Saturday morning I began cleaning out the garage, after years of procrastination and excuses. I made a false start two years ago and got through a dozen boxes of memorabilia before other demands took over and the job was abandoned. The room that theoretically is supposed to be a place to park the car soon soon reverted to its wild, primordial state of recycling bins, lawn care equipment, bicycle parts, and cardboard boxes upon plastic bins of the detritus of family life: all those items you have no need for today or this season or anymore but aren’t ready to part with, not yet.
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 Yazoo, Jackalope, and Czann’s. TBW took possession of the property in February 2013, began brewing last August, and opened their Tennessee Taproom onsite in October.
phirx On the Road: Asheville, North Carolina
This is the third and concluding post in my series about Asheville’s remarkable brewery restaurant Wicked Weed, which opened in December 2012.
Last 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!
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.
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.
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!