Tennessee Craft Beer Magazine, Spring 2017 Issue

Page 1

Craft Beer S P RING ISSUE 17


The launching of Tennessee’s


Craft Cidery

Pie + Beer

Seasonal Spring Combinations

Wild Fermentation Sandor Katz

Let’s Embrace the Funk Brandon Jones

The Brewgrass Trail SPRING ISSUE



#sharethelex Explore the Pour in Lexington KY

1927 IPA

spring issue | volume 7






Get 4 issues delivered for $25. Visit TnCraftBeerMag.com/subscribe


spring issue


| lifestyles in beer 62

22 pie + beer

40 22

seasonal spring combinations & recipes

the brewgrass trail


batey farm’s and beer innovation


brewery profile


malting inspiration


trademark issues


a wild session


in beautiful Lexington, KY

Tennessee Brew Works partnership


Blackstone Brewery

amber waves of beer

hopping into names?

Sandor Katz, author & fermentation revivalist

66 66 breweries worth a visit

a six pack of tri-cities


TCB Magazine | tncraftbeermag.com

liquor & beer infused cupcakes 6

GROOM PARTIES / WEDDINGS /OCCASIONS /musiccitypubcakes @music_city_pubcakes

spring issue


| let’s embrace the funk


Embrace the Funk with Brandon Jones

| By: Tony Giannasi In the summer of 2012 Yazoo began a series of sour and wild beers with local brewer/writer Brandon Jones called the Embrace The Funk series. Titled with Brandon’s popular sour beer website, this line of Yazoo beers explores the many wonderful beers that can be produced with wild yeasts, souring microbes and different wooden casks. The beers are mostly taproom exclusives so your best bet to enjoy their creations is to stop by soon!


TCB Magazine | tncraftbeermag.com

departments beer 101

porters vs stouts


an idiot’s guide to beer

cigar room

the humidor


enjoy a cigar and relax

brewery profile 16

alliance brewing co.


promoting an active beer culture

social drink

nashville craft


brings local innovation

home brew

barrel aged program


corsair artisan distillery beer lab

wine vine

of love and wine

57 51

cask conditioning what’s in that cask? 64 last call brewing goes to college 72 8




spring issue


TCB Magazine | tncraftbeermag.com

editor’s note

spring. YES! A great time of year to be drinking craft beer in Tennessee. Leaves are sprouting, flowers are blooming, temperatures are rising, and days are getting longer. People are putting away the heavy stouts, old ales, barley wines, and the like. Though bock is the traditional spring beer, spring beers now tend to be lighter, fruity and refreshing. Bell’s Oberon wheat ale is the quintessential spring beer whose launch is widely anticipated every year. From Tennessee breweries, think Tarasque from Wiseacre, Lovebird from Jackalope, Wizard Sauce from Calfkiller, among many others. Spring is a time of growth and guess what else is growing? Tennessee Craft Beer! We have expanded our page count to double the content we had when we started. All our writers and contributors are either professional writers or beer industry professionals, making the real winners the readers! One of the things you may notice is new columns. We’ve added Beer 101, a section dedicated to basic beer education. Craft beer is drawing in more and more converts nearly everyday as they start to try some of the “gateway” beers. This section is tailored to their desire to learn about beer, brewing and flavors. Opposite 101, we’re adding content on advanced brewing. In this issue the Wild Fermentationist discusses, well, fermentation. We talk to Brandon Jones, who runs the sour and funky beer division of Yazoo called Embrace the Funk. We now also have a Cigar Room and an attorney that discusses, yeah, legal issues relative to the beer industry. More great content, written by professionals, presented professionally, for you. Finally, a quick wrap up of the third annual Cookeville Blues and Brews Craft Beer Festival put on by WCTE, Upper Cumberland PBS. This is a relatively small, quaint event with ticket sales capped at only 1,000. There is one large tent with about a dozen tables around two sides. Most tables had two brewery jockey boxes set up with two beers each. There was also a massive big screen TV showing the big game, whatever happened to be on that day. There were a few smaller tents along the walkway outside the amphitheater including two with some great homebrews. A medium-size tent housed the VIP lounge which included, of course, some exclusive brews and tasty snacks. Amphitheater you say? Yes. They were jamming to great live music, blues of course, the whole day. So, great and accommodating hosts, the beautiful Dogwood Park in downtown Cookeville, great beer and music, all tied in with the Haunted Half Marathon the same day. Keep your eye on our new calendar for this event in fall. Oh, and don’t forget to celebrate National Beer Day three times, March 21, the day the 21st Amendment was enacted by Congress, March 22, the day it was signed by FDR, then April 7, the official National Beer Day, when it took effect. Time for a pint, or three. Cheers!

Editor: Don Else


spring issue | volume 7



tcb magazine staff president Craig Disque publisher Que Media Didi Rainey associate publisher Shawn Klumpjan senior editor Don Else assistant editor Victoria Raschke sales and marketing Didi Rainey didi@tncraftbeermag.com East Tennessee Rep Whitney Allen whitney@tncraftbeermag.com art director and layout designer Terri Brown creative designer Bryan Adams

contributors Chris Chamberlain, Melissa Corbin, Veronica de la Cruz-Gibbs, Tony Giannasi, Shane Gibbs, Justin Harris, Kendall Joseph, Shawn Klumpjan, Rob Shomaker, Joe Scutella, Christian Spears, Nancy Vienneau, Art Whitaker, Eric Woodard photographers Christen Clemins, Aaron Grobengieser, Brandon Lunday, Bill Seymour, Sean Von Tagen FIND US ONLINE tncraftbeermag.com facebook.com/TNCBG @tncraftbeermag #TNbeer #tnbeer Get 4 issues delivered for $25. Visit TnCraftBeerMag.com/subscribe

Š2016 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.


Parties interested in advertising should email sales@tncraftbeermag.com or call 256.226.5615. Cover photo by Christen Clemins

spring issue





Nashville Brewing Company began operating in 1859 and brewed their quality beers through the end of the 19th Century. Now, over one hundred years later, we continue the tradition by re-creating those wonderful lager beers.

Visit us online at www.nashvillebreweing.com NashvilleBrew



In Stores and on Draft Everywhere in Nashville! 13



spring issue | volume 7

priestpointwineandspirits.com 15

TCB Magazine | tncraftbeermag.com

on the cover

| first craft cidery


on the cover photographer: Christen Clemins The cover of our spring 2017 issue is a recognition of the First Craft Cidery in Tennessee. Gypsy Circus Cider Company began distribution in April 2016 as Tennessee’s first craft cidery.


TCB Magazine is mailed to a select homes and businesses in Southeast Region. You can subscribe and get 4 issues delivered for $25. Visit TnCraftBeerMag.com/subscribe



www.tncraftbeermag.com Visit TCB Magazine website to view previous issues of Tennessee Craft Beer on your tablet, smartphone or computer. Check out our lastest advertisers and learn more about the magazine.

connect with us

tncraftbeermag.com, facebook.com/TNCBG, @tncraftbeermag, #TNbeer, #tnbeer

spring issue | volume 7


TCB Magazine | tncraftbeermag.com

beer 101 | an idiot’s guide to beer Porters vs Stouts |

By: Shane Gibbs

Shane Gibbs, Sean Jewett


here is an age old question that I am asked on a regular basis and I must admit, it is something I have wondered myself.What in the heck is the difference between a porter and a stout? Historically, porters were created in England and were mostly consumed by the river transportation workers who wanted a nice dark and hearty beer. At the time, there were numerous styles of porters including a stout porter, which was basically a generic term for the strongest of porters which had a higher ABV than the others. This is where one noticeable difference between the two starts to be recognized. Generally, a porter will have a lower ABV than the other but given how everyone wants to go bigger and bolder, these two styles stay pretty close to one another. Also, with the increase in ABV limits here in Tennessee jumping from 6.3% up to 10.1% I’m sure we will see a rise in imperial stouts being brewed right here in our home state. In an attempt to gather more specific information, I reached out to friend and local brewer Sean Jewett, co-owner and head brewer of East Nashville Beer Works as we discuss this topic at length. I wentto Sean


to help me answer this question because he has been brewing for nearly 8 years, first out of his kitchen, then as an apprentice under Derrick Morse (currently of Mantra Artisan Ales) and since this past August he has had much success in his own brewery. In the taproom, he is currently serving The Grievance, a chocolate and cinnamon milk stout with a 5% ABV and Young Hickory Smoked Porter with a 4.5% ABV. In a side by side comparison, it can be very difficult to see the differences but the aromas, mouth feels, and obviously taste let you know exactly which one is which. One main difference between a porter and stout are the ingredients used in the brewing process. Porters generally have more caramel malts whereas stouts utilize more roasted barley. Aside from the ingredients, the brewing process remains much the same. The fun and flavors of each come in different styles, such as milk stouts, chocolate stouts, peanut butter milk stouts, sweet potato stouts, the list goes on and on. The same can be said about porters in that you could have Baltic porters, smoked porters, chocolate porters.You can clearly see that there is literally some-

thing for everyone. Skip dinner? Have a nice hearty porter. Finish dinner and looking for dessert? Have a sweet stout. Some of the most notable dark beers are of course Guinness, Blackstone’s St. Charles Porter, North Coast’s Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout, Southern Tier’s Creme Brulee, Founder’s Breakfast Stout, Bells Expedition Stout, and Dogfish Head’s Worldwide Stout. There are many, many more but these are just some of the standouts that you can enjoy when you are in the mood for dark and heavy. If you happen to be in East Nashville Beer Works’ neighborhood, pop into the beer garden and enjoy the Young Hickory smoked porter. It’s lightly smoked flavor and brown malts go great with the pizza they are serving up hot and fresh. To sum everything up, the difference between porters and stouts is that porters are generally sweeter with a lower ABV compared to the bitter, malty stouts. Of course there are exceptions to every rule but the key is to just enjoy them all and do it responsibly. For any questions about this article or other Beer 101 questions, feel free to contact me at s_e_gibbs@yahoo.com.

spring issue | volume 7

contributors What’s the first sign of spring? our contributors share

Chris Chamberlain

Nancy Vienneau

“When the last of the past-due pumpkin beers are pulled off the shelves to be replaced by strawberry seasonals.”

“For me, it is always the daffodils”

Rob Shomaker

Melissa Corbin

“Spring is when I get to enjoy my first lawnmower beer of the year, after finishing with the actual lawnmower.”

“Windows flung open, chirping birds and a newly tuned tiller say Spring to me. Where’s my shovel? It’s planting time! ”

Kendall Joseph

Tony Giannasi

“When the days grow longer and are warm enough to enjoy a beer on the patio.”

“The first sign of spring is Sam Adams Summer Ale. #snark #seasonalcreep” 19


dining guide a selective guide for dining in tennessee

Sumner County Blossom Cellar Hendersonville, TN

Hendersonville’s independent, authentic Thai-Lao eatery & pub in the newly revamped old skating rink, pairing the freshest flavors with all-craft on draft. $$ 750 W Main St, Suite B Hendersonville, Tennessee facebook.com/BlossomCellarDoor

Bradley County Deli Boys Cleveland, TN

Deli Boys is committed to helping Cleveland area eat cleaner and better. This means sourcing local ingredients from farms, bakeries and supporting small purveyors when possible. Searching for the trends on healthy eating. Fresh ingredients are used and made from scratch on premises daily for our menu including our house dressing that is now available for retail. Together a good meal and a good experience is what we are about at Deli Boys. $ 2538 Keith Street Northwest Cleveland, TN 37312 deliboysonline.com

Cumberland County The Pour House Bistro Crossville, TN

A quaint bistro and winebar on West Avenue in Crossville, The Pour House offers creative comfort cuisine for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday in an eclectic, upbeat, come-as-you-are atmosphere. $$ 1269 West Ave #102 Crossville, TN 38555 thepourhousebistro.com

The Hop Yard at Fat Bottom Brewery


at Bottom Brewery has finally opened in the Nations, on the west side of Nashville and it couldn’t come at a better time. The neighborhood is in the midst of a renaissance that most people would have never anticipated and Fat Bottom Brewery’s move to the new state of the art facility shows a glimpse into the future of the Nations neighborhood on the north side of I-40. Fat Bottom Brewery is in all cases a true craft brewery and now a full service restaurant called the Hop Yard. They create a completely new dynamic for the growing brewery scene. Serving up the complete portfolio of brews is now an experience to be enjoyed with amazing upscale pub food style creations. Flights of beer can be enjoyed with a Chef’s Selection Charcuterie Board, Burgers, and quite possibly the best German style baked pretzels outside of Bavaria. The beer is certainly the “Star of the Show” however, the menu in it’s simplicity is an attraction in itself. The new Fat Bottom Brewery and The Hop Yard is sure to keep the long time fans of the beer coming back for more, however the new 30,000+ square foot facility is destined to become a Nashville attraction for sure. From the 1500 sq ft event space to the second floor lounge above the restaurant to the courtyard with a stage and corn-hole games, there is something here for everyone. Get over to 800 44 th Ave N at the end of Indiana St and check out this amazing facility. Hours of Operation: Mon thru Thurs: 4:00p to 11:00p Fri & Sat: 11:00a to 12:00a Sun: 11:00a to 10:00p


spring issue | volume 7

highlights | #tnbeerrun


By: Zack Roskop


never imagined that a late night dare over a few pints at my local brewery would turn into once in a lifetime trip that I will never forget. At first, the idea of hitting every single brewery in the entire state of Tennessee in 21 days seemed unlikely and farfetched, but as I woke up the next day it’s all I could think about it and it consumed me. I began sharing the idea with my closest friends and slowly piece by piece the trip that I began to call The TN Beer Run, started becoming a reality.

enjoy the few pictures and quotes as a bite-sized version and make sure you stay on the look out for the full one this summer. Cheers!

