The Wire

  • Rep. Byrne to Hold 12 Town Hall Meetings

    From a Congressman Bradley Byrne news release:

    Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) announced today that he will hold twelve town hall meetings during the August District Work Period.

    Known as the “Better Off Now” Town Hall Tour, Congressman Byrne will hold public town halls in each of the counties that make up Alabama’s First Congressional District. Byrne will discuss how the American people are better off now thanks to a booming economy, stronger military, and safer communities.

    Byrne ranks among the top of all Members of Congress for the number of town hall meetings held. Since assuming office in late 2013, Byrne has held over 100 town hall meetings, including meetings over the phone and through Facebook.

    All the town hall meetings are open to the public and free to attend. All the information can be found online below.

  • HudsonAlpha technology director to present at Google Cloud conference

    Excerpt from a HudsonAlpha news release:

    HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology Technology Director Katreena Mullican has been invited to present at the Google Next ‘18 conference in San Francisco, Calif, July 24-26.

    Google Next is an international conference where more than 10,000 developers, technology leaders, and entrepreneurs come together to have a collaborative discussion about the Google Cloud Platform.

    Mullican has more than 20 years of experience in architecting Linux, virtualization and hybrid cloud solutions. As HudsonAlpha’s Cloud Whisperer, Mullican brings her expertise in automation of on-prem composable and public cloud infrastructure for scientific applications and workflows to the Institute.

    “HudsonAlpha is one of the top sequencing centers in the world, so it’s my job to think outside the box to design hybrid platforms appropriate for our sequencing and research workloads,” said Mullican.

    Mullican will participate in a Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) Cloud Talk Tuesday at 1:00 pm in the South Hall to discuss how HudsonAlpha uses the composable HPE Synergy platform for an on-premises Kubernetes cluster that can scale to Google Cloud Platform.

  • Tabitha Isner claims Russia hacked campaign website — ‘Russian meddling in U.S. elections continues to be a real and immediate threat’


    Late Thursday afternoon, Democratic congressional hopeful Tabitha Isner issued a press release claiming “incidents of ‘brute force attacks’ on her campaign’s main webpage.”

    “When investigating the source of these attacks, the website administrator discovered over 1,400 attempts to login to the website as an administrator in the past week,” the release from campaign manager Megan Skipper said. “Of those 1,400 attempts, 1,100 came from Russian I.P. addresses. Russian meddling in U.S. elections continues to be a real and immediate threat.”

3 months ago

Druid City Brewing is an Alabama Maker fermented in Tuscaloosa

(B. Faush/Alabama NewsCenter)

Brewing beer in a college town known for tailgating, fraternity parties and celebrating national championships may seem like a no-brainer.

That’s what concerned Bo Hicks and Elliot Roberts.

“We had the idea one day that somebody might start a brewery that didn’t particularly care about the community and just wanted to capitalize on the university being here,” Hicks said.


So the two homebrewers outlined a business plan on the back of a napkin for what would become Druid City Brewing Co., which they opened in November 2012.

“It’s sort of been amazing from what we planned to how it evolved and to what it’s become,” said Hicks, co-owner and brewer at Druid City. “It’s something I’m really proud to have here in Tuscaloosa and to be a part of the community.”

Being part of the community means displaying art from Alabama artists on the wall, playing albums from Alabama musicians and hosting regional live acts regularly at the brewery.

It’s also in their name.

Tuscaloosa got the nickname “The Druid City” because of the large water oaks that once were dominant in downtown. The Druids were ancient Celtic people who worshipped oak trees, hence the connection. The local hospital was named Druid City Hospital (now DCH Regional Medical Center) and before integration, there was Druid City High School.

“When we opened we didn’t want to be, ‘Oh, we’re Tuscaloosa Brewing.’ We wanted to have a little bit of quirk and something that was a little more down home for people that were really familiar with Tuscaloosa,” Hicks said.

Then, there’s the chalkboard.

The chalkboard in the brewery changes frequently to include a temporary art creation that is often a play on an old album cover or a classical piece of art but usually substitutes the main subjects with University of Alabama football figures.

Coaches Paul “Bear” Bryant and Nick Saban stand in for Art Garfunkel and Paul Simon, respectively, on the most recent art work, which mimics the duo’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” album cover.

While the chalkboard may be the focal point of the taproom, the centerpiece of the brewery is the beer.

Druid City Wheat, Druid City Pale Ale, Lamplighter IPA, Riverside Saison and Tuskaloosa Stout are regular offerings. One of the standout beers is the Downtown North Porter, a rich, imperial porter that takes its name from Northport, the city across the Black Warrior River from Tuscaloosa.

“It’s like drinking a black velvet painting of Elvis. It is delicious,” Hicks said. “It’ll bring a tear to a glass eye.”

Druid City also works with area farmers such as Snow’s Bend Farm to take fruits that may not look good enough to sell but can be used to flavor some specialty brews.
Druid City Brewing Co.

The Product: Beers in a variety of classic styles available on tap at multiple outlets.

Take home: A growler of Downtown North Porter (prices vary).

607 14th St., Tuscaloosa

Follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

3 months ago

Serda Brewing is an Alabama Maker producing beer in the Port City

(Brittany Faush / Alabama NewsCenter)

John Serda was fascinated with brewing beer even before he could legally drink it.

“Serda Brewing has been in my brain since I was probably 17 years old,” said Serda, the founder and CEO of Serda Brewing Co. in Mobile. “It’s been a long time in the making.”

While he couldn’t buy the finished product until he was 21, Serda could buy the ingredients and he did.

He started home brewing beer and “developed a passion and appreciation for the art” of it.

After spending some time in Costa Rica where he learned about coffee (he also owns Serda’s Coffee Co.) and some time at film school in California, Serda returned home to Mobile.


“Coming back to Mobile I realized what Mobile had to offer,” he said.

Alabama Maker Serda Brewing has plenty on tap in the Port City from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

After sharing a beer with his father in downtown Mobile and remarking on the resurgence in the heart of the city, the idea he had as a 17-year-old returned to his head.

“I always had the idea that I wanted a brewery … but when I decided to go all out for it, that was actually four years ago and it took four years to finally get everything together and to open our doors,” he said.

The doors to Serda Brewing are now open in the former Sweat/Goodyear Tire shop on Government Street.

“We’re the first brewery to open in Mobile since Prohibition,” Serda said, noting that brewpubs have opened in Mobile and other breweries are operating but not yet producing beer in Mobile.

Serda Brewing serves up its four flagship beers – Hook Line & Lager pilsner, Tidewater Vienna amber, Mobile Bay IPA and Clear Prop porter – in a brewery that offers a 360-degree view of the brewing equipment and an inviting courtyard.

“We just wanted to be a relaxed environment,” Serda said. “We’re pet-friendly. We’re family-friendly.”

You will find people playing games and food trucks selling food off the courtyard on any given day at Serda Brewing. The taproom is always introducing new experimental beers and seasonal brews like the just-released Homeport hefeweizen on tap for summer.

Serda Brewing’s first canned beers are expected to be available the end of April with bottling expected to start in May.

The Product: Craft beer produced in Mobile. Enjoy any of the four flagship beers at the taproom for $6 per pint.

Take home: A growler of Hook Line & Lager pilsner ($19).

Serda Brewing Co.

600 Government St., Mobile, AL 36602

Taproom hours: Monday-Thursday, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday, noon to 11 p.m.; and Sunday noon to 9 p.m.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)