Brewery Spotlight: Good People Brewing Co.
Good People, that’s who we all want to be around. The reason is pretty simple, bad people suck. They’re not enjoyable or pleasant. Good People, on the other hand, are quality and very enjoyable. The brewery downtown on the corner of 1st Ave. and 14th St. South is exactly that. From their robust Russian Imperial, Fatso, to the super hopped Double IPA, Snake Handler, they make a brew for everyone. We’ve been to the brewery once or twice, these are some of the things we enjoy while we’re there.
Never judge a book by its cover, but in this case, it’s ok to break the rules. The first thing you notice when traveling to Good People Brewing Co. is what’s on the outside. Located perfectly, Rail Road Park and the new home of the Birmingham Barons, Regions Field, are literally right across the street. You can easily enjoy the entire day at these three places. The outside of the actual building, is what it is, and that’s not a bad thing. The brick façade of the building is simple, the entrance is simple, the huge painted logo on the side is very simple. That being said, all of those aspects work, and they work very well. Once you get to know Good People, you realize that on the outside, they are as fancy as they need to be.
In the taproom, the simple theme continues. What looks like a warehouse with a horseshoe shaped bar area in the middle, is one of our favorite places in the Ham. The more breweries that open in our city, the more they all take on their own personality. To me, Good People Brewing Co. is the blue collar, nose to the grindstone, brewery of Birmingham. You don’t need a bunch of fancy crap everywhere, be simple and have only what you need. As soon as you look past the bar, you notice that they have a lot of only what they need. Huge fermentation tanks are right there, staring at you, begging you to wonder how the whole process works. Unlike most breweries, here you consume your beer in the exact room it was manufactured in, albeit the room is gigantic. Standing there sipping from your pint glass, you form a weird connection, like you are actually helping make the beer. From the canning line, to the pallets of cans waiting to be shipped out, everything is on display with no separating walls or windows. The design is simple and we like it.
Weather permitting, the outside area tends to be the gathering place of preference. Located in between two buildings, they have constructed an outdoor play ground for adults. You can quickly lose track of time with games like cornhole, washer toss, disk golf and giant jenga to name a few. I say a playground for adults, but one of the things we like the most, is the family friendly atmosphere. Feel free to enjoy the day with your whole family, pets included. Craft Beer is community and GPBC helps reiterate that.
Definitely the biggest brewery in Birmingham, Good People offers five different beers for distribution on a regular basis. Thankfully, they are all in cans! Their flagship brew, Good Peple Pale Ale, is like the Swiss Army knife of canned beers. Its subtle sweetness and light hop flavor make it an enjoyable brew anytime. The next step for you hop lovers is their standard IPA. Made with 5 different hops and 6 different malts, this 7.1% abv, unfiltered beer is very refreshing. If that beer wasn’t hoppy enough for you, Snake Handler should do the trick. With over one hundred IBUs, and 10% abv, this beer is a hop head’s dream. Those are three of their regularly produced beer, it’s ok if you’re not a fan of super hoppy beers, the other two brews might be more of your style. Good People Brown Ale was the first beer by them that I fell in love with. At just a little over 5% abv, mildly sweet and a little nutty, this is a very easy beer to drink. If you want something with a little more flavor, COS hits the spot. Their Coffee Oatmeal Stout was one of the beers I sought after every time I visited the taproom, and now that it’s in cans, life is a little better. An amazing coffee presence is complemented by the velvety smooth texture from the oatmeal. With a light hop kick, this is a complex yet balanced brew.
Don’t think that they only have five beers though, visit the taproom often and you’ll be surprised. Their seasonal releases like Fatso and Mumbai Rye are some of my favorite southern brews and Hitchhicker is a fantastic West Coast style IPA. If you’re lucky you might have the opportunity to try some rare releases like Strongman, or El Gordo. Two of the biggest brews they make, these two beers, in my mind, are their best.
If you’ve never been to the brewery, visit next time you’re in the area. As their slogan says “Be Good People, Drink Good Beer”. GPBC has got the good beer part perfected, now all you have to do is be good people.