Band of Brothers Brewing Company, Tuscaloosa
The Makers: Jeremiah Donald, Jeremy Donald and Quinton Brown
Brotherhood is a special bond that can be found in places ranging from families to foxholes and, if you’re a monk, abbeys.
Abbeys, like where Trappist monks in places like Belgium have produced some of the best beers in the world for centuries.
Such literal and linkage brotherhoods exist among the founders of Band of Brothers Brewing Company in Tuscaloosa.
Jeremiah and Jeremy Donald along with Quinton Brown opened the brewery in 2015. The Donald brothers learned from their grandfather about making everything from beer to muscadine wine to homemade hooch. Jimmie Lee James would turn out his products in Choctaw Bluff in dry Clarke County, where alcohol sales are illegal. The grandfather’s recipes became the foundation for Band of Brothers brewery.
“We kind of gather a lot of our inspirations from what he used to do and how he used to actually put things together,” Jeremy Donald said.
Band of Brothers has developed a reputation for taking its beer in different directions with small-batch concoctions that carry names like “Jazzibelle” and “Cappuccino-Tiramisu Voodoo Mild” that add new flavors to its core recipes.
“The process of how we come up with a new beer, a lot of times, is just kind of intuitive. Brewing beer is kind of a culinary art,” Donald said.
He said, much like a chef will assess ingredients and come up with something new in the kitchen, brewers at Band of Brothers do the same in the brewery.
“A lot of times when it comes to developing a recipe, we kind of start off with, ‘OK, what do we want the base of this beer to be? Do we want it to be a yeast-driven beer or a malt-driven beer? Do we want the spices of the beer to come out or do we want something like a fruit offering or the fruit flavoring of the beer to really shine through?’” he said. “Which one of these things do we want the beer to accomplish?”
And, like a chef, the first attempt isn’t always a success.
“You’ve got to make a couple of bad batches to be like, ‘OK, I know not to ever do that again.’ It’s a learning process,” Donald said.
Band of Brothers may be the newest of the original three breweries in Tuscaloosa (Druid City and Black Warrior were first), but it does have the largest taproom and has established itself as a popular place for live jazz, blues and country music and is able to host fundraising events for charitable organizations. The brewery is a popular spot on the city’s growing food truck scene.
Donald wants Band of Brothers to build on its early success, to the point where the beers and brewery are mentioned in the same breath as Alabama football, head coach Nick Saban, heavyweight champion boxer Deontay Wilder or even the mayor.
“We want to be one of those top five household names they think about,” he said. “When somebody says, ‘city of Tuscaloosa,’ we want them to think, ‘Oh yeah, that’s the place with the University of Alabama, Nick Saban, Walt Maddox, uh … oh yeah, there’s a brewery there named Band of Brothers. We want to be in that fold.”
The Product: Craft beer in a range of styles that include Monk on the Radio Belgian blonde, Voodoo Mild English-style mild, White Widow IPA and a changing rotation of small batches.
Take Home: A six-pack of Monk on the Radio for less than $9.
Band of Brothers Brewing Company, 205-246-2569
1605 23rd Ave., Tuscaloosa, Alabama