Over the 5 month time span leading up to the trip I was able to secure two of my long time friends to join me as our photographer and trip coordinator. I was able to confirm and lock down appointments with all 74 breweries! Kroger heard about the trip and decided to pitch in to cover our fuel and food expenses and a local car dealership, Grayson Subaru, wanted to help champion our cause to promote small business. All of the support was simply mind-blowing to me but the one thing that truly made this trip possible, is the magazine you are holding right now. The TN Craft Beer Magazine and I quickly partnered up to make this trip possible. We both share an intense love for the state of Tennessee and the impact and uniqueness of craft beer culture. I’m so excited and honored to share with the world the details of our epic adventure in the summer issue of this publication. For now, I hope you


of the Month

Best Quotes From TN Beer Run “I just couldn’t imagine spending the rest of my life walking into a doctor’s office and saying, ‘Hi, I’m Dr. Yeager, are you ready for your shot?” - Drew Yeager “The craft beer community is 99% asshole free” - Adam, Alliance Brewing Co. “We chose to use 750 ml bottles for our beer because for us, beer is about sharing, and putting beer in something similar to a wine bottle really speaks to saving and sharing our liquid with guests.” Andrew, Blackberry Farm Brewery “We named Memphis Made Brewery, Memphis Made because simply put, we are Memphis made. This town is who we are and we wouldn’t be us without it.” Drew & Andy, Memphis Made Brewery

Name: Copper Employer: Corsair Distillery Job Title: Chief of Security Salary: Unlimited Mice Favorite Activity: Observing the crew work and belly rubs E-mail us a picture of your best employee at didi@tncraftbeermag.com.





email: info@tncraftbeermag.com 21

TCB Magazine | tncraftbeermag.com


6448 Nolensville Rd (615) 283-8657


2805 Old Fort Pkwy (615) 295-2332



spring issue | volume 7


TCB Magazine | tncraftbeermag.com

pie + beer | seasonal spring combinations Three Savory & Sweet Ideas for Spring


By Nancy Vienneau

Soup and Sandwich. Cheese and Wine. Champagne and Caviar. Cookies and Cream. To the line up of perfect pairs, we’d like to add Pie and Beer. Pie and Beer, you say? You bet. Whether sweet or savory filled, the versatile onedish pastry and a cool brew make a tasty match—especially now, with the abun-



Photography By: Stephanie Mullins

dance of craft beer choices. Tapping into the spirit of spring, we’ve designed three terrific recipes for seasonally inspired pies, two of which use beer as an ingredient. Our Chicken Pot Pie has pale ale worked into the crust, which gives it great malted flavor while making it immeasurably flaky. We whipped up coarse grain mustard using Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout, which gets rubbed and baked into the crust of the Asparagus-Ham Quiche. Finally, our Glazed Strawberry Tart with Orange-scented pastry cream makes a light


Food Styling By: Teresa Blackburn

and luscious finish to any springtime meal. We called on our friends at Bounty Bev for pairing suggestions. Founded by Kurt Strickmaker, Bounty is the only Tennessee distributor wholly dedicated to American craft beer. More than a distributor, the company is all about craft beer education. They call themselves The Better Beer Brigade. Daniel Schlabach, who heads up Bounty’s Special Events & Hoppenings, shares his insight on Spring pie and beer pairings. Easy as pie.

spring issue | volume 7

Spring Chicken Pot Pie w/ Pale Ale Crust

“This recipe ingredient and pairing is pretty straightforward—you could easily incorporate the same beer into both.” And, he allows, excellent pale ale choices abound. “Good People’s has the right amount of earthy hops that go right along with the savory veggies. Jackalope Thunder Ann has more citrusy hop flavors to enliven the pie and give a brighter pairing.” But you don’t have to stick to the obvious. Daniel also likes Dogfish Head’s 60 Minute IPA “It’s really well balanced and has some biscuity malt notes that work with the crust.” He is also fond of East Nashville Beer Works’ Miro Miel. It’s an American-style blonde ale brewed with locally sourced honey, which balances the pilsner malt. “It’s definitely lighter in hop impact,” he says. Impressed by its smooth yet sunny character, we chose this one to accompany the pot pie.

Spring Asparagus Ham Quiche w/ Stout Mustard Rubbed Crust

“For the ingredient portion of the recipe, I’d go with something not too sweet

and roasty like Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout, or North Coast Old Rasputin,” he says. Note: that stout mustard is top-notch, spread onto deli-style sandwiches, over grilled brats or used as a dunk for soft pretzels. “As for the pairing, sometimes it’s fun to have the beer with the beer that’s in the recipe, but in this case I’d go with something lighter. Good People has a nice light saison called Urban Farmer,” Daniel says. “But say you’re hosting a brunch. In its large format bottle, Perennial Saison de Lis would be a beautiful choice.” Yes, that bottle looks like a spring celebration, and because it is brewed with chamomile flowers, it has floral aromatics and a harmony of sweet and soft bitterness that is right for the season and for the quiche.

Apricot Glazed Strawberry Tart with Orange Scented Pastry Cream

Daniel has a few thoughts for this dessert. “I’d pair this one with a Dogfish Head Namaste. It’s got dried orange slices in the brew that will complement the orange zest in the custard.” This Belgian-style witbier is also made with lemongrass—intensifying those citrus notes---and coriander, which imparts a spicy peppery finish. It complements all three fruits—apricot, strawberry, and orange—without overpowering. Beyond that, Daniel recommends sours, like Tin Man Damascene or 2nd Shift Katy. “Damascene has a light lemonade-like tartness, and fruitiness from apricots. 2nd Shift Katy is another large format bottle that would be fun to share with friends. It’s barrel aged and really dry that works with fruit-based tarts.”

Spring Chicken Pot Pie PALE ALE PIE CRUST

• 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour • ½ teaspoon salt • 1 teaspoon sugar • 10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes • 3 tablespoons ice cold pale ale Place flour, salt and sugar to a food processor, pulse to combine. Add the butter, process until well combined and dough ball begins to form.. Place into a mixing bowl. With a spatula

or wooden spoon, stir in the beer until absorbed into the dough, which will be very soft. Form into a flat disk and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour.


• 3 tablespoons unsalted butter • 2 tablespoons olive oil • 1 medium onion, small dice • 2 celery stalks, chopped

• 4 medium carrots, sliced into coins • 2 garlic cloves, minced • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour • 1quart chicken broth • 2 teaspoons thyme • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped • Kosher salt and coarse ground pepper, to taste • 3 cups diced cooked chicken • 1 cup frozen petite peas go to tncraftbeermagazine.com/ recipes for the full recipe.


TCB Magazine | tncraftbeermag.com


• 1 cup all-purpose flour • 1⁄4 teaspoon salt • 6 tablespoons butter, chilled and cut into small pieces • 4 tablespoons ice water • 1 tablespoon stout mustard (see recipe below) Place the flour and salt in a medium bowl. With a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it becomes like coarse meal. Add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix well with a wooden spoon. With your hands, gather the dough up into a ball, pressing, rolling, and shaping until it is smooth and round. Flatten slightly, seal in plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface into an 11- or 12-inch circle. Drape the dough over a 9- or 10-inch quiche or tart pan. Press the dough to the bottom and sides, taking care not to stretch it. Rub the mustard onto the pastry surface and place it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prick the crust with a fork. Line the crust with aluminum foil, pour beans or pie weights into the bottom, and place the pan in the oven to bake for 12 minutes. When the crust is nicely browned, remove and allow to cool.

SAVORY CUSTARD • 1 1⁄4 cups half-and- half • 3 large eggs • 1⁄2 cup grated Parmesan cheese • 1⁄4 teaspoon salt • 1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper


• 8-10 asparagus spears, trimmed and blanched • 1 cup sliced deli ham, cut into strips • 1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

go to tncraftbeermagazine.com/recipes for the full recipe. 26

Glazed Fruit Tart with Orange-Scented Cream ORANGE-SCENTED PASTRY CREAM • 1 tablespoon butter • 1/2 cup sugar • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour • 2 cups milk, divided • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract • 1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest • 3 large eggs

In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and mix in the sugar and flour. Add 1 cup of the milk and stir constantly. Add the vanilla and orange zest. In a medium bowl whisk the eggs with the remaining cup of milk until well blended and no streaks of yolk can be seen. Pour the egg mixture into the saucepan and stir well. Cook until thickened. Cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.

APRICOT GLAZE • 1/2 cup apricot preserves • 2 tablespoons sugar • 2 tablespoons water

go to tncraftbeermagazine.com/recipes for the full recipe.

TCB Magazine | tncraftbeermag.com

outdoor living | embers grill & fireplace | By: Crystal Watson


ne of the most popular units to include in an outdoor kitchen is the beer dispenser. Every craft beer fan has dreamed of having their favorite beers on tap and for good reason. There are however some important facts that you should learn before you purchase a keggerator. Not all dispensers are equal. Here are fourth things to consider when researching a beer dispenser: Can it keep the beer at your desired temperature? Many beer dispensers use simple cold plate refrigeration and mechanical controls that can’t maintain lower temperatures. If you want consistent temperatures as low as 33 degrees, forced air refrigeration and digital controls will allow the cooling power and accuracy your favorite beer deserves. Is it outdoor rated? Any appliance that


will be exposed to the elements needs to be outdoor rated or it won’t hold up. Look for high quality, 300 series stainless steel as this will stand up to the most challenging of environments. Is the dispensing tower cooled? If the tower isn’t chilled, the beer in the lines will warm up. When the cold beer from the keg hits the warmer beer in the lines, unwanted foam is created and then typically poured out. This is especially important for outdoor refrigerators where the tower is the highest, and least insulated portion of the refrigerator. Can the dispenser fit within your design? Some units are fully front vented and can be built into a cabinet or island. This allows a cleaner look and functional placement within an outdoor kitchen. Most units can also take custom tap handles that allow you to show your guests what’s on tap. One brand that we can recommend with-

out reservations is True. True’s units meet the four requirements above with stainless steel inside and out. True’s refrigeration system easily holds kegs as low as 33 even on the hottest of Tennessee summer days. There are a few things to note about built in beer dispensers. Always make sure that your keg will fit in the unit. True, and other built in units cannot hold a full half barrel, but easily hold 2 1/6th barrel kegs in their dual tap unit. Make sure you have the proper tapper for the beer you’re dispensing. A low profile tapper may be required depending on the size/height/ type of the keg. Always clean your lines between kegs. Beer line cleaning kits are available, and ensure the best quality beer. Tapped Kegs should last 30-45 days but check with the brewery for specific beers and expectations. Your dispenser isn’t the place to skimp, you get what you pay for.

TCB Magazine | tncraftbeermag.com

cigar room | the humidor


own squares have been staples of bustling city downtowns for centuries. They have been the epicenter of commerce, politics and legislation, and a gathering place forpeople of all walks of life for generations. There are also special connections between customers and downtown merchants, which create an experience that one can’t get outside of the round corners of a town square. In the historic downtown of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, one can enjoy both premium cigars and craft beer, in one location...well two really. Owned by Mike LaMure, both The Humidor and Liquid Smoke & Beer Lounge provide the opportunity to enjoy a cigar from late A.M. to early evening and to partake in a wide selection of craft brews well after sunset. And while The Humidor is approaching close to a decade of being in business onthe square, cigar and pipe culture has been alive and wellin that very locale on the square for more than 30 years. The Humidor is a full-service tobacconist with cigars, pipes and accessories, a 1,500 square-foot, walk-in humidor and


lounge-in-one with multiple rows and tall shelves ofpremium cigars. In a world where TV starts more arguments that it helps to solve, the lounge is television-free so patrons can focus on conversation and their mutual love ofcigars. The location is easily accessible from the square and provides a perfect view ofthe revived town center and foot traffic, whether sitting inside or outdoors on the sidewalk patio area. If you’re not able to visit The Humidor during their hours ofoperation, there’s no need to worry. Liquid Smoke & Beer Lounge is right next door to make enjoying a late-night cigar indoors on the square an option. Liquid Smoke has a robust beer menu with approximately 250 beers, roughly 25%of them local. There are two additional cabinet humidors right inside the doors offering popular brandsto enjoy along with your beer purchase. While relaxing at The Humidor, I had the pleasure of pairing the Oliva V Melanio Gran Reserva Limitada (one size of which was Cigar Aficionado’s 2014 Cigar of the Year) and the Yee-Haw Dunkel out of Johnson City, Tennessee (Bronze award winner at the 2016 World Beer Cup for


By: Justin Harris

European-Style Dark/Muenchner Dunkel). The Petite Corona vitola is a small and flavorful size that is perfect for a 30-45 minute break in the action with a cold bottle of East Tennessee craft beer. The Melanio isbursting with salty, yet sweet notes of nut, coffee and cocoa. These attributes bring out the smoky, caramel, medium-bodied crisp finish of the Dunkel German dark lager. Neither being overpowering, the combination is one that can be enjoyed no matter the season, temperature or occasion. Perfect on their own or together, the Melanio V and the Dunkel bring together two vastly different art forms, backgrounds and tastes to create an experience much like that of sitting with fellow aficionados...different, but all in harmony in the name of enjoyment. While gathering in downtown Murfreesboro, there’s no better way to commune with those that frequent the shop or those that are just passing through during a break fromwork. The Humidor, the Melanio V and the Dunkel, like the town square, are nostalgic, fulfilling and a must when traveling through the exact geographic center of Tennessee.

