St. Stefanus at The Perch

20140706-095212-35532462.jpgLast week we went out to a late breakfast/early lunch at The Perch, our local crêperie par excellence. I hadn’t been by for a while, and although I was probably headed towards a cup of strong tea with my crêpe or maybe an espresso concoction, as my eye wandered over the short wine list chalked on the board I noticed their only beer offering: St. Stefanus Blonde Ale from Belgium.  I suppose if they could only have one beer, it was a good choice!

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The Session #89: The Gerst Haus

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In addition to being Independence Day in the United States, today is also The Session, a monthly group beer blogging event that was started in 2007 by Stan Hieronymous at Appellation Beer and Jay Brooks at Brookston Beer Bulletin. The Session occurs on the first Friday of every month; this month’s host is Bill Kostkas over at Pittsburgh Beer Snob. The topic of this month’s Session is: Beer in History.

Nashville’s first commercial brewery – simply named The Nashville Brewery – was founded in 1859 by a Jacob Stifel on the corner of High and Mulberry Streets. Several other brewing concerns and bottling companies operated in Nashville in the late 19th century, but it was Stifel’s brewery that, after several changes of ownership, became The William Gerst Brewing Company in 1893. The Gerst brewery grew to dominate the beer industry in Tennessee and throughout the American South in the early years of the 20th century, producing as much as 200,000 barrels annually and employing hundreds of people.

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Tailgate Beer moves to Nashville

California craft brewery Tailgate Beer announced yesterday that they are planning to move to a 7.3 acre property on Charlotte Avenue. According to the announcement on their website, Tailgate will be turning a former Moose Lodge into not only a brewery, but also “a craft beer hall, picnic, tailgate, and event space as soon as possible. We’re converting what once was baseball diamond into an acoustic-music-only, outdoor concert venue. We’ll be gardening hops and working with local artists on murals in and around the property.” states the announcement.

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Nashville Craft Beer Week: Black Abbey Staff Nights

20140701-145932-53972014.jpgKayleigh Morse of Black Abbey serves her Dark & Stormy Belgian Dark Ale

In celebration of Nashville Craft Beer Week, three Black Abbey staff members who do not usually work on the brewing side of the business – although they all have home brewing backgrounds – poured pints of special small batch ales they made on successive nights at the brewery’s taproom. I am fortunate to live on the same side of town as Black Abbey, and was able to drop by the taproom each afternoon, have a pint, and talk to the brewer.

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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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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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a home brewer muses on the state of the art in Music City