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Craft Beer W IN T ER ISS UE 20 1 8





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What’s better than drinking beer? ...MAKING IT.

Knowledge is

POWER! The Brewing and Distilling Center, Inc. is authorized for operation as a postsecondary education institution by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. The Professional Brewing/Distilling CertiďŹ cate is recognized by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. For more information, go to:




© 2017 BountyBev, All Rights Reserved

Contents 26

Feature Beer and The Great Outdoors 40

Brewery Profiles Founders Brewing Company 24 Nashville Brewing Company 16 Oddstory 36

Industry News


Beer Tasting For Beginners 34 Beer and Hymns 54

Recipes Malaysian Beef Satay 20

What’s New In Brew New For Winter 44


Cover | Meet The Brewers

Tennessee is known for its excellent craft beer, and it certainly doesn’t make itself. We spent time with

several of our state’s head brewers to find out what inspires them, where they started and what we can expect next from our local brewers. Pictured above are the head brewers and the writers who profiled them. From left: Writer Tony Giannisi, Matt Simpson of Tennessee Brew Works, Nelson Taylor of Oddstory, Jay Boyd of Oddstory, Thomas Mercado of Rock Bottom, Dieter Foerstner of Hap & Harry’s, Stephen Apking of Hexagon Brewing, Writer Don Else, Writer Julie Holt (not pictured: Davin Bartosch of Wiseacre, Writer Ryan Guess). Cover and corresponding photos shot by Nick Bumgardner.



| Departments


Meet The Brewers


26 28 30 32 33

Stephen Apking Matt Simpson Davin Bartosch Dieter Foerstner Thomas Mercado

Health & Fitness 18 Willisfest

Food Review 22 Blossom Cellar

Social Drink 38 Jack Daniel’s New Release

Home Brew 42 A Bad Idea

Back Page 56 Fantastic Monastics


magazine staff publisher Craig Disque editor in chief Didi Rainey senior editor Don Else managing editor Julie Holt memphis editor Ryan Guess south tennessee editor Tony Giannasi east tennessee editor Rob Shomaker art director and layout designer Irika Skeete creative designer Bryan Adams contributors Mark Brewer, Chris Chamberlain, Veronica de la Cruz, Gini David, Shane Gibbs, Justin Harris, Brandon Holt, Shawn Klumpjan, Nancy Vienneau, Scott Sutton, Kent Taylor, Art Whitaker, Clyde Willis

photographers Nick Bumgardner, Aaron Grobengieser, Brandon Lunday, Bill Seymour, Sean Von Tagen

FIND US ONLINE @tncraftbeermag #TNbeer #tnbeer

Get 4 issues delivered for $25. Visit Š2018 Tennessee Craft Beer Magazine must give permission for any material contained herein to be reproduced in any manner. Any advertisements published in Tennessee Craft Beer Magazine do not constitute an endorsement of the advertisers services or products. Tennessee Craft Beer Magazine is published quarterly by distinguished individuals that have a fervent and lifelong thirst for craft beer. We challenge you to doubt our resolve.

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Publisher’s Note There are so many descriptions of winter that ring true for Tennesseans — holiday season, hunting season, stout season. But for us, it’s a season of new beginnings. Our winter issue is ushering in new information, new relationships and even a new attitude in craft beer culture. Our cover story, Meet the Brewers, is a testament to the individual brilliance and work ethic of the brewers we profiled, as well as their collective determination to continue making great beer and push the boundaries of beer as we know it. Brewers from all backgrounds share a love of the art and science of brewing, and we couldn’t be happier to have had a seat at the table when they came together over their shared interests. From one brewer’s beginnings abroad to another’s covert brewing operations in the Army, we cover the gamut of why they brew, and what inspires their work. Also new in this issue is our What’s New In Brew section, where you’ll read the latest releases and news from breweries and distributors across the state. If you’re new to the craft beer community, this is a great way to learn the lay of the land in our local craft scene. We’re also introducing you to the finer points of beer tasting with a seasoned professional.

A Nashville-based Law Firm Serving the

Southern Beverage Community

For those of you who celebrate winter as the beginning of hunting season, don’t miss our feature on beer and the great outdoors. Our natural resources are essential in beer making and the enjoyment of everything our great state has to offer, and we had a chance to drink a few pints in the woods and learn about the Tennessee Wildlife Federation’s conservation efforts. As we enter a new year, we want everyone to have a seat at the table. Just as our head brewers came together over a few pints, we believe all craft beer drinkers are a part of the community and the conversation. From the newly initiated lager-only drinkers to the barrel aged barleywine lovers, we share a common bond in our desire to pass this interest on to others. We want them to know that they’re welcome in the fold and there’s a craft beer for everyone. So pour a glass of your go-to brew and find your people. They’re the ones raising a glass to brewing—and drinking—the best beer in 2018!

Craig Disque



President/ CFO




Feature Beer And The Great Outdoors




here’s nothing better than getting into Fresh Pants or a Little Black Dress after hiking the gorgeous cliffs and valleys of the Obed region on the Cumberland plateau. In fact, at least half of the rock climbers, kayakers, hikers and campers winding down from a day in the great outdoors at Lilly Pad Hopyard and Brewery enjoyed more than one of these.



BREWING COMPANY Written By: Shane Gibbs


he Nashville Brewing Company first opened back in 1859 on South High Street (now 6th Ave South), but had to stop production the following year because of the Civil War. The brewery eventually reopened in 1864 and operated under various owners until 1890, when it changed its name to The Moerlein-Gerst Brewing Company. In 1893 William Gerst purchased controlling interest and renamed it the William Gerst Brewing Company. Fast forward to today, and we have the resurgence of old world, traditional style lagers from Scott Mertie under the Nashville Brewing Company in partnership with Blackstone Brewing Company. Mertie, an accountant/healthcare executive by day, is also a beer historian. His


fascination with brewing history started when he was a child and collected thousands of different beer cans. His hobby eventually branched out toward homebrewing and brewery advertising. It was this vision and drive which led him to restart the Nashville Brewing Company, but not before publishing Nashville Brewing (Acadia Publishing, 2006) and convincing the Nashville Historic Commission to erect a historical marker on the site of the original brewery. The new Nashville Brewing Company released its first beer, Nashville Lager, in December of 2016. Because of the booming craft beer scene and Nashville being a major tourist destination, the Munich helles lager is a huge success. Another recent release was Nashville Fest-

bier, a traditional Märzen style lager. This winter will see the release of a schwatzbier called Nashville Black Lager. Other upcoming brews to get your hands on will be Nashville Maibock and Nashville 1897 Pilsner. I, for one, am looking forward to trying the schwarzbier this winter, just as Mertie is excited to share it with the world. For a chance to find yours, check your local bottle shops, restaurants and bars. Of course, the Nashville Brewing Company’s beers can also be found at the Blackstone Taproom. Grab one today, friends. Prost! Blackstone Taproom is located at 2312 Clifton Ave, Nashville TN 37209.

Belly Busters, Transforming a Beer Industry Professional Willisfest


he temperature has dropped and we have survived the holidays, but there are still plenty of cold days and festive occasions ahead. All of this can be awesome and incredibly daunting. The best aspects of this season are spending time with loved ones, enjoying some of the best beer of the year and all the soul warming food at gatherings. The daunting task for those who might be sharing in our weight loss journey is deciding which indulgences to ingest. In this installment of Belly Busters, we will focus on the road map for staying on course while still enjoying what this time of year provides. The Discipline: Staying the course during this season of amazing flavors has already been difficult. My wife and I host a party every year called Willisfest where we enjoy bratwurst boiled in beer, onions, peppers and red pepper flakes, then grilled over charcoal to get a nice smoke finish. We also allow ourselves a little more beer than normal. This year’s lineup included beers like Founders Mosaic Promise and Red’s Rye IPA on draught and Hoppin’ Frog D.O.R.I.S., 3 Floyds Backmasking, Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier, Founders Blushing Monk, Founders KBS, Founders DOOM and Founders Frootwood in bottles. Staying disciplined through these temptations can be almost impossible without a plan. Therefore, we made a priority list of the indulgences that we wanted to enjoy. In addition, extra walking helps offset some of the decisions to indulge. Our fo-


Written By: Clyde Willis cus during the holidays and throughout winter was to stick to our priority list. We made beer can chicken for Thanksgiving and limited our portions of stuffing, mashed potatoes, pasta and bread. This allowed us to enjoy styles like Biere de

We ate small portions of potato salad, broccoli salad, pasta salad, seafood salad and desserts. In full disclosure, I did consume a cannoli or two throughout the day because they are so damn good with Founders Red’s Rye IPA. After cleaning up the party the next day, we walked some extra miles together to help our bodies deal with the increased calories. Outcomes: Amy and I are confident that our priority list and our dedication to each other to stay disciplined will keep us happy throughout this new year. So far, our Willisfest plans worked out well. We have not gained any weight so far through the holiday season. Conclusions: Making a calculated decision to indulge gives you the occasional break needed to keep your focus on your goals. It is okay to feel good about the cheat day as long as those days stay few and far between. Enjoy yourself through the holidays. Enjoy walking some extra miles in order to indulge a little more. Take time to enjoy each other as well.

Garde, Saison, Imperial Stout, Porter, Scotch Ale, IIPA and other major styles that are enjoyed during the holidays. The Progress: The Willisfest event was a major success. The priority list that Amy and I created gave us a clear conscience about eating reasonable portions of bratwurst, beer and carb based sides. We enjoyed bratwurst without buns to keep our overall carb intake somewhat in check.

This beer loving community is as diverse as the styles that we consume, and we should enjoy every time we get to share a pint or two together. Until next time, be, eat and drink well. Iechyd Da! Clyde Willis Certified Cicerone®





Global Tastes with local ingredients

Recipe Pairing


t Green Door Gourmet, a 350-acre organic farm, market, events and agritourism center along Nashville’s Cumberland River, executive chef Richard Jones relishes the opportunity to mesh global flavors with locally grown ingredients. Because Green Door’s stunning events venue gets booked for all sorts of festive gatherings, Jones gets plenty of opportunities to do just that. At a recent party, he served small beef skewers (satays) prepared in the vibrant spice profiles of the Far East. And guests got pretty stoked. Waking up the palate with delicious, off-the-beaten-path tastes is a great way to get a party rolling. Boldly spiced in a mélange of cumin, coriander, shallots and coconut, the meat takes on savory-sweetness and delicate charring from the grill. The accompanying peanut sauce, its red curry paste fire tempered by coconut milk, adds another cunning layer of flavor. “The inspiration for this dish comes from my years growing up in Australia and its close proximity to the colorful culture and palate of



Written By: Nancy Vienneau Photos: Lindsey Williams

Indonesia,” Jones says. “The satay started out as shish kabob in Mesopotamia 8000 years ago and made its way across the planet picking up flavors from the cultures of the Caucus, Ancient China, Japan, Malaysia and Indonesia.” Prepared on Lodge’s “Sportsman,” a cast-iron hibachi-style charcoal grill, petite satays make perfect party fare, either as part of a grazing meal or a prelude to a seated dinner. And, like many dishes of the Far East, their ideal beverage partner is a crisp cold beer.