Old School Feel, New School Tastes |

By: Justin Harris

Oliva V Melanio Gran Reserva Limitada Vitola (size): Petite Corona (4 1/2 x 46) Country of Origin: Esteli, Nicaragua Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra Binder: Nicaragua Filler: Jalapa Nicaragua

TCB Magazine | tncraftbeermag.com

feature | let’s embrace the funk Brett, Not Sour!

An afternoon of Funk with Brandon Jones | By: Tony Giannasi


Photograph By: Sean von Tagen


hen you walk into church, there is a gravity to the air. A hushed silence of reverence. An air of respect for those that have gone before so that we could be where we are today. If Yazoo’s sour creation and barrel room had stained glass windows, I would not have been surprised. And Brandon Jones, creator of the Embrace the Funk movement, is in the middle of it all, moving from barrel rack to barrel rack, like a bishop caring for his flock. The joy and contentment that I got from Brandon is something I feel like we all aspire to: to have a job that is centered around the thing you care about the most, and the time to do it right. Welcome to Yazoo’s Embrace the Funk. Come in, take a seat, and bow your head. The roots of Brandon’s sour life start in homebrew, and I met him when we were running our respective homebrew clubs. He was just starting the Embrace the Funk website (embracethefunk. com), and interviewing industry pioneers like Chad Yakobson of Crooked Stave, Shaun Hill of Hill Farmstead, and Jean Van Roy of Cantillon. These early interactions set up the basis for many a strong friendship and information exchange, and even the eventual naming of the beer this article is named for. TG: You are a champion for the education that Brettanomyces (Brett) delivers funk, not necessarily sour flavors, especially on Twitter, where did that start?

spring issue | volume 7


TCB Magazine | tncraftbeermag.com

feature | let’s embrace the funk cont’d BJ: It was during a conversation with Chad (Yakobson) about the misconceptions that beer people had with Brett beers. Brett is a yeast and creates barnyard (horse blanket) flavors, whereas the acidic sourness comes from bacteria like Lactobacillus, Acetobacter, and Pediococcus. Too many people would comment on the Brett character when they were really commenting on the sour notes. Chad and I both shared this frustration, and that’s how our friendship started. I wanted to showcase this phenomenon in the “Brett, Not Sour” project, so I chose an approachable style: Super Hoppy IPA for the base, and chose my Brett blend to emphasize the tropical notes in the hop strains I chose. Putting “Brett, Not Sour” on the tap handle helps me convey the message to servers and bar drinkers much more effectively, and opens a conversation with the end drinker about what Brett is really doing in their beer. TG: Where do you think people get the misconception? BJ: A lot of it starts with homebrewing and sanitation. If someone makes a batch of beer and throws Brett in it, and it comes out sour, they think it’s Brett, not necessarily the variety of undesirable bugs that get into that beer. That brewer tells someone else that the sour came from Brett, and the error is carried forward. TG: What happens when that brewer decides to go Pro? How do you feel about the growth in breweries making Wild Ales, or expanding their operations to include wild beers? BJ: If it’s done honestly and without trying to cut corners, it’s fine. Read up. Don’t assume you can do sours/wilds out of the gate. And it’s difficult to gain new followers if the first sour they have is not good. It can ruin the perception of the whole category for one drinker, and we may never get them back to try something better. So, do your due diligence, and decide if it’s right for you or not. TG: Are you referring to Kettle Souring? (Practice of souring the boil kettle overnight, then cooking off the bacteria – Creates a quick, sour, low pH beer, but will not infect other equipment. Is not “live.”) BJ: In part, kettle sours are less complex than traditional methods, and are cheaper to make. The main issue is that if you make a kettle sour, then stick it in a cork and cage bottle and charge the same as something that took years to make, that’s not being very honest about the effort that went


into the beer. Something that takes years to make has to pay the rent on the space it occupies, and takes a lot of time to mature. A ton of quality checks happen before that beer hits the glass. So be honest, brand it for what it is, and don’t overprice it. TG: So do you have anything kettle soured here? BJ: All Embrace the Funk beers are aged and soured with traditional methods. Yazoo’s Summer Seasonal is a kettle soured beer, but it says so right on the package. TG: Can you describe some of your methods you use here? BJ: It depends on the style, but we age beer in wooden and steel barrels, and we also use Solera methods of moving beer between inoculated barrels to maintain the culture we want, while mixing in old and new beer for complexity. TG: Any spontaneous fermentation going on here? BJ: We did the first Tennessee Spontaneously Fermented beer in 2012, its name was ‘Clarence.’ TG: What do you think about the Old World sours like Rodenbach, Tilquin, and Hansenns compared to the New World American sour offerings? BJ: Big difference. American sours are much more acidic than the Euro ones. But, most American takes on styles are bigger and more aggressive than the rest of the world, so sours are not an exception. TG: In the past few decades, we’ve seen the rest of the world try to make what America likes. When we drank light lager, we got Moosehead from Canada, Red Stripe from Jamaica, Corona from Mexico, Heineken from the Netherlands, Asahi from Japan, Peroni from Italy, and the list goes on. Now that Americans’ tastes have evolved past that, and American beer exports are rising, is the rest of the world out of luck with sending in interesting things to compete with American creativity? BJ: There’s definitely a glut of American styles out there, but I feel there is also plenty of room for the rest of the world to showcase their best here and gain a following. TG: Do you think mass market and grocery are ready for sours? BJ: That’s going to be driven by locals, really. Biggest concern for us is the low supply. It’s hard to make sours in volume due to the time it takes. However, it could be something really cool for some of the independent stores to pick up to separate them from

the big box stores. Also, supporting a large chain may take away from retailers who have supported Embrace the Funk since the beginning and I never want to do that. TG: You think you’ll keep distribution small? Or is Embrace the Funk a potential driver to help expand Yazoo? BJ: Distribution is going to be based on what we have to offer without abandoning our core supporters, but that being said, we are sold throughout Mississippi and South Carolina, and we are on draft in New York City and Colorado! TG: Any thoughts on canning? BJ: Mainly indifferent. I prefer bottles for durability and presentation. TG: Where would you steer someone looking to get in to sours? BJ: Something like a Flanders Red or Oud Bruin to start, but depends on their style preference. Maybe a wild IPA would be a better place to start if they like IPA’s. Or a Berliner Weisse if they like lighter beers. TG: What would you recommend as a good starter bug blend for homebrewers? BJ: Create your own! Pick a nice base blend and then decide what you want out of the beer. If you want it more sour, add an extra vial of Pedio cultures. Or get more funk with an extra hit of pure Brett. TG: How about collabs? BJ: We have some in the works, but we just finished doing one with the City House here in Nashville. We did a sour blonde aged in Gin barrels and called it “Blondes have more Fun.” It was only in 750ML bottles at the restaurant, and it flew out of there. Was fantastic for both of us and tasted great with their Lemon Chicken dish. TG: What do you look for in a brewery to do a collab? BJ: Similar tastes in brewing really, but I prefer to mainly to brew with my friends. Honestly I wouldn’t do a collab brew with anyone I wouldn’t invite over to my house. TG: That is awesome. BJ: I’m lucky to have that luxury, for sure. After this we started pulling nails and tasting barrels, so my notes got less legible. Overall an excellent day spent in good company with good beer. If you are interested in brewing wild ales like Brandon, check out his blog for recipes and fantastic interviews (embracethefunk. com), and if you want to taste the fruits of his labors, check out yazoobrew.com, or even better, check out their taproom in downtown Nashville near the Gulch area.

spring issue | volume 7



brewery profile

Promoting an Active Beer Culture through Great Beer

| By: Rob Shomaker | Photography By: Christen Clemins


hat’s in a name? One of the wonderful parts of our craft beer community is that names are often very well thought out. Brewery names, beer names, tag lines, tap rooms. Names are memorable, sticky, and perhaps humorous. Names can often evoke a memory or a feeling. It was February of 2010 when the initial seeds were sown. Chris Morton and Adam Ingle were removing old shelving from what was formerly known as The Flower


Market as they began preparations for what we all now know as the Bearden Beer Market. Over the roar of the demolition the idea was pitched to begin a brewery. Over the next few years others gathered around, Chris Howard being one of them, who nurtured that idea and brought it to life. In August of 2015 the dream became reality. At 1130 Sevier Ave, Knoxville, Tennessee, you will find Alliance Brewing Company. The name Alliance was inspired

by the late Ben Seamons, a brewer and member of the founding group. The name is meant to be representative of those who were part of the initial group as well as the beer community as a whole: an alliance. The torch logo was meant to act as a rallying point as well as a gentle nod to casting the light on better beer. However, to me the torch means more. I am reminded of Olympic athletes carrying the flame. That is what Alliance means to me, in two ways.

Adam Ingle, Chris Howard


irst, Alliance Brewing Company believes in Active Beer Culture. They’ve even trademarked the phrase. What does this mean? Quite simply, earning your beer. Alliance’s placement in the South Knoxville area was no accident. This is where many of us go to be active. Places for mountain biking, running, paddle sports, rugby are all just a stone’s throw away. Ijams Nature Center, Suttree’s Landing, and Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness are just a few of the focal points. Alliance was also one of the first businesses to be a part of what is now called the revitalization of South Knox. Alliance also encourages activity throughout the week including yoga on Mondays and running on Thursdays. The running group includes group training for a marathon. They are serious in promoting an Active Beer Culture because while beer is good for the soul, it often has an adverse effect on our waistlines. The second reason for the comparison is that Alliance Brewing Company creates Olympic level beer. While you might think that’s a stretch, Head Brewer Adam Ingle is a stickler for perfection. I’ve always known Adam to constantly strive for perfection. He’s constantly referencing many guides, seeking input from his peers, and regularly consulting both the Brewers Association as well as the BJCP Style Guidelines. Adam also isn’t afraid to try something new, a challenge of sorts. As he

tells it, “We make what we like to drink, I try to make it the best that I can, and I stand behind it.” I have found even when I think he has dialed a recipe in as far as he can get it, he finds a way to improve. Eight mainstay beers can be found on the tap wall; Kolsch, Scotch Ale, Belgo IPA, Saison, Oatmeal Stout, Cubano Brown, Citra Blonde and a rotating IPA. Each beer is to style, carefully thought out and crafted. With twelve total taps, there’s always something fun on as well, like a dubbel or a kottbusser.

The Stats: 3bbl brewhouse 12 - 3.5bbl fermenters 2 - 3.5bbl brite tanks 12 taps Barrels per year (500+) Package: 1/2bbls, 1/6bbls, 32oz. Crowlers The brewery makes good use of 2500 square feet. Chris Howard, the self-proclaimed “King of the Cooler” acts as the COO and cellarman. Given his background in engineering, he ensured the space was properly laid out. “Neo Scandinavian Industrial” is how Adam describes the interior architecture in the use of warm wood, ninety degree angles, straight lines, exposed

metal and concrete. It has a certain feeling or vibe about it – inviting and fun. Within that 2500 square feet is a tasting room, 12 taps, a cooler, a 3 barrel brewhouse, 12 fermenters and 2 brite tanks. They have certainly made a good use of the small space. Demand for Alliance’s beer continues to increase. However, at this time they are only able to provide beer to 15 accounts and the tap room. Due to some collaborative opportunities, their beer does make it out in other ways, such as a collaboration with Crafty Bastard Brewery where they each take turns brewing a batch at one another’s breweries to keep on tap at the respective taproom. As well as collaborative brews that help raise funds for the the local Appalachian Mountain Bike Club. They have plans in place for a few more collaborations with their friends in the local beer community throughout 2017. Another way that Alliance is able to get out into the community is with their Cask Nights. While they always tap a pin or firkin on Tuesday evenings, they often send a cask out to local bars such as Suttree’s High Gravity Tavern, Central Flats and Taps, and Pretentious Beer Company for monthly First Friday events. Alliance Brewing Company certainly does shine a bright light. They shine a light on quality beer, involvement with the craft beer community, and the importance of being active. You gotta burn it to earn it! P r o s t !

TCB Magazine | tncraftbeermag.com


spring issue | volume 7



be bold



72 School House Rd. Mills River, NC 28759 | (828) 595-9940

spring issue | volume 7

pm 0 :0 6 to m p 0 :0 2 | 17 0 2 , 11 h rc a Saturday, M Our first annual Oyster Roast was a huge success as we celebrated our first deployment of habitat funding to help preserve our coasts. Join us at Blackstone Tap House at 2312 Clifton Ave. as we celebrate our continued efforts to preserve our coastal habitats.

FEATURING: • A variety of delicious, locally-brewed Blackstone Beer • Mouth-watering, fresh, Lowcountry Oysters and Frogmore Stew • Live Music from Taylor Brashears, as seen on season 7 of NBC’s The Voice





$100 per COUPLE

Children 15 and under FREE

Join us Saturday, March 11, 2017 at Blackstone Tap House 2312 Clifton Ave. Nashville, TN


TCB Magazine | tncraftbeermag.com

the brewgrass trail #sharethelex Explore the Pour in Lexington KY |

Article & Photography By: Melissa D. Corbin

“Folks may come for the bourbon, but they stay for the beer.”

