When Cahaba Brewing moved to the Continental Gin Industrial Complex, we were happy about the revitalization of a lovely old compound and sad at the loss of one of our nearest breweries. The announcement that Ghost Train Brewing Company would take over the space helped soothe those wounds, letting us focus instead on how the area would change with a new brewing tenant. On our initial visit, we found a comfortable spot that blends multiple neighborhood influences to create its own signature brew.
“The name Ghost Train is nostalgic as it comes from commemorating the Birmingham of days past, but also looks forward to its future,” reported Iron City Ink. It was inspired by the former Terminal Station, according to the paper, but we think the brewery’s location near the track-route-turned-Rotary-Trail is a perfect example of that ethos.
But its location isn’t just connecting with ghost transport. The brewery’s back wall boasts a row of indoor bike mounts that are more than an afterthought. It’s a space that’s been designed with bikers in mind, according to Iron City Ink, as well as area runners.
Stylistically, the space is a Good People Heir. The palette of grey, white, and black, with warm yellow accents is one we recognize, though executed in a way all its own. Still, Parkside references fit the waves of residential development in Lakeview. Places like 29 Seven and Iron City Lofts fit the spare warehouse landscape but add the multi-family energy of the downtown-area market.
In beer terms, Ghost Train Brewing Company represents a more recent philosophy in the city. Red Hills Brewing Company in Homewood has declared its emphasis on session beers, and it seems like Ghost Train is of the same mind. There were three session options on our visit
We went on an unseasonably warm Sunday afternoon to find the garage doors up and a jazz band playing, both of which seemed like the space’s highest purpose. Sessions are made for sipping, after all, for conversations that wander and wail like a jazz composition or the afternoon sun.