…and a “Where Are They Now” Brewer Profile: Todd Hicks
By Ken Carman
22100 County Road 47
Perdido, Alabama 36562
Owner: Jim Eddins
I’ve known Todd Hicks for many years and through quite a few phoenix like rebirths. The first time I met Todd he was brewing at McGuires in Pensacola with Steve Fried. Since then he has brewed at the various rebirths of a brewpub in downtown Mobile, Alabama. It’s been Cannon, Hurricane; amongst other incarnations.
Can a brewpub be Buddhist in nature? If they used milk in a Milk Stout would the brewer wind up being reincarnated as a cockroach under foot for punishment?
Todd has been involved in almost every attempt to start a brewpub west of Tallahassee, east of Mississippi. Todd took Santa Rosa in Fort Walton from a brewpub that sometimes hooked up a Bud or Miller keg; claiming it as their own, to a brewpub that had one of the finest red ales I’ve ever had, and one of the strangest owners. Marketing “Death Cigarettes?” Luckily that brand name went about as far as where it was first placed: in the movie “Waterworld;” a multi-million dollar, four time nominated for a “Razzie” award including worst picture, worst actor, worst director and worst supporting actor, fiasco.
Santa Rosa may have gone the way of Death Cigarettes, but Todd “the immortal” lives on. You have to admire his stick-to-it-tive-ness and his ability to find ways to continue to perfect his craft. His last brewmaster job was at the now folded Hurricane in Mobile. I had a feeling it wouldn’t last. The menu alone was so sparse and unimaginative I could tell the owner didn’t seem all that serious. The brew business: and more specifically the brewpub business, in this area has always been a bit rocky, with McGuires being pretty much the sole survivor for many, many miles in any direction.
I could go on and provide a long list of achievements and where he has been, but this isn’t just about what Todd was, but where he is now and what his plans are.
So while Todd looks for investors to, yet again, reopen the old downtown Mobile location, he has also been providing his talents to a winery in Perdido, Alabama: about 50 miles north of Mobile, just off of I-65, on the east side of the interstate. Hard to miss. About the only thing at the exit.
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