Category Archives: Beer Reviews

Jackalope Brewing Company Tour

 

clockwise from top left: jackalope taxidermy adorns the walls of the Jackalope taproom; mural on the wall outside the entrance - hard to miss if you're driving south on 8th Ave.; the taproom on a Saturday afternoon
clockwise from top left: jackalope taxidermy adorns the walls of the Jackalope taproom; mural on the wall outside the entrance – hard to miss if you’re driving south on 8th Ave.; the taproom on a Saturday afternoon

Jackalope Brewing Company is a small artisanal brewery and taproom ideally located on the edge of The Gulch in a small warehouse on 8th Ave. Jackalope opened their taproom on May 21, 2011 and began distributing their beer around town in January the following year – their beers can now be found at over 125 venues in Nashville and Middle Tennessee and as far afield as Chattanooga.  The first female-owned brewery in Tennessee, Jackalope produces delicious beers and presents them with a unique, fanciful attitude.

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Tennessee Brew Works Tour

from top left: menu on the mirror at Tennessee Brew Works; inside the taproom; one of the taproom's many seating areas looks onto the brewery
from top left: menu on the mirror at Tennessee Brew Works; inside the taproom; one of the taproom’s many seating areas looks onto the brewery

One of the most recent arrivals on the Music City craft beer scene, Tennessee Brew Works inhabits a former printing warehouse on Ewing Avenue in what appears to be becoming Nashville’s brewery district: other denizens of the SoBro neighborhood include YazooJackalope, and Czann’s.  TBW took possession of the property in February 2013, began brewing last August, and opened their Tennessee Taproom onsite in October.

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Nashville Craft Beer Week: New Belgium at 12 South Taproom

20140701-145503-53703901.jpgThe Taproom last Thursday night

So many events, so little time. I was still feeling saturated from my tour of North Carolina when I arrived back home in Music City on the eve of Nashville Craft Beer Week 2014. In the end, I chose four events: a special appearance by New Belgium brewer Andy Sturm at 12 South Taproom on Thursday night, and three separate small batch releases at Black Abbey on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (I stopped by the Abbey and had a pint each afternoon: more about this in an upcoming post). Next year I will try to plan for this week more in advance.

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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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On the Road: Thirsty Monk

20140618-102947-37787868.jpgphirx On the Road: Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville is a regional Mecca for Southern beer lovers. There are more than a dozen breweries or brewpubs with an Asheville address, and many more nearby. Highland and French Broad have grown over the years to become major craft beer labels: their beers are widely distributed throughout the region and well known to craft beer enthusiasts in Nashville. New Belgium announced in April that they will build their $115 million East Coast brewery in downtown Asheville, Sierra Nevada will open a $108 million brewery in nearby Mills River, and Oskar Blues most recently announced that their new East Coast facility will be located in Brevard, 35 miles away.

Yet when confronted with a local beer bar that features two taprooms – one for American craft beer and one for Belgian style ales, many from Europe – I took advantage of the opportunity to try some rare Belgians I had never tasted before.

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On the Road: Steel String Brewery

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phirx On the Road: Carrboro, North Carolina

Steel String Brewery is a small boutique brewery and taproom located in a rustic warehouse in downtown Carrboro, right next to Chapel Hill, North Carolina’s largest university town. I am on a leisurely tour of the Tarheel state visiting family and friends, and my beer review itinerary has been spontaneous so far – we visited Steel String on my brother’s recommendation. I was glad we did! This is the kind of place I would expect to find in Nashville – I felt right at home.

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On the Road: Bull City Burger and Brewery

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phirx On the Road: Durham, North Carolina

This brewery restaurant in downtown Durham describes themselves as “farm-to-fork” and “like fine dining in a burger joint”. Clearly inspired by the local food movement, BCBB grinds North Carolina pasture-raised beef in-house for their burgers, bakes their own buns, makes their own pickles, condiments, etc. and…brews their own beer.

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