HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Fans of craft beer can rejoice - there's a new brewery that's opened up in the heart of Downtown Huntsville.
Even on a sleepy Labor Day afternoon, several curious customers poked their head into 206 Eustis Avenue. “To me. It’s a great addition to what’s been going on here," says Sherri Stroud, a customer at Green Bus Brewing.
Stroud says she's been keeping an eye out for the open sign to pop up in their window, “We’ve been watching it in the development process since the winter so we’re really excited and decided to stop by," she says.
The Green Bus, fittingly, started in Jason Sledd's garage. “I gradually got into the hobby thinking it’d be something fun to do on the side and then it just blew up. I went all in and started to develop my own recipes," he says.
Jason's other obsession was the inspiration for the name. “Been a Volkswagen fan longer than I’ve been a beer fan. So over the years I’ve had several [VW's]but my current one is a 1972 green bus," says Sledd.
The brewery's first permanent home has a rich history of its own. “It’s 150 years old, so it’s been a lot of things during it’s lifetime. It was even a saloon in the late 1800s so we’ve kinda come full circle," he says.
The beer is made in-house, in a modest room upstairs. Perhaps surprisingly, Jason has no intentions of that space growing. “We just want to keep it small and simple and flexible so we can adapt to the needs of our customers, experiment with beer styles," says Sledd.
What he does hope grows, is the amount of customers in the seats.
“I got the camper van blonde, it’s just my style. It’s not too crazy," says Stroud.
From the looks of it, he's already won over one of his first customers. “We will definitely be back, says Stroud. "We may be back later today!”
In the Heart of the City
Thursday afternoon, the folks at Green Bus Brewing got the necessary paperwork from the City of Huntsville to open for business. Just a few hours later, they swung open their doors, and served their first brew.
Sledd says he knew from the beginning where he wanted his tap-room. “Why wouldn’t you want to be downtown?” he says.
So a little bit at a time, they transformed the 150 year old building, that was most recently a law office, into the brewery. “This location was very important to us. It took a lot of work to get this building to where it is now. It was almost completely unusable in it’s former state," says Sledd.
Jason says the choice to locate downtown was an easy one. “Downtown is being revitalized every day. More people are coming down here. More businesses are coming down here," he says.
Another selling point is the fact that the brewery is included in the city's downtown entertainment district, meaning with a simple purchase, “You can get your purple cup and keep enjoying downtown," says Sledd.
Being located just steps away from the Courthouse Square, many of the customers we met, tend to agree. “In the past 5-10 years, we’ve seen downtown Huntsville transforming and opening up new businesses and I just love coming downtown and seeing people out," says Sherri Stroud.
It's safe to say, Jason is hoping to see a lot of that too. “Downtown is a great place to hang out," says Sledd.
Here's the current line up of brews:
Watermelon Pale Ale
Tiramisu Milk Stout
Mosaic Honey Wheat
Hibiscus Pale Ale
Green Bus Brewing will officially celebrate their grand opening, October 1st. In the meantime, we're told they're still experimenting with their Hours of Operations, but do plan to be open 7 days a week.