Founding partners of West Sixth Brewing Robin Sither, Brady Barlow


olks flock to the Bluegrass State each spring to toss back a few Juleps, brag about the bets they won or lost on the ponies and experience Bourbon Country. Horses and


bourbon are indeed two of Kentucky’s prime resources. But, these days there’s something special brewing in Lexington, Kentucky. Folks may come for the bourbon, but they stay for the beer. Get in touch with your inner Cicerone

with a Brewgrass Trail Passport from the fine folks at the Lexington Visitors Center (VisitLEX.com). This passport highlights eleven breweries in Central Kentucky, all within a short drive from Tennessee. Here’s our picks to get you started:

spring issue | volume 7

Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Company is Lexington’s longest-standing craft brewery, and is one of the world’s few “brewstilleries” crafting everything from Kentucky Bourbon Ale to Town Branch Bourbon. Their humble beginnings started in 1999, with a “Frankenstein brew system that was basically held together by duct tape,” says Pete Weiss, Alltech Marketing Manager. They’ve come along way since the early days, distributing Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale in 30 American states. But don’t expect to belly up to the Alltech taproom. There isn’t one. “Legally, we’re too big for a taproom,” explains Weiss, “We’re friends with everyone, and trust me, I’m a regular in everyone’s taproom,” he smiles. Head to your local bottle shop, and you’re likely to find the College Heights Project, that Alltech has partnered with Western Kentucky University to produce beer. There’s an actual production brewery on campus where students can earn their bachelor’s, master’s and, coming soon, doctoral degree in brewing. “The students come in and brew the beer. We package and distribute it all over the country,” explains Weiss. Be on the lookout for the newly released Kentucky Bourbon Ale- 100% Barrel-Aged

Blackberry Porter. http:// www.kentuckyale.com/ Blue Stallion Brewing Company specializes in German lagers and British ales in a historic 1920’s building. “We focus mostly on Lagers, which are fermented colder, but are more crisp and cleaner than ales […] We take pride in our traditional brewing methods,” says brewmaster/co-owner, Kore Donnelly. Grab a hot pretzel and beer cheese dip made in-house by Dad’s Catering, before diving into Blue Stallion’s flagship beers which Donnelly describes as a “gateway” to craft beer. “They’re all about 5%, approachable and drinkable. If

don’t use additives to help out. So we have to be precise when brewing our beers.” Be not fooled by Donnelly’s approachable description. Geeking out over Blue Stallion’s dunkel or Lager is an easy thing to do.His lagers are a six week process that he explains, “we’ve tried to educate the public about lagering. A high quality ale can be done in three weeks. It’s been a little bit of a struggle to keep up with the demand. They’re hard to make and there’s no where to hide…not that anyone needs a place to hide, but you may not notice some small imperfection because there’s all the character from the yeast and hops… with Helles and Pilsners, it is what it is.” The first step mash for Blue Stallion Lagers happens around 130-140°, and then the temperature is raised for other enzymes to work. Donnely explains that this length-

Blue Stallion Brewhaus

you come here and don’t know what you like, it’s easier to introduce you,” he explains. “We use only the four main ingredients (barley, hops, water and yeast) and we

ens and complicates the process. He also prefers a pure lager, so finings are avoided. Don’t miss Donnely’s Märzen for this spring! bluestallionbrewing.com


TCB Magazine | tncraftbeermag.com

the brewgrass trail #sharethelex cont’d

Tap Room at Country Boy

Country Boy Brewing is what some would call adventurous, but “it’s not fake,” says Daniel Harrison (DH), brand manager and co-founder, of his country boy persona. Peruse the taproom board and you’ll find brew names like Cougar Bait, Cliff Jumper, Shotgun Wedding and Amos Moses. Much more than mere monikers for half-baked plans, Country Boy beers are as

colorful as their master-minds. A couple of self-described “reformed beer bloggers” started with a business model of “30 beers a day will keep the lights on,” and a vision that would revolutionize the Kentucky craft beer scene. Embarking upon the cusp of Kentucky’s craft beer revival in 2012, DH says that “they were so dumb they didn’t know what to be scared of to be scared of it,” he smiles, “It was the right time, the right place, the right people, a whole lot of

Daniel Harrison aka DH, Founding partner and Molly Danger


luck, and damn good beer.” Now a team of eighteen employees, including the four owners, Communications Director, Molly Danger says that “ they believe in making good beer and the rest will come.” Good beer they make, indeed. Still, DH contends that they’re always evolving. When asked about blogger-to-blogger advice that DH suggests, “ Always know that there’s someone out there that’s going to know more than you, and the fact that you might not know as much as someone else isn’t a bad thing. We’re all on this journey going somewhere, and when people get into beer they want to come out and show what they know right away. Take that zealousness away and be ok with not knowing everything. We’re all in this cool club right now, that we’re happy to be a part of.” Listen to our podcast later this month where DH and Molly talk about women in the industry, and why DH thinks “things are always better when you crack open a beer and work things out.” Meahwhile, Country Boy Brewing has expanded to Georgetown, KY, where they’re the first new construction brewery in Kentucky in the modern era. With a 50 barrel brewhouse in a 24,000-square-foot space, you bet your brews Country Boy is making their mark. countryboybrewing.com

spring issue | volume 7


thereal Brewing is among a collective of small business owners that call the James C. Pepper Distillery home. Known for their sour beers, Ethereal is the only brewery in Lexington with a dedicated yeast lab. Head brewer and co-founder, Brandon Floan enjoys brewing in the old James C. Pepper fermentation room where he says, “we don’t shy away from alcohol around here.” Take their Russian Imperial Stout- Baba Yaga. Aged in Four Roses barrels, it’s deceptively easy to drink at 13%. Still, the Fleur Rouge Hibiscus Saison is beautifully refreshing at 8.5%. “We really like fruit here, and use all different sorts of ingredients to try and get the best flavors into the beer,” explains Floan. While Ethereal offers an array of traditional craft staples, it’s the funk that makes them unique. With the exception of a few year-round recipes, most all of Ethereal’s beers are one-offs. The key at Ethereal is to free your palate, drink up, and know that there’s one coming up that will win your heart all the same. etherealbrewing.com Mirror Twin is inspired by the fact that brewmaster/co-owner, Derek DeFranco has a mirror twin, Dustin. “We’ve felt each other’s pain, literally,” says DeFranco. Celebrating the “duality of beer,” Mirror Twin offers twin drafts on tap that are identical, but one element of the recipe is different. A law school graduate, DeFranco passed the bar, but set his sights on something a little different three years ago. “My neighbor was brewing, and I thought he was frying a turkey or something. That’s how I got started,” he remembers, “My first batch tasted like home brew. I kind of

wanted to quit.” DeFranco’s wife, Kelsey, says she’d never seen her husband quit at anything, and this was no exception. Instead of working at a law firm, DeFranco learned from some of the best in the industry by working at Altech and Blue Stallion. Open less than a year, DeFranco actually mapped out the Mirror Twin business plan during his bachelor party at Nashville’s Jackalope Brewing Company. Luckily, what happened in Nashville didn’t stay in Nashville. Grab a pizza from the inhouse “Rolling Oven Mobile Pizzaria,” and try a few mirrors, but start with the Red Blooded American red ale (6.8% 32 IBU), a favorite of Kelsey’s. Or, choose from an array of rare guest taps invited by taproom manager, Jason Chism, who’s lovingly referred to as “The Mule.” “I move a lot of beer across the country, and like to travel around to the different breweries,” Chism smiles. mirrortwinbrewing.com West Sixth Brewing is located in a 96,000 square-foot,100 year-old bakery called “The Bread Box.” The Roller Girls of Central Kentucky, Smithtown Seafood, Bluegrass Distillers, and the Food Chain are among West Sixth’s neighbors. “It’s not just a brewery, it’s a community,” explains West Sixth co-founder, Brady Barlow. But, less than a decade ago, Lexington’s craft beer scene was a one-brewery town. Barlow remembers, “I used to bitch about there not being breweries. My wife said that I needed to do something about that. Ben, Joe, Robin and I were all thinking the same thing, and we didn’t even know each other…I wanted to make an impact on my community.” Last year they donated over $130K to various Lexing-

ton charitable organizations through their “6 For A Cause” program. Brady says, “The beer is job one, but is beer doing good too? It’s a lot of fun and rewarding.” West Sixth’s attention to making beer job one is evident in every beer they make. But, none more so than their flagship IPA made with Centennial, Citra, Cascade and Columbus hops. “It sells more than any other beer in Kentucky and is the one that put us on the map…people who don’t ordinarily like IPAs like this one,” explains Barlow. West Sixth Brewing offers a wide range of beers for every palate that “blur the lines of craft beer… it’s not just fizzy, yellow beer,” he adds, “craft beer brings out a lot of people.” westsixth.com The collaborative spirit is alive and well in Lexington, and definitely shines in its ever-evolving craft beer scene. Listen to our #ShareTheLex podcast about collaborations planned for Lexingon Craft Beer Week happening May 12-21, 2017. Meanwhile, back to those horses. If you’re enamored by the romantic notions of oversized hats and bowties, it’s time to get your boots dirty. “At the heart of thouroughbred racing are the farmers,” says Anne Sabatino Hardy, Executive Director of Horse Country, Inc. She encourages folks to take a farm tour while in Kentucky, and learn how much sweat and tears go into these beautiful creatures from “fouling barn to finish line.” Head over to visithorsecountry.com and schedule a tour today. Want to hit the Brewgrass Trail? Visit our website for places to experience, dine and stay. www.tncraftbeermag.com

Jason Chism, Taprrom Manager


TCB Magazine | tncraftbeermag.com

cover | gypsy circus cidery First Craft Cidery in Tennessee

| By: Victoria Rashke | Photography By: Christen Clemins


ohn Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed, would be pleased to learn hard cider is making a comeback among American’s favorite alcoholic beverages. Despite the perception that orchards of Red Delicious sprung up along Chapman’s path, the truth is he was planting


sour, bitter apples for pressing and fermenting. Cider was the number one beverage of colonists and frontier people, replacing even water which was often iffy at best. Prohibition and the FBI agents who took axes to Chapman’s and other cider orchards are largely responsible for the dearth of American cider production in the late 20th

century. Stephanie and Aaron Carson at Gypsy Circus Cider Company are working hard to reverse that trend, starting with the northeast corner of Tennessee. Gypsy Circus Cider Company began distribution in April 2016 as Tennessee’s first craft cidery. The Carsons chose East Tennessee and Kingsport for the apples.

spring issue | volume 7

They chose the name Gypsy Circus for their love of travel and the promise of fun. They are delivering on the fun with The OutCider Venue and InCider Taproom. In the warmer months, The OutCider Venue offers the OutCider Main Stage (built on a container), a gypsy rock garden, a hammock station, community grills, a charging station, gypsy Plinko, fortune teller photos and the Wall of Graffiti. The Container Stage hosts musical acts, fire shows, and other performing artists throughout the summer. The InCider Taproom has 20 taps of ciders, meads, cysers, and local beers on tap, and offers a distinct bohemian vibe.

The InCider stage hosts local and emerging musical acts in addition to the Amusing Amusements room for folks to hang out and play their favorite classic video games. The taproom also offers cider-based cocktails for those looking for a twist. Gypsy Circus is as serious about the cider as they are about the fun. The cidery is a certified Pick Tennessee producer using only local, organic apples pressed on-site at nearby orchards. The juice arrives at the cidery and begins the fermentation process the same day it’s pressed. It takes about three months to go from fruit to finished product. That production time includes two months of aging, because cider, like wine, improves with age. For consumers used to hard cider from large commercial ventures, craft cider will taste more like champaign than apple juice. The aging process develops the aroma in a craft cider, not the additives that give many mass-market ciders that sweet, apple bouquet. Craft cider is also dryer than many American mass-market ciders. In it’s Core line, Gypsy Circus offers Raindancer, a dry cider, and Queen of Swords, a vintage, or semi-sweet, cider. In addition to the Core line, the Elixir series offers seasonal and experimental tastes. On the day of my visit, I tasted Unicycle, a single-hopped dry cider, and Vaudeville, a sour cherry cider, both excellent complements to the Core line. A speciality, one-time cider is available every 3 to 4 weeks. The one-off ciders are an opportunity to experiment and continually add seasonal, local ingredients to Gypsy Circus’s offerings in collaboration with local farms and other craft producers. Past partnerships have included Whirling Dervish Coffee Cider with Frothy Monkey Coffee and Thai Basil Cider made with fresh herbs from Bloomsbury Farms in Smyrna. Completing a trio of product lines, the Puppet Master series offers ciders aged in Tennessee whiskey barrels. The Pup-

petMaster: Marionette released in early 2017 was aged in Jack Daniels bourbon barrels for fifty weeks. PuppetMaster: Shadow Puppet will release in the spring 2017 with a wild cider aged with peaches in Jack Daniels barrels for 14 months. Puppet Master releases bring together Tennessee whiskey and Tennessee cider in one great product and are available in limited-supply, cork and cage bombers. In many ways, making cider is more like making wine than brewing beer. The fermentation processes are similar and the end results are more similar than cider is to beer. Under federal law, cideries are classed as wineries, though Tennessee state law classifies cideries as breweries. In addition to the challenges of navigating the layers of laws and regulations, cider makers have to master the art and science needed to create a superior product for market. Aaron Carson has attended cider academies in the UK and at Cornell University in the U.S. Well-known in the craft brew community, Carson is the co-author, with Tony Casey, of East Tennessee Beer: a fermented history. Making cider was a way to become a craft beverage producer without competing with friends and colleagues making beer.