Chef Jones offers his personal recommendations. “Tennessee Brew Works’ Extra Easy has toffee and earthy malt undertones to complement the beef, and a moderate, cleansing bitter finish to balance the richness of coconut and fresh curry flavors,” he says. “I also like Fat Bottom Ida, a locally produced golden ale. Featuring a light pilsner-style palate and subtle sweetness, it pairs well with a wide range of foods -- perfect for enjoying canapés before a full meal.”

Lastly, for hop lovers, his choice is Jackalope’s Thunder Ann. “It provides a rich, honeyed malt body with citrusy hops. That tropical flair complements the island flavor of coconut without an abundance of lingering bitterness.

Chef Richard Jones’ “BEEF TIPS”

Health: Choose beef from locally raised

cattle treated with no hormones, and no antibiotics, that are free to roam and have access to fresh grass, hay and water.

Taste: Grass-pastured beef tends to have more flavor. More movement=more flavor.

Economy: By using ground beef and not primal cuts, you help the farmer utilize more of each head of cattle, which adds to the sustainability of the operation. KLD Farms http://www.kldfarmtennbeef. com north of Nashville has all natural, grassfed, grain finished USDA inspected dry-aged beef. The cows are free-ranging.

MALAYSIAN BEEF SATAY Recipes courtesy of Richard Jones, executive chef, Green Door Gourmet BEEF & COCONUT SATAY makes 8 large or 16 small skewers

Ingredients • 1 pound ground beef • ½ cup shredded sweetened coconut • 1 tablespoon minced shallot • 2 teaspoons fresh grated turmeric • 1 teaspoon ground cumin • ½ teaspoon ground coriander • 2 teaspoons palm sugar • 1 tablespoon fish sauce • 1 tablespoon condensed milk • 1 tablespoon dark rum • ½ - 1 teaspoon salt • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper • 1 egg, beaten • coconut oil (for the grill)


- In a medium bowl, mix beef with shredded coconut, coriander, cumin, shallot, turmeric, until combined. In a separate bowl whisk together sugar, fish sauce, condensed milk and rum and then combine into the beef mixture. Season with

salt and pepper; add the egg until thoroughly mixed. - Portion into 2 ounces each, and with lightly moistened hands form around 8 long bamboo skewers about 6 inches of mixture ½ inch thick. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

• ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro •2

tablespoons diced red bell pepper



- Heat grapeseed oil in a small pan until hot and then add curry paste and cook until fragrant, about one minute. Pour in mirin and stir to release any paste that sticks to the pan, then add coconut milk and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring constantly, for a couple of minutes, and then add the peanut butter. Keep stirring and cook the sauce until it begins to thicken, several minutes more.


- Reduce the heat to a simmer and add vinegar, fish sauce and sugar.

- Prepare the grill. When it is ready, lightly brush with coconut oil. Then, cook satays for 5 - 6 minutes, turning frequently so that they do not burn. Serve over jicama pickle and a side of Peanut Curry Sauce makes 2 ½ cups

• 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil • 1 tablespoon red curry paste,

to taste • 1 tablespoon mirin • 2 cups coconut milk • 2 tablespoons peanut butter • 1 tablespoon fish sauce • ½ teaspoon rice wine vinegar • 2 tablespoons palm sugar

or more

- Remove from heat and remove any excess oil that rises to the top. Cool to room temperature before stirring in sesame oil, cilantro and bell pepper. Serve in bowls alongside the grilled satays for dipping, or drizzle over the meat before serving. - Keep refrigerated for a week.


Blossom Cellar Food Review |


n 2016, a brand new restaurant was born in Hendersonville, Blossom. It surprised the town by being voted the People’s Choice of Taste of Hendersonville in 2016 after being open just a couple of short months. Tamara Gnyp, the mastermind behind Blossom, followed it up with Best of Taste in Taste of Hendersonville 2017. In the restaurant world, this is unheard of. She has almost immediately landed the awards that so many restaurants strive for years to win. The most amazing part is that Tamara has no prior restaurant experience. She comes with a fresh approach, from a diner and drinker’s perspective. “When I looked around town to see what was missing, I saw two glaring holes: A top-notch craft bar and authentic Thai food,” says Gnyp. She combined the two and never looked back. She did her research and found some of the best Thai cooks in the mid-state area and paired their culinary creations with over 100 different craft offerings, which are always changing. “Hendersonville lacked a true craft beer bar. Sure, there are places you can go and get some craft beers, but I wanted Blossom

Written By: Scott Sutton | Photography By: Aaron Grobengieser

& Cellar Door Craft Cavern to stand out.” And stand out it does. On any given night, patrons can get some of the best craft beers in Middle Tennessee and pair them with beautiful food. Once Gnyp decided to offer an extensive craft selection, the cuisine just fell into place. She wanted a place where people could have the absolute best of both worlds. “This is the vision behind Blossom-you can come in and have an excellent dinner and leave very satisfied, or you can come and sample a few beers from our ever-changing beer list. Or choose your own adventure, make an evening of it, and have both. We love pairing beers with our dishes for our guests,” Gnyp says. The staff creates a complete dining experience, from house-made Lao beef

jerky and handmade eggrolls to the best craft beer you can find. They set themselves apart from anything Sumner County has ever seen and provide a place for the community to gather. “Once the awards started showing up, I had no idea what to say. It was beyond anything I could have hoped for. We are just so thrilled to have the backing of our regulars who support and spread the word about us. There are folks we see 2-3 times a week, and we couldn’t be happier! This is what BCD is all about.” Blossom is a one-of-a-kind place. Add in the best Thai food and beer experience north of Nashville, and you’ll see the reason that Tamara has won 2 Taste of Hendersonville awards and was featured in The Tennessean in April. She has combined a unique and interesting social club in an old skating rink that is sure to have more surprises to follow. Blossom & Cellar Door Craft Cavern can be found at 750 W. Main Street, Hendersonville, TN 37075. Reservations can be made at 615-431-2186. BlossomCellarDoor

Tamara Gnyp

Need a leader for getting followers?


Brewery Profile


n 1997, Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers, the owners of Founders Brewing Company, were pretty much broke. They owed a lot of money and nonessential equipment was being sold off to cover the bills. The end wasn’t just in sight, it was knocking at the back door. The end of Founders seemed inevitable, so Mike and Dave put their heads together for one last plan. If they were going under then they were going to do it on their terms. What did they have to lose? The doors were going to be padlocked and it didn’t seem like there was anything left they could do to stop it. Why not spend what was left in the bank and brew a bunch of beer that they and their friends would want to drink? Bold, in your face, aromatic, big body beers. But people

caught wind of what the guys at Founders were doing, so they started buying it. A lot of it. Enough that Founders’ fortunes turned around. That was when they decided that “we don’t brew beer for the masses.” They started brewing “Beer for us”! Not only did this keep the brewery open, it created a cult-like following. It turned out that the beer Mike and Dave wanted to brew for themselves was just what the market was looking for. Great


| Written By: Scott Sutton | Photography By: Founders Brewing Co.

Founders Brewing Company beers with great ingredients, out of the box thinking and off the top rope ideas. They found their Golden Goose. The brewery that so many of us love makes some of the most dynamic beer in the market today. A brewery that started with a 30 barrel system 20 years ago is now producing 348,000 barrels a year. That is enough to make them around the 12th largest brewery in the craft beer market. A brewery of that size covers an entire city block. Nestled deep in the heart of Grand Rapids, Michigan sits one of the most iconic breweries in the craft beer market. From almost having to close 20 years

ago to now distributing in 46 states and 27 countries. (Congrats Alaska, you were the newest addition!) Proving the quality of the beer put out by Founders, they do not have a beer in their portfolio that ranks below a 95 in Rate Beer. The folks on Rate Beer are

passionate beer drinkers who are looking to find the best beer out there so they can share it with the world. If that isn’t an epic turnaround from where Mike and Dave were 20 years ago, I’m not sure I know what is! When you ask Clyde Willis, the Tennessee and Kentucky Market Manager, one of the reasons he loves working for a company like Founders so much, he will tell you that they have treated him like a brother in arms since day one. It’s not just Clyde (although he is a pretty righteous dude to know) who gets that type of treatment--Founders has a true appreciation for each and every one of their employees. I had the privilege of attending the annual Black Party held in the taproom in Grand Rapids. I got to see firsthand what an amazing operation Founders runs. The

Black Party is exactly what it sounds like, on this one day a year the only thing served in the tap room are black beers. Some beers you are familiar with, such as Nitro Breakfast Stout and some are only made for this event. We had the chance to try the 2 Chainz Black IPA, 2015-2017 KBS, Nitro Frangelic Stout which is brewed with hazelnuts, and a beer listed as MF Donkey Stout. Back up--it actually stands for Mackinaw Fudge.


f you ever get a chance to try a Barrel Aged Curmudgeon, you need to jump at the opportunity. I finally got to try my white buffalo, the CBS. I cannot begin to describe the flavor and complexity of the Canadian Breakfast Stout. To say it was really, really good does not do that beer justice. From Lizard of Koz to Baltic Porter and everything in between it was a long day of imbibing in some of the most unique beers I’ve ever had the chance to try. If the opportunity ever presents itself for you to go, you must do it. Don’t ask questions. You must go. Seeing all of these beers was an amazing sight to behold, and it just proved that the decision Mike and Dave made 20 years ago has paid off for all craft beer lovers. Cheers to you guys, Founders, Clyde Willis, and Bounty Bev for getting these beers into our lives. It’s all for the greater good. The greater good of having greater beer at our fingertips. Download Founders’ free app to find out where to purchase their beer as well as other news and need-to-know information.




