What I’m writing: September 2014

These are stories I wrote that were published this month.

Working Their Way Up: Another Alabama band is poised for its turn in the spotlight 

15830028-large coutesy of Josh Weichman

Photo courtesy of Josh Weichman

John Davidson and Jacob Bryant have been paying their dues. The duo is known professionally as John & Jacob. Along with bandmates and fellow Birmingham natives Jake Thrasher and Trevor Davis, as well as Texan Austin Smith, they made the rounds on the festival circuit this summer. The band played such high-profile events as Hangout Music Festival and Bonnaroo before opening for Kacey Musgraves at a number of stateside and European shows in advance of the Aug. 26 release of their self-titled, debut album. John & Jacob point to Birmingham Mountain Radio’s Scott Register and NPR Music’s Ann Powers, who lives in Tuscaloosa, as early supporters and direct contributors to the band’s success. “It’s really cool for Birmingham to take us to another league and claim us from the start,” says Davidson. Read more “Working Their Way Up” at bhammag.com.

Out-of-the-Box Dining: Hotbox offers quality food in a casual setting

Photo by Wes Frazer

Photo by Wes Frazer

It’s not a food truck, but neither is it quite what you expect of a restaurant. When Hotbox opened in a converted Airstream trailer behind Parkside Café, it introduced a new type of dining establishment. The restaurant is a collaboration among chefs Matt Ralph and Ryan Champion, both of whom most recently worked at Bottega, and business partner Ed Stacy. Read more “Out-of-the-Box Dining” at bhammag.com.

Hops for Honeys: Women’s craft beer groups take off

Photo courtesy of Hops for Honeys

Photo courtesy of Hops for Honeys

“I’m here because my boyfriend loves craft beer, and I want to better understand it.”

“I’m here because I want to try something more interesting than Bud Light.”

“I’m here because I need a night out and I was able to find a babysitter.”

“I’m here because I love craft beer!”

The latter answer has become increasingly common as attendees introduce themselves at Hops for Honeys, a Birmingham, Alabama-based women’s beer education group. Those women are part of a larger trend. Overall United States beer sales dropped 1.9% in 2013, according to the Brewers Association, which tracks the $14.3-billion craft beer industry. But craft beer numbers moved in the opposite direction, with a 17.2% increase and 49% export growth. Read more “Hops for Honeys” at pastemagazine.com.

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