Slag Heap Brewing Co. scheduled to open Labor Day weekend
By Tommi Peters
For the Tribune
TRUSSVILLE – The long-anticipated grand opening of Slag Heap Brewing Company was announced today as Sat., Sept. 1.
Those that frequent the downtown Trussville area have watched for over a year as the exterior at 227 Main Street morphed from its previous purpose as a karate dojo into its current aesthetic. Effective Sept. 1, they’ll also get a peek inside its fully renovated interior.
Joe Meadows has been brewing craft beers as a hobby for over 25 years and is officially going pro with the opening of Slag Heap’s taproom in Trussville’s developing entertainment district.
Meadows honed his abilities to create true-to-style beer in nano batches with participation in competitions throughout the country. The feedback from judges helped him gain confidence and expertise.
“When I entered the competitions, I started out with pretty good results, but I also tweaked a few things,” recalled Meadows. “Then I started to win first place here and there and then a People’s Choice Award. After about 36 competitions, I felt pretty good and put together a business plan and started moving forward.”
Slag Heap offers a seasonal rotation of beers, starting with six initial varieties that include an Irish Red Ale, a German Weisenbach, a double IPA, two different Pale Ales and an English Pub beer under nitrogen. Fly board samplers of all six varieties will also be available for purchase.
“We’ll also have a homemade root beer for the kids and people that don’t drink alcohol,” he said. “I’m honestly most excited about the root beer. It’s so good and I think people will enjoy having something different to try.”
Final touches intended to be in place before opening day include an outdoor seating area with picnic tables. Wanting to make the environment as relaxed and family friendly as possible, dogs will also be welcome at taproom.
Though Slag Heap will not sell food, they do encourage food to be brought in or delivered. Meadows also noted that he’s already received calls from multiple food trucks and is looking forward to hosting them.
“We’ve also had several phone calls from people wanting to have class reunions here or host their club meetings here,” he said. “We’re looking forward to seeing how we can help.”
Located at the corner of Main Street and Morrow Avenue, Slag Heap is in close proximity to the anticipated Ferus Artisan Ales property. Meadows is quick to note that he’s looking forward to his new neighbors, explaining that brewers are more about community than competition.
“When I was competing, I found very early on when trying to learn as much as I could that brewers are just great people,” he said. “Everyone’s very helpful and will teach you everything you need to know.”
The collection of lustrous chrome brewing tanks create the focal point of the space, offset against the backdrop of pristine white subway tile covering the back wall. Reclaimed barn wood and an eclectic seating collection provide and approachable feel to the taproom.
A close look around the room reveals that Meadows has brought more than his knowledge base with him into this next chapter. The front door of a retired kegerator is covered in bottle caps and enjoys new life as functional art. A grouping of plastic buckets are also on display.
“Those are the buckets I used to brew in at home,” he said. “I brought them up here to keep me grounded and remind me where I came from so I don’t get too big for my britches.”
Meadows sees opening day as a culmination of teamwork that he’s eager to share with the community.
“Before we started, I knew I wanted to work with as many people in the Trussville area as I could,” he said. “Rather than bringing some big company in from Nashville, I felt like working with people from here was the right thing to do. And man did they all come through.”
“Every single person has been just incredible to work with. They’ve gone out of their way to do things well. They’ve provided great suggestions along the way that have helped make things even better.”
Hours of operation are tentatively scheduled for 4 p.m. – 10 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays; 4 p.m. – 11 p.m. on Thursdays; 3 p.m. – 12 a.m. on Fridays; 12 p.m. – 12 a.m. on Saturdays; and 1 p.m. – 6 p.m. on Sundays.
Visit SlagHeapBrewingCompany.com for more information.