tephen Apking sat in the floor of his grandfather’s fly tying room in Cincinnati, Ohio. He thumbed through old books about fishing, hunting and the outdoors. It was 2013, his grandmother had recently passed and while his grandfather had passed 20 years prior, Stephen was on the hunt for his grandfather’s flyrods that he knew were still in the house. Days before, Stephen and business partner Matt McMillian were narrowing a list of potential brewery names. It was a book Stephen found in that room by Wayne Cattanach, who happened to make the same rods Stephen was on the hunt for, that narrowed the list of brewery names to one. A note in his grandfather’s handwriting acting as a reminder for a doctor’s appointment marked a page where Wayne outlined the importance and strength of the hexagon shape in a fly rod. Stephen, a snowboarder, water skier and bee keeper, had always understood the strength of the hexagon and had included the name on the brewery list. However, it was on the floor of that fly tying room where Stephen’s grandfather solidified a dream many years in the making and the name Hexagon Brewing Company was

born. Stephen is well known and respected in the Knoxville beer community. An avid adventurer at heart, Stephen doesn’t do anything half-way. He approaches everything he does with precision, determination and careful thought. He stands a medium height, always clean shaven and hair cut close. Broad shoulders, strong arms, an athlete in all respects. Many would also note his big heart. He’s often sought after for feedback and guidance in both business and beer. Stephen has participated in more charity events than I can count over the years. If beer can help and money can be raised, he’s always a willing participant. I vividly recall one of my first homebrew experiences. It was roughly 2011 and through a mutual friend I met Stephen Apking who invited me over the following Saturday to brew. Don Kline, a close friend and also a home brewer, went with me to Stephen’s home where on the back patio, under the porch, on that chilly day, equipment cleaning was being wrapped up and grain was just about to be measured out. What struck me was how patient Stephen was with my questions while at the same time maintaining military-like precision with mea-

surements, temperatures and times. When he had a moment to spare he’d disappear into the house and reappear with another homebrew for us to try. We’d discuss the merits of the beer and he’d share what he had learned or what he wished to change in the recipe, all the while not missing a step in his current brew. Neither Don nor I remember how much of that beer we drank that day but it was a fair amount. It was also very well done. This was also when Stephen shared with us his desire to one day open a brewery. Craft beer began for Stephen when his brother Alex moved to Lake Tahoe, California and began working at Squaw Valley ski resort. At the time, Alex and Stephen were avid snowboarders and where better to spend spring break of 1996 than crashing on his brother’s floor at night and on the slopes all day? The mid-station at Squaw Valley was a great spot to grab a bite to eat, but they only had one brewery’s beer available. Stephen sat down and looked for his familiar American Lager. What they had available was from Lake Tahoe Brewing Company. The flavor in this beer was surprising and it made a lasting impression. When Stephen returned to Knoxville he readily found New Castle and Sam Adams to quench his new thirst. These beers were almost twice as expensive than what he had previously been drinking. Knowing he couldn’t go back, he connected with another Knoxville beer pioneer, Ron Downer who, at the time had opened a homebrew shop on the back of his property. Ron began to teach Stephen how to brew and helped him assemble a home brew system with a Sabco mash tun and several fabricated kegs. Stephen was now a home brewer. By then it was 1998 and Stephen was brewing “just for himself” as he says. It was also in this year that Stephen and several others put together and opened Cedar Bluff Cycles. The owners would regularly meet to discuss the business and Stephen’s house became the meeting spot. On tap: home brew. Positive feedback began to pour in from his colleagues while at the same time the cycling community circle widened and others were introduced to craft beer for the first time through Stephen’s home brew. Soon requests began coming in for parties and special occasions. Stephen found himself researching and writing more recipes to meet these requests. It was an Appalachian Mountain Bike Club fall festival where Stephen was asked to provide beer that further influenced his disciplined approach to brewing. At the time he was trying to brew the biggest beer he could, which was often higher ABV and out of style. While there weren’t any issues at the event itself, the next day he received feedback that made him realize

Strength in Shape | Stephen Apking of Hexagon Brewing Co. 26


Stephen Apking the importance of style and what it conveys to the drinker. From then on out, what he brewed would be within the accepted guidelines. In 2009 things changed again for Stephen as he ventured back out west. This time, Portland, Oregon was the destination, IPAs and their lovely hops were the discovery. Stephen spent a great deal of time visiting breweries, seeing the Yakima and Willamette Valley while a new focus began to take hold in his brewing journey. He returned home and turned his attention to IPAs. In 2010 Stephen began to enter his beers into competitions and was winning. Stephen’s Alt kept the podium on so many occasions that he quit entering it as he says, “it was a bit embarrassing! It consistently was on the podium. That recipe is perfect though, just as it is.” These competitions built confidence and continued to fuel the flames to brew full time. As life goes though, there were a number of things that occurred both personally and professionally that kept this dream just out of reach. Stephen kept brewing and was a consistent presence in the Knoxville brewing community. Through the prompting of a mutual friend he brought Matt McMillian on to write a business plan that would propel Hexagon Brewing Company forward. While the path for brewery creation is rarely linear, in July 2016 ground was broken and 9 months later, beer began to be brewed. The brew house at Hexagon is especially unique as it was built with purpose and flexibility in mind.

Staying true to his home brewing roots, it’s an SMT system. The main brewhouse is a 20 barrel, 3 vessel system that is 95% automated. Integrated on the same platform is a 2 vessel, 3.5 barrel set up that acts as a pilot system. This integration allows Stephen to utilize some of the larger system when using the smaller one. When you enter Hexagon, you’ll note how clean and organized both the taproom and the brewery are. You’ll also notice promotions for special events, crowlers to-go and the rotating tap list with many unique and interesting beers from the pilot system. While Hexagon may be a bit off Knoxville’s craft beer beaten path, it’s the beer and these special events that consistently bring people in. The missing element though, has been food. While food trucks can often be found onsite, Stephen and Matt have decided to add their own onsite kitchen to serve a limited menu that contains dishes that pair with specific Hexagon beers. A hexagon’s shape comes from its six sides joined in a manner that each lends strength to the others. There is certainly strength at Hexagon. From a stellar team, excellent recipes, diligent cleanliness paired with Stephen’s determination, focus and desire to exceed consumers’ expectations will ensure the strength of Hexagon Brewing Company both now and into the future.

Stephen Apking of Hexagon Brewing Co.

Written By: Rob Shomaker



t was the early ‘90s and an irate post commander marched swiftly across Fort Lewis just outside of Tacoma, Washington. Rumor was that illegal alcohol was being produced in C Company of the 2nd Ranger Battalion and this 2-star general was going to put a stop to it. As the General entered the barracks of C CO, 2nd Ranger

Matt Simpson

they also raise the game for the breweries Battalion he was met by a young private around them. They also influence an enon guard duty who had strict orders; only tire group of young and aspiring brewers authorized individuals on “the list” could who learn through their example and their be allowed entry. Since the Rangers fell instruction. One such individual is a part of under Special Operations Command, Tennessee Brew Works; Matt Simpson. the general was not on that list. “It was Matt greets me with a firm handshake pretty funny. They called the battalion just outside of the Tennessee Brew officer on duty as well. He backed up Works brewhouse. He stands just short the Ranger on duty stating something of my five foot, ten inches. His shoulders about operational security. The are wide and deep, clearly from years of General stomped off and was hard work in a brewery as well as years of furious. That was the last we adventure in both rivers and mountains. heard about it. My barracks Behind a full and dark beard sits a smile brewery shut down a General. that was chiseled from years of advenI thought that was the coolest ture and experience. Within a few short thing since pelletized hops moments I could sense a genuine and conical fermenters. My wisdom that as our time together beer gained some street cred. unfurled, would be confirmed. As we It was a great moment in my settled into a table in a corner of the life.” tap room, each with a beer in hand, we Matt “Doc” Simpson, a Serbegan to unpack the stories and geant in the 2nd Ranger Batadventures that led Matt to Nashville and talion, was not only a medic Tennessee Brew Works. but also the resident brewer. A festival in Seattle is where Matt By leveraging a steam ketrealized he wanted to brew. It was the tle in the mess hall and some early ‘90s and Rogue Ales, who had food grade trashcans as a only been around a short time, was mash tun and fermenters, Doc present. He bugged them for hours as he cranked out 30 to 35 gallons absorbed their suggestions and pointers. of beer that was served in the It was both this and frequent interactions Ranger bar on the top floor of with the team at Redhook Brewery that the barracks. Porters were the motivated Matt to pursue brewing which, predominant style because, as at the time, was in his barracks. he tells it, it was easy to mask In 1993 Matt brought his career as an flaws from the rudimentary Army Ranger to a close and moved to equipment and technique. Denver. As a self-professed The brewing At one point rock climber with a rafting culture in Tenproblem, Matt didn’t have to nessee is still Matt found very young in himself the last pass the time too long bec o m p a r i s o n - guy that could fore landing a job at Broadway Brewing Company, a to other parts of our coun- brew. As a result, joint venture between The try. While we he brewed 6 days Wyncoop Brewing Company have a handful and Flying Dog. It was here, a week. of individuals on a 30 barrel system, that the who have been brewing longer importance of repetition and consistency than many of us have been in brewing was impressed upon him. Due legally able to purchase beer, to some changes with the staff, at one they are few and far between. point Matt found himself the last guy that However, when individuals like could brew. As a result, he brewed 6 days this do put down roots in our a week. It was during this time that the fine state, with them comes overall business picture came in focus for a wealth of experience and a Matt. It was impressed that selling beer depth of knowledge that no and financial management of the brewery book or degree program can may be harder than brewing great beer. match. They not only elevate From this experience, a fascination for the quality of beer for the finance began to emerge. brewery they’re a part of, but