TCB Magazine | tncraftbeermag.com

cover | gypsy circus cidery cont’d Though apples are plentiful in East Tennessee, they are mostly culinary, or eating, apples. Gypsy Cider currently uses a blend of cider and culinary apples. The Carsons are beginning to plant their own cider orchard with the Dabinett variety, a cultivar from Somerset, England, considered one of the finest cider varietals. But a revival of cider apples in East Tennessee is not the company’s only contribution to the local foodshed and economy. Gypsy Circus has been recognized as an Official Certified Wildlife Habitat® site with the National Wildlife Federation to promote pollination habitats for bees. Healthy bees mean great local honey for use in their new line of cysers and high gravity meads. The company also works with regional cheesemaker English Farmstead to produce Linville, a Raindancer-washed farmhouse cheddar. The specialty cheese recently earned a blue ribbon at the North Carolina State Fair. Bellafino chocolates in Kingsport also uses Gypsy Circus ciders in their dark chocolate cider truffles. Both products are available at the taproom. Their partnerships and support go beyond food and drink. Pretentious Glass Company in Knoxville makes Gypsy Circus Cider Company’s hand-blown tap pulls. In fall 2016, Gypsy Circus opened a canning operation for its Core line for distribution in Knoxville and the Tri-Cities area. They also opened an additional fermenting facility in Knoxville. Packaging continues to expand in 2017. Elixir Series packaging kicks off with the spring release of Tea Leaf Reader, a Black English Chai Tea blend. Even with the expansion, the intent is to continue to be a local cidery with local distribution. Hard cider is still 1% of the American beer market but cider sales are booming. Craft cideries, like craft breweries before them, are making inroads into a marketplace dominated by large commercial brands. As consumers learn more about the process and product, the demand for local craft cider is sure to grow. Aaron Carter is proud to be the first craft cidery in Tennessee. He’d also be happy to be the first of many more.


Gypsy Circus Cider Company OutCider Taproom 2645 Henry Dr (behind the building). Kingsport, TN Gypsy Circus is available in Middle Tennessee and East Tennessee including Nashville, Knoxville, (Chattanooga upcoming) and Tri-Cities with cider making operations in Knoxville and Tri-Cities. Check the website for seasonal taproom hours and more information about where to find Gypsy Circus cider on tap and in 16-ounce cans. www.gypsycircuscider.com

spring issue


TCB Magazine | tncraftbeermag.com

from grain to glass Batey Farm’s and beer innovation with Tennessee Brew Works partnership |

Buy local, consume local, support local.


hese are more than just buzz words to us. Recognizing the importance of the local movement hasn’t always been at the forefront of consumer minds. Fortunately, as a society we’ve become more conscious and caring of where our products are made, ingredients sourced and businesses domiciled. How does this apply to craft beer? For Tennessee Brew Works, our craft beers are culinary-minded, perishable creations and, as a result, taste better when consumed closer to the source. It is our belief that sourcing farm fresh ingredients elevate our brews; giving us a symbiotic relationship with our local farms. In this vein, we recently began a partnership with Batey Farms, an iconic Tennes-


By: Christian Spears, Founder & President of Tennessee Brew Works

see family farm. Located in Rutherford County, 6-miles north of Murfreesboro, their history began with a Revolutionary War land grant to James Bass for his military service. In 1807, James moved from Virginia to build his homestead here in Tennessee. Today, that is Batey Farms. Almost 2 years ago I received a phone call from Brandon Whitt, who alongside his wife Katherine and father-in-law John L. Batey, runs Batey Farms. Brandon was looking for ways in which he could tie agriculture to consumer driven products, such as our Tennessee craft beers. It was many conversations and brainstorming sessions later before we connected the dots and truly consummated the partnership between Batey Farms and Tennessee Brew Works.

spring issue | volume 7

Much time was spent deciphering how to effectively process Batey Farms grains through regional malting facilities and then ship them to our brewery. But we found the costs were just too prohibitive. We were stumped. Then we had our ‘lightbulb’ moment. We use a substantial amount of unmalted wheat in our “Southern Wit” white ale and “Walk the Lime” American wheat ale. Why worry about the maltsers? Why not use Batey’s wheat for our un-malted grains and start there? Heck, that’s 60% of our Southern Wit’s grain profile, which is our top volume selling beer! Walk the Lime is our biggest selling seasonal, 1/3 of which is un-malted wheat. And to make things even better, when our head brewer, Matt Simpson, got his hands on the Batey Farms wheat, he was very excited to find some super high quality lab figures too. “They’re growing some topnotch stuff over there,” exclaimed Matt. No middleman, direct from the farm. Very high quality wheat. The result: the best versions of the “Southern Wit” and “Walk the Lime” beers that we’ve ever created. From grain to glass. We thoroughly enjoy showcasing our wonderful Tennessee agricultural community through our beers. Hank Delvin,

Jr of Delving Farms, the largest CSA farm in Tennessee, routinely provides us with delicious ingredients for our sweet potato stout (“Country Roots”), butternut squash saison (“Hank’s Harvest”) and beet farmhouse ale (“Farmer’s Beat”). We also partner with Smyrna’s Bloomsbury Farm, where farmer and owner Lauren Palmer graciously hand delivers her savory herbs for beers such as our “Basil Ryeman” farmhouse ale and “Natchez” rosemary pale ale. Last year, Carol Hagen of Queen Bee Pollinators introduced us to some delicious Sourwood and Wildflower honey from Del Rio, Tennessee’s Strange Honey Farm; leading to the creation of the “Wildwood Flower,” our Belgian-style honey blonde ale. This beer ultimately was the featured beer for the Southern Living 50th Anniversary held in Nashville! Let’s not forget that West Wind Farms finds a home for all our post-brew spent grains to feed their pigs. We’ve been working with farmer Ralph Cole and his family since our first professional brew in 2013.

We are proud of these relationships. We hope that, through our beers, we’re bringing a greater recognition to the farmers and their professions which are fundamental to what makes our state great. So, when you drink our craft beers, you’re joining the local movement, supporting Tennessee farms, a hard-working local brewery and get to enjoy farm fresh creations along the way. And, when you drink Tennessee Brew Works’ “Southern Wit” and “Walk the Lime,” you’re tasting Batey Farms and celebrating an iconic part of Tennessee heritage. We all thank you for your support

Founder & President: Christian Spears


Daniel Daniels, Matt Simpson, Brandon Whitt, Christian Spears

TCB Magazine | tncraftbeermag.com


spring issue | volume 7

social drink | Nashville Craft Distillery Nashville Craft brings local innovation |


fter a career as a forensic scientist, Bruce Boeko decided it was time to make a change in his life. After running a DNA lab, he had a talent for scientific precision that was quite helpful in his home hobby of brewing beer and making wine. Early last year, he decided to combine his vocation with his avocation to “craft” a new career by opening his own distillery in Nashville in the booming Wedgewood/Houston neighborhood, and Nashville Craft was born. He was very conscious in his choice of a name for his new venture. “I guess the more refined term is ‘artisan,’ but ‘craft’ is less fussy,” Boeko explains. “I like to drink exotic Belgian beers, but I also love a light pilsner when the time is right. I don’t want to be too precious about this stuff!” But why a distillery instead of a brewery or a winery? Boeko took an analytical look at the traditional three-tier alcohol distribution and made an assessment. “Most of the market power resides in the distributor. If your business plan navigates that barrier to entry, you’re already ahead of the game.” He judged that the craft brewing industry would reach a saturation point sooner than spirits and that distilling whiskey is part of the alcoholic heritage of the area, so he decided to go with spirits over beer. Boeko completed his MBA studies to round out his business knowledge and attended brewing and distilling schools to sharpen his skill sat those disciplines. He took meetings with numerous consultants and sought advice from other area spirits entrepreneurs who he met through the Distillers Guild. “Darek Bell from Corsair, Andy Nelson of Nelson’s Green Brier

and Billy Kaufman from Short Mountain have really been giving of their knowledge,” notes Boeko. “The whole TN Distillers Guild is a mutually supportive group.” Boeko recognized that it would take years to create any aged spirits worth selling, but he did not want to go the route of simply selling flavored grain neutral spirits that some moonshine distillers favor. In fact, he chose not to buy any sourced spirits, preferring to distill his own products in his small still at the modern new facility that he has constructed. But he still wanted to try to be different and innovative. “I’ve got a philosophy,” he explains, “not as dogma, but as more of an organizing principle. I want to use local products and support local agriculture whenever I can. If all distilleries did this, we’d get a lot more regional variety around the country.” The result of these efforts are two Nashville Craft projects plus a cooperative whiskey product with another local entity. Boeko’s own products are Naked Biscuit, a spirit made from Muddy Pond Sorghum, and Crane City Gin, a product made from local wheat and malted barley distilled in Boeko’s 250-gallon Vendome still. Boeko infuses the base product with seven unique botanicals before final distillation to create a lighter, more sippable version of gin than the juniper-heavy liquors

By: Chris Chamberlain

most drinkers have encountered in the past. Naked Biscuit is even more unconventional, distilled to a lower proof than most spirits to retain the wild characteristics of the grain rather than cooking all the flavor out. The result is closer to a Brazilian cachaca than a traditional whiskey. The herbal notes of Naked Biscuit remind you that sorghum is a grass, not a grain. The collaborative project is a white whiskey called Manifesto Nascent Tennessee Whiskey under the Fugitives Spirits brand with Jim Massey and Darren Briggs. Also made using local grains, Manifesto is run through the Tennessee sugar maple filtration that marks the mellowing of the Lincoln County Process that distinguishes Tennessee whiskey. With three unique products already released in his first year of business, Boeko is on the fast track to distilling success. Tour of his facility are offered on a walk-in basis, meaning if he’s busy making or bottling whiskey, you might have to wait a bit. But the tasting room is available to sample and purchase Nashville Craft spirits Tuesday-Saturday 10 am - 6 pm and Sunday from noon - 6 pm, so drop in for a sip of the Biscuit! Nashville Craft www.nashvillecraft.com


TCB Magazine | tncraftbeermag.com

brewery profile

Blackstone |


very city has those staple institutions that are a homegrown representation of the city in which they exist. Nashville is a very different place today compared to 1994. Downtown Nashville was a ghost town after 5:00pm and businesses closed up, the lights were turned off and people fled to the suburbs to live and have fun. During the mid 90’s, craft beer was nothing like we know craft beer today. In Nashville there were two craft breweries, Market Street down on Second Avenue and Blackstone had just opened in beautiful new facility on West End. The pioneers of Nashville’s craft beer scene created the environment that we see today. Market Street has since gone away but the one pioneer that is left in Music City is creating some amazing beer. Blackstone Brewing Co. opened its


doors on West End Avenue in 1994 and they have been consistently producing quality beer for over 20 years now. Recently, Blackstone has emerged as one of the most enviable craft beer producers in Tennessee. However, until you actually visit the new brewery and taproom, taste the beers and immerse yourself in the Blackstone experience you may not believe this. The brewery is located on Clifton Ave, just a few blocks north of the original brewpub, and is quite the technological marvel to say the least. I have to admit that walking into the brewery and seeing the system they have set up completely took me by surprise. Walking into the glass-encased taproom nestled within the brewery affords every visitor an unobstructed view into Blackstone’s brewing process. From the fermentation tanks to the bottling line the visitor observes the everyday operation of the

By: Shawn Klumpjan

brewery and the skilled professionals that manage the crafting of Blackstone’s creations. Behind the scenes is what the everyday consumer may not equate to what they are drinking out of the bottle. The stateof-the-art Rolec Brewing system ensures an enviable consistency while an on-site lab safeguards the quality and establishes the technical characteristics of each recipe. All of this immerses the visitor in a one of a kind experience to an operating brewery. Blackstone Brewing Co. has quite the portfolio of beers and none of them fell short during the tasting. Kent Taylor, CoFounder, and I spent several hours walking through the brewery and discussing the total process. However, the real surprise came when we began tasting the beer. I confess, it had been well over a decade since I had tasted a Blackstone beer, and I was in no way expecting what I ended up tasting.

spring issue

From left to right: Dave Miller, Brewmaster Emeritus Stephanie Weins, Co-Founder (deceased) Kent Taylor, Co-Founder


Blackstone Tap Room

TCB Magazine | tncraftbeermag.com

brewery profile cont’d The quality of the brews Blackstone creates across the board is amazing. I actually kept saying over and over again that what I tasted was my favorite until I tasted the next one. I will say that after all was said and done, I tasted every beer they had available - overall, it was a very good Tuesday night!!! My tasting experience at Blackstone included the whole portfolio of beers on tap. We started with the staples of Chaser Pale Kolsch and progressed all the way through the line of tap pulls ending with some stouts and seasonal selections. I am going to feature my overall favorites in this article but I can assure you that this is a very tough endeavor, for sure, as I was not disappointed by any one of the beers that I tasted on this trip. The Chaser Pale Kolsch was the first beer I tasted. A true to style Pale in the Kolsch style this beer introduces itself to the palate with an approachability that is still somewhat complex. With a hint of lemon on the nose, the malt dominates the palate with just a slight flavor of hops. What I loved about this beer was the ever so slight bitterness that presented itself at the perfect moment to offset the malt and doughy masking on the palate. The Chaser Pale is a great all year round beer that will not let you down and is approachable for almost everyone. Hangtime Pale Ale really impressed me, as I am a Pale Ale drinker on a regular basis. The Hangetime is a slightly softer version of American Pale Ale. Created in the early eighties, American Pale Ales were crafted to a medium body with floral/citrus aroma and flavor. Blackstone’s Hangtime Pale Ale is a medium body American Pale Ale with a lower IBU level than the average at 33 IBU’s. The beautiful notes of citrus layered with pleasant and soft floral aromas match the overall palate experience. This is very approachable Pale Ale compared to some other popular versions that are out there right now. What I loved about this particular beer was its ability to pair with food and stand-alone. In the long run this is a beer that will be a versatile choice no matter what time of year and the event. In my mind, the most all around approachable and ideal brew for the masses is the Nut Brown Ale. I typically don’t find myself gravitating toward darker beers. However, the Nut Brown was one that didn’t shock my palate and kept me coming back for more. The balance on the palate is a striking contrast to the nose


and the aromas that whaft from a freshly opened bottle or a poured draft. A mild and sassy version of an English Ale, this beer is sweet on the initial introduction to the palate and ends with a sassy little bite. The color of the beer is definitely traditional English Ale; however, as you dive deep into the experience this beer shows that it can court any palate and stand stoic. Overall, this is a beautiful composition and is one that is memorable and keeps you coming back for more. The beer portfolio is accentuated by a great selection of seasonal brews as well. These beers should not be passed up. At the very least in my opinion, everyone should open their mind and palate to give them a try. The Watermelon Gose, a sour Grodziskie/Gose style straight out of Goslar Germany, is a surprise to anyone hesitant to taste a fruit infused beer. This beer follows along the traditional brewing technique but is infused with fresh watermelon, giving it a totally natural palate experience. The Strawberry Picnic is a traditional Ale infused with fresh strawberries. What I was able to experience was the beautiful essence the fruit adds without making the beer seem too fruity and unbrew like. With their seasonal brews, Blackstone continues their dedication to high quality and totally approachable beers across the board.

