Alabama pipe celebration : Pipes and Tobaccos Magazine

Alabama pipe celebration

You might not expect that a center of pipe smoking inalabama3 the U.S. would be located in a 150-year-old farmhouse in Homewood, Ala. This is a place with actual gravestones still in the yard, along with an outhouse (though it has indoor plumbing now, too). It’s not a farm anymore—buildings have grown up around it and streets have become busy, but the house has changed only to accommodate lovers of fine tobaccos.

This place is The Briary, run by tobacconist and pipemaker Skip Elliott, who, next year, will be celebrating 40 years as a tobacconist. Few pipe aficionados are as knowledgeable or enthusiastic as Elliott, and his experience is evidenced in his shop. It’s a pipe-smoking Mecca. A huge selection of pipes, from inexpensive to preposterously high-grade, fill the cabinets in the multiple rooms of The Briary. One entire wall is dedicated to tins of tobacco, and bulk alabama-2tobacco fills jar after jar along the perimeter of the counter. Display cases of antique pipes are everywhere. And for the pipe smoker who grows overwhelmed with all the visual and olfactory stimuli, there is a lounge so comfortable that it takes an act of ultimate willpower to leave. High ceilinged and abundantly furnished in leather couches and chairs, scattered with ashtrays, decorated with books and shelves and antique smoking signs, it is a place perfect for contemplation or conversation.

In February this year, was The Briary’s annual pipe event, which has grown enormously popular. It is unknown how many pipe smokers can fit into one shop, but they all appeared to be there. It was a shoulder-to-shoulder crowd and every face had a pipe protruding from it. Not only was the majority of the stock on sale, but there was a smoking contest with terrific prizes and two guests with worldwide reputations: Erik Stokkebye and Peder Jeppesen.

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