Black Warrior Brewing Co. serves up cold brews and beersBy Sonya Haines | 02/14/2017 12:45pm
Located on University Avenue, Black Warrior Brewing Company has been serving cold microbrews to UA students and Tuscaloosa residents since opening in 2013. The brewery is owned by four friends: Jason Spikes, Eric Hull, Joe Fuller and Wayne Yarbrough.
Spikes, Hull and Fuller’s journey started in 2011 during a biking trip in Chattanooga, Tennessee, according to their story on the Black Warrior Brewing Company website.
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Yarbrough joined the team during the two and a half years that the friends spent attempting to find the perfect recipes while brewing in Spikes’ basement.
The building where the brewery is now located is an old barber shop. The owners, who all have either engineering or construction backgrounds, spent a year renovating it into the local brewery that patrons enjoy today.
The brewery currently has 13 beers on tap, ranging from their most popular apricot wheat to their weekly small batch brews.
A normal batch ranges from 10 to 20 barrels at one time. For the small batch brews, they only make 25 to 30 gallons at a time.
Small batches allow the brewers to try new flavors and techniques of brewing, said Joe Koen, a brewer-in-training who joined the company in November.
Every Monday the brewery launches a new small batch flavor. Last week’s flavors included Hard Root Beer and Berliner Weisse, which, when paired with either the peach or raspberry flavoring, offers a sweet and sour combination.
Dana Miller, a bartender and senior majoring in history has worked at the brewery for the last two years.
“Tuesday nights are my favorite night to work. Trivia nights are a lot of fun,” Miller said.
Every Tuesday night from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. the brewery hosts team trivia.
Black Warrior Brewing Company brews all their beers on site, and most are bottled by hand. Depending on what time patrons are there, they sometimes get a front-row seat to part of the process, Koen said.
Most days, the process starts around 5 a.m., Koen said. Each beer has a different brewing time, but most take anywhere from two weeks to a month to complete the process.
The brewery offers a full menu.
“Black Warrior Brewing Company has a partnership with Avenue Pub,” Miller said. “Many of their fried items are beer-battered with our beers and in return, they share their menu.”
Customers are able to place their orders through the bar, and someone will walk down to Avenue Pub to get it and bring it back to them.
Miller’s favorite is the steak sandwich paired with the Tashka Double IPA.
The brewing company has an upstairs game room complete with shuffleboard, corn hole, darts and foosball. Downstairs they have an area where customers can play giant versions of Jenga and chess.
While reflecting on why she loves working at Black Warrior Brewing Company, Miller said, “I love the people, the beer and the atmosphere.”