A recent point of discussion for the Montevallo City Council has been the fate of the former Victory Autos and Collision Center.
The city purchased the building last February and has since been working on refurbishing the building in hopes to bring a new business into the location. Currently, the city is in negotiations with a potential tenet, Interstellar Ginger Beer and Exploration Company.
Interstellar has operated a brewery in Alabaster, near the Shelby County Airport, since 2017 and specializes in brewing ginger beer. The brewery, co-owned by Dr. Shane Kelly and Daniel Sims, was the first to open in Shelby County.
The pair aim to “provide our community with creative, high quality beers and a lively place to gather on the weekends.” At their current location, they operate a taproom and a distribution business—distributing their beer to bars, restaurants and groceries across the state.
Interstellar’s statewide distribution has been highlighted as an asset to Montevallo in previous city council meetings with Kelly, pointing out that Montevallo’s name would appear on their packaging, providing publicity for the city.
With this new location, Interstellar is hoping to expand its production to include malt beers. They also plan to include guest taps at their bar, featuring a variety of brews from other local breweries. Other plans for the new location include putting in pool tables, dart boards, projection screens, a stage for full bands and classic arcade games.
When asked why the company wanted to open a new location in Montevallo, Kelly responded, “The city of Montevallo is cute and funky. We really think our ‘weird beer’ will fit hand and glove there.”
He also added that the Victory building, where the brewery would be located, would allow for the company to “have more space for production and more space for hosting events… than we do at our current location.”
However, Interstellar’s potential opening has not come without debate. At previous city council meetings, many citizens, as well as current Mayor Rusty Nix, had expressed concerns that taking on the Victory Building renovation project might cause the city unnecessary financial burden.
In a council meeting last September, Nix said, “I think a brewery would be great here in town, but it just doesn’t fit that building as far as square footage and the price that we’re paying for the amount of sales revenue that you’d get back.”
Kelly has since said that he is, “open to doing whatever it takes to make this economical for the city.”
As of now, there is not an estimated opening date for the Montevallo location.
“This is a very large and exciting project with a lot of moving parts. We are currently negotiating with the city about being a tenant on the property. The wheels are in motion and we hope to be moving our business as soon as the building is ready,” said Kelly, when asked about the progress of the project.
Cady Inabinett is the editor in chief of The Alabamian. She’s majoring in English and double-minoring in political science and peace and justice studies. She enjoys reading, watching movies, caring for houseplants and generally just being pretentious in her free time.