If I don’t get this down while the blur is still fresh in my mind even more of it will slip away.
Last Saturday evening I attended Session B (and they don’t call it a session without reason) of the 13th Annual Mafiaoza’s Music City Brewers Festival downtown. Thousands? (I don’t have any actual numbers but it was crowded) of folks attended the event which included representatives from most local breweries, many from out-of-state, and a few from other countries: more than 60 in all.
Jackalope Brewing Company is a small artisanal brewery and taproom ideally located on the edge of The Gulch in a small warehouse on 8th Ave. Jackalope opened their taproom on May 21, 2011 and began distributing their beer around town in January the following year – their beers can now be found at over 125 venues in Nashville and Middle Tennessee and as far afield as Chattanooga. The first female-owned brewery in Tennessee, Jackalope produces delicious beers and presents them with a unique, fanciful attitude.
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.
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.
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.