Gulf Shores, Alabama, will soon have a new microbrewery, thanks to a unique owner. Dr. Jim Shamburger, a local dentist, also wants to open the Big Beach Brewery in Baldwin County’s three-year-old Waterway District. Shamburger and his wife Julie would like to open the brewery to enhance the area’s reputation of “Small Town, Big Beach.” The Shamburgers are eager to participate in the Waterway District’s tourism industry, bringing positive attention and economic growth to Baldwin County this summer.
Big Beach Brewery would be only the second brewery in Baldwin County – Fairhope Brewing Company is the other. Gulf Shores Planning and Zoning Director Andy Bauer looks forward to the brewery’s opening, citing it as a vital part of the vision for the Waterway District. This district is already home to Tacky Jack’s and the Acme Oyster House, so in the minds of many, a brewery would be the perfect complement. It would allow natives and tourists to access great food and beverages in one place and increases business for three establishments at once.
Dr. Shamburger has several plans for the brewery’s construction. According to his most recent plan, the brewery will be located on the corner of East 24th Avenue and East 2nd Street across from Tacky Jack’s. The brewery will have a small courtyard, allowing for prime views of both streets. The courtyard will be used for games like bocce ball, corn hole, and horseshoes, as well as outdoor seating. Big Beach Brewery will sport indoor and outdoor fireplaces, as well as unique brick, metal, and hardi-board construction.
The Big Beach Brewery will produce between four and six types of beer, both for on-site consumption and resale to local restaurants. It will have only 36 parking spots, which will save several trees and keep the community environmentally friendly. Andy Bauer reports that Shamburger and his team have already saved nine large oak trees during the building process.
Some opposition to Dr. Shamburger’s plan came from citizens who were concerned that the brewery would be close to a local Methodist church and might offend congregants. However, just as Dr. Shamburger is concerned about the environment, he is conscious of his patrons’ health and sobriety. He plans to give the brewery “the feel of a neighborhood bar,” with only certain beers served inside. He projects this, combined with the brewery’s limited parking, will encourage patrons to stay only a couple hours or so rather than for most of the evening.
If the city gives its final approval, the Big Beach Brewery could be open within three to six months. The Shamburgers consider the Gulf Shores community home, and they are eager for the new brewery to feel like home for their fellow community members.
For more information on Gulf happenings, or to inquire about real estate opportunities in the area, contact Kris Powell today.