In the fall of 1819, just before Alabama was admitted to the Union as the 22nd state, James and William Badlun established the state’s first commercial brewery on their ten acres of land just west of downtown Huntsville.The Alabama Republican, September 11, 1819.The Alabama Republican, August 19, 1820. They advertised:
Porter, Ale, and Beer, of a quality inferior to none, by the barrel or smaller quantity
The Badlun Brothers predated the lager revolution of the mid-nineteenth century. This was a British-style brewery of the early 1800s, and they used the standard beer terminology of that time. An “ale” was any fuller-bodied beverage of about 6-8% ABV. A “porter” was a dark beer that typically averaged around 4.2% ABV. The term “beer” could refer to proper beer, which was a light beverage with a stronger alcohol content than ale. There was also “table beer” or “small beer,” which was often just a diluted beverage that often came in at under 2%.Dr. Andrew Ure, A Dictionary of Chemistry (London: Whitefriars, 1828), 203.
On December 9, the members of the Alabama Brewers Guild met in Huntsville to brew a tribute to these pioneers of early Alabama. This came after months of recipe development over meetings and email.
It was decided to brew a porter style beer using traditional English ingredients but modified to suit modern tastes of the American craft beer drinker. At 9.0% ABV, this is a robust and complex beer with a large amount of molasses, dark malt, and English hops. The ABV means it should fall into the Baltic Porter style category.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this beer will go toward the Alabama Constitution Village: Bicentennial Restoration Fund.
- ABV: 9.0%
- SRM: 32
- IBU: 27
Badlun Brothers Imperial Porter is being distributed by International Wines and Craft Beer and should be available in stores, restaurants, and bars starting the last week of January. This is a one-time limited release.