The “Special Release Beers” have in no way suffered from a too high or too low attention factor. For example, the belle of the ball, Black Belle annually crowns the special releases. This Imperial Stout is brewed with the cooperation of Belle Meade Distillery and is aged in used cooperage from the distillery’s bourbon production. I have featured my tasting notes of Black Belle on the TN Craft Beer website (www.tncraftbeermagazine.com) and, as I have noted, this beer isn’t for the faint of heart. Overall, every beer creation that I was able to experience “RESPONSIBLY” was top notch. Going back to what I mentioned earlier, Blackstone has really progressed from its inception. Blackstone today has expanded its portfolio of beer and is garnering more national and international awards per beer than ever before. What I have to say specifically, is if the evolution of Blackstone from its beginning to the current day is any reflection of Nashville’s evolution to world-class city status, then there is nothing to be concerned about. Blackstone cultivates its deep roots in Nashville while continuing to expand its prowess on the world’s craft beer stage. For a complete portfolio tasting experience, log on to www. tncraftbeermagazine.com

spring issue | volume 7


(615) 712-6394


TCB Magazine | tncraftbeermag.com

home brew


any are aware that Nashville’s Corsair Artisan Distillery is one of the most distinguished distilleries in the United States, and was recently awarded both the U.S. and World Craft Distiller of the Year at the 2017 Wizards of Whiskey contest. What many people don’t know is that they have a brewery also known as the Corsair Beer Lab. Award winning Head Brewer Karen Lassiter (formerly of Boscos) has been brewing terrific beers that are served in their taproom at the Marathon Motor Works building. The distillery ages their spirits in various types of barrels and has offered to sell the used barrels to many, including homebrewers. A little over a year ago they had a surplus of barrels and offered them for $50 to anyone willing to pick them up. Because so many local homebrewers pounced on this

Corsair Barrel Aged Pro-Am |

offering and grabbed at least one, I contacted homebrewer and COO Tyler Crowell and Karen to see if they were interested in hosting a Corsair barrel aged Pro-am. The main rule was that the brewers had to age their beer in a Corsair barrel. The winning brewer(s) would get to brew their beer on the Corsair system with Karen and their beer would be served in the Corsair taproom. The entries were dropped off at The Green Dragon Public House in Murfreesboro and at a location in Nashville. Corsair and The Green Dragon threw in a little incentive that if the brewers would include an extra bottle, Green Dragon publican Joe Minter would pick a first and second place winner from the extra bottles and those beers would be awarded a prize also. The Grand Prize winners were a trio of award winning homebrewers. Danielle Dean, Josiah Christensen, and Joe Lassen

By: Art Whitaker

concocted a delicious Russian Imperial Stout that was aged in a Corsair Oatrage barrel. I asked the homebrewers about brewing at Corsair and Josiah mentioned it was a lot like homebrewing with the biggest difference that the beer would be barrel fermented. This is Danielle’s second Pro-am win as she won the Cool Springs Brewery Pro-am a few years ago and had her beer served at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver. As of this writing the beer is finished and is scheduled to be put on tap at Corsair’s taproom in late February.

Below is a list of the winners and the winning recipe. Congrats to all who entered. To keep abreast of homebrewing in Tennessee, follow Tennessee Homebrewers Guild on Facebook. Green Dragon 1st John Root, Mike Bono - Bourbon Stout aged in Triple Smoked Barrel 2nd Joel Stickrod - Golden Sour with Peaches aged in Triple Smoked Barrel Corsair Beer Lab Grand Prize Danielle Dean, Josiah Christensen, Joe Lassen - Russian Imperial Stout aged in Oatrage Barrel 2nd Joel Stickrod - Farmhouse Brett aged in Oatrage Barrel 3rd Ed Wildermuth, Ron Rossman Scotch Ale aged in Ryemageddon Barrel Grand Prize Recipe Russian Imperial Stout 89% 2-row Pale Malt 3.5% Chocolate Malt 3.6% Flaked Oats 0.4% Black Patent WLP 090 San Diego Super Yeast OG 1.096 FG 1.025 Mash Temp 156 Aged in Corsair Oatrage Barrel.


spring issue | volume 7

wine vine

Of love and wine, from Denmark to France, America to Chile |

By: Joe Scutella

Steffan Jorgensen & Pamela Nunez

Joe Scutella


he trail of wine and love from Demark to France, Chile to America and back to Chile In the wild, northern most reaches of Chile’s Elqui valley a Danish wine maker and a Chilean enologist are forging world class wines of depth and elegance. Bounded by the Atacama Desert to the north, the driest place on earth, the Andes to the east and the pacific to the west, Steffen Jorgensen and his wife Pamela Nunez are creating the life of their dreams. The Elqui valley boasts a varied climate and a myriad of soil components making for a perfect place to grow a wide variety of grape varietals. With abundant sunlight, Andes snow melt for irrigation, a transversal valley running east to west towards the sea, and no coastal mountain range to block the Pacific’s morning marine layer, Pamaela and Steffen have found grape nirvana. Sauvignon blanc, Moscatel, Pinot Noir, Carmenere, Syrah and Malbec can all thrive in this region known more for the local’s favorite distillate Pisco than wine. However, thanks to these two intrepid wine adventurers, that is quickly changing. How does a man from Denmark who studied economics end up as a winemaker

and owning a winery in the most remote region of northern Chile? One might say fate I supposes. Economics did not seem to trip young Steffen’s trigger. A Danish friend who mentored him and loved all things Italian wine managed to make his passion for wine and wine making somehow contagious. Steffen took to it well, studied, experimented and garnered enough experience to study wine making in Bordeaux. Soon enough Steffen found himself as an assistant wine maker at a prestigious Bordeaux property. It so happened that the Bordeaux producer also had a property in Chile, where the opposite seasons of the southern hemisphere made perfect sense for an alternative to the more dormant winters of Bordeaux. So it was that Steffen was sent to Santiago to work what would have otherwise been the off season. As luck or fate would have it, he met a beautiful young Chilean enologist who worked at the same winery, Pamela Nunez. Love seemed to bloom like the first buds of spring almost immediately. Steffen returned home to Bordeaux, resigned his position and returned to Chile and his love. Working as a team following their marriage, Pamela and Steffen managed to both get positions at La Crema in Sonoma County, and moved to the states. A

couple of year, and just as they had started a family, Steffen took on the job of executive winemaker at Bergevin Lane winery in Walla Walla Washington. His deft had, especially with Rhone varietals like Syrah, quickly found his wines garnering praise and accolades form the most prestigious wine publications in the world. In 2010 an opportunity presented itself in Pamela’s home region of Elqui Valley. A vineyard owned by a Pisco producer became available and the two young wine adventurers moved their young family to Chile’s Elqui Valley. Today, several vintages later, their wines are available in 18 U.S. states and numerous countries, including China and, of course Denmark. Their selections in the U.S. include a sumptuous red Blend, $16, composed 57% Syrah, 37% Carmenere and 11% Malbec. The wine shows beautiful red and black fruits, a juicy mouthwatering palate and a vibrant finish. Their single variety lines, $22, include a beautiful Pinot Noir, one of the best Carmeneres you will ever have the pleasure of sipping upon, a Malbec and, of course, a stunningly good Syrah. You will find the Elqui wines throughout the state of Tennessee in fine wine shops and restaurants. http://www.elquiwines.cl/


TCB Magazine | tncraftbeermag.com

amber waves of beer Malting Inspiration in Virginia |


mber waves of grain; a clear amber liquid topped with a fluffy white foam—craft brewers and maltsters who value buy-sourcelocal trends are inspired to merge these two “amber” products, grain and beer. In Virginia, several maltsters have been working with local breweries and farmers to contribute to the taste of local. “Virginia’s malting industry has continued to slowly grow over the past year,” says Ben Rowe, managing director of the Virginia Grain Producers Association. As one sign of growth, he says, “We have seen several new malt houses open, or announce their plans to open, across the Commonwealth.”


MALTSTERS Not itself a commodity, malt is the product that results from preparing grain for brewing and distilling—including barley, the best grain for making beer, but also grains such as wheat and rye. The maltster moistens the grain enough to trick the seed into germinating, activating enzymes and making them usable for fermentation. The maltster dries the grain to halt germination. For different malt flavors, the malt can be kilned and roasted at varying temperatures, times and moisture levels, with a variety of heat sources. The first malt house to regularly service Virginia breweries, Copper Fox Distillery in Sperryville, began malting to meet

By: Annie Tobey

their own distilling needs. Founder Rick Wasmund interned at Scotland’s Bowmore Distillery, which uses malt kilned with peat. When Wasmund wanted flavors different from those commercially available, he began malting at Copper Fox. Ten years later, Wasmund’s Single Malt Whiskey, using malt smoked with Cherrywood, Applewood and oak, is but one of their award-winning spirits, and Copper Fox regularly sells a variety of floormalted, wood-fire-kilned grains to brewers. More than 75 breweries in more than 20 U.S. states and Canadian provinces have brewed approximately 170 beers with Copper Fox specialty malts—including Nashville’s Fat Bottom Brewery.

spring issue | volume 7

About five years ago in the mountains of Central Virginia, farmer Barry Wood began pondering a malting facility after learning that distilleries and breweries desire local ingredients. On his 300acre working farm (in the family since the 1800s), he increased his acreage of barley, wheat and rye and added a new business, Wood’s Mill Malt House. The malting facility currently produces 4,000 pounds of malts per week, with a commercial drum roaster, recently upgraded, that can produce specialty malts such as crystal, biscuit, chocolate and black patent. This fall, Wood’s vision expanded with the opening of Wood Ridge Farm Brewery. “Barry is adamant that 100 percent of the beer is made from malt or grain grown here,” explains Cory Hall, operations manager at Woods Mill Malt House. “Hops and yeast will continue to be sourced from outside the farm and state, but the soul of our beer will always be Virginian.” The cross-pollination between Wood’s farm and the brewery has inspired a wide variety of crops: two-row winter barley including Endeavor, Violetta and Calypso; two-row spring varieties; and six-row Thoroughbred and Quest. The farm has also played with a hullless barley variety, red and white wheat, rye and oats, plus sorghum, buckwheat, corn and millet for potential gluten-free beer or other fermentation purposes. When Erik May started Pilot Malt House in Michigan in 2012, he was inspired by two things: quality and narrative. “We began for the same reason craft breweries started— we believe we can do it better,” May says. At the same time, he saw that the narrative of beer’s ingredients—such as who grew it and where it was harvested and processed—fell short of the colorful tales behind the breweries. “The craft brewing world is proof that the flavor and uniqueness and narrative behind [the businesses] matter,” he says. So he worked to add narrative as well as quality to the ingredients. Now, Pilot Malt House is putting their motto, “Fueling Craft AgriCulture,” into action in Loudoun County, influenced in part by Virginia’s pro-business attitude and its craft beer culture. Though the 8,000-squarefoot facility is still under construction, Pilot has already developed relationships with Virginia grain growers. “We’re not manufacturing malt here in Virginia yet,” May says, “but we’re shipping Virginiagrown grain to Michigan for malting.” Another maltster, Big Trouble Malting and Spirits in Petersburg, is working towards a 2017 opening.

GROWERS To be successful in marketing products as local, maltsters need nearby growers—not an easy proposition since the largest barley-producing states are in the north and west of the nation, while farmers in southern states contend with hotter and more humid conditions. At the announcement of the opening of Pilot Malt House, then-Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore said, “[Gov. Terry McAuliffe] has made increasing the craft beverage industry part of my strategic plan as secretary of ag and forestry. I’m treating craft beer, distilled spirits, wine, just like I treat soybeans, corn, and all the other commodities out there. We’re working to help it grow.” To this end, says Ben Rowe, “Barley breeders are working with Virginia farmers to create varieties that will thrive in this area and working with brewers to ensure those varieties have the qualities and attributes that make good beer.” These breeders include Virginia Tech researchers, who are developing malt varieties optimized for southern and mid-Atlantic farms. Finding the perfect crop for the climate will involve variety trials of winter barley and spring barley, two-row (typically considered optimal for brewing) and six-row, scientific testing, management techniques, and so forth—all with an eye towards providing adequate yield for the farmer and quality product for the brewer. Successful varieties so far include Endeavor, a two-row winter barley, and Thoroughbred, a high-yield, six-row winter barley. One of the Commonwealth’s most wellknown growers, Billy Dawson, brought three decades of growing experience to the market, then worked with the realities of climate, scientific advances and marketing trends. Dawson began his attention to local products with bagged corn, then Virginia sunflower seeds, and later barley, rye, wheat and oats destined for distillers and brewers. Dawson’s operation has found success in attention to the local market, including as principal grower for Copper Fox malting. Local grains and malts are worthless, however, without willing customers. “The big change since last year is that we are starting to see more and more use of Virginia grain at Virginia breweries,” says Ben Rowe. A recent large-scale example of this is Hardywood Park Craft Brewery’s VIPA— Virgindia Pale Ale. Nearly five years in

business, Hardywood introduced only its third flagship beer, an IPA brewed in part with heirloom Virginia barley (from Copper Fox and Billy Dawson) plus Virginia hops. Today’s beer culture has created the perfect storm: consumers support products made with locally sourced ingredients, while industries, agriculture and even governments are willing to play the game. Craft breweries and their fans are the beneficiaries.

