Category Archives: Birmingham Beer

Where can you buy ‘Birmingham Beer’?

ABC 33/40 – Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

One of the questions I’m asked most frequently is where my books are sold. (This is a good problem to have. In fact, I’d say it’s not a problem at all.) There are plenty of options, including your local bookstore (even if you’re not in Birmingham, your favorite shop can order it for you), the national chains (same story) and the usual online retailers.

But in the Birmingham area, there are several additional places you can pick up copies of “Birmingham Beer”:

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Here I go again on my own

Whitesnake might not be exactly the best soundtrack for this moment, but I’ve got that refrain running through my head just the same. Today is one year and two days since the publication of my first book–and four days shy the publication of my second.

This moment snuck up on me. How, I’m not sure. I began research for “Birmingham Beer: A Heady History of Brewing in the Magic City” days after I submitted the manuscript for “Muscle Shoals Sound Studio: How the Swampers Changed American Music.” And to be honest, it’s not a path I would recommend! Perhaps that’s not something I should admit in such a public forum; I think it’s been a worthwhile experience. But it means the past couple of years have been a whirlwind.

Earlier this week I received my first media request for this new book, and realized it was past time to update my media kit and add a “Birmingham Beer” page to my website. Two days later, and I’ve already seen three media appearances.

I’m lucky, I know. Yes, I work hard, but I don’t think hard work alone results in these opportunities. My first book fell into my lap, and the second came along while I was in the midst of writing the first. When people ask what’s next, I get to respond “taking a break!” I never could have dreamed that taking a break from writing books would be a treat.

So here I go again. I say it’s on my own, and in some ways that’s accurate. Writing is a solitary endeavor, and I’m the only person sure to show up at every one of my book signings. But I couldn’t do it without the people who lived the story of Birmingham beer. This community has been eager to share its story with me, and I had a ridiculous amount of fun writing it. This–and so many other things!–also wouldn’t be feasible without my community of friends and family. That was the best part of my first book, and I’m excited to celebrate with these people once again.

5things beer

I spent much of the past year researching and writing the history of Birmingham beer. Time and again, people have said to me, “That must be a pretty short book. Birmingham didn’t have beer until, what, 2008?”

And there’s some logic to their inquiry. Of Alabama’s current breweries, the oldest is Good People, which sold its first beer on July 4, 2008. But—as the owners and staff would be quick to mention themselves—they are standing on the shoulders of so many who went before them. —Read more “Five things you probably didn’t know about Birmingham beer” at AL.com.

The Homewood StarLocal author Carla Jean Whitley will launch her newest book, Birmingham Beer: A Heady History of Brewing in the Magic City, at Alabama Booksmith on July 27.

The book is a part of The History Press’ American Palate series and explores the history of breweries in the Birmingham area, from 15 years after the city’s founding to some of its newest craft breweries. –Read more “Birmingham Beer history book to launch at Alabama Booksmith” at thehomewoodstar.com.

015-CarlaJeanWhitley-Twitter

Carla Jean is one of the first people I approached about being on Birmingham Shines because I know how much she loves Birmingham.

We decided to time her appearance on the show to coincide with the release of her new book,Birmingham Beer: A Heady History of Brewing in the Magic City, which will be available for purchase starting July 27, 2015. –Read more “Carla Jean Whitley: On writing, on Birmingham” and listen to the podcast at birminghamshines.com.

See all press here.

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Not only is ‘Birmingham Beer’ available for preorder …

No, that's not an actual copy ... but it's a pretty darn good replica, don't you think? Alabama Booksmith owner Jake Reiss called me into the shop for a sneak peek after he printed the hardcover jacket and wrapped it around a similarly sized book. I'll admit, I loved seeing my photo and bio on the back inside flap.

No, that’s not an actual copy … but it’s a pretty darn good replica, don’t you think? Alabama Booksmith owner Jake Reiss called me into the shop for a sneak peek after he printed the hardcover jacket and wrapped it around a similarly sized book. I’ll admit, I loved seeing my photo and bio on the back inside flap.

… it’s available in hardback!

Alabama Booksmith will offer an exclusive, limited-edition hardcover book when “Birmingham Beer: A Heady History of Brewing in the Magic City” debuts this summer. The hardback will be $27.99, and is available for preorder now.

If paperback’s your preference, opportunities abound. That edition will be widely available, including preorders from Church Street Coffee and Books and Little Professor Book Center, both here in Birmingham. The paperback edition is $21.99, and both editions are set for release July 27.

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The cover of ‘Birmingham Beer,’ revealed

First, the big stuff:

Birmingham Beer

And now, the rest of the story.

Here’s something you may not know about book covers, unless you’ve written one: Unless he or she is self publishing, the author may not have much say in a book’s appearance.

And in most ways, that’s been my experience. My publisher asks authors to submit potential cover photos when sending interior photos. But from there, it’s in the design team’s hands. When the cover for “Muscle Shoals Sound Studio: How the Swampers Changed American Music” arrived, I was over the moon. The publisher ultimately acquired rights to the photo, and so the cover was a very pleasant surprise to me.

“Birmingham Beer: A Heady History of Brewing in the Magic City” is another story. Because The History Press has published a number of beer books, the team wanted my cover to reflect the others in the series. I knew the finished product would include a skyline and a pint glass.

The skyline is the exciting part (besides seeing my name in print–let’s be honest, that doesn’t get old). When my editor requested Birmingham skyline shots, I turned to my friend Rachel Callahan.

Last year Rachel launched PictureBirmingham.com, a site from which she sells photos and photo products, mostly of Birmingham sunsets. All of her proceeds benefit The Wellhouse, an organization that fights sex trafficking in the Birmingham area. (You can read more of Rachel’s story in this Birmingham magazine article.)

The design team and I went back and forth a bit on fonts and which photo they would use, and I’m thrilled that one of Rachel’s images, “Autumn Comes to Birmingham,” graces the cover of “Birmingham Beer.” It depicts my favorite season (football!) in my favorite city (obviously)–and it’s also available for you to purchase from PictureBirmingham.com.

There’s plenty more “Birmingham Beer” news on the way, and I can’t wait to share the city’s fascinating brewing history with you.

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