Huntsville is one of the fastest-growing US cities, with more people moving there for better opportunities each year. Located in the Southeast, Huntsville is almost an enigma as it presents a combination of southern charm and hi-tech space ventures. Dubbed Rocket City, it is the home of space exploration. The US space and rocket industry are still synonymous with Huntsville, and many people come to the city to visit famous landmarks such as the American Space and Rocket Center.
There are, however, many other places in Huntsville that will send you to the moon figuratively, if not literally. Huntsville is home to a vibrant culture and nightlife; a huge part of it is its breweries. Several breweries in the city downtown serve meticulously brewed craft beer. A taste of these concoctions will have you floating in space; no rockets are required.
Huntsville has a population that proudly proclaims itself to be nerds. Huntsville is home to one of the country’s most highly educated demographics, and they take their science seriously. This is also reflected in craft beers because these breweries have their process down to a science. It might not be rocket science, but it is just as complex for these breweries.
Fractal Brewing Project
The science theme of the city lives on in its breweries as well. Named after fractals, which are infinitely complex patterns, Fractal Brewing Project promises to deliver the complexity of its namesake in its beers. A brainchild of Larry Lowe, who worked as a tech leader in satellite and radar communications for 20 years, Fractal is a community space that promotes art and conversation. Lowe believes that his brewery is an analogy for Huntsville and the massive projects that have come out of the city first took form in places just like his brewery.
Fractal looks to push boundaries with its drinks while respecting tradition. They have a range of beers that feature both the classic and the experimental. These drinks are classified as either Act of Discovery (the traditional style) or an Act of Creation (drinks made with new ingredients and processes).
Try their Calhoun Brown Ale that honors the classic tastes of European Ales. Take your taste buds on a tropical trip with their Guava Mango Sour. A drink that transports you straight to the beach.
Salty Nut Brewery
Salty Nut Brewery was established in 2011 by a group of friends who are avid home brewers. This vibe of camaraderie is still present in the brewery with its cozy backyard and an indoor area with low-key décor. The brewery is one you can pop in regularly, and all the staff will know you by name. In the absence of a flashy ambiance, the beer is the real star of the brewery, and it certainly delivers. The founders have carefully curated their drinks list, each with a thoughtful flavor profile.
Try their Imperial Moustache Red. An Irish red ale that is striking because of its red color and sweet taste, resulting in a significantly hoppy finish. A crowd favorite, this drink is a perfect blend of the traditional and innovative.
If you are a fan of milky stouts, their Mean Bean will be an excellent addition to your catalog. A cinnamon and coffee vanilla stout that hits just the right note, ending in a habanero kick right at the back of your throat. This beer is a must-try.
Rocket City has no lack of options when it comes to space-themed businesses, and Innerspace Brewing stands out from the crowd. An independently-owned small-batch brewery, Innerspace is a haven for the space nerd and beer lover.
An inviting taproom with space and science fiction décor and regular events discussing space with actual NASA officials are some of the features that make Innerspace a staple in Hunstville’s craft beer scene. After all, few things sound better than nursing a craft beer and listening to geniuses talk about the universe, all while sitting next to a life-size model of a Stormtrooper.
Innerspace’s theme does not detract from the real star, which is beer. Try their International Strawberry Sensation Saison. The tartness and sweetness of strawberries are perfect with the full-bodied flavor of the Ale. The Black Cherry Sour is also highly recommended for a beer experience that is out of this world.
Mad Malts Brewery
Located off the beaten path and on the opposite side of downtown, Mad Malts is not a typical tourist spot. It, however, remains a major player in the Huntsville craft beer scene. True to its name, it brews beer incorporating ingredients you would not have dreamt of. The unassuming building and the unconventional location lead to the brewery focusing on experimentation. If you want a little dash of madness in your craft beer experience, Mad Malts will provide you with just that.
If you want a classic, they brew an excellent selection of English Ales. It is, however, in unique experimental beers where Mad Malts’ strengths lie. Try Yam I Am. A beer that extracts its sweetness from sweet potatoes and is filled to the brim with fall flavors such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, etc. If you feel the air turning crisp, this beer provides just the right taste to keep you warm.
Best Breweries in Huntsville with Food
Sometimes you need the right food to elevate your craft beer experience. Huntsville has a range of excellent brewpubs that provide decadent meals and the perfect beer. Visit these spots when in the city.
Straight to Ale
Straight to Ale is a charming gastropub that serves primarily American fare. The brewery believes in incorporating bold flavors into its beer and promoting a sense of community through its beer and food.
Get ready to be messy and try their jumbo wings with a blue cheese dressing. Pair it with the brewery’s Gorillanut imperial India pale ale for a fulfilling meal.
Green Bus Brewing
Green Bus Brewing is a relatively new player on the Huntsville craft beer scene. Located in a 150-year-old building, the brewery specializes in small batches, leading to an ever-changing drinks menu. The business aims to be an everyday neighborhood bar, and the friendly atmosphere makes you feel like you are at a house party rather than a bar.
Try their brunch specials on Sundays—pancakes, and waffles galore with Camper Van Blonde, the brewery’s brown ale. The drink’s light finish provides a break from all the rich hoppiness.
Yellowhammer Brewing is dedicated to brewing the best ales and lagers using European traditions. Using Belgian and German brewing traditions with a southern interpretation, Yellowhammer produces Southern Beer that pays homage to its predecessors. The brewery also shares a location with Earth and Stone, a wood-fire pizza place. If you want to unwind with the glorious combination of Pizza and craft beer, Yellowhammer is the place to be.
Try the Chicken Pesto Pizza for the earthy flavor. Pair it with an ice cold Keep it Noble Italian Pilsner to pay Homage to the place Pizza originated from.