Two Gadsden businesses win Manufacturer of the Year awards - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Two Gadsden businesses win Manufacturer of the Year awards

Posted: Updated:
GADSDEN, Ala. - Gadsden's beer brewery and tire supplier have something in common as of Wednesday.

They took home half of this year's Alabama Manufacture of the Year awards.  The Business Council of Alabama and the Alabama Technology Network announced this year's four winners this week.

Back Forty Beer Co. won the category for small manufacturers, which is open to companies with fewer than 100 employees.  Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. won the large manufacturing category.

"It speaks highly about the climate we have here.  We're very inviting to industry and to new business," Gadsden Chamber of Commerce president Heather New said.

"We're all about innovation and new ideas, and I think it says Gadsden is open for business."

This is Goodyear's 85th year in Gadsden.  New said that shows the sustainability that exists in the area.

Back Forty brewed its first beer in 2009, and started production at a 27,000 square foot facility in Gadsden in 2012.

Owner and founder Jason Wilson said he was thrilled simply to be a finalist.

"Anytime you get recognized by your peers in the industry, it's a huge honor," Wilson said.

"We're really proud to be included with some of those names.  It's a pretty good distinction for us as a small up and coming brewery."

Back Forty has 19 full time employees.  Wilson expects to double that number by the end of 2015.  The company is about to invest $500,000 in new equipment to double their brewing capacity, and to begin canning at the Gadsden plant.

Wilson said they began testing their beer in cans last year, as many outdoor places--golf courses, state parks, and beaches--allow cans but do not allow glass bottles.  Back Forty contracted with a canning facility in Washington, D.C., to can their product, which the company then shipped back to Gadsden for distribution.

"Once we got a good indication that this was a good option for us, we were always committed to doing this here in Gadsden," Wilson said.

That means more jobs.

"It takes a lot of employees to make the product that we make, because we don't use adjuncts, and we don't use preservatives and extracts," Wilson said.

"We don't take shortcuts in the production process, so we are a very labor intensive manufacturing process, and we hire a lot of people to make a relatively small quantity of high quality craft beer," he said.

"So we'll absolutely be adding a tremendous number to our overall staff over the next year to 18 months."

Wilson said Back Forty should begin canning beer at the Gadsden facility in the next two to three months.
He expects brewing capacity to increase to 20,000 barrels a month by the end of the year.
  • Central Alabama NewsMore>>

  • Lethal injections on hold in Alabama

    Lethal injections on hold in Alabama

    Thursday, July 31 2014 9:19 PM EDT2014-08-01 01:19:47 GMT
    16 Alabama death row inmates have exhausted their appeals and are waiting to be executed. But, lethal injections will not be performed in the state at least until next spring. Republican state Senator Cam Ward says that will be the earliest lawmakers will be able to pass new legislation that will allow Alabama to get the drugs used for executions.Ward says that pharmaceutical companies are refusing to sell Alabama more drugs until they can get some type of protection or immunity. It's because...More >>
    16 Alabama death row inmates have exhausted their appeals and are waiting to be executed. But, lethal injections will not be performed in the state at least until next spring. Republican state Senator Cam Ward says that will be the earliest lawmakers will be able to pass new legislation that will allow Alabama to get the drugs used for executions.Ward says that pharmaceutical companies are refusing to sell Alabama more drugs until they can get some type of protection or immunity. It's because...More >>
  • Judge delays decision on abortion law

    Judge delays decision on abortion law

    Thursday, July 31 2014 1:54 PM EDT2014-07-31 17:54:07 GMT
    A federal judge is delaying his decision on an Alabama law that could close some abortion clinics. U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson told attorneys in June that he hoped to rule by the end of July. But Thompson notified attorneys Thursday that he needs extra time and will have a ruling by Monday. Thompson said he needs time to consider a federal appeals court ruling Tuesday that blocked a similar Mississippi law. Alabama's law requires doctors at abortion clinics to have approval to admit pa...More >>
    A federal judge is delaying his decision on an Alabama law that could close some abortion clinics. U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson told attorneys in June that he hoped to rule by the end of July. But Thompson notified attorneys Thursday that he needs extra time and will have a ruling by Monday. Thompson said he needs time to consider a federal appeals court ruling Tuesday that blocked a similar Mississippi law. Alabama's law requires doctors at abortion clinics to have approval to admit pa...More >>
  • Rainbow City woman, 56, killed in accident on I-59 near Argo Wednesday night

    Rainbow City woman, 56, killed in accident on I-59 near Argo Wednesday night

    Thursday, July 31 2014 11:48 AM EDT2014-07-31 15:48:12 GMT
    A Rainbow City woman was killed and her husband was injured Wednesday in a single-vehicle crash on Interstate 59 near Argo, Alabama State Troopers said.More >>
    A Rainbow City woman was killed and her husband was injured Wednesday in a single-vehicle crash on Interstate 59 near Argo, Alabama State Troopers said.More >>
Most Popular
Stories
Videos
loading...