Two weeks ago I received an email from an editor at Stay.com 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 Stay.com site and available on their app as well.
Bosco’s is a small, regional chain of brewery restaurants that was started in the Germantown neighborhood of Memphis in 1992. Currently Bosco’s operates restaurants in Nashville, Franklin, Memphis, and Little Rock. I have been a regular since I moved here over ten years ago. The Nashville location is in the heart of Hillsboro Village, the small shopping and (mostly) restaurant district between Vanderbilt and Belmont universities, just a few blocks from Music Row.
Blackstone was Nashville’s first brewpub, opened on New Year’s Eve 1994. Well-known homebrewing author Dave Miller relocated to Nashville from St. Louis to create Blackstone’s line-up of beers, which feature award-winning regular selections and seasonals which rotate through regularly. Located strategically between Vanderbilt and downtown, Blackstone has become a Nashville icon.
It’s my favorite pub. I’ve probably visited the place more than a hundred times since I moved to Nashville over ten years ago. It used to be a consistent hangout for symphony musicians and members of the ballet after performances; I don’t know if that’s still the case as I rarely visit Blackstone at those hours anymore. One of my fondest Nashville memories is a late dinner there after seeing a performance of The Nutcracker at the performing arts center. My daughter was in kindergarten or first grade, and taking dance classes at the ballet’s school. We were seated near a large reserved table which soon filled with dancers, and my exhausted but ecstatic daughter got to meet the ballerina who had danced Clara that night.
Black Abbey is a recently founded (opened in 2013) local brewery whose success is a unique Nashville success story. Their beers are available in over 100 venues throughout Nashville and the surrounding counties. Black Abbey’s “legend” – posted on each table in the taproom and on their website – describes how the brewery’s founders derive their inspiration from the travails of Martin Luther and his defrocked nun wife Katherine von Bora, who allegedly brewed “the best beer in Wittenberg”. The legend then makes the leap to their choice of brewing styles by stating that “Katherine crafted ales that were likely more similar to today’s Belgian-style ales than to the lagers for which Germany is famous.