Beer tasting Thursday in honor of Cahawba

Published 7:29 pm Wednesday, January 25, 2017

People in Selma will get a chance to taste a craft beer brewed in honor of Old Cahawba Thursday night.

The beer, called Mulberry Road, will be available to taste at Charlie’s Place on Water Avenue for the Selma and Dallas County Chamber of Commerce’s Business After Hours at 5:30 p.m.

Linda Derry, site director for Old Cahawba Archaeological Park, said she is excited to taste the beer for herself and see what others think about it.

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“I’m very anxious to hear what people think about it. A lot of local people have their own experiences with Old Cahawba. Each of them think of the place in a different way, so I’ll be in the crowd asking everybody when they taste it if it somehow makes a connection to their vision of what Cahawba means to them,” she said. “I know I will be tasting it and thinking does it say Cahawba to me?”

The beer was brewed as part of a series of special beers brewed by the Alabama Brewer’s Guild. Mulberry Road is the third beer in the series, which is leading up to the state’s bicentennial celebration in 2019.

“Anything that helps get the word out about Old Cahawba is wonderful, and the fact that they’re donating a percentage of the profit to the Cahawba Advisory Committee is just great,” Derry said.

Individual breweries that are part of the guild are also planning to brew their own take on Mulberry Road.

“I’ve always been amazed at how many ways Cahawba has inspired artists, and I never thought of craft beer,” Derry said. “There’s been songs and paintings and short stories and all kinds of things, and yet here’s another way Cahawba has been a source of inspiration.”

Mulberry Road is a dark brown beer with ruby highlights and features a hint of mulberry.

Amber Schreckenbach with the Alabama Brewer’s Guild said the idea for mulberries came from research the guild was doing on Old Cahawba to come up with ideas. She said adding mulberries was inspired by a drawing that showed the streets of Old Cahawba lined with mulberry trees.

“One of the unusual things about Cahawba’s history is the first set of ordinances for the town that required people to plant trees between the sidewalk and the street,” Derry said.

“It appears that the trees they chose most often were the China berry trees and the mulberry trees.”

Derry said the beer also made her wonder about the kinds of beer people that once lived at Old Cahawba drank.

“It’s prompted me to go back and look at the historical documents, and I found in an 1820s newspaper three recipes for beer during the Capital Period that they printed, so that was kind of interesting,” she said. “And in the 1850s there was a large German community here, and they actually drank lager beer. We’ve found many a beer can and bottle out here too.”

For more information on the tasting, call the chamber at (334) 875-7241.