HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Straight to Ale is the latest business to open up out at Campus 805. The property used to be the old Stone Middle School complex that had fallen into disrepair, until several businesses teamed up with the City of Huntsville to breathe new life into an area left behind by the times. “It’s been years of work," says Dan Perry, President of Straight to Ale.
Don't let the basketball goals and scoreboard fool you, something new is brewing out at the old gymnasium. “We came by the school every day. I didn’t actually go here but a lot of my friends did,” says Perry.
That's why Perry jumped at the chance to transform the abandoned middle school into the newest location for Straight to Ale. “It’s just cool to take an old building that was just falling apart, didn’t have a use for it, just sort of an eyesore for the city and we put millions of dollars into it. We think it looks beautiful now," he says.
Everything from the old hardwood floor to the tattooed bleachers have found new life in the tap room. “We ripped up the gym floor and made the bar out of it," says Perry. “When we started to take [the bleachers] apart, the wood was great but we started reading some of the graffiti from the middle school. And things were so great, that we decided we would take it and leave it like it was and put it up on the walls and then we had some open space so why not let our fans add to it as they come along.”
Much like the gym itself, Straight to Ale is about to take on a new form as well. The brewery is about to expand into the winery and distillery business. “We’ve got some mead and cider in the works right now, the grapes are on the vine, they are ripening as we speak. The distillery is a little behind," says Perry.
Dan hopes to have the winery, distillery, and new restaurant up and running in the coming months.
Their existing location on Leeman Ferry Road is staying open. Perry says they saw this additional location as a way to expand their brand and reach new customers on a new side of town.