Mike and Amanda Bristol, owners of Bristol Brewing Co., 1604 S. Cascade Ave., are making some big changes at their award-winning brewhouse. They have opened Bristol’s Spark Beer+ BBQ, a repurposed shipping container serving beer-friendly smoked meats and sides. The smokehouse is permanently parked in front of the brewery at Ivywild School.
Husband and wife Evan and Tarah Wagstaff are responsible for the cooking at Spark Beer+BBQ.
“We met Evan and Tarah through chance meetings with friends,” Mike said. “I learned to love barbecue while living in Amanda’s hometown in northern Florida. To me, barbecue is one of those foods that feeds the soul and brings people together around the table — just like beer.”
On a first-time try, I can tell you the couple know their way around Alabama ‘cue. The menu offers smoked meats including brisket, pulled pork, chicken, spareribs and Bristol beer brats. Sides include slaw, smoked cheddar mac ‘n’ cheese, hush puppies, collard greens, waffle fries, borracho beans (pinto beans made with beer), and terrific smoky German potato salad. Sauce choices are red, gold (honey mustard), Alabama white and remoulade.
Both Wagstaffs have culinary degrees, Evan in savory and Tarah in pastry. Desserts will be added to the menu.
The Bristols are doing major expansion on the land in front of the brewery, which will connect the entrance to the brewery to the existing beer garden on the property. This space will include more garden space, game area, fire pits and additional outdoor seating. New parking spaces will be added at the opposite end and across the street from the school building.
“These projects will be done in phases,” Mike said. “We hope to be completed during the summer.”
The barbecue operation is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays through Sundays during May, with more days to be added over the summer.