Thursday, September 23, 2010

Where we were drinking tonight: Pale Eddie's Pour House

"Can I get a code for your wi-fi?" I asked the bartender at downtown Birmingham's newest bar, Pale Eddie's Pour House.

"Yeah, let me check on that," he said. As I awaited his return, I sipped my $9 Mason jar of Good People Snakehandler and mooched off Rogue Tavern's open wi-fi.

"It's not working yet," my bartender said. "Still trying to work out the bugs."

Not a problem, really, since I wasn't that interested in going online. I was more interested in what perks Pale Eddie's might have in store for patrons. A $9 beer should at least come with free wi-fi, and, eventually, it will.

Pale Eddie's Pour House welcomes guests with exposed brick, worn wood floors and inviting brown leather couches. The feel is more loft-like than bar.

A few minutes later I'm joined at the bar by a young man with a full glass of Guiness.

"Sorry about the wi-fi," he says. "We'll have it worked out soon."

Continue reading about Pale Eddie's Pour House after the break...

For the next 20 minutes or so, part owner of the bar Daniel Drennen and I discuss the difficulties of starting a business in Birmingham (if you visit, admire the sprinkler system), plans to rotate beers available on tap and the origins of the bar's name.

The name Pale Eddie's came from a fruitless search for a Highland, North Carolina restaurant called Pale Eddie's. A friend had recommended it and Daniel and friends were determined to find it. No one in Highland had heard of such a place and couldn't help with their quest. Until one of the locals realized they weren't looking for Pale Eddie's. The restaurant they sought was actually an upscale Italian eatery called Paoletti's.

While Pale Eddie's is a great name for a bar, Daniel says they felt the bar needed a back story. Hence the tale of Pale Eddie's extensive adventures on the bar's website. Totally fictitious, it's told well enough to be almost believable.

"We're thinking of tweaking it," Daniel tells me. "Maybe he brought about the end of the Cubist movement."

We hope not, but then good fiction is almost always unpredictable.

Pale Eddie's has a decent selection of beers like Maudite, Bells 2 Hearted Ale, St. Bernardus Prior 8, Tommyknocker Cocoa Porter and Chimay Blue. Delirium Nocturnum will set you back $10.50 a bottle and Chimay $12. On the other end, Yuengling, Rolling Rock and Miller Lite are all only $3.50. Heck, if you're on a budget, skip the Miller Lite and go for High Life at just $3.

We wish Pale Eddie's much luck. The Pour House is no J. Clyde or even On Tap. But while the bar business is tough, they should do well if they can sustain their personable customer service and welcoming atmosphere.


  1. what were their other draft prices like? $9 seems pretty darn high.

  2. $9 is for a double IPA SNAKEHANDLER which is a 12% high grav beer-

  3. visited there the other weekend. I really liked the atmosphere and the bar ... we left b/c my husband didn't like the music; eh I think he was having a moment. I really did like it, and hopefully will visit again