Matt Simpson Leading the Band at Tennessee Brew Works



att returned to his childhood home in Grand Junction, Colorado in the late ‘90s to work at a winery and also worked on a startup brewery that ultimately fell through. In the meantime, he kept up his climbing and rafting before finally fueling his interest of finance with a job as a commercial banker in 2003. As a commercial banker, Matt was working with numerous businesses and perusing their financial statements as they sought loans from the bank. “I got to see their mistakes and successes. This had a profound impact on me as a brewer as it helped me better understand business and ultimately, the business of brewing.” Around 2008 it was time for a change. Matt tells me that while the banking industry paid well, “I hated putting on pants every day,” he laughs. Matt left the financial industry and returned to his passion for rafting as a guide for roughly 2 years. Around the same time he began working with Kannah Creek Brewing Company on and off before they hired him full time in 2010. At the time, the brewery was primarily a brewpub with a 7 barrel system in Grand Junction. In 2012 the owners decided to branch out and open a production brewery with a 30 barrel system naming Matt as the head brewer. It was while at Kannah Creek Brewing Company that a mutual friend connected Matt with Christian Spears, President and Founder of Tennessee Brew Works. Christian was seeking a head brewer and while Matt wasn’t on the hunt for a new gig, he was willing to listen. A phone call led to a trip to Nashville where Matt was convinced that Tennessee Brew Works was where the next chapter of his brewing career needed to be written. As he tells it he, “fell in love with the staff. While I knew it would be a lot of work, it was a really good team. People make a place.” Matt brings to Tennessee Brew Works a level of discipline and focus that is propelling this team to a new level. As Tennessee Brew Works has recently moved into both Alabama and Kentucky, he touches on growth with a healthy dose of caution. He clearly recognizes the importance of not getting spread out too thin. Growth must be managed as it affects the brewery as a whole and not just those in the brew house. “Our sales

Written By: Rob Shomaker

team rocks,” he adds. “There’s no doubt that they are the best team in Tennessee. What we do is easy, what they do is hard,” he laughs and adds, “of course, they tell me that what they do is easy and what we do is hard. That’s why this is such a great place, we have great people that are great at what they do.” When he came to Tennessee Brew Works he began to apply his years of experience to an established brewery and those efforts began to bear fruit. Matt has an enthusiastic team of 5 full time employees and several part time individuals that ensure the beer gets made and packaged. “Brewing is a team sport,” he shares. When he worked at a brewpub, it was often a one man show. “Working at a production brewery, everyone needs to be in sync”, Matt shares. While there are always challenges with equipment and materials, it’s the discipline of the team that ensures the beer gets made at the quality they expect. With brews occurring from 10 to 13 times per week Matt continually coaches the team to be in control of the process. “Are you driving the mash or is the mash driving you? You must be in control.” he says. He stresses the importance of technique and understanding your equipment. “Make it do what you want it to do,” he adds. Matt is also a realist and while he’s been at this a very long time, he shares, “We’re always learning, every day.” However, he clearly recognizes the impact his time as a banker had on him as it has affected how he handles materials, demonstrates value and ensures that he’s running an effective and efficient operation. Throughout our conversation the consistent themes from Matt are; discipline, consistency, focus and dedication to the beer and to the team. Making really good beer is no longer good enough in an industry with thin margins and hardcore competition. “People make the place,” Matt repeats. He’s right and that’s something we can all learn from. “There’s a lot of positivity around here,” he adds, “it keeps everyone going.” With a smile, Matt shares, “You only live once, do something you enjoy doing, do it well and have fun with it.”



or craft beer drinkers in Tennessee, the name Wiseacre has become synonymous with great beer. Behind every great beer, there has to be a great brewer and that’s where Wiseacre’ very own Davin Bartosch steps into the ring. Just like Jerry Lawler was the King of Wrastlin’ to me, Davin is the King of Lagers. If you have any doubt, drink The GABF Bronze Medal Winning “Tiny Bomb” and tell me that it doesn’t piledrive your taste buds. Like many brewers, Davin didn’t grow up thinking “I’m going to be a brewer when I grow up.” Instead he has memories of his dad cutting the grass on a Memphis summer day and drinking a cold Michelob when he finished the yard. He remembers going to a convenience store with his buddies and paying someone a little extra cash to grab them some Bud Ice quarts, then jumping on a trampoline and getting “spinny headed.” The fondest memory was of a family trip to Boston when he and his brother (Wiseacre co-owner Kellan) stole their parents’ rental car and went to Sam Adams for a tour. Beer was the fabric of his being he just didn’t yet know to what extent. Davin went to college at The University of Tennessee Chattanooga, where his frugality kicked in during his freshman year. That’s when he decided to make his own beer. The first beer he attempted was a cream ale, which he loaded with table sugar trying to boost the ABV. The result was less beer than stale gym socks. Did he dump the beer? Nope. He drank every last bit of it. After brewing a few more batches he took a brief hiatus from homebrewing to focus on working and attending school at the same time. The extra cash and a job at a local liquor store introduced him to a whole new world of beers. He took special interest in Trappist beers, which many hold as the foundation of all things great in the beer world. He was specifically introduced to Westmalle Tripel, which is his desert island beer to this day. Davin married his wonderful wife Rachel after graduation and they moved to Nashville to begin their new life together. Little did he know that this would be the first step of many toward building his brewing empire. Davin found himself wanting to learn more about brewing to the point that he would bang on the doors at Yazoo until Linus let him in so that he could help pro-bono. He cleaned out the mash tun, rinsed kegs and anything else Linus

Davin Bartosch

Tennessee’s King of Lagers needed him to do just to get experience. This re-kindled his love of home brewing again, which was only amplified when he met Ivan Chester (brewmaster at Yazoo Brewing) at the local homebrewing store. He was so single-mindedly obsessed that he literally photocopied “The Joy of Homebrewing” by Charlie Papazian because he was wearing the pages out of the book. The book changed his perspective on brewing and he recommends it as a must read for anyone who is interested in brewing. That passion for beer was not only in Davin, but his brother Kellan. They decided that they needed to figure out how they could make beer their future together. Davin continued to perfect his homebrew craft and finally decided to make a leap faith and enrolled in the Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago, IL for

brewing, one of the top ranked programs in the country. This would begin to lay the foundation of what would become Wiseacre. Part of the program requires them to study in Germany at The Doemen’s Academy, which specializes in the production of Lagers. It was here that Davin fell in love with the production of lagers. After graduating salutatorian from the Siebel Institute, he and his wife moved to Chicago for the next step of their journey. Once again, he knocked on doors and finally Pete Crowley from Rock Bottom hired him and took him under his wing. There he learned to deal with the challenges of working at different locations. Whether it was working with old equipment or different types of water supply, this all played a key role in shaping his brewing future.

Wiseacre Tennessee’s King of Lagers


BREWERS Rock Bottom gave Davin his first shot at being a head brewer at the Warrenville location in the suburbs of Chicago before he was offered the head brewing at the main location in Chicago. During this time he also won medals at The Great American Beer Festival and FOBAB (Festival of Barrel Aged Beers) which continued to legitimize his goal of going out on his own. Meanwhile Kellan was concentrating on the marketing and selling aspects of beer so that eventually the brothers’ paths would intersect. That intersection was the birth of Wiseacre (which was a name their grandmother called them when they were being a bunch of smart ass kids.) Wiseacre opened in September of 2013 and they have never looked back. When they opened they released Tiny Bomb, which would become a GABF bronze medal winning Pilsner. Tiny Bomb turned Memphis (and eventually the state of Tennessee) on its head as it gave people a new appreciation for a style that isn’t often focused on by craft breweries. Davin is always looking for new ways to

make the final product better. He’s always striving to make himself and Wiseacre better; he feels that he’s never done growing and learning. Davin never says that beer is perfect. He looks at the process and tries to take it one more step closer. If you ever see him in the brewery with a beer in his hand I’d be willing to bet that it’s a Tiny Bomb because that’s the way Tennessee King of Lagers likes it.

Written By: Ryan Guess

Written By: Julie Holt


Brand Innovation at Hap & Harry’s

Dieter Foerstner


ieter Foerstner, Hap & Harry’s affable head brewer, is wellseasoned in the art, science and business of brewing. He doesn’t shy away from the less glamorous details of running a brewery, and his laid-back demeanor implies that he’s taken the twists and turns of head brewership in stride. Walking through the brewery, he effortlessly lists the type and capacity of each part of the brewing and packaging system, as well as Hap & Harry’s vision for the future of the brand. There’s no doubt that Foerstner was added to the team for his knowledge and experience in establishing new breweries and reviving old ones. Foerstner’s interest in brewing began when he was in college studying international hotel and restaurant management. While visiting a friend’s family, he brewed with his friend’s dad, and asked a lot of questions along the way. “That’s when the interest was sparked,” he says. “From there, I became a piss-poor homebrewer.” But that wouldn’t last long. During a semester studying abroad, he visited a brewery in Bavaria, which was housed in an old converted castle. “I was romanced from the start,” he says of the picturesque setting and authentic Bavarian brew. When the brewer asked him whether

he’d thought of turning his hobby into a career, he knew he had to pursue it. Foerstner finished the Master Brewer’s Program at UC Davis in June of 2006 and returned home to Arizona. The craft beer scene there was still emerging, and though he knocked on all the breweries’ doors, he didn’t find anywhere to brew Finally, after getting his foot in the door as a server at Gordon Biersch, he was offered the assistant brewer job at their Las Vegas location. As difficult as it was, the single 26-yearold made the great sacrifice and packed his bags for Vegas. There he brewed under the mentor he calls his “brew daddy,” Richard Lovelady. Rightly so, as Foerstner says that Lovelady’s guidance and work ethic taught him the reality of head brewing. Less than a year later, an opportunity arose in Los Angeles, the town where Foerstner’s own great grandfather had brewed decades before. Foerstner took the job of reopening the downtown location of Angel City Brewery. While there were plenty of challenges, he says that working with a rock star team in a legendary location was rewarding and enlightened him even further about the business of brewing. Foerstner’s last stop en route to Nashville was in Denver, Colorado. Tivoli Brewing was a historic brand that needed a

Brand Innovation at Hap & Harry’s


revival, and he was especially interested in their partnership with a local university’s brewing program. Foerstner’s focus was reviving the brand and establishing the processes and systems that sustain a growing brewery. Foerstner got the Hap & Harry’s call on the heels of two visits to Nashville — the first during a snowstorm, the second for a Guns ’N Roses concert. Not only was he impressed with our ability to host great concerts and shut the city down for snow, but also with the Lipman team and the brand they wanted him to lead. He says that many friends ask whether he might get bored brewing just two beer styles after the variety of styles he has worked with in the past. Foerstner laughs, saying “If you do it right, you don’t have a chance to get bored.” Using his experience in establishing standard systems and processes, he hopes to grow Hap & Harry’s beyond its current scope. Then, he says, there’s the new challenge of scaling up. One that many brewers dream of, no doubt. “It’s really the creativity and innovation that keeps me interested and motivated,” he says. It is obvious that his genuine excitement for brewing and innovation is a great addition to the Tennessee beer scene.


