2620 Clinton Ave W, Huntsville, AL 35805
Overall Score: A
Vegetarian options?: Yes
Campus 805 is one of the more unique and interesting places that I’ve encountered throughout all of my travels. Listed as a brewery and entertainment venue, Campus 805 is unique because it combines various bars, restaurants, and entertainment in a renovated public school and university annex. Named after the last three digits of the local zip code of West Huntsville, this revitalized building has modernized part of the city.
Consisting of an old education building, a student union, and an open area park, Campus 805 is a fun and lively destination for hipsters, families, locals, tourists, and anyone who loves good food and great beer.
In 1949, the large Stone Event Center of Campus 805 started out as an extension of the University of Alabama but reopened as a public high school two years later. Eventually, the building became a middle school and taught students until 2009 when it closed. A few years later, the purchased building was to become a “unique development that would preserve the legacy of the school and offer a dynamic entertainment venue for the community.” (campus805.com) Needless to say, when I was told there was an old school building that contained two breweries and bars, I had to check it out!
One of the largest tenants within Campus 805 is Straight to Ale Brewery & Kitchen. The restaurant was quite good when I visited in late December of 2019. We had great service, great tasting food (and vegetarian options!), and great drinks. Most at my table ordered flights of their various beers and cider. Favorites among us were the ‘Monkeynaut’ IPA and Plum Diggity Belgian beer.
If you’re interested in getting a tour of Straight to Ale’s brewery at Campus 805, there are free brewery tours every Saturday at 2:00pm. With our tour, we received two tastings and one lucky member of the tour group won a Straight to Ale t-shirt at the end of the tour.
Straight to Ale’s tour lasted about an hour, given to us by a former radio deejay named Roadkill. He gave us an awesome tour, explaining the ingredients, brewing process, storage, canning, and more. Since Campus 805 used to be a school, part of the brewery is in the old school gym. I guess employees still like to play hoops at lunch!
In addition to their beer, Straight to Ale distills and bottles Shelta Cavern Spirits within their brewery. Since this area is fenced off, it’s only briefly mentioned at the end of the tour. However, we were able to taste their bold, yet smooth spirits in the Speakeasy (see below for more on the Speakeasy).
Straight to Ale isn’t a huge brewery, but is one of Alabama’s largest production breweries. You can purchase beer, spirits, and merchandise outside the restaurant, where the tour begins and ends. You can even sit out back on their patio and grab a beer from their outdoor bar.
With friendly employees, and delicious beer, ciders, and liquors, Straight to Ale is definitely worth a stop!
Located behind a set of movable lockers, you’ll find a nostalgic speakeasy, courtesy of Straight to Ale. You’ll find these lockers not far from the Straight to Ale restaurant and bar.
Inside, was a dimly lit room with a small stage for live music, tables, booths, and a bar. Get all Straight to Ale beer and their own Shelta Caverns spirits here.
Yellowhammer Brewing is the other brewery located on Campus 805. This brewery, partnered with Earth & Stone Wood Fired Pizza, has a bar as well as inside/outside seating. Yellowhammer Brewing has about 20 of their craft beers on tap for you to try.
Yellowhammer offers tours of their brewery on Saturdays at 1 pm, but there is a $10 fee. That fee gets you the tour, samples of their beer and spirits, as well as a Yellowhammer pint glass and sticker.
We didn’t tour Yellowhammer Brewing’s facility, but we did have a couple of drinks and some amazing ‘adult’ ice cream from Earth & Stone. Four of us shared a scoop of bourbon butter pecan and it was gone in about 2 minutes. Really – it was that good!
Out behind the brewery, you can find their Lost Highway Lounge, open Thursday through Saturday, 5pm until midnight.
In addition to Straight to Ale’s Kitchen and Earth & Stone Wood Fired Pizzas at Yellowhammer Brewery, there are a few other dining options to choose from at Campus 805. My favorite one was Hops N Guac.
Hops N Guac is an amazing and unique fast casual restaurant located in the Stone Center on campus. Serving Mexican-fusion, here you’ll enjoy delicious Mexican food and even serve yourself your own alcohol! After entering the restaurant, employees will scan your credit card and pair it to a RFID wristband that you wear. After reading through their extensive selection of beer, ciders, and wine, select your drink of choice and simply scan your wristband to receive your pour. You can select how many ounces you want as well. When you leave the restaurant, they’ll settle up your alcohol tab and charge your credit card.
Since I’m not a beer drinker, I was a little disappointed in the limited number of choices they had for wine. However, my husband loved their beer and we both loved their food.
At Hops N Guac, you order food from their main counter, and they will bring it to your table when it’s ready.
Other food and drink establishments within Campus 805 include the Lone Goose Saloon, Off Beat Coffee Studio, Rock n Roll Sushi, and The Bar.
With so many food and drink options as well as activities here, you’re sure to find some fun at Campus 805. Activities available on campus are listed below.
Not all of the Stone Center (old school building) is filled with taprooms and restaurants. There are also large rooms available for private rentals. Business conferences and wedding receptions are popular here. For these occasions, Bubba’s Silver Spoon Catering is on-site for all your large group dining needs.
Unique to Campus 805 is the urban park that’s located in between the older and newer buildings. Guests can hang out on the park’s lawn with their food and drink (alcohol too), socialize, and play lawn games. It’s a great gathering park and it’s in between Yellowhammer Brewing and Straight to Ale breweries!
My visit to Campus 805 was a really fun experience and I definitely recommend it to those who like good beer, a fun atmosphere, and great food.
If you’re looking to see an old school transformed into a fun adult entertainment center, head down to Campus 805 in Huntsville, Alabama.