Back Forty Brewing

Gadsden, AL


In 2008, after several years in the corporate world and with over 150 brewery tours under his belt, founder Jason Wilson reached out to renowned Brewmaster Jamie Ray and asked for his help in developing the recipes for Back Forty Beer Company.  The goal for the liquid was simple—to expose Southerners to the same craft beer culture that Wilson had been a part of for the last ten years. This meant starting out with classic beer styles and evolving with customers along the way. Jamie agreed and in January of 2009 he would become Back Forty’s first employee.

The next challenge to overcome was raising the money necessary to build a brewery.  Resources were limited, and at one point it looked like the project may have to be put on hold due to lack of funding. As a last resort, Wilson reached out to a microbrewery in the neighboring state of Mississippi and asked them if it would be possible to use their space to help get Back Forty’s beers to the market and hopefully build some momentum that would assist in securing the funds needed to build Back Forty’s own facility.

In June of 2009, Back Forty released its first offering, Naked Pig Pale Ale. The beer was only available in the North-Central Alabama home market, but the response was overwhelming, and in March of 2010 the second Back Forty offering hit the shelves, Truck Stop Honey Brown Ale.

Later that year Truck Stop Honey was awarded a Silver Medal at the Great American Beer Festival, and in the weeks following, distribution offers poured in that would allow Back Forty to expand its coverage throughout Alabama.

This was the spark needed to secure a Small Business loan and begin sourcing equipment for Back Forty’s own facility.



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