Written By: Don Else

Rock Bottom Nashville’s Unique Fundraiser


irst, as a bit of background, Rock Bottom is a chain restaurant which is part of Chattanooga based CraftWorks. It includes Rock Bottom, Big River, Gordon Biersch and Old Chicago, among others. The most important thing, though, is the Rock Bottom breweries in each location are completely autonomous. Every recipe, every decision, even the location’s events and marketing, are driven by the brewery. It is a totally local brewery that acts as the heart of a chain restaurant. As for community involvement, Thomas Mercado, Head Brewer at Rock Bottom Nashville, likes to look a little harder for smaller organizations that could use some marketing and fundraising help, rather than look for the low hanging fruit. To bring marketing and awareness help, he likes to make special beers, or collaborations, with the group. The Barbershop Harmony Society held what amounted to a national convention of Barbershop Quartets late last year. They came up with Barbers Hop ale, a rich Belgian style pale. More locally, he teamed up with the Nashville Rollergirls.

They came up with the Juke and Hops, XPA (extra pale ale). This bright, refreshing pale featured a great dose of dry hopping, and raised 10% for the group with every sale. More recently is one near and dear to Thomas’ heart, the Papa’s Pale. This will be a west coast pale (think Sierra Nevada). But most importantly, it is being made to celebrate the first birthday of his daughter. This beer will raise a dollar per pint for his own local initiative. As a new and active participating father, he discovered a prohibitive lack of baby changing stations in restrooms. A bigger place, like Bridgestone Arena, will have family stations if others are not so equipped. Mid and smaller sized places? Almost certainly not at all. Mercado’s crusade is to get baby changing stations into any and all local craft beer places that are interested, male and female sides alike. So far the reaction has been great, and some installs are already in place. Supporting this great cause, I’ll be enjoying some Papa’s Pale soon at Rock Bottom Nashville at Second and Broadway.

Thomas Mercado


Industry News


Written By: Kent Taylor

Ask The Expert


Kent Taylor


eer is one of the oldest beverages and dates back between 5,000 and 7,000 years. Some historians have postulated that beer was the reason that mankind gave up their hunter-gatherer lifestyle in favor of forming communities and growing crops year after year. In years past, beer was consumed, in part, as the safety of water supplies was often questionable. Today we consume beer for very different reasons. One of the reasons is for the taste, which is the inspiration for this column. In the coming issues, we will explore the many varieties of beers and beer flavors; learning which flavors and aromas are appropriate and which are not. We first need to learn the proper way to taste beer. Your olfactory system is extremely important when tasting beer. Therefore, to properly evaluate a beer it should be sampled from a glass. Choose a glass that is comfortable in your hand, is wide enough at the top to allow for aromas to get to your nose and be sure to leave enough room in the glass to allow for swirling before sampling. There are a variety of techniques for sampling but the basics are: swirl the beer, and as you bring the glass to your lips, notice the aroma; then notice what happens when it hits the tip of your tongue; then what happens in the middle; also how it lays on your tongue (that is the body); finally how the beer finishes. The illustration shows the areas of your tongue where the different taste buds are grouped. While each type of taste bud appears everywhere on your tongue, certain taste buds are more concentrated in certain areas. The chart shows the areas where the different taste buds are located. Focusing on the particular area of the tongue will help with evaluating a beer. For instance astringency (off-flavor) can sometimes be difficult to distinguish from bitterness. All beer has bitter components and proper evaluation of bitterness is important for evaluating the particular style of beer. Knowing where each flavor component will show up on your tongue helps to differentiate the off-flavor from an expected flavor. Let’s put this approach to the test and evaluate a beer. A good beer to start with is the classic American Pale Ale made by

Sierra Nevada. Their Pale Ale is readily available and this style covers many of the tasting points all wrapped up in one beer experience. Be sure to check the date and find one that was recently packaged. Choose a clean, dry glass; be sure to smell the glass to check for any carryover aromas. Pour the beer in the glass, being sure to leave plenty of room; then immediately smell it and take in all of the aromas. You will notice flora notes from the hops; you may also notice a bit of fruitiness from the ale yeast although that will be very faint. Next take a swig; noticing again the aromas; lightly swish it around noticing how it lays on your tongue. This beer has medium body. Detecting body will take some practice with other beers; for example a Craft Pilsner will have a lighter body and an Oatmeal Stout will have a heavier body. Also, at this point you should be tasting some malt and plenty of grapefruit from Cascade hops. By this time you should have swallowed and again notice the malt, body and grapefruit, all of which will quickly dissipate. Next you should concentrate on the very back of your tongue. This is where you will sense bitterness. Be patient; after about 20 seconds the bitterness will really start to come through. This sensation will last for a another 30 – 45 seconds then will slowly trail off over several minutes. Hoppiness and bitterness are two different sensations. Hoppiness sensation is when the beer is in your mouth; you sense bitterness long after you swallow. You have now had your first sampling experience. Remember, the more you sample the better you will be at tasting beer. Cheers! KT, Kent Taylor is the Co-Founder of Blackstone Brewery in 1994; along with late partner Stephanie Weins. Kent has been brewing award winning Craft beer in Nashville for almost 25 years. In addition to his duties at Blackstone, he serves as Vice-Chairman on the Engineering Subcommittee at the Brewers Association in Denver; is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the Tennessee Craft Brewers Guild; was an award winning home brewer; and was recently recognized by the Nashville Business Journal as one of the most admired CEOs in Nashville.

BLACK LAGER In Germany, black beers (Schwarzbier), are widely considered the oldest continuously brewed beer style in the world. Historians have dated black beers back to Bavaria for nearly 1,000 years. Nashville Black Lager is brewed with imported Munich malt and balanced with imported Hallertauer MittelfrĂźh hops. The roasted malts give this beer a toasty mouthfeel; excellent for the winter months.

Look For It On Draft Everywhere In Nashville! Visit us online at





Brewery Profile


long the slowly developing MLK street district in Chattanooga, Oddstory Brewing is making plans to celebrate their one-year anniversary of serving up better beer to a city rooted in weird. Brian and Jay Boyd, a father and son team, co-own Oddstory. I caught up to them to drink what all the fuss is about and peek forward into their future:

TG: So exactly when did you open? OS: New Year’s Eve, 2016. TG: What did this year’s party look like? OS: Massive four-day party with different beer releases each day

Jay Boyd



Written By: Tony Giannasi

including live music, Barrel Aged Sours, other Barrel Aged Beers, Russian Imperial Stout Bottle Release (3 variants: Straight, Coffee, and Coconut), retro bottle releases of Quad and Farmhouse Saison with Hibiscus. TG: With a year under your belt, any thoughts on what kind of a brewery you guys want to be when you grow up? OS: We want to be the most visited brewery in Chattanooga, so we always offer up something different. Beer-wise we are still rocking

the original core beers of Belgian Blonde, Vienna Lager and an American Pale Ale, but we also have 11 other taps to play with, so we toss on some really fun experiments that aren’t usually available out in the market, like Cherry Limeade Gose, or our Orange Crème Belgian Golden Strong. Also, no TV. TG: So, variety helps you keep people coming in, but why no TV? OS: We really want to foster a sense of coming here to enjoy food and beer with friends, or meet new ones, not stare at a TV screen. TG: I imagine that can be just as entertaining to watch. OS: Can be, but also fits into our name and core belief. TG: Oddstory? OS: Yup. We really like the feel of the old community beer halls, of people talking and sharing their stories. TG: Why Odd? OS: Chattanooga has a really interesting history with flooding, and most of downtown is built on top of old first stories of buildings, making for some really interesting hidden architecture. We are built on beer, so our logo has the “O” floating on yellow beer waves, paying homage to the old flooded first stories. TG: If the first story is really the second story, should you be EvenStory? OS: Get out. TG: Ok, never mind. Do you have a hidden secret basement? OS: No. Not the kind you are thinking of. TG: Hmmm. Any expansion plans? OS: We’ve added a small kitchen since starting, but would really like to expand that to a full kitchen. Nelson Taylor (who came to Oddstory from Bitter Alibi) has a ton of experience with this and we think it can be great. We also have some small early plans to add a second facility

for souring/barrel aging. This will keep the sour beer bacteria separate from the regular beer. TG: That would be huge. Stay in MLK area? OS: Depends on real estate. TG: Has MLK been good you and vice versa? OS: Yes, it’s been awesome. We are bringing more bodies down to MLK, we’ve done beer dinners and food takeovers with local MLK restaurants, we are trying to help make MLK a destination. On the flipside, a lot of local bars and restaurants have put us on tap and are doing well for us! TG: Do you plan to sell outside of Chattanooga? OS: Organic growth will dictate, but probably not in the near future. TG: What are your biggest struggles with brewing in Chattanooga? OS: Probably consumer education. There’s a huge gap between the beer nerds and the general population. Sam Sherak (Human

Personification of Joy) has done a ton of ‘behind the bar’ education. Mainly guiding people to the best beer for them RIGHT NOW as opposed to what they usually drink. He really helps people leave with a sense that they experienced beer instead of just drinking it. TG: Do you think Chattanooga is saturated with breweries? OS: Nope, we feel rising water floats all boats, and until breweries are closing down because of too much competition, I don’t think we are saturated. TG: Why is the Coconut Milk Stout so good? OS: Honestly, it’s just a really good base beer, and we only use fresh ingredients. All handmade, with one secret special malt… TG: I’ll have to puzzle that out. What’s your favorite beer on RIGHT NOW? (Show of hands indicates it’s the Dubbel) TG: Seasonal Schedule?

OS: Still learning. We’ve done a Saison and IPA series, will probably have a better idea of a solid lineup in 2018. TG: Cans? OS: Want to, but will do it when it makes sense. TG: Who uses the weight set the most? OS: Emily (Head Brewer Jay’s Wife) TG: Who uses it the least? OS: Sam (Resounding, like everyone said his name at once.) TG: Inspiration for your tap handles? OS: It’s the same wood from our taproom, made by Chattanooga Woodworking, then screen printed locally. TG: Keep it local. Love it. Any peek at potential future beer collaborations? OS: If it makes sense, and everyone is cool.

