Black Warrior Brewing Co., Tuscaloosa
The Makers: Jason Spikes, Joe Fuller and Eric Hull
It’s probably not that uncommon for a group of friends to get together to share a hobby along with some good beers and fantasize about starting their own brewery.
The difference is that Jason Spikes, Joe Fuller and Eric Hull actually did it.
In this case, the hobby was an annual mountain biking trip to Chattanooga. As they sipped craft beer around a campfire, they would raise the “What if?” of going into the brewing business together.
The “What if?” would turn into a “Why not?” and before long they were buying an old barber shop in downtown Tuscaloosa and converting it into a brewery.
Black Warrior Brewing Co. opened in November 2013 and business has been flowing ever since.
“We really wanted to tie our name as well as what we do with the company to this city,” Hull said. “This is all of our homes.”
Black Warrior is the translation of “Tuscaloosa,” the name of the Native American chief whose name is now part of the city, the river and several other entities to include, now, a brewing company.
The brewery perfected its base beer recipes – giving them “Title Town”-appropriate names like T-Town Pale, Bama Blonde and Crimson Ale – and began bottling its Lock 17 IPA, its Broad Street Brown and its Apricot Wheat. Its beers are now sold in grocery stores and other retailers throughout the state.
“Coming up in this year we will be expanding to another couple of areas here around the state so we will really have full coverage all throughout Alabama,” Hull said. “Hopefully people … will be able to sit down at their local watering hole and have a pint.”
The brewery later began making wine along with ciders and even a hard root beer for those who would come into the brewery with friends but didn’t like ales and stouts. Black Warrior also produces seasonal beers and small-batch beers.
The product: Craft beers ranging from year-round to seasonal to small-batch brews, in addition to wines and ciders.
Take home: A six-pack of Lock 17 IPA from select retailers ($9.99) or a growler of Bama Blonde Ale from the brewery ($15).
Black Warrior Brewing Co.
2216 University Blvd., Tuscaloosa, AL 35401