even a brothel for a short period. The history of the building only adds to its charm, and the brothers have managed to preserve that Old World charm while updating the space with modern amenities and a fresh new atmosphere.
“It is a beautiful space that has a very relaxed but elegant feel to it,” said Taylor Lander, events director and general manager for the Avondale Brewing Company. “I love that it is a place where everyone feels welcome: young, old, kids and even dogs. We try to make every experience at the brewery as easy and enjoyable as possible. We host everything from fundraisers to concerts, birthday parties to dinners, and weddings and receptions. I love the diversity of the events we host, a little something for everyone.”
Located on the upper floor of the Avondale Brewery building, the event space at Avondale Brewing Company gives a unique gravity and flavor to events. The space itself acts as a character in the event, with exposed brick walls and hearty wooden timbers creating the frame for memorable parties. The space comes with its own bar, three bathrooms, a stage and/or a DJ area, and it is accessible from the road via two private entrances so guests can have the feeling of having the entire brewery to themselves. The upper story of the brewery can accommodate up to 200 people for a standing-room event and up to 125 for a sit-down dinner and can transform from wedding to reception seamlessly.
Pairings for the Pints
The Avondale Brewing Company knows what it’s good at — creating delicious craft beer and offering a cool setting for any type of event. That’s why it leaves the culinary aspects open to its guests. Hosts can bring in their choice of food and nonalcoholic drinks from any outside caterer, but the brewery’s location opens up tons of options for local restaurants to play a part in the event. A few favorite neighboring restaurants include Saw’s Soul Kitchen, Post Office Pies and Melt. The brewery is happy to provide beer made on-site, but the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board prohibits any outside beer, wine or liquor to be consumed in the space.
Before- and After-Event Entertainment
The stage is set for entertainment at the Avondale Brewing Company’s event space. The venue is often used for concerts, so the sound system is primed for musical entertainment during or after events. The private staircases make it easy to use the backyard of the brewery, where guests can set up yard games like cornhole or horseshoes or any number of outdoor activities. The event staff is also happy to offer a happy hour option in the taproom, as well as brewery tours for when the meetings end.
Events held at the Avondale Brewing Company have become the delicious byproduct of the passion first brewed by the owners, but without the brews themselves, even the most epic events would fall flat. All of the beers have been named for a historic character or story from the area, and all have been handcrafted to live up to their epic names. Flagship brews include Spring Street Saison, Battlefield IPA, Vanillaphant Porter and Pachyderm Pale Wheat; but around July, the brewery will offer a seasonal range of beers that include Peach Saison, Streetcar Kolsch, Strawberry Kolsch, Miss Fancy’s Tripel and Mr. Todd’s Double IPA.
Avondale Brewing Company
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Type of Venue: Off-site, brewery
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