SOCIAL DRINK Written By: Chris Chamberlain


hen the iconic Lynchburg, TN distillery Jack Daniel’s first released their Single Barrel Rye in 2016, it was kind of a big deal. After all, the venerable distillery has not produced a truly new mash bill recipe for wide commercial distribution since before Prohibition, with their flagship Jack Daniel’s Black Label, Gentleman Jack, Single Barrel TN Whiskey and Sinatra Select all coming from the same recipe of 80% corn, 8% rye and 12% malted barley. Corn is king at Jack, and they are proud of the individual character that their whiskeys exhibit.


Notable is the low rye content in their flagship brands, and outside of a very brief period during Tennessee’s Prohibition (which began a decade before the 18th Amendment dried out the rest of the country) and Jack Daniel’s distilled Jefferson County Rye, the distillery has never been known for making a rye whiskey. However, almost a decade ago, the distillery began to make plans to introduce an entirely new product to their fans. Jack Daniel’s master distiller Jeff Arnett explains, “We created Jack Daniel Rye for our brand loyalists who wanted to explore rye. The rye whiskey category grew by 20% last year, and we’re glad to be a part of it.” The distillery actually tipped their hand about their intentions a few years before releasing the single barrel product. In 2012, they offered a limited release of Unaged Rye to allow fans to sample the “white dog” version of what would be re-released as Rested Rye in 2014 after a couple of years in oak. By 2016, their rye whiskey had matured enough for a wider release of 94 proof Single Barrel Select and an even more rare Barrel Proof version in proofs ranging from 125 to 140. Now with the release of Tennessee Rye, Jack Daniel’s is ready to take their rye to the masses. “Following the launch of Single Barrel Rye in 2016, we’ve heard from so many of our friends who like Jack Daniel’s rye whiskey,” added Arnett. “Our goal with Tennessee Rye was to create a versatile whiskey with a balance of flavors that can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks or mixed in a classic American whiskey cocktail.” Packaged in Jack’s famous square bottle, but with a green wrapper and tan label, Tennessee Rye is immediately recognizable as a Jack Daniel’s product. As opposed to many other ryes in the marketplace that come from only a few sources (“There are a lot of different labels, but not a lot of different liquids,” notes Arnett.) Jack Daniel’s strived to create a product that is unique. Most ryes are made with a mash bill that is either 51% rye or 95% rye, and Arnett consciously chose to split the difference in an effort to make a rye whiskey the Jack Daniel’s way. Arnett says “95% ryes are like a can-

nonball off the high dive. As a grain, rye is big and bold, and can be harsh and edgy. With too much of it in the recipe, it’s kind of like a one bean coffee blend. We intentionally chose to use 70% rye to leave enough space for the other grains to matter.” They settled on a mash bill of 70% rye, 18% corn and 12% malted barley, similar to the Jack Black recipe but with the corn and rye proportions swapped. “We use the corn to soften the edges of the rye,” says Arnett. “We had two specific intentions in mind. First, we wanted to create an acceptable and affordable option for our bartender friends to use as a starting point for cocktails. Secondly, we wanted to offer something with enough balance that you can still drink it neat.” The rye whiskey is run through the traditional Lincoln County Process where it is dripped through sugar maple charcoal to mellow the whiskey before entering the barrel, but it doesn’t have as much exposure to the charcoal as Jack Daniel’s Tennessee whiskey products. Arnett describes the reason for this decision, “Because we use less corn, it needs less mellowing, Besides, ‘mellow rye whiskey’ is an oxymoron. It’s not as sweet as our Tennessee whiskey, but it still exhibits a spicy center that is big enough for cocktails.” While there is no age statement on the bottle, that means that Tennessee Rye must spend at least four years in oak. As opposed to the single barrel product, Tennessee Rye is blended in larger batches of 150-200 barrels so that the characteristics of individual barrels can combine to create a consistent product. The result is a lovely whiskey that is definitely recognizable as a Jack Daniel’s product but which would never be confused with their Tennessee whiskeys. The house yeast at Jack Daniel’s contributes notes of banana and pear that show up in all of their products, including the new rye. The spicier grain exhibits fruity flavors, specifically dried fruits such as raisins and dates. Arnett describes it as “like a dry trail mix.” Now widely available in Tennessee, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Rye is priced similarly to their traditional Black Label.

Jack Daniel’s Releases New Rye Whiskey

When you consider that the rye whiskey is 90 proof as opposed to the 80 proof of their Tennessee whiskey, there’s actually a bit of a built-in discount there. At whatever price, it’s worth picking up a bottle or two of this truly historic new product. While you might think that a staid company like Jack Daniel’s has been trading on the same recipe for more than a century, Arnett wants to remind consumers that they are constantly looking to provide for their fans. “Our customers range from folks who’ve just reached legal drinking age to damned near dead. We created this new product because we wanted our fans to be able to stay loyal to the brand while still exploring the expanding rye space.”

Beer and the Great


Written By: Julie Holt

Photo Credit: Rodney Rayder


here’s nothing better than getting into Fresh Pants or a Little Black Dress after hiking the gorgeous cliffs and valleys of the Obed region on the Cumberland plateau. In fact, at least half of the rock climbers, kayakers, hikers and campers winding down from a day in the great outdoors at Lilly Pad Hopyard and Brewery enjoyed more than one of these. Little Black Dress, Del Scruggs’ signature porter, and Fresh Pants, an APA made with hops grown onsite, are two of several beers on tap in the front-yard brewery that is a gathering spot for outdoor enthusiasts from around the world. Del and his wife Marte, along with Monster, their one-dog welcoming committee, have met climbers from 140 countries. “It’s amazing that people from everywhere from Ottawa to Poland have drunk my beer,” Del says. It’s no surprise to learn that he’s bonded over beer with all of those visitors, as the brewery and campground sit on the property where Del and Marte live. Adjacent to their property is the Obed Wild and Scenic River, part of the National Park System. Climbers can make the short drive to a trailhead leading to Lilly Bluff, where routes such as Heresy and Spawn will challenge and thrill experienced climbers. While enjoying the mellow, welcoming vibe around the fire pit at Lilly Pad, I


learned that regardless of where these adventurers call home, they share a common love of community, craft beer and a deep respect for nature. The rivers, trails and bluffs, along with the native plant and animal life are of utmost concern for those who want to preserve and protect the natural resources they so enjoy. Back in the comforts of civilization, Cameron Mitchell, Tennessee Wildlife Federation’s East Tennessee Field Manager, joined me for a pint to talk about conservation, giving back and shared his favorite recipe for pairing with a cold beer in the winter. Community Through Conservation “We really want all generations in the state to respect and appreciate what they have here in Tennessee. It’s one of the most ecologically diverse states in the country,” says Mitchell. It is this cause that brings together outdoorsmen from all walks of life. From the hunters and fishers of rural west Tennessee to the mountain bikers of middle Tennessee and the whitewater rafters of east Tennessee, the land has been entrusted to all of us to protect. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, Tennessee Wildlife Federation is known for its science-based conservancy work with dedicated efforts in three areas: stewardship, youth engagement and public policy.

They work with everyone from individual supporters to businesses and organizations to legislators to conserve the natural resources of the state. The public policy piece of the Federation’s work has proven beneficial to wildlife, habitats and people across the state. In 2010, after seeing efforts in other states to eliminate entire hunting seasons, they fought to preserve the right to hunt in Tennessee, eventually amending the state constitution in confirmation of that right, no easy feat. Along with their avid guardianship of the laws and policies regarding our state’s great outdoors, Tennessee Wildlife Federation staff and volunteers encourage responsibility among the state’s residents to care for and conserve these resources. Following the North American Model, most notably endorsed and advanced in the early 1900s by Teddy Roosevelt, the Federation believes that our natural resources should be held in public trust. This means that because we (the public) own them, we must take care of them. Anyone who enjoys outdoor activity has an obligation to maintain it. From packing your trash out on an overnight hike to obtaining proper hunting and fishing licenses and abiding by game limits, every person who enjoys the outdoors has an opportunity to maintain it.


ennessee Wildlife Federation places a strong emphasis on stewarding youth into a conservation mindset as well. Through family events and programs, children and their parents have opportunities to learn about and participate in the Federation’s efforts. In fact, passing an understanding of and respect for our natural resources to the next generation is paramount to the cause. Hunters For The Hungry As charitable giving goes, none is more fulfilling than using your talents and renewable resources to provide for others in need. The Federation saw the opportunity 20 years ago to allow hunters to donate venison to local food banks. The premise is simple, but the impact is huge: when a hunter harvests a deer, he or she delivers it to a processor who has been inspected and approved,

the meat is processed, then delivered to a partner ministry, pantry or food bank and it is then distributed to those in need. Since its inception in 1998, Hunters for the Hungry has received donations of over 1.5 million pounds of venison, providing around six million meals to the hungry. Cameron Mitchell’s background as a chef and lifelong love of hunting has been the perfect combination to help further the reach of this program to both hunters and those who simply want to help. In the spirit of stewardship and inclusion younger generations, the Federation created a way for high school students, even those who are not hunters, to get involved. Through the Hunger Challenge, high school students form teams and compete to raise funds to support Hunters for the Hungry. Even private schools in suburban

areas participate, where students might not have longstanding family traditions in hunting. Participants gain skills in leadership, club-building, humanitarianism and philanthropy. The teams compete at both regional and state levels for awards. Along with these benefits, students become more aware of the Federation’s broader goals of conservation and science-based approach. Nature lovers and outdoorsmen of all interests can agree that conservation is a cause everyone can connect with. Even those burly hikers who love slipping into a Little Black Dress. Read more about Tennessee Wildlife Federation and learn how to get involved at For more information about Lilly Pad Hopyard Brewery, visit their website at

Mitchell brings his love of cooking and well-stocked freezer together for a hearty winter stew just begging to be paired with a crisp cold brew. Enjoy this venison stew with Yazoo’s Sue, a rich smoked porter. The rich chocolate color and malty, smoky aroma with hints of toast make this beer perfect for pairing with a hearty, flatorful stew. Sue’s smoky finish brings the outdoors to your palate.

