Each of the four partners in OTBX were born and raised right here in Huntsville. We were each brought up with a similar, but distinct perspective on what it means to be from The South in the last half of the 20th century. Some of it good, some bad, but the constant among all aspects of this life is a slow shift from the old ways to the new ways. Old South has given way to New South; a term that has come to represent progress and prosperity.
Huntsville has seen this shift more dramatically than most other places. So much has happened in our community the last 60+ years. Changes that have taken Huntsville from an agriculture-driven economy to a hub of space technology, genetic research and more. And the four partners have certainly seen our own paths made brighter, right along side our community, as these new industries have come in to bring new people, new thinking and new opportunities .
But this process of replacing traditional economies with new ones comes with a price for the people born and raised here. We’re at risk of losing the cultural icons of what made us who we were before. Yes, there are outdated and obsolete practices that have no place in today’s business landscape, but to eradicate these things is to take away something of our character, our toughness and determination – in effect, our Southern-ness and our unique American-ness.
That’s what Southern, Craft, Culture is all about. We chose this motto to accompany our marketing as a way to remind ourselves and our customers (both new and old Huntsville) that while change and progress are clearly wonderful, having an eye on what brought us here is just as important. Things like 190 year-old bar tops. Handmade antique wine and beer boxes. Tables made of reclaimed country barn wood by the hands of skilled woodworkers armed with only a few sturdy nails, a saw and a hammer.
These are more than just interesting relics gathered from local auctions. They are symbols of our heritage as craftsmen, which is a heritage that is not so much under attack, but it’s an ideal that’s certainly suffering from a gradual social erosion, so to speak. We are surrounded by mass-produced, imported, shiny, store-bought things while the tools and products of our ancestors grow old and crumble.
But maybe things are beginning to change. You’ve surely noticed the quiet grassroots movement across the country that’s causing people to turn back toward craftsmanship. Food trucks, open air fresh markets, the Foodie culture, small batch spirits and the meteoric rise of craft beer are all part of a new marketplace created by people with products that focus on quality rather than quantity. Our food is becoming more local. We’re thinking about resources and sustainability. We’re thinking about the hands that touch what we consume. In short, we’re thinking, possibly subconsciously, about craftsmanship again.
That’s our focus and our mission at OTBX. We strive to bring quality craft beer and wine presented in an environment that emanates the character of a nearly forgotten South. Beer and wine makers are craftsmen and we owe them a stage on which to display their wares.
Our products, the beers and wines that grace our shelves, were created with the utmost care and attention to quality. To stock them on cheap tables and poorly-made fixtures in a thoughtless environment based solely on profit is an insult to both the producer and consumer of this modern art form.
We hope you appreciate our efforts to make Southern, Craft, Culture a reality at OTBX. It’s certainly a pleasure investigating and re-inventing this environment through new craft beers, delicious wines and crates of new, dusty artifacts that seem to walk through the door each day.
See you soon. Let’s raise a glass to your local craftsmen.