Combine the charm of a historic town, the passions of several good friends, a rooted respect for the craft of brewing and you have unearthed the beginning of what Avondale Brewing Company is all about. A byproduct of the collaboration between Coby and Hunter Lake and Craig Shaw, ABC is a locally owned and operated brewery in the heart of the Deep South with an unmistakable affinity for hand-crafted brews.
Craig Shaw, Brewmaster
Craig graduated in 2005 from UAB with a degree in Fine Arts. Craig’s obsession for making excellent craft beer makes him a perfect fit at ABC. He’s been a home brewer for years, worked at the Montgomery Brew Pub, and completed an internship at Barley & Hops, Maryland. Craig is an active member of Free the Hops, pushing for change in Alabama policy to improve craft breweries and the distribution/production of all beer.
Ben Solfronk, Head Brewer
Ben Solfronk is a Birmingham native and graduate of Auburn University, 1997. It was at Auburn that Ben began homebrewing with friends. He spent a few years in Tampa working at Cigar City Brewing and growing his homebrewing skills to production scale. Now he’s back home working at Avondale Brewing Company as Head Brewer under Craig Shaw. Ben harbors a deep mistrust of anyone who doesn’t drink beer, children included.
Burr Weatherly, Assistant Brewer
Burr’s love of craft beer led him to become the latest addition to the brew team. After spending 5 years in the Army, he returned home to Birmingham and made it a priority to learn everything about the process of brewing beer. Through volunteering under Craig Shaw, and getting an understanding of the business of running a tap room from the Lakes, Burr quickly became a permanent part of Avondale Brewing Co. Burr likes beer, Alabama football, and his family. In that order.
Eric Baumann, Assistant Brewmaster
Eric’s attention to detail and meticulous dedication contribute to crafting the fine beers at Avondale. He is equipped with a background in fine dining with a degree in Culinary Arts from Jefferson State, as well as attending the Siebel Institute of Technology & World Brewing Academy. You’ll find Eric around the brewery working hard and loving every minute of it! Who wouldn’t when you’re making delicious beverages?
Eddie LaFavour, Taproom Expert
Eddie is our tasting room manager and also helps with brewing responsibilities. After accepting a football scholarship by the UAB Blazers, he moved from Mississippi and enrolled in 99. As an O-lineman with UAB, he helped beat down the LSU tigers in Baton Rouge in 2000. The man loves craft beer, cooking, fishing and spending time with love of his life, Coda the brew dog. Did we mention he has an undefeated record against LSU?
Taylor Lander, Event Planning
Taylor graduated with a degree in Public Relations with a minor in Political Science from U of A in 2000. She has worked in event coordination, PR and marketing for the past 11 years for the Alabama Press Association, National Multiple Sclerosis Society and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. If you’re interested in hosting an event, meeting or party at Avondale, contact Taylor at email@example.com
Reeves Warren, Sales
Raised in community theater, Reeves learned early on the value of grounding a community through action. Reeves began exploring craft beers on his 21st birthday, and has continued to try any beer he has never tried before. After honing his beer knowledge working in Birmingham’s premier beer bar, the J. Clyde, it was time to find a community oriented brewery, and Avondale Brewing Company was the perfect fit. Now his goal to provide a fancier future for businesses through craft beer.
Alan Alford, Godfather
Alan is the godfather of the Brewery.
Coby Lake, Co-Founder
Coby obtained his degree in Business Finance with a concentration in Real Estate from the University of Alabama in 2002. Since then Coby has been involved in commercial and residential real estate. Since moving to Birmingham in 2005, Coby has been studying the craft-brew industry and home brewing with friends and family. His desire to learn more of the business has grown and evolved into starting Avondale Brewing Company.
Hunter Lake, Co-Founder
Graduated from the University of Alabama in 2006 with a major in biology and minor in business. As a licensed contractor, Hunter is involved in commercial and residential rehabilitation, investing and building. Hunter was the contractor for the build out of the Brewery, which involved a complete restoration of the historic building. Hunter is also owner of Red Mountain Crawfish Co. which caters crawfish for functions. Crawfish and beer anyone?
A big #trunksup to Telegraph Branding, the evil geniuses that brought to life the characters and stories from Avondale’s rich history to create our uber-cool brand. It’s a testament to their talents that they helped us grow an idea into a business by so eloquently telling our story through Birmingham’s eccentric history. Watching the business grow from an idea into a story, from a story to a brand, then from a brand into a culture has been flippin righteous.