Music City Brewer’s Festival 2014

Nashville Craft Beer Week has come and gone, now we can take a breather from the frenzy and rest up for the next event. I made it to the New Belgium Tap Attack at 12 South Taproom on Thursday and dropped by all three of the staff nights at Black Abbey to try the one-night-only releases – more about these events in posts coming later this week.

Speaking of the next event: The 13th Annual Mafiaoza’s Music City Brewer’s Festival is less than three weeks away: July 19 at Walk of Fame Park downtown!

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On the Road: Wicked Weed Brewing Part 2

20140629-093334-34414428.jpgclockwise from far left: Reverence; Serenity: Black Angel; Divergence; Bretticent; Oblivion

phirx On the Road: Asheville, North Carolina

Part 2 of 3 – Go to Part 1

Wicked Weed Brewing divides their beers into four regular draft categories on their menu and chalkboards: Hops Are Heresy, Beautiful and Belgian, Wicked from the Wood, and From the Funkatorium. They also list a fifth draft category for special, seasonal beers (during our visits they were rolling out a World Cup series), and a sixth category for beers available in bottles. During my two visits I was able to try 22 of these uniformly excellent brews, from all categories except bottles (although I did bring home three bottles that I haven’t cracked yet). Yet there were a few that I missed – some taps ran out and were being replaced with World Cup series beers, and at a certain point each day I had to give up taking notes and end my tasting session with a full glass.

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On tour with Alan and Max


Book Review: The Unbearable Nonsense of Craft Beer –
A Rant in Nine Acts by Max Bahnson & Alan McLeod

This week I had the pleasure of reading The Unbearable Nonsense of Craft Beer, aptly described by the authors as A Rant in Nine Acts. Max Bahnson is an Argentine living in Prague and the author of the blog Pivní-Filosof – Beer Philosopher and Alan McLeod is a Canadian who writes about beer at A Good Beer Blog. Both are seasoned beer writers (their blogs have been up and flowing for quite some time now) and I have enjoyed reading their work from time to time over the years (a shameless lurker), and since I took up this noble pursuit as well, have been drinking from their tap more frequently of late. So it seemed like a good idea to check out the book, since they did go to the trouble of publishing it and all.

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On the Road: Wicked Weed Brewing Part 1

20140624-103112-37872208.jpgKing Henry VIII lords it over the dining room at Wicked Weed Brewing

phirx On the Road: Asheville, North Carolina

Warning: long post in three parts

Part 1 of 3

With only a couple days to spend in Asheville on a family vacation, it was difficult to narrow down what beer spots to check out. When your very tolerant traveling companions are (understandably) not as obsessed with finding the best beer experiences to be had as you are, things can get tricky in a town like Asheville, especially when one of them is not even of drinking age. This narrowed down my choices to brewpubs – a term that is inadequate in the face of the subject of this post: gastropub? brewery/restaurants? – but even if I left out the taprooms that have limited food offerings, there were still too many to hit in the time I had, even if I did nothing but drink beer while I was there.

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The Best Beer Spots in Nashville

the front page of my guide on

Two weeks ago I received an email from an editor at who asked me if I would be “interested in creating a guide with your favorite places to grab a beer around Nashville?” Well of course I was. So after some head scratching, some writing, more than a few beers, and emails back and forth between Nashville and Norway and Germany (I think?), the guide is now up live on the site and available on their app as well.

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Nashville Craft Beer Week 2014

working the taps at 12 South Taproom

I’m just back from a week in North Carolina and I’ve got a number of things to attend to that don’t involve beer (actually) as well as finishing my phirx On the Road series from the trip and getting something into my fermenters (yesterday I brewed a Sorachi Ace Saison and today an IPA) – but – today is the first day of Nashville Craft Beer Week 2014. I’d be remiss if I didn’t post at least an announcement here. We can’t have that.

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On the Road: Highland Brewing Company

20140621-133713-49033334.jpgthe entrance to the Highland Brewing taproom

phirx On the Road: Asheville, North Carolina

Highland Brewing Company celebrates their 20th anniversary this year, and it was a natural choice to stop by and check out their operation on our visit to Asheville. I’ve enjoyed Highland beers for more than 15 years (I’m not certain when I first tried one), and remember when they weren’t distributed outside of North Carolina and we would pick up a few six packs to take home if we were passing through. Now Highland is the third largest craft brewery in the Southeast, after Abita (Abita Springs, Louisiana) and Sweetwater (Atlanta).

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