Dear TBEX: Vapor Trails or Beer Trails?


Vapor Trails or Beer Trails? In Huntsville, they’re the same thing.

When you’re a city with the highest concentration of engineers in the U.S. and your tallest building is a Saturn V moon rocket, people expect pretty smart things from you. To that end, our burgeoning craft beer scene in Huntsville, Alabama has folks heading back to the classroom and learning a thing or two about some stellar craft brews.

Straight to Ale

Let’s start with Straight to Ale embracing Huntsville’s past, present and future role in the U.S. space program by taking us to “history class” with inspired creations like:

LAIKA (a Russian Imperial Stout) – Named for the Russian space dog, Laika is a huge, chewy beast of a beer. Dark, rich and robust, it has a wonderful body and a flavor that has notes of chocolate, coffee and toffee.

MONKEYNAUT IPA – Albert. Able. Gordo. Miss Baker. Bonny. Goliath. Between 1948 and 1961, these primate pioneers bravely went where no man had gone before, paving the way for manned U.S. spaceflight. This hoppy little monkey of a beer is a tribute to those simian heroes of yesteryear. It has a citrusy, floral hop aroma, a strong malt body and a crisp finish.


Rocket Republic Brewing Company

Next up, Rocket Republic Brewing Company, not shying away from the ingrained “space love” in Huntsville but maintaining a decidedly “science class” approach.

VAPOR TRAIL CREAM ALE – Aptly named for the milky white lacing left behind on your glass after this beer is long gone!  With a generous amount of honey and biscuit malts, this smooth, sweet, easy-to drink-ale is going to pave the trail in their Flagship Series and will keep you coming back.

MACH 1 IPA– Mach 1 is defined as: “the ratio of the speed of a body to the speed of sound in the surrounding medium.” Whatever. All I know, it’s pretty darn tasty. Fully loaded in all-American style with sweet tangerine aroma and tangy citrus flavor.  An ample amount of rye malt is added to the mash early in the brewing process, igniting a zesty pepper kick to the tongue, contradicting the smooth characteristics coming from a cataclysmic combination of Cascade and Centennial hops.


Yellowhammer Brewing

We can’t forget Yellowhammer Brewing with a little “music class” to round out your schedule.

MIDNIGHT SPECIAL (Black Lager) – Creedence Clearwater Refreshing, I would say! A German-style schwarzbier, brewed with a blend of German Munich malt, Vienna malt and huskless roasted malts, give this beer a smooth toasty character.


Thought all this talk of school was just a metaphor? That’s where you’d be wrong. Opened just this year, Campus No. 805, its name paying homage to memories held by thousands of students, teachers, parents and administrators that were part of this campus, and to the West Huntsville neighborhood by claiming the last three digits of their zip code – 35805, revitalized a long-vacant middle school complex including new construction for not only Straight to Ale and Yellowhammer breweries but restaurants, bars, event rental space and a public park.

The next time you need a little “recess,” come check out these and the six other operating breweries located in Huntsville / Madison County (making us Alabama’s craft beer capital). Heck! There’s even a Craft Beer Trail.



For more information about all there is to do and see in Huntsville visit:, or check out other craft beer blogs.






Which iHeartHsv blogger wrote this?

Leslie Walker

Leslie Walker, Certified Hospitality Specialist or CHSP, attended the University of Alabama-Huntsville as an electrical engineering major before beginning her career as a hotelier and has stayed in the hospitality industry ever since. She is a wife to her husband Steve and mother to two girls, Avery and Bailey. Keeping with family tradition, she currently resides in Huntsville. You can reach Leslie by phone at 256-551-2380, or by e-mail at


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