Tennessee Malts in the Works

Batey Farms in Rutherford County is working towards producing malted grains for the Tennessee market. The eight-generation family farm has a history of changing with market needs. The farm, which has been known its pork products since 1807, also grows crops such as wheat, soybeans and corn, adding berries, sunflowers and pumpkins to the fields as well as a farm store and a seasonal corn maze. “We changed with changes,” said John Batey. “Change was something you got to do to continue.” Growing and malting grains—including wheat, barley and rye—could become part of that refrain of change. “We are growing malt grains this year, partnering with Riverbend [Malt House in North Carolina] on the malting of those grains,” said Batey’s son-in-law, Brandon Whitt, who supports the appreciation of locally sourced food. “Our malthouse will be developed after we efficiently see that we can grow the grains here on site to support the malting process.”


TCB Magazine | tncraftbeermag.com

hopping into names? Trademark Issues In Beer |


ot so fast! If you think you’ve come up with the perfect unique name or pun for your beer, you’re probably not the first person to think of it. With over 4,500 breweries operating in the U.S., trademark infringement cases are on the rise in the beer industry. Coming up with clever names for your brewery and beers are crucial in creating a successful brand, but it can prove to be a difficult task with only so many words, names and puns that make sense with beer. Not to mention, the fact that you have to be concerned with wine, spirits, and in some instances, restaurants and bars. So, grab your favorite beer and let’s discuss how to avoid these issues before you’ve spent the time and money to create your brand, only to find out you have to start from square one and rebrand. Whether or not it takes you months to create a name, or it comes to you in one of those light bulb moments, it’s the perfect name you were looking for…that is, until you get a phone call or a letter from


an attorney. Most cease and desist letters and United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) denials can be avoided by conducting a trademark search. What is a trademark? For craft breweries, trademarks often take the form of a word or design/symbol that identify your brand or product in the minds of consumers and helps them to distinguish you from other brewers. You can also gain trademark protection through other things, such as tap handles, that distinguish your brand from another brewery. In order to gain this protection, you must file an application with the USPTO to register your mark(s). There is a common misconception that securing a domain name, creating a social media account in the business name or putting the product name out to the public in some other way secures protection for your brand and product names. Even if you’ve taken all of these steps, you do not get trademark protection throughout the U.S. without registering the name with the USPTO. If you don’t register, you only obtain protection in the territory you’re actually selling in, and that comes with a whole other set of problems

By: Kelcy Morris Attorney at Law

if you ever have a dispute with another brewery. Banking on trademark protection in this manner is a risky business. With the industry growing so rapidly, the days of trademark disputes being settled over a pint are disappearing just as quickly. So, what can you do? Research, research, research! Way before you mill your first grains, you have to think about trademark. I know that money is scarce, especially in the beginning stages, but I promise, spending the time and money that you can on trademark upfront will often add up to much less than what you will spend after receiving that first cease and desist letter. Overlap in names is inevitable in this industry and a positive resolution is never guaranteed. Even if you aren’t selling your beer yet, do a quick search to see if the name you have in mind for your brewery or the names for your beers might be available. However, if you don’t find any already existing, that doesn’t mean your search ends there. We are constantly in communication with our brewery clients because we want to determine name availability as soon as they come up with something. If it’s available, then we almost immediately file an “intent to use” application with the USPTO before someone else comes up with the same name. We are really anti-lawyer lawyers and we often advise our clients not to get the lawyers involved too soon when an issue arises. The beer community is still communal and brewer-to-brewer is always our first recommended step. One of the most important aspects of a successful brewery is protecting your brand from concept, to the first pint you sell and beyond. Finally, get the advice of an experienced trademark attorney when deciding on your brewery and products names, trademark registration and any disputes because navigating your way through trademark can be just as difficult and take just as long as brewing a good Lambic if you don’t know what you’re doing.

spring issue


TCB Magazine | tncraftbeermag.com

wild fermentation A Wild Session with Sandor Katz |


e are in a bacteria revolution. Yogurts are putting more focus on live active cultures, beer nerds pick or pan beers based on kettle soured versus traditional souring, and the art of food is having micro explosions backwards to a simpler time of local and artisanal. Craft Beer is just a dude approved name for artisanal beer. Sequatchie Cove Creamery, Rembrandt’s Coffee and Bread, and Embrace the Funk, all locally produced, lovingly cared for, and wouldn’t be possible without the millions of microflorae living in symbiosis with us every day. But bacteria are bad, right? Some can be, but the war to eradicate bacteria from our hands, kitchen counters, and lives doesn’t have clear lines. The news scares


us, and commercials prey on our fear to make our lives antibacterial. Sounds grim. But we all know that antibiotic drugs kill the good bacteria in our bodies, and that we need to replenish them, so we know that some bacteria are good for us. I met with the Wild Fermentationist, Sandor Katz to clear things up about our food, our bodies, our beer, and the good bacteria within it. TG: How old were you when you became aware of the active nature of fermented foods? SK: In my mid-20’s. I started a macrobiotic diet (a dietary regimen which involves eating grains as a staple food, supplemented with other foods such as local vegetables, and avoiding the use of highly processed or refined foods and most animal products.) and noticed that my salivary

By: Tony Giannasi

glands were much more active after a few weeks, and started to read up more on how it affected my digestion. I’ve found that the mid-20’s is a really good age to talk to people about fermented foods and gut health. TG: Fermentation can preserve food, like cheese, sauerkraut, pickles, etc… In a land of preservatives, why don’t people eat more fermented foods? SK: They do! Bread, cheese, beer, wine, coffee, chocolate, and vinegar based sauces are all based on some microbe breaking down molecules into other things. None of these foods would be possible without fermentation. It’s rarer for someone to NOT consume fermented foods. It’s an important part of people’s lives, even if they are not aware.

spring issue | volume 7

TG: What do you think about how craft beer is unfolding in Tennessee? SK: I’m really inspired by the craft beer movement. There’s so much more exciting and interesting beers available to me. I love the varieties being produced, and love more and smaller breweries. Also, I’m way into sour beers. Before Louis Pasteur, all beer was “wild” beer. Whether breweries are controlling cultures or just letting nature take its course, sour beer has become much more interesting and compelling. TG: Love me some sours. What microbial fermented benefit do we get from beer? SK: Tons of B Vitamins, the same antioxidant benefits you can get from wine, and silicon helps with your bones. It’s not a cure all snake oil though. Nothing cures everything. TG: So, Cannon County, Tennessee isn’t New York City. Do you get push back when you try to educate people in more rural areas? SK: I’ve never met a multigenerational farm family who doesn’t make sauerkraut. Preservation is a huge part of farming. Keep in mind, I’m not at the supermarket belittling consumers, or telling people that they are wrong or right. I don’t push an agenda. In truth, I have to be careful about being absorbed into other people’s agendas. I just help inform that the byproducts of fermentation help in digestion and immune function in the body. TG: So, for someone looking to get into more fermented foods, what would you recommend? SK: Start with making your own preserved fermented veggies and sauerkraut. You can change the recipe up once you’ve done it a few times. (IE: Low salt, or extra garlic, or spicy) The same goes for beer. Make a recipe, then tweak it to your own tastes. The problem is when these family recipes are lost, or consecutive generations losing the interest to keep it going. So much wisdom has been lost. So, develop your recipes and involve your

kids. Make it fun and pass the recipes on. TG: But what about people who afraid of food not made by big FDA approved corporations? SK: I’ve never heard of anyone getting sick from sauerkraut. The preservative nature of the fermentation keeps bad bacteria out by creating an environment that is hostile to them. The fear is real though. Corporate products have waged a war on bacteria that has a lot of people convinced that all bacteria is bad, and that only commercial products are safer. IE: Regulatory processes are there to protect people. A lot of the misconception is brought about by the limitation of people’s ability for and access to agriculture, affecting what they can make at home. TG: My wife loves the probiotic supplements, but wouldn’t eat my homemade goat cheese. (Gauntlet thrown) SK: The problem is that there’s a lot less research done on fermented foods than probiotic supplements, and the gummies come in a bottle that’s easy to buy and consume. Fermented foods provide a biodiversity for us, with the potential for some terroir to the organisms responsible for it. Similar to how local honey is better for your allergies because it’s made with the local flowers that trigger your allergies. There’s plenty of cases out there of how fermentation makes things safer. The beer in Mexico is safer than the water, the bitter cassava plant contains cyanide, fermentation breaks it down into safer compounds, Bunion nuts in Australia are toxic before fermentation. TG: Do you want to slap the hand sanitizer out of people’s hands? SK: Not really, the alcohol based sanitizers are ok. Triclosan in antibacterial soap is the real issue. It kills all the lowlevel bacteria, and that allows resistant strains (superbugs / MRSA) to thrive. TG: The transition of humanity from nomadic to cultivators has been attributed to bread, beer, cheese, mead, all forms of fermented foods. What are your thoughts on that? SK: Agriculture is impossible without fermentation.

Extra crops were preserved for eating during the non-harvest seasons. Fermentation, drying, or salting were the ways of life until canning and refrigeration. TG: Thoughts on Louis Pasteur and pasteurization? SK: Pasteur gave us tons of insight into fermentation. The whole world owes a huge debt to him. It was an edgy belief when he came up with his ideas for heating up wine to kill the souring bacteria, then cooling it and introducing the yeast to make wine more delicious. The whole milk pasteurization thing was another scientist just using his methods. Microbiology is so much more exciting and advanced than it was in his time. TG: What do you think about the term “overfed and undernourished?” SK: Probably describes a lot of people. Fermentation can unlock a lot of nutrients in food. Factory made versus homemade with natural yeast process will yield a lot more iron and calcium due to nutrients unlocked by, and byproducts of, microbes. Mr. Katz is a wealth of knowledge and we are lucky to have him in Tennessee. You can catch him every now and then doing speaking engagements and teaching people how to live a wilder life, beer-wise as well as food-wise. If you don’t have time to go visit one of his sessions, I highly recommend you go buy his books, available at http://www.wildfermentation. com or on http://www.amazon.com. Lots of great tips and a more thorough understanding of fermentation if you are a sour ale brewer or looking to become one.


TCB Magazine | tncraftbeermag.com

cask conditioning

What’s in that cask? |

By: Eric Woodard


ell I’m back again to talk a little more about one of my favorite brewing techniques, cask conditioning. In the last issue I kicked off this section with a few details about what this process is and how it works. This month I had a chance to sit down with Carl Meier, owner at Nashville’s Black Abbey Brewing Company to learn about their soon-to-be-nearly-world-famous cask program. As an integral part of their tap room experience (e.g. a fresh cask on the bar every Wednesday) the brewers at Black Abbey have truly mastered this old world technique. Here’s what Carl had to say... TCB: Carl, thanks for joining me at The Picnic Tap at Nashville Farmers’ Market. Over the past couple of years this place has featured a handful of 5.4 gallon English Pins straight from The Black Abbey Brewery’s Reserve Cellar and from a


few other breweries. Tell us about your cask program and what makes Black Abbey’s cask conditioned ales special. Carl: First of all thanks to The Picnic Tap for bringing out a Black Abbey cask every now and then and helping us share great beer with folks in Nashville. We really enjoy the chance to showcase some of our limited release creations over here at the Nashville Farmers’ Market. In general we cask several of our beers as it gives us a chance to get really creative within our catalogue of existing recipes...whether it’s dry hopping our hybrid British-American Pale, The Champion, or adding a fruit infusion like plum to our Belgian Blonde, casking gives us a chance to make a really unique small batch version of one of our standards using an historical technique that originated in Europe centuries ago. When we get to combine old world techniques with fresh ingredients and evolving beer styles, that’s really what we’re about as a brewery. TCB: Very cool indeed. Our readers

know by now that one of the goals of cask conditioning is to naturally carbonate the beer through the action of the yeast, which doesn’t always go as planned. How did you and your crew master the technique? Carl: Back before Nashville’s big craft beer explosion, I was responsible for a few beer explosions of my own! As a home brewer my first cask was one that I did when I was brewing with local home-brew club The Antioch Sud Suckers - ha!...and if I recall correctly I added too much sugar and over carbonated it. When I tapped it, it blew up in my face and made a huge mess. I kept practicing though! At the time there was a really great and well known cask program at Bosco’s in Hillsboro Village that I learned a lot from as well. Every Monday at 5 o’clock they had casks ready to go, and I always liked to make it over there for a cask tapping. So I knew that cask conditioning could be done with the styles of beer that I was into, but that there certainly is an art and a science to it.

spring issue | volume 7

Owner: Carl Meier

TCB: So the sugar you add at the beginning of the ageing process has to be just right? Carl: Yes. I learned most of what I know by trial and error, but reading Cellarmanship by Patrick O’Neill was a real turning point. Aside from the hops and other ingredients we cask condition with, time, temperature, and specific gravity are key. Carbon dioxide produced by yeast in a cask is identical to what goes into most commercially produced beer, but how it is absorbed is different. The cask ageing process, when done right, let’s the carbon dioxide gas absorb into the beer slowly, resulting in a velvety texture in the finished beer. In the book O’Neill really gets into calculating volumes of CO2 based on style and apparent attenuation of the yeast. At Black Abbey we make sure to age casks at least 7 days at ambient temperature, around 60 deg. F, to ensure good carbonation before cold ageing for another week or more. TCB: Nice. I’m adding that one to

my reading list soon! What’s your experience with dry hopping in casks for an extra punch of aromatics? Carl: We certainly do like using extra hops in our casks, when it’s appropriate to the style, but again there’s an art to it, and it’s really specific to one’s personal palate in the end. We’ve found that anywhere from 1-4 oz. of aromatic hops can really enhance the presentation of pales and IPAs and even some of our darker more maltforward beers. Cask-hopping the Belgian styles can be more challenging, so we often add other flavors there - everything from hibiscus to mugwort. Almost nothing is off limits in our cask program. TCB: Wow Black Abbey really does have a lot going on down in the cellar! So after the cask is conditioned, aged, and ready to be tapped, I’ve heard and experienced that serving temperature is also important. What’s your experience with that? Carl: You’re absolutely right. Just above cellar temperature, a pint of cask

aged Champion really comes alive, really sings...the aromatics from the dry hops are amazing. We’re often so used to drinking beer that’s really cold, especially when it’s hot outside...but to really experience it the way it used to be made, it should be served in the high fifties, or even sixties where the flavors from the malts, the hops, and the yeast come together nicely. TCB: Carl, many thanks for sharing the unvarnished truth about your experiences creating your amazing cask conditioned versions of Black Abbey beers. All this talk about cask ales has got me in the mood for a pint. When and where can our readers get their hands on a pint of Black Abbey cask ale? Carl: Our taproom for sure. We also often have casks here at The Picnic Tap, Butchertown Hall & 12 South Taproom in Nashville and The Green Dragon Public House in Murfreesboro, so check in with those spots too. TCB: Sound great. See you at the taproom! Cheers!


