Tag Archives: bars

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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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: 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.

Continue reading On the Road: Wicked Weed Brewing Part 2

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

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the front page of my guide on Stay.com

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.

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Nashville Craft Beer Week 2014

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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: 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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