Ivy League Brew to bring first local meadery to Alabaster

Published 4:31 pm Tuesday, February 28, 2023

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By NOAH WORTHAM | Staff Writer

ALABASTER – Matthew Pollard was stationed with the U.S. Army in Germany when he first began brewing and experimenting with different flavors of mead. Now, 13 years later, he will bring those flavors to Ivy League Brew in Alabaster.

Ivy League Brew will be the first meadery to be located in central Alabama and will provide local residents with a variety of unique mead flavors after its grand opening on Friday, March 10.

“I started letting friends and stuff try it and they were like, ‘Wow, this is really good,’” Pollard said. “And nobody was doing it in Alabama at the time.”


Pollard talked about the history behind the honey-based beverage.

“Not a lot of people know about it,” Pollard said. “Mead is the oldest fermentable beverage known to man. It’s kind of where it all started, and we’re just bringing it back to modern day.”

Pollard said the business uses local Alabama wildflower honey for most of its brews and that mead is not as common of a drink because honey is the highest cost fermentable sugar.

“There’s a lot of cost upfront to get something like this going, but where we differ is our flavors are so much cleaner,” Pollard said. “Honey complements every flavor and really brings the best out of all the flavors. And so, if you get cherry mead, you get cherry. You really get that flavor popping through which is really awesome.”

Pollard said the business’s mainstay brew is called Immortal.

“Immortal was the first brew I ever did,” he said. “I got really, really lucky and it turned out tasting really good. I’ve been brewing it for 13 years, so I’ve had a lot of time to really refine it. It is very honey forward and has a bourbonesque taste that you get from the dark-charred oak barrel, and it’s definitely our mainstay.”

The business hopes to put together in-door and outdoor offerings at the brewery, such as a cigar lounge in the future.

Ivy League Brew is located at 633 11th Avenue SW in Alabaster. The business will be open Thursday through Saturday from 3 p.m. to midnight and on Sundays from 3 to 10 p.m.