Thursday, August 30, 2007

Road Trip!

The GPS is set, the bags are packed, and the car is loaded; Mandy and I are set to take a roadtrip to her parents' house near Huntsville, AL. I'll hopefully be able to leave work a little early tomorrow and we'll take off immediately after I get home. After stopping for the night at a cheap hotel somewhere in VA, we'll arrive in AL sometime Saturday afternoon (it's about 1,100 miles and takes about 17 hours...we do it at least twice a year). I've created a google map showing 25 possible beer related stops along the way, though we'll be lucky if we hit more than 1! We're leaving at an odd time such that it'll be past dinner time when we pass the spots in PA and I probably won't feel like stopping for just a beer on our way through. We'll probably drive past all the spots in VA the next morning before lunch! We're definitely stopping at Captain Lawrence to fill the 3 growlers and hopefully score some Smoke From the Oak, though.

I'd post the google map if I knew how.

Once we arrive in AL, we'll probably need to rely on the 3 growlers of Captain Lawrence. Otherwise it's wine. Actually, I do have a couple of places lined up that we've never tried. House of Brews and The Nook both look like they're committed to bringing in better beer and I'm excited about checking them out. Olde Towne Brewery used to be Huntsville's sole microbrewery, but it unfortunately burned down recently.

Huntsville is a fairly progressive city, but it still must obey AL's draconian alcohol laws:

6% cap on ABV for beer only
16 oz is the largest size bottle or can you can buy, so no bombers
No beer on Sundays (same for CT, sadly)
Many dry counties
Brewpubs have been legal since 1992 (why were they illegal before then?!), but they must have a restaurant attached (fine) and they must be in a county that was home to a brewpub prior to Prohibition (WHAT?!?!?!). That limits the legality of brewpubs to just 5 counties in the entire state.

The grassroots organization Free The Hops is trying to change some of these outdated laws, but are running into ignorance and greed.

It'll be interesting to see what the Nook and House of Brews have in store...I'll be sure to give an update, hopefully with pics. Even if I could just get Terrapin's wonderful Rye Pale Ale, I'll be very happy.



Jim said...

that's a true beer fan.. always seeking out the brew spots on random vacations. look forward to your road tales.


Dave said...

hey's one thing to plan out all the spots, unfortunately it's harder to actually fit them in. We only made it to two this time, not counting Cap'n Lawrence.

Brian said...

I'm sorry that you missed The Nook given it has the largest beer selection in Alabama.