Jason Wilson and Zach Folmar were originally inspired with the idea of Back Forty Beer Company in 2003 while visiting family in the small ski town of Crested Butte, CO.
While dining out one evening, the two men struck up a conversation with the Master Brewer at the town’s local brewpub. The conversation quickly moved to the back of the Brew house and lasted well into the early hours of the morning. They left the pub that evening with a vision of bringing great craft beer back to the state of Alabama.
In 2007, after years of developing the concept, the duo enlisted the services of Montgomery, Alabama resident Jamie Ray as Brewmaster for the operation. Jamie brings with him over twenty years of experience in the brewing profession, including several medals at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, CO.
Jamie immediately began working on a series of test recipe’s that would eventually become the craft beers that you see on the shelf today under the Back Forty name. Jamie has over 200 recipes in his range, which means Back Forty will be able to continuously release innovative and creative beers for a long time to come.
In 2008, Back Forty began working with the Mindvolt Agency in Athens, AL on label and packaging designs for the release of their debut offering, Naked Pig Pale Ale. Mindvolt continues to be the exclusive designer of Back Forty Beer Company’s artwork and web space.
In March of 2009 Back Forty Beer Company was founded in Birmingham, AL, with the assistance of David Carn. David is a great friend of the founders and practicing attorney with Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz in Birmingham, AL.
In April of 2009, a deal was reached with the Alabama Budweiser network for statewide distribution of Back Forty’s products. This resulted in the creation of Alabama’s only craft brewery with distribution throughout the state.
After several months were spent obtaining licenses and permits, Back Forty Beer Company offered its first public samples of Naked Pig Pale Ale at the Magic City Brewfest in Birmingham, AL. This date was also significant, as it was the first time craft beer that exceeded 6% alcohol was allowed to be sold in Alabama.
The beers were initially brewed exclusively at Lazy Magnolia Brewery in Kiln, MS, while Back Forty selected a site and equipment for their permanent facility.
Today, A building has been selected in the historic downtown district of Gadsden, AL and the equipment will begin to arrive in a matter of weeks. Early in 2011 Back Forty Beer Company’s brewing facility will be fully operational and several new releases will begin to roll off the line.