After hours of exploring the sights and sounds of this bustling city, an adult needs a drink. And what better way to end your night than with a cocktail? After all, Birmingham is home to some of the best bars in the state. Let’s face it: There’s more to life than going to home games and drinking beer at those games. You need something that challenges your taste buds, makes you laugh, and connects you with like-minded people who aren’t afraid to get weird. Luckily for you, we live in a world where there are hot new bars opening up every day. But not every bar is created equal; not every bar has that certain je ne sais quoi. So if you’re looking for quality drinking establishments with great service and even greater drinks, look no further than our list of the top 9 bars in Birmingham:
1. Draught Gastropub
Draught GastropubThe name “gastropub” may conjure up images of unwashed, beer-bellied men who frequent dive bars and smell like stale cigarettes and peanuts, but let the name of this bar deceive you. Draught is a swanky pub that features a sophisticated menu of traditional pub food like meatloaf sandwiches and fish ‘n’ chips. What really makes Draught stand out, though, is its extensive list of craft beers and ciders. Choose from an extensive list of beers and ciders or opt for a specialty cocktail like the “Heartbreaker” which is made with gin, rosemary, lime, and lemon.
2. Good People Brewing Co.
Good People Brewing Co. is a Birmingham-based brewery founded in 2010 by Michael Sellers and Dan Graskemper. The brewery has grown a lot since its inception and now distributes its beer throughout Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi. The beer list is long and delicious, but if you’re not sure what you want, you can always try a “flight” of beers or opt for a “pint flight.” The food at Good People Brewing Co. is just as delicious as its beer. Choose from a menu of burgers, sandwiches, and salads—or try the beer “cheese” dip. The beer cheese dip is a gooey, cheesy, melty deliciousness that pairs well with the beer.
3. The Root: A Food Sanctuary & Craft Cocktail Bar
The Root is a Birmingham-based cocktail bar and food sanctuary that is owned by two women: Kelly and Erin. The two women wanted to create a space that celebrates diversity through food, drink, and art. The Root is a must-see bar for anyone who is vegan or vegetarian: Every dish on the menu is either vegan or vegetarian. The cocktail menu at The Root is extensive, but most of the drinks are priced at $10 or less. In addition to an excellent bar menu, The Root is also a gallery that features rotating exhibitions. The Root is open Wednesday through Sunday and is a must-see for any art or food lover.
4. Trimmed Beard: An Upscale Craft Cocktail Den
If the last two bars on the list have left you craving a stiff drink, then you need to visit Trimmed Beard. Located at the Ginn Commons—which is also home to Rogue Tavern and Cahaba Brewing Company—Trimmed Beard is a sophisticated cocktail bar with a sleek aesthetic and a menu of delicious drinks. If you’re not sure what you want, you can always opt for one of Trimmed Beard’s “classic” cocktails like the Old Fashioned or the Manhattan—or try something more adventurous like the “The Night Shift” which is made with gin, lemon, thyme syrup, and grapefruit.
5. Second Step: An LGBTQ Safe Haven and More
This is the only bar on the list that is not a traditional bar. The second step is a “safe space” where people who identify as LGBTQ can go to relax and feel comfortable. In addition to being a safe space, Second Step hosts “social justice salons” where people of all ages and backgrounds can come together to discuss a variety of social justice issues—like race, gender, sexuality, and more. The drinks at Second Step are decidedly un-bar-like. You can order hot chocolate or decaf coffee, for example. Second Step is open every day except Monday.
6. Birmingham Dry Company: A Serious Whiskey Bar
Birmingham Dry Company is a whiskey bar that is not for the faint of heart. If you’re a beginner when it comes to whiskey, you may want to sit this one out and visit another bar on this list. BD’s is serious about their whiskey—and they should be: The bar is stocked with over 500 different varieties of whiskey, bourbon, scotch, and rye. If you’re not sure what to get or you need help picking, Birmingham Dry Company offers a “pick your own flight” option so you can try a variety of whiskeys and see what you like. While the drinks at Birmingham Dry Company are serious, the atmosphere is not. If you’re looking for a fun place to visit with friends, this is the bar for you.
7. Alchemy by Roll Tide: For The Fans 3 3 3
If you’re a fan of the University of Alabama, you need to visit Alchemy by Roll Tide—a bar that is dedicated to the Crimson Tide. The bar is decked out in Crimson and Black; it even has a large Roll Tide Roll flag hanging from the ceiling. Alchemy by Roll Tide is not only a bar for Alabama fans, but it is also the official bar of the UA Alumni Association. In addition to the UA-themed decor, the bar features Crimson Tide-themed cocktails such as the “Roll Tide” which is made with Cointreau, pineapple, orange, and lemon juices. If you’re not a fan of the Tide, don’t worry. This bar is open to all.
8. Cahaba Brewing Company: A Fresh-Brewed Experience
Cahaba Brewing Company is a Birmingham staple. This bar has been serving delicious craft beer to the good people of Birmingham since 2011—and they’re only getting better. CB is the perfect place to relax with friends and enjoy a fresh, delicious beer—and if you’re lucky, you may even get to try the CB beer of the month. If you’re not sure what you want, CB offers flights so you can try a variety of beers or opt for a pint flight so you can try smaller quantities of beers. If you’re feeling hungry, CB also has a full menu of delicious pub food. While the beer is great, it’s the atmosphere at Cahaba Brewing Company that really makes this bar special.
9. Zyn Singaporean Authentic Street Food Dining and Lounge
If you’re craving Asian food and a cocktail, then you need to visit Zyn. This Birmingham restaurant serves Asian food with a modern twist. At Zyn, you can get everything from sushi to Singaporean street food. The cocktails are nothing to sneeze at either; they’re innovative, interesting, and strong. If you’re feeling indecisive, you can always order the “Amble” which is a flight of Asian-inspired cocktails. Zayn has two floors—dining and bar—and the bar has a speakeasy vibe that is perfect for a date night.
Bottom line ❌ ? ? ? Conclusion
There’s a reason why Birmingham is called the Magic City. It is a magical place with a thriving culture and a penchant for good drinks. If you’re looking for a good time, there’s no better place to be. So, sip on a cocktail, enjoy some Asian street food, and let the good times roll. Enjoy Birmingham and its 9 best bars, and above all, enjoy responsibly. Stay hydrated, eat before you go out, and take a taxi home. Enjoying yourself is important, but it is just as important to stay safe.