The Spirit Guide: Avondale Brewing

An elephant walks into a bar… It might sound like the start of a bad joke, but at Avondale, they take their famous elephants and beers seriously.

Established in 2010, Avondale Brewing Company opened in November 2011. Located in one of the town’s most historic buildings (constructed in 1895), it has been the site of a firehouse, a pharmacy, a post office, a bank, and most famously, the Long Branch Saloon.

Also known as Birmingham’s historic brewery, Avondale Brewing Company names all of their brews after the region’s folklore. Perhaps the most famous figure in all of Avondale was Miss Fancy, the beer-drinking elephant you see highlighted on Avondale Brewing’s logo.

Birmingham Public Library Archives, File #1081.3.99

Supposedly lost in a game of cards, Miss Fancy (when she wasn’t at the zoo) wandered the streets of Avondale, drunk, from 1913-1934. Although Prohibition was in full swing, City Hall kept a reserve of confiscated liquor on hand for her stomach ailment.

Today, Avondale Brewing Company honors their town’s illustrious mascot with a few brews of their own. Miss Fancy isn’t just seen on the brewery’s logo—she’s also on their beer cans, including Miss Fancy’s Tripel and Vanillaphant.

But the brewery doesn’t just celebrate the Queen of Avondale with their brews. There’s someone else lurking in the historic building that you might bump into while you throw back another pint. And she certainly isn’t just a bit of folklore…

According to legend, there was a secret bordello on the upper floor of the building during its tumultuous days as the Long Branch Saloon. It’s believed one of the “working girls” lived and died there in the 1930s… and her spirit has never left the building.

Learn more about Avondale’s haunting in The Spirit Guide: America’s Haunted Breweries, Distilleries, and Wineries coming July 2020! 

If you own a haunted bar, cafe, hotel, or restaurant and you’d like us to check it out, reach out to us on FacebookInstagram, or Twitter.  If you have a favorite haunted hot spot with great food and atmosphere and you’d like to share it with us, hit us up on social media or leave a comment below! We’d love to hear from you… Thanks for joining us, and Happy Haunting!

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