Hoover will soon have its very own brewery right next to the Hoover Met, and excitement for it has been building since its renderings were first released last October. Now Brock’s Gap is on schedule to open this fall. To get the scoop on what’s in store and how it all came to be, we chatted with the man who dreamed up the idea just one year ago.
Where did the idea for a brewery in this part of Hoover come from?
I was teaching my son to ride his bike and realized there was some land next to the Hoover Met for sale. I kept thinking, “What could we do with the land?” I called my business partner and said, “Let’s buy this land and build a brewery.” I made an offer, and all of that happened in about 20 minutes.
How did you come up with the name for the brewery?
The concept is historic for us. When you are looking at what to name a brewery, there are million options. In my research of the area, I wanted to know more about Brock’s Gap, and I started to dig in. It had a tremendous history, and we might not be where we are today without it because it allowed the city to become what it is. There had been no way to get coal into the city of Birmingham because of the terrain, and they had to blow a hole through Shades Mountain to get through there. The year Brock’s Gap officially opened as a pass through of Shades Mountain for the railroad is the same year Birmingham became a city. Everything that is here is owed to that gap.
What will the building be like?
We had this sloping land, and we sat down with Black Design Architecture and came up with a cool idea. There are three stories with a mezzanine level. We have an event space downstairs, and the mezzanine level can be turned into an event space. We have a stage too. Overall we have built it to be a venue for community events and be the heartbeat of the area outside of Hoover High School. We have a pad for two food trucks, so you can stop by and get food. You don’t have to drink beer. Our outdoor courtyard is about 1,800 square feet, and we will have games and picnic tables.
Tell us about the beer.
Most of our beer is still on process, but we will have a nice selection for everybody. Our brewmaster Brian Watson has over 100 international beer awards and is developing our recipes. He lives in New Zealand.
Who do you see coming to the brewery?
We see it as a nice place for people to go who are here for travel ball and the SEC Baseball Tournament. I have a 5-year-old, and my business partner has a 1- and 3-year-old, so we wanted it to conducive for families to come. We are super looking forward to it, and the feedback from the community has been great. We were at my son’s soccer game, and someone came up to me to say, “I just spent $2,700 to fix my golf cart so I can come see you.”