VENISON STEW Ingredients



lbs 2”cubed/cleaned deer meat • All Purpose Flour • 2 large yellow onions, diced • 3 celery stalks, diced • 3 T minced garlic • 14 oz lima beans • 14 oz corn kernels (or cut from 5 ears) • 14 oz dark kidney beans • 2 T beef base (“Better than Bouillon”) • 1 qt. seasoned tomato sauce • 14 oz diced tomato • 4 oz Cabernet • olive oil • dry thyme • dry marjoram

Heat cast iron pot over medium heat and • Turn heat down to medium, so that the add olive oil, garlic, yellow onion and celery. stew “rolls,” but not a boil. Cover and cook for one hour. Add lima beans, kidney beans, Stir while cooking for 4-6 minutes corn and diced tomato. Continue to cook • In separate bowl, toss deer meat with flour. until meat is tender to touch. Remove the lid Mix until meat is evenly coated. Add more ol- and allow to cook 20+ minutes or reduce to ive oil to stock pot if needed. Add deer meat preferred consistency. to pot and stir constantly but gently. Once flour begins to cook and lightly brown, add • Serve over white short grain rice or oven 1 quart of your favorite tomato sauce, add baked potatoes. Add salt and pepper to red wine and 1 quart of water and dry herbs taste. • Yield 10-12 16 oz servings. and stir all.


HomeBrew |

Written By: Art Whitaker





hen many homebrewers start making their own beer, they gets visions, and/or delusions of grandeur about opening their own brewery. Friends and relatives tell them how great their beer is, and how they ought to open their own brewery. Opening a brewery is hard work. Raising the capital, formulating tried and true recipes that will scale up and be profitable, and finding a spot to open are obstacles almost every person who attempts to open a brewery will face. One joke that goes around the industry, is how do you turn 2 million dollars into 1 million? Open a brewery. Despite all the roadblocks, there are individuals or groups that actually take on this daunting challenge. One of those is Zac Fox, who is in the process of opening Bad Idea Brewing. Zac has been homebrewing for about 10 years and has read every book, journal article and website he could find about brewing. He has also taken the opportunity to sit down and listen and talk to every brewer who would spare him the time.


After moving to Spring Hill several years ago while sitting around the table with some friends and trying homebrews, one of the guys, Todd, floated the idea about opening a brewery. Zac says “We started sitting around the dinner table with our wives, and started drawing up a business plan, crunching numbers, and formulating a strategy. Things all came together when my wife remarked, this sounds like a bad idea. And like that, we had a name.” Bad Idea Brewing’s first outing as an entity was a beer fest/competition in 2016, the Franklin Beer, Bacon, Bourbon Festival where they won the People’s Choice award. They have been giving away their beer at many other festivals while they work on their brewery plans. To follow along on their journey, check them out on Facebook and Instagram @ badideabrewing and on Twitter. Visit their website at

• R/O water built to 180ppm sulfate/ 70ppm chloride. • The hop additions are scaled to 5 gallons.

This month’s recipe from Bad Idea Brewing is a dry-hopped American wheat beer called “Dat Wheat Tho”

SG 1.062 FG 1.014

Grain Bill • • • •

55% German Pils 20% White Wheat 20% Flaked Wheat 5% Carapils


• .5 oz of CTZ @60 minutes • 1 oz each of Citra, Amarillo and Cascade @whirlpool at 170F for 15 minutes • Dry Hop 1 oz each of Citra, Amarillo, Cascade at day 3 and day 7

Yeast- Wyeast 1010 Mash at 152F degrees, ferment at 68F until FG is reached.

I can smell the hops in this one. Give it a try, and until the next issue, “Relax and have a homebrew.” Find and join your local homebrew club, and for all things homebrew in Tennessee follow Tennessee Homebrewers Guild on Facebook.

7th Annual




Industry News |

Written By: Brandon Holt



ennessee’s craft beer scene has become a playground of incredible beers to explore and it keeps getting bigger and better. From new breweries launching to current Tennessee breweries expanding to new breweries entering the market, craft beer in Tennessee has never been so diverse and amazing. Keeping track of all the happenings around craft beer can sometimes seem like an impossible task, but never fear. What’s New In Brew is designed to keep you in the know on all things craft beer in Tennessee. Follow me @beernewsnash on twitter and Instagram to stay in the know all year long. The winter months (Stout Season!) and the new year always seem to produce lots of great new beer releases and new breweries for Tennessee. Our friends at Southern Grist Brewing are renowned for their creativity and delicious Stouts, IPAs and Sours. After speaking with Kevin Antoon, founder of SG, we can expect to see more bottle releases soon and their incredible Sno-Cone and Upside Down Cake series will continue as well. With new creations coming fast and furious, make sure to follow them on their social media pages. Alex Von Seitz of Von Seitz Theoreticales, Carlos Giron, and numerous individuals from across Tennessee are working on an amazing primitive Amaranth fermentation that includes hand made clay amphoras and shared cultures from across Central America. This ancient Gruit should be available in the coming months so be sure to follow Von Seitz Theoreticales to stay up to date. Below is a list of What’s New in Brew for the months of December 2017-Feburary 2018. This is by no means a complete list of all the releases so Follow @ beernewsnash on Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date on all things beer in TN!

Distributor News Best Brands

• New Breweries: The Ale Apothecary; Half Batch Brewing; Meridian Hive • Other News: Diskin Cider taproom to open; Bearded Iris increased brewing capacity with new system.


• New Breweries: Two Brothers Brewing; Paradox Beer Company; Hollow Pointe Brewery (Nashville Based Brewery!)


• New & Seasonal: Jackalope-Snowman Stout, ChaiWalker Brown Wiseacre: Starless Schwarzbier, Astronaut Status BA Stout Founders: CBS Dogfish Head: IPAs For the Holidays Bell’s: Black Note Stout Perennial: Abraxas Alpine: Pure Hoppiness

L and H

• New Breweries: Wicked Weed-1st quarter • New & Seasonal: Founders-Backwoods Bastard

Lipman Bros.

• New Breweries: Collective Arts Brewing; Wooha Brewing Co.; Mother Earth Brewing Company •  New & Seasonal: Napa Smith Lager Hap & Harry’s Orange Cans Kings of Leon Revelry Ale

TN Craft Distributors

• New Breweries: Urban Artifact; Moonlight Meadery; D9 Brewing • New & Seasonal: Hoppin’ Frog- Barrel-Aged Frosted Frog Christmas Ale Jig Head-Barbaric Ale Altbier, Anne Bonny’s Loot Caribbean Spice Red Ale, Captain’s Ration Wild Sour Red SiloScorched Gourd Pumpkin Habanero Ale, Wild Corgi English Brown Dark Horse-Tres Blueberry Stout, Double Crooked Tree, Plead The 5th Stout, 4 Elf Noble Cider-Friar Fig

TN Breweries News & Releases The Black Abbey Brewing Co

• Guy Fawkes-English Brown Ale • Lorica-Dubbel Aged in Jameson Whiskey Barrels • The Fortress Dry-Hopped Black Ale • Krampus Nacht-Chocolate Forward Bock-Style Beer

Calf Killer Brewing

• Scorched Hooker-A Dark Hoppy Companion • The Brown Recluse-Dark Caramel and brown sugar that finishes with a bite of British and American hops

Diskin Cider

• Good JuJu Pomegranate Honey Cider • News: Taproom projected to open 1st quarter of 2018 in the Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood

Heaven & Ale Brewing

News: Taproom now open in Chattanooga

Hollow Pointe Brewery

New Brewery: Fist release-Munich Dunkel, early December. Old world lagers and classic German styles will be their focus

Hutton & Smith Brewing

News: Hit shelves in Nashville in December 2017. Look for Igneous IPA to hit shelves soon

Jackalope Brewing

• Snowman Stout-Olive & Sinclair and Bongo Java stout • ChaiWalker-Bearwalker brown with Firepot Masala Chai Spice

Monkey Town Brewing

• Evolution IPA: Batch #18-Double Dry Hopped New England IPA • I’m Going Nuts for the CocoImperial Stout brewed with Coconut and Coffee from Mad Priest Coffee Roasters in Chattanooga

Oddstory Brewing Co

Godfather Death-Barrel Aged Quad

Southern Grist Brewing

Stout variants; Special Bottle Releases; Sno-Cone Series; Upside Down Series

Turtle Anarchy Brewing

• Raspberry-Portly Stout with Raspberries • A Bomb and a Bull-Portly Stout aged in whiskey barrels • What the Fudge?-Portly Stout with Cacao nibs • News: Catfish, a kolsch, will now be year round

Von Seitz Theoreticales

Lick My Sage Gruit Amaranth Ancient Grain Project

New Watering Holes/Bottle Shops

• 51 North Taproom-The Nations in Nashville • Von Elrod’s Beer Garden & Sausage House-Germantown in Nashville • Nobles Kitchen & Beer Hall-East Nashville



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Winter Warmer Photography by: Sean Von Tagen

Stout fans unite! The 12 South Winter Warmer packed a punch with the best selection of high gravity beers, and festival goers had plenty of incredible brews to sample. Add in fire pits, festive attire and some of our favorite brewers and this is one hard to remember, impossible to forget festival. Matt Leff, Travis Waters, Jenn Sanson, and Davis Cranford

Jaime Mortimer

Brian Walton, Sarah Walton, and Taylor Irwin

Josh West

Jessica Carter and Brad Singleton

Jared Welch, Kyle Arnold, Kevin Antoon, and Jamie Lee

Carl Meier

Ryan Dankowski, Erik Rothfuss, and Joel Stickrod

Ryan Dankowski, Alex Shoemaker

Marie Murrell, Boaz Reynolds

Tarek Patel, Dave Wingo, and Saison Billy

Chris and Emily Drews

Circus Brew Zerkus Photography by: Shelley Justiss

One of the most unique events of the year was Circus Brew Zerkus. In their debut show, CJ Clark and Kristen Wilkins pulled off unimaginable feats with flying artists, fire breathing acts and more in a festive, rowdy atmosphere. This event stands out in a sea of beer festivals. You don’t want to miss this incredible event next year!

