J. Clyde

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The J. Clyde Hot Rock Tavern and Alehouse was a pub and restaurant located in the former Back Alley space at 1312 Cobb Lane in Southside. The bar opened in April 2007 and was owned by siblings Jerry and Susan Hartley. It is named in honor of their brother Jason Clyde Hartley who died in 1998.

Specializing in gourmet beer, the J. Clyde offered 40+ brews on tap and over 200 bottled beers. The selection was greatly expanded after the successful passage in 2009 of gourmet beer legislation pushed by the Free the Hops movement. Prior to that, Alabama law limited beers to less than 6% alcohol by volume.

The kitchen specialized in pairing dining specials with appropriate beers. The bar offered limited-availability cask-conditioned ales served at cellar temperature from a beer engine on weekends.

The pub's interior was cozy, but more seating was available in a sprawling covered patio and deck and at the back bar. In 2010 users of ratebeer.com ranked The J. Clyde as the 22nd best beer restaurant in the world.

In 2018 the restaurant scaled back its menu to accommodate kitchen renovations. In June 2019 the J. Clyde was closed for failing to respond to court orders requiring it to provide proof of worker's compensation insurance by order of Judge Carole Smitherman.

The building's roof and internal framed partitions were demolished shortly afterward.


  • McAlister, Laura, Joe O'Donnell, Mary Ellen Stancill and Carla Jean Whitley (2009) "The Drinker's Dozen" Birmingham magazine
  • Carlton, Bob (February 19, 2010) "Beer geeks rank Birmingham's The J. Clyde among world's best beer restaurants." The Birmingham News
  • Hrynkiw, Ivana (June 18, 2019) "Birmingham restaurant closes for not having workers’ comp insurance, owing thousands in fees." The Birmingham News

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