By Scott Buttram, publisher
TRUSSVILLE –Less than 30 days after the mayor and city council cleared the way for craft beer breweries to locate in the downtown district, the first applicant is set to go before the planning and zoning board on Monday night to request approval.
Joe Meadows of Slag Heap Brewing Company will seek a conditional use application for 227 Main Street, better known for its original use as the old ice plant. The business name honors Trussville’s history in the slag industry when furnaces were located in what is now the historic Cahaba Project. Locating in the historic Main Street building adds to the local significance.
“We’re going through the process with the city, the state and federal agencies,” Meadows said. “It takes a little time, but we want to do it right and go through all the proper channels.”
Pending approval from all of the agencies, Meadows hopes to open in the fall of this year.
Meadows is no stranger to brewing craft beer. He trademarked the Slag Heap Brewing Company name in 2015 and began competing in craft beer festivals across the United States. During that time, he refined his recipes while the honors and awards kept piling up.
As the tasting competition wins began to come, Meadows started visiting with owners of craft beer breweries and learning about their business models.
“These guys (craft beer brewery owners) will share anything with you,” Meadows said. “They really want everyone to succeed and they’ll do everything they can to help you.”
Trussville mayor Buddy Choat said he felt like the craft beer brewery could be a key component for downtown redevelopment and wanted to help make the process as easy as possible for the new business.
“There is a process to go through, but we’re thrilled with the prospect of having Slag Heap Brewing as another piece of the puzzle for downtown Trussville,” Choat said. “This is an important part of a much bigger vision for shops, restaurants, and entertainment in our downtown area.”
Choat said he began meeting with Meadows and his business partner almost immediately after taking office. The discussions have included suggesting possible locations and helping them navigate the approval and licensing process within the city.
“I met with them my first week in office,” Choat said. “Joe is a Trussville guy and he understood our vision of downtown. This is where he wanted to be and it just took some time to find the right location. They found the ice house on their own and I think they settled on the perfect spot.”