Angelina Lai and Rachel Tarek

Princess and friends

DJ, Spice J, on left. Sarah Chandler from Beyond Wings Circus, on right


Kristen Wilkins and CJ Clark

Scott Swygert, owner of Honky Tonk Brewing Co

Jessy Harding, Against the Grain

DJ, Spice J

John Arnold and friend

The Morris team

Jake Wetzel from Beyond Wings Circus

Joey Yother and Elijah Thomen

Ed Muranyi on left, and friends

Written By: Chris Chamberlian Photography by: Didi Rainey


Revelry Amber Ale, produced in partnerven though “beer” isn’t in the ship with Hap & Harry’s. The members of name of the festival, 2017’s Music the band are reputedly big fans of Hap City Food + Wine Festival didn’t & Harry’s, and appreciate a little taste of completely ignore the world of home when they are on the road. Here’s malt and hops. The event was stretched the official story of the birth of the brand: out to three days this year, kicking off The story behind the collaboration bewith a new Friday night session under tween Hap & Harry’s and Kings of Leon the tasting tents followed by a Saturday filled with tastings, chef demos and educational panels, the always popular Harvest Night where celebrity chefs offered up small plates to their fans, and members of the Family Stone entertained the assembled masses. Sunday was dedicated to the Gospel Brunch, separated from the rest of the fest this year for the first time to throw a little extra spotlight on the event. Among more than 100 tasting tables and tents in Bicentennial Mall Park were lots and lots of spirits and wine purAaron Clemins, Matt Leff, and Matty Hargrove veyors. In fact, it was a pretty boozy weekend all began in 2016. While the band was rearound. Local, regional and international cording their seventh studio album called beers were also represented, and they WALLS, in Los Angeles, they realized were offering up some hard-to-find brews they could not find their favorite Tennesat some of the tents. see-based beer, Hap & Harry’s. Since this The Kings of Leon were major sponbeer is only distributed in Tennessee, they sors of the Music City Food + Wine Fescontacted the brewery and requested a tival, and the rock band took advantage few cases. of the event to launch their limited release


“It was cool that the band thought to reach out to us,” recalls Nic Donahue, son-in-law to Robert Lipman, the creator of Hap & Harry’s Tennessee Beers. Lipman created the beer in honor of the friendship between his grandfather, Harry Lipman, and Hap Motlow of the legendary Jack Daniel family. “I got to meet the Kings at the Music City Food + Wine Festival. We discovered we have a lot in common: kids the same age, a passion for food and music and that both of our families live here in Nashville. Add to that the fact that we all appreciate the opportunity to enjoy great beer with great friends.” “We call Nashville home, and Hap & Harry’s has become our go-to local craft beer. As we began planning Music City Food + Wine Festival and the first concert at Nashville’s minor league ballpark, we thought we’d develop a special edition beer to celebrate those two events and raise some money for a cause near and dear to our heart in the process,” said Kings of Leon drummer, Nathan Followill. The beer is light-bodied and sessionable, similar in flavor and appearance to Gerst if Nashvillians are looking for a point of comparison. Net proceeds of Hap & Harry’s Kings of Leon Revelry Ale will be donated to The Arthritis Foundation to fund research and treatment of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. Speaking of collaborations, Grayton Beer Company was offering samples of a beer that hadn’t even been released to the market yet, their Dubbel Barrel brewed in Florida and aged in used barrels from Nashville’s Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery. The vanilla and rye spice donated to the blend from Green Brier’s barrels nicely complemented the cherry/orange peel essence of the Dubbel to mimic an Old Fashioned cocktail. Aged an extra 6-9 months in oak, this beer was nicely complex and should benefit from cellaring in the 750 ml cork-and-cage bottles once they reach retail.

Music City Food + W ine Doesn’t Forget About the Beer

Guinness brought an entire beer truck and featured their 200th Anniversary Export Stout as well as their Irish Wheat. Bell’s Brewery out of Kalamazoo was a particularly popular tasting stop for craft beer fans. Not only were they handing out some of the best swag at the entire festival including free sunglasses that weren’t too ugly to wear in public, they were also serving up some rare and delicious beers. A highlight was their Oarsman, a tart, low ABV beer that was perfect for a warm au-

Andrew Zimmerman

tumn afternoon. The organizers of Nuit Belge, Nashville’s finest food and beer event were promoting their upcoming season by handing out some exceptional beers, including Lindeman’s Oude Gueuze Cuvée René and several beers from Blackberry Farm Brewery. You could do a lot worse than just hanging out by the Nuit Belge table. Last, but not least, Tennessee Brew Works poured four of their beers as well as taking the chance to showcase the

culinary talents of the brewery’s chef, Jay Mitchell. Hopefully next year even more breweries will take part in the Music City Food + Wine Festival, because by the end of the day on Saturday, some of the festival-goers had gotten a little sloppy on all those spirits. Beer drinkers show much better moderation.

Jameson Caskmates Party

Lorica Lanch Party #drinkingbuddies | Photography by: Angelina Melody Photography

The Black Abbey celebrated their collaboration with Jameson Irish whiskey with the release of Lorica Special, a traditional Belgian-style dubbel finished in Jameson barrels.

Jackie Cooney

Scotty Mattos and Paul Mattos

Giuseppe Cannestra

Gareth Jordan and Tom Cain


Natalie Hannigan and Andrew Hannigan

Isaiah Kalman on right

Giuseppe Cannestra

Gareth Jordan, Carl Meier, Brianna Embry, Tara Thornpike, Jade Linstead, Jown Owen, Traci Williams, Brad Marress, Jackie Cooney, Isaiah Kallman, Scott Mattos, Tyler Stemper, Veronica Birdwell, Rex Hindman, and Nathan Almes

Scott Mattos and Tom Cain

Industry News |

Written By: Julie Holt

Beer and Hymns


or so many of us, beer is a religious experience. Finding the blend of hops, water, barley and yeast that makes our taste buds sing is the reward for our pilgrimage of pints. We will defend our favorite beers with zeal in attempts to convert nonbelievers. Religion, like beer, stirs emotion for those who value its tenets, but seldom do the two mix. But for Geoff Little, the founder of Beer and Hymns, they seemed a match made

in heaven. When he began leading Beer and Hymns on a friend’s porch in 2013, it was with a small group whose enthusiasm turned into evangelism. This enthusiasm, partnered with Geoff’s drive to bring the event to the masses, meant the event would need a bigger home. After leading a few events at Mad Donna’s, Little met Carl Meier of The Black Abbey and the Fellowship Hall became Beer and Hymns’ new host. When Meier had to pull brewery staff to work as bouncers at the first event (which sold out), he and Little knew they had an ordained partnership. In 2014, in need of yet a larger venue, they moved the event to one of Nashville’s


iconic music venues, Mercy Lounge. “That was holy ground to me,” says Little. “Moving to Mercy Lounge solidified the event.” While their partnership was founded in branding and marketing the event, it is

of social lubricant that enables people to sort of take that step back and say ‘I should be more engaged in this,’” says Meier. This philosophy can be seen from the beginning of time, he says. “Pub singing is as old as pubs… and singing!”

clear Little and Meier have become great friends, working together onstage and off. Carl opens each event with a little bit of stand-up and a story, then Geoff leads the group in singing well-known hymns and even a few beloved secular tunes. “Every time, it’s sort of a miracle,” Geoff says of each event. What’s most important in Beer and Hymns is participation. This event is meant to be a gathering, not a performance. Thus, beer. “The bridge—the plus sign between the beer and the hymns—is that little bit

Singing is the common language that transcends differences in (or lack of) faith traditions. Many participants, regardless of their spiritual beliefs, leave Beer and Hymns with the feeling “I have found my people.” While the songs, the beer or the leaders may change, Beer and Hymns at its core will remain a safe, comfortable place for communal worship, thoughtfully created beer and divinely designed fellowship. Visit for tickets.

What’s Brewing |

Written By: Mark Brewer

Fantastic Monastics - T

rappist and


bbey’ is a term used to describe a beer crafted in any style made famous by the Cistercian Trappist monks in Belgium but without any actual ties to the monks or their monasteries. The beer may appear dark or light in color. Because these styles are brewed with yeast that is unique in smell and taste, Trappist and Abbey beers are easily distinguished from many others. Some are sweet due to Belgian candi syrup added during the brewing process while others rely solely on sweetness from malted grains. As Belgian Trappist monks became known for making superior quality beer, brewers from all over started mimicking their style and using the word ‘Trappist’ on their labels. In 1962, the Belgian Trade and Commerce court ruled that only Trappist monks brewing in monasteries could use the word ‘Trappist’ on their labels. Everything else brewed in that style was to be referred to as an ‘Abbey Beer’ or ‘Abbey Ale’. Just as Champagne is only genuine if produced by the grapes from that region in France, Trappist beer is only genuine if produced by these specific monks in their monasteries. Everything else is an Abbey Ale. In the following years after the court order, a logo with the words “Authentic Trappist Product” was issued specifically to the monasteries. You’ll know who you’re supporting while indulging in an authentic Trappist beer if you see this official seal on the label. If not, it’s probably an equally delicious Abbey Ale. Today, there are only eleven Trappist monasteries in the entire world producing beer. They include Achel, Chimay, Engelszell, La Trappe, Orval, Spencer, Rochefort, Tre Fontane, Westmalle, Westvleteren, and Zundert. In 2013, Spencer


Brewery from Spencer, MA in the United States was added to this prestigious list, followed by Italy’s Tre Fontane in 2014.

Abbey Ales

Brewed by, Brasserie d’Orval S.A. Trappist Ale, Belgian Pale Ale (ABV 6.9%). Pours orange in color. Cloudy with frothy white head and lots of lacing down the glass. Smells bready, orange peel, and clove. Tastes citrusy with a slight bitterness from hops. Light body . Finishes with faint notes of citrus and sour with a noticeable effervescence. Brewed by, Bierbrouwerij De Koningshoeven B.V. La Trappe, Quadrupel or Quad (ABV 10%). Pours hazy amber color with a cream color head. Great retention. Aromas of banana, flowers, and alcohol. Tastes sweet and malty. Slightly bitter on the back end. Medium to full body and well carbonated. Brewed by, Bieres de Chimay Chimay Grande Reserve (Blue) Belgian Strong Dark Ale (ABV 9%). Pours brown with a reddish tint and a modest head that lasts. Fragrances of caramel, banana, and sweet malt. Flavors of ripe fruit, dates, and caramel. Medium body with carbonation to match. Bready finish with a little warmth from alcohol on the end. Brewed by, Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV Abbey Ale, Quadrupel or Quad (ABV 10%). Pours brown with a reddish hue. Head is tan color with great retention. Esters of Belgian yeast, malt, and spices are present. Flavors are robust with notes of ripe fruit, bread, raisons, and caramel. Heavy bodied beer with ample carbonation. Finishes faintly warm from alcohol.

Mark Brewer is the Author & Illustrator of Brewology, An Illustrated Dictionary for Beer Lovers