The name means Excellent and they aren’t lying!
Sitting on the northside of courthouse square in downtown Huntsville, painted windows adorn an otherwise normal brick facade. Like stained-glass windows on an old church, they signal the location of a source of enlightenment. For BeeZr, a gastropub and social exchange that burst onto the Huntsville scene in 2021, their sermons are innovative food and drinks that have created a cult following of devout patrons.
The name is a play on the word “beezer”, a British slang term for excellent, that is a nod to co-founder Ron Jewell’s time growing up in England. He and business partner Rene Kurzius, bring a collaboration of craft coffee, innovative food, great vegan eats, and fresh craft beer to the location that used to house Club Rush and Jazz Factory. Its patio offers people-watchers a front row seat to the hustle and bustle of downtown (with umbrellas for shade in the summer and heaters during the colder months), but the real chapel is through the door and into its massive two-story building. A large open area houses the brewing operation, Chandler’s Ford Brewing (named after a neighborhood in England where Ron grew up).
It is a gallery of stainless steel vats and pipes intricately and intelligently laid out to maximize usage of the space while providing ample capacity for their head brewer, Doug Tibbs, to concoct some of the most unique and consistently-high-quality beer in the Rocket City (check out my talk with him here. With a bevy of flagship beers (like the Huntschill IPA collab with FowWow or the Sanity Czech pilsner) and constant rotation of “freshies” (as Doug calls his new beers), there is never a shortage of things to try. Word to the wise, if you see something on tap you like, have a glass and get some to go, they sell out quickly! My favorites are the Fluff series he does; fruited sour ales served on nitro taps which give the beer more mouth-feel and a marshmallow-like head.
Outside of the handcrafted wrought-iron gates and fences (crafted by artist Adam Loveless, who also does the killer graphics for their cans and beer signs) that surround the brewing area, an open dining area spans the main room with plenty of tables and chairs set in a warm, industrial feel. Opposite the brewery, a long wooden bar with a wall of taps dispensing beer piped right in from the tank. The bar also is well stocked with plenty of wine, champagne, and spirits (including a great bourbon stash) to satisfy anyone looking for a drink. There is also seating on the balcony upstairs, as well as a room with its own bar, perfect for hosting private events.
The coffee equipment sits at the end of the bar nearest the kitchen, and that is where Northside Coffee (run by proprietor Keenan Tipton) resides. Using their own roast, they churn out fresh coffee, lattes, cappuccinos, and other caffeinated concoctions. They operate on different hours than the kitchen and bar, so it is the perfect spot for a morning starter and pastry. Make sure you check out their seasonal menu full of creative drinks, but my favorites are their French Toast Latte (like drinking the milk from a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch…but in coffee form) and Cafe Au Lait, which are available year round.
I am also a huge fan of just a regular drip coffee, especially when they have their bourbon-aged roast in stock, which is aged with Irons One bourbon and gives the bean great notes of whiskey.
If you are hungry, there is no shortage of tasty food at BeeZr. Their in-house kitchen, operating under the name Champagne Kitchen with a menu created by Chef Daniel Sikorski, serves up delicious tacos, pizzas, sandwiches, and shareable apps (I’ll highlight some of my favorites below). You can also catch quality vegan eats from plant-based rockstar food truck, Hippea Camper whose delicious plates are available at BeeZr and are sure to convert any carnivore. Their Hot Tamale Supreme–a layered bowl of cheese grits, black beans, chorizo, sour cream, avocado, and salsa–is SUBSTANTIAL and full of flavor. Whether it is lunch, dinner, or brunch (served Saturdays and Sundays), their food is worthy of a deeper dive of my favorites and recommendation for beer pairings.
These Filipino-inspired rolls of goodness are my go-to bar snack at BeeZr. Thin and flaky crepes are loaded with ground pork, scallions, and basil, then flash-fried right before they are brought to the table. The outer crust is thick enough to hold the abundance of filler without detracting from the delicate flavors inside. The pork is well seasoned and the aromatic freshness of the basil really gives it body. It is served with a great sweet pepper sauce for dipping. Despite it being a substantial app, it is light and delicate, so recommend pairing it with a comparably lighter-bodied beer like the Sanity Czech or one of their hefeweizens if on tap. The Huntschill IPA with its citrus notes would also be good and compliment the pork and herbs well.
Sweet Potato Crisps:
Nothing fancy, it is like the name says. Sweet potato shaved into thin crisps, fried, and then dusted with Peruvian spice dust. It is a perfect small bite and a great snack just to sit at the bar and accompany any beer on the tap menu.
Pelagic Fish Tacos
Honestly, the best fish tacos I have had in Huntsville. Period. Where most places use tilapia or catfish, these are loaded with large chunks of seared red snapper. Using a fish with enough texture and flavor on its own means that it is delicious and delicate, but enough to not get lost in the toppings. The tacos are finished with roasted corn for pops of sweetness, purple slaw and lemon-garlic aioli for brightness and acid, and freshness from the cilantro and tomatoes. These are just killer. Pair with one of their great fruited sours to bring more brightness to this meal.
The most unusual pizza on their menu is by far my favorite. I am not sure if it was the surprise of ordering it because I thought I would hate it and then ended up loving it, but something about jalapeno and anchovies atop a thin, crisp, hand-made crust and just the right balance of cheese…it is just beautiful. The saltiness of the anchovies contrasted against the acidity of the peppers against the richness of the cheese is amazing. With bold flavors, feel free to order a more able-bodied beer like the Fresh Sesh Pale or even one of the stouts. Something with oomph, maltiness, and character that withstands the bold flavors here.
I can’t mention brunch and not talk about the amazing pizza that is only available at brunch. Italian sausage, bacon, bechamel white sauce, and cotija cheese may not scream brunch to you, but add in two perfectly-sunny-side-up eggs that ooze creamy yolk as you pull the slices apart, and I can’t think of anything better. Being that it is brunch, this calls for one of their mimosas or even a beermosa with a splash of Huntschill IPA.
Shrimp and Grits
I won’t go too much in depth here, since I mention this dish in my Shrimp and Grits article, but I will say even though it is more non-traditional of an approach to a Low Country staple, it has some amazing flavors. A lager will do you just fine here.
For more info on BeeZr, go to www.gobeezr.com or call 256-427-2500
As a Charleston, SC native who grew up in a commercial fishing family, simple Southern life, weekends and summers in the saltwater, and immersion in great food and surroundings was always in Ben‘s blood. Then, after high school, he enlisted in the US Air Force and began to see all that the world had to offer, while staying grounded to his roots of good food and good times shared with friends and family. Ben has spent years throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and all over the US, enjoying great experiences all the way and honing his taste for great experiences, food, beer, bourbon, and cigars.
Now, after 21 years in the Air Force and the beginning of a second career in Huntsville with his wife and kids, he is searching out the best the Tennessee valley has to offer with its burgeoning craft beer and alcohol scene. He is also big into running, kayaking, hiking, and giving back to the community with veteran groups like Team Red, White, and Blue. Bringing in the education of his travel, southern roots, and love for exploring, Ben is here to share his discoveries of the area and his knowledge of his passions.