Celtic Ale is my “house beer”. It’s a malty, copper-colored ale with a thick, creamy head that lasts to the bottom of the glass, and at around 4.6% ABV it’s a great session beer. I first started making this as an attempt to make something like Highland Brewing’s flagship Gaelic Ale, which is my wife’s favorite commercial beer. After the first couple batches however, I started experimenting with aspects of the recipe, using the constant extract and specialty grain bill as a background to try different yeasts. The last couple batches I settled on a Scottish Ale yeast, which seems to suit the character of this beer well.
The site has undergone a major revision this week. Over the last month I’ve been reading other blogs and learning about WordPress to get ideas for a better layout – hopefully the new site will give you ideas about where this is going.
There is a new theme and new content, and a few bells/whistles. Beer in Nashville is now linked to my Instagram account (no FaceBook however, and no plans for it) – I’ll be posting the occasional photo on my feed now and recent photos will be featured on the sidebar. Please follow me if you’re an Instagrammer (yes I follow back).
NEW: the phirx ratings page is now up and current, check this out! This list will be cumulative and kept up to date; it includes all my ratings since February 10.
Hops + Crafts is a small taproom in The Gulch that opened less than a year ago. Already it is gaining a reputation in town as a great place to have a pint or try new offerings from local and regional craft breweries. Hops + Crafts gained national recognition this winter when they made Draft magazine’s annual list of America’s 100 Best Beer Bars 2014. You can read the entire list here:
It’s a small place. There are several tables inside where the bar is and a couple outside in the patio as well. Sliding glass doors separate the bar from the patio, and these were open on the sunny, beautiful afternoon I visited this week. After looking over the current menu (which rotates out pretty frequently) I decided to drink IPAs, and ordered a flight.
Warning: Long Post
This post is for a friend of mine whose wife is due to give birth any day now. He texted me somewhat frantically one morning, writing that he wasn’t going to be going to the pub much in the near future and would I please send him a list of the equipment he needs to start brewing. I texted back that I would put a list together and post it here and hey presto! today’s blog post was born.
This list is assuming a number of things:
1) you have a pretty much standard 21st century kitchen: stove, refrigerator/freezer unit, sink, and some counter space,
2) you are going to be brewing from malt extract with specialty malts (not all-grain) – this is how I currently brew,
3) you are going to be brewing ales (not lagers, which require colder fermentation temperatures and refrigeration as part of their conditioning),
4) you are going to bottle (not keg) your beer.
I am going to break this down into seven categories:
1) a book (or books)
3) brewing tools
4) cleaning agents
5) fermenters and airlocks
6) racking and bottling gear
Welcome to my very first blog post. You can expect this blog (=beer log) to discuss all things beer from the perspective of a Nashville beer drinker and home brewer, although I reserve the right to go off-topic if it suits me! Please bear with me as I learn how to negotiate the technology, and as I decide what to write about, and how.
My beer interests largely revolve around my home brewery and my fascination with the American craft beer phenomenon, although they include a strong interest in traditional imported styles (especially English and Belgian). The craft beer movement is exploding here in Music City, with several new excellent breweries having opened in the last few years, and availability of craft brews from around the country in restaurants, bars, and stores growing at an exponential rate. It is truly a beer renaissance.
I first started brewing beer at home 20 years ago, and have seen the home brewing hobby grow tremendously in the years since as well (much more on this in future posts). Home brewers today can emulate virtually any style they wish with available techniques, equipment, and ingredients, and the practice of home brewing so naturally complements and overlaps that of checking out what folks who have gotten their priorities straight are doing commercially (getting it out of the garage and into distribution!).
Hoping this will be fun and informative for both me and you – cheers!