TCB Magazine | tncraftbeermag.com

a six pack of tri-cities Breweries Worth The Visit |


ang, Tennessee is a long state! Any time you see mile marker number 421, you know you’re dealing with some serious driving distances. But that’s exactly the exit you need to take off Interstate 40 to head north to Bristol and the other two members of the Tri-Cities, Johnson City and Kingsport. Fortunately, there’s some excellent beer at the end of that long road, so here’s a sixer of brewery choices for you to consider. OK, Bristol Brewery is actually in Virginia, but it’s a sand wedge shot away from the Tennessee state line, and totally worth the walk. Owner/brewer Ken Monyak entered an entrepreneurial contest sponsored by the city of Bristol to encourage investment in their downtown district and won five grand toward the lease or purchase of property to start his new business. Already an avid home brewer, Monyak moved into the old bus station a block off of Main St. and installed a modest 10 bbl brewhouse. He opened in July 2015 “on a wing and a prayer,” he recalls, without tables, chairs or televisions. What he did have was plenty of interesting beers brewed with the same care that Monyak put into his homebrewing. He did brew one recipe to fulfill the desires of


Bristol Brewery

local Bud Light drinkers who weren’t yet accustomed to craft beer. He called it BFW for “Beer Flavored Water.” Nowadays, you’re more likely to see a wide variety of styles all the way up to his Quadzilla, with a whopping 13.5% ABV that he wouldn’t be allowed to brew in Tennessee. “I’m just making beers that I like to drink,” explains Monyak. “My palate is varied, so variety is important to me. I consider my beers to be very drinkable, and I’ve never had to apologize for anything I’ve done.” www.bristolbrew.com Studio Brew is located in an impressive historic old whiskey warehouse situated in an artistic enclave of Bristol. Inside that old building, the owners of Studio brew have installed a modern 3-story 15 bbl brewhouse where they are engaged in contract brewing and plenty of beer production for their own restaurant/taproom plus other retail outlets. The building is decorated with plenty of cheeky art, including clever urinals carved out of old kegs that imply you are recycling your beer. A high-tech laboratory ensures quality and an extensive barrel-aging program offers fun new options on a rotating basis. The taproom hosts live music and also offer private event space for rentals. The kitchen designs menu items that

By: Chris Chamberlain

take advantage of the spent grain from the brewery to create dishes that are delicious and sustainable. Frequent visitors take advantage of the extensive Stein Club for discounts on pints, and Studio Brew also offers packaged beers in bottles for enjoying at home. www.studiobrew.beer Just a short walk (or stumble) from the entrance to Bristol Motor Speedway, Holston River Brewing Company is quite popular among race fans. In addition to a convivial taproom serving approachable beers brewed in-house, they also offer camping facilities for patrons who want to stay overnight or longer. You can even take a growler back up to your campsite to extend your evening. Holston River runs a psychedelic repurposed school bus as a shuttle to and from the track on race weekends. An outdoor beer garden extends the taproom party outside, and the brewery also features live music on their large stage. The beers aren’t the most complex recipes, but patrons appreciate the easy-drinking blonde ale and creamy vanilla stout. Whether you’ve just come off the river after fishing or are stretching out a weekend of enjoying stock car or drag racing at BMS, Holston River Brewing Co. is a welcome respite from the huge crowds. www.hrbrewing.com

spring issue | volume 7

Yee-Haw has recently been profiled in these pages, but no roundup of East Tennessee breweries can be legit if they are not included. Already one of the state’s largest breweries, Yee-Haw was designed with growth in mind with enough fermentation space to hold more than 1000 barrels at one time. Brewmaster Brandon Greenwood earned a vaunted reputation working at Lagunitas and has brought his considerable talents to Johnson City. Their first four flagship beers, Pilsner, Pale Ale, Eighty Shilling Scottish Ale and Dunkel Dark, are already distributed in retail and on-premise sites around the state, and their eyes are constantly on expanding their empire. But you know beer always tastes best the closest to where it was brewed, so visit their attractive and large taproom to try it at the source. That’s also the place to find lots of experimental recipes that might never make it into bottles but are certainly worth discovering. Add in a partnership with White Duck Taco Shop providing onsite food, and you may never find a reason to leave! www.yeehawbrewing.com John Henritze doesn’t aspire to be the biggest dog in the fight, but he does

aim to build a community around his small brewery and cozy taproom. The motto of JRH Brewing is “Dedication. Determination. Delicious beer.” and Henritze keeps his eye on that prize. After some health scares in his family, he decided that life was too short to wait to start following your dream. In 2016 he turned his home brewing hobby into a career. He opened his brewery in an old auto shop, and visitors can still see the bones of the old business in his brewhouse. The taproom is designed to be very family-friendly with board games and food trucks to provide sustenance, but the beer is designed to keep the serious connoisseur interested. “I like to make a variety of odd beers and also some that are more representative of the specific style,” explains Henritze. “But I try to keep my stable roster of beers a little more traditional and go crazy with my rotators.” Those experimental beers range from Strange Brew, a fruity Old Worldstyle ale made with nine different malts and four hops to Cascadian SMaSH, a single malt and single hop brew wethopped with local Cascade hops from King Family Farms in Piney Flats, TN. You’ll pretty much only find these beers

in the taproom at JRH, so drop in to see what’s brewing. www.jrhbrewing.com East Tennessee’s smallest brewery is also one of its most experimental. Johnson City Brewery has a multitude of owners and brewers involved in the project, but they all share a vision for making delicious beer and the passion of avid home brewers. The tasting room is open limited hours because they move the tables and brew in the same space during off-hours, usually in small batches. Even with all those owners, the brewers still look to their customers for suggestions as to what to brew next. They will make four to five different variations on a recipe to present in a flight to see which is the favorite of their patrons. This can lead to some controversies as they play around with ideas like carnival-themed beers. The corn dog beer was, to be kind, interesting. More than anything, Johnson City Brewery wants to create a community of brewers and drinkers. The assembled crowd whenever the taproom is open acts like they’re all friends and family. But there’s always room for more family, so you’re welcome to join in the fun any time. www.johnsoncitybrewing.com


Art Whitaker

Jade Swafford, Bill Holbrook, PDS Mix


Yazoo Brewery, Nashville, Tn To kick off the 2017 Yazoo Brewing Company hosted a welcome party at their barrel cellar for members in their private club. “Citizens” who are a part of “The State of Funk” were treated to lunch plus samples of vintage and current Embrace The Funk beers. Head of Yazoo’s ETF program Brandon Jones said “Its a really fun way in a neat setting to meet our most enthusiastic supporters and immediately give back with exclusive benefits.” The State of Funk Citizenship is private membership Yazoo opens up to only 150 people each November. Citizens receive 8 different exclusive single-barrel bottles that are never for sale to the general public. In addition citizens can enjoy 1 free pint each taproom visit, a ticket to FunkFest and early access to select ETF beers before they go on sale to the public. Photography By: Sean von Tagen

Bill Holbrook, Anthony Coon

John Boots, Chris Drews, Josh Eldridge, Chris Rokicki, Jamie Lee

Eric Jackson, Dustin Rumbaugh

Adam Slight, James Bergen, Jenny Slight

Neil McCormick

Patricia Chaffin, Aaron Grobengieser

KC Sturgis, Gavin Sturgis

Robyn Harris, Banks Lyons

Robyn Harris, Emily Holly

Southern Grist Brewing Company 1st Year Anniversary

Photography By: Sean

Ryan Guess, Lana Harrington

von Tagen

Chris Rokicki, Kyle Arnold, Josh Eldridge, Adam Williams

Emily Audette, Tori Rolande

Tracey Von Tagen

Kyle Arnold, Grace Amerman

Ryan Guess

Jared Timmer, Jake Netter

SOUTHERN GRIST BREWING COMPANY 1st Year Anniversary Southern Grist celebrated their one year anniversary on February 4th with a little charity work on the side. A portion of the proceeds from the event were donated to JDRF to help fund research of Juvenile Diabetes. They collected cash donations and sold “Kylie’s Crew” shirts with 100% of shirt sales going to JDRF. Photography By: Sean von Tagen

Megan Timmer, Chelsea Netter

Chris Lovorn, Marie Murrell, Boaz Reynolds Andrew Baker, Simon Baker

Kelly Eldridge, Tori Rolande, Megan Williams

Joel Strickrod, Eddie Chimi

Randy Marlin, Sara Holloway, Stewart Brown, Brad Meyer

Anna Togrye

Chanda and Paul Vaughn

Eddie Chimi, Beth Anderson, KC Sturgis, Gavin Sturgis


Bearded Iris Brewing celebrated their one year anniversary with an all day party. Can releases of Double Homestyle IPA and Chasing Rainbows, their new 5.8% IPA featuring galaxy, motueka and lupulin powder. Two on tap exclusives—Attention Please DIPA and La Fortune, a sweet goldenrod and smooth sumac saison. Photography By: Sean von Tagen

Alan McNulty, Steve Riser

Jeremy Jolly, Cait Guszkowski, Jordan Nelson, Mike Nelson, Chris Gonzales

Jackie Barnard and Charleston

Mary Ann Baccurin, Mark Baccurin, Marry Tuma, David Tuma, Scott Beavers

Zach Dorsey, Seth Steele, Luke Thomas

Johah Hickson

TCB Magazine | tncraftbeermag.com

last call


hat’s right. The young pliable minds of today’s college aged youth can now get advanced training in a field that was until recently a ground up, hands on, work in progress training program. Making beer. Brewing! So, to be fair, I haven’t actually done a lot of research on this, but brewing seems to be among the fastest growing industries in the country. The number of breweries is now at an all time high, and the number increases almost spontaneously. The problem? Brewing a quality beer is hard. Damn hard! I personally have created gallons of undrinkable swill. And the craft beer explosion is being driven, as it has always been, by homebrewers. Homebrewers who have almost certainly poured gallons of undrinkable swill down the drain. Where it belongs. But craft brewing is no longer a fledgling industry. The growth has been meteoric with no end in sight. You can talk about the bubble bursting, or whatever, but per capita, there is plenty of room for continued growth and expansion. The old time corner bar will be replaced by the corner brewery. Fresh. Local. As it should be. The challenge, of course, is to make quality beer. There is plenty of beer on the market that some would say is below par. Myself included. But it is amazing to hear people say that is their favorite beer. Which is fine. We don’t judge. It’s all about the beer, to use the slogan of the Music City Beer Society. But ultimately, quality, and consistency, rule the day. And that led one Pearse Lyons, founder and owner of Alltech’s Lexington Brewing and Distilling, to ponder the future of the industry. And with good reason. Lyons, a native of Ireland (slainte!), has a master’s degree in brewing and a Ph.D. In yeast fermentation. Pretty solid creds, to be sure. But he discovered that there was no formal degree here for brewing and/or distilling. Enter Gary Ransdell, President of Western Kentucky University. In the fall of 2015, he and Lyons were discussing Alltech’s desire to create a brewing and distilling academy, and the accreditation that would be required to make it meaningful to the industry. Not more than a week later, Ransdell came back and said “we’re serious. We want you to build your brewery on campus.”


Brewing Goes to College | By: Don Else | Photography By: Peter Weiss At the time, they had the space, but not the equipment. Problem. It would usually take many, many months to get all the tanks and supplies together, but fate, luck, serendipity, took hold. At the time, a brewery was closing, and they actually called Alltech to see if they would be interested in buying their equipment. So, there it was. A turn-key, ready to brew system becomes available. Uhh, yeah, we’ll take it. By March, 2016 the brewery was installed, tested and ready to make some beer, and teach the kids brewing science. Unfortunately, the students aren’t legally able to brew beer, so one of Alltech’s master brewers, Joe Walls, handles the actual brewing. But as a full blown, legit craft brewery, located in WKU’s Center for Research and Development, the students see the actual day to day trials and tribulations that beset a brewing operation. But wait, a full blown fully operational craft brewery on campus? What happens to the beer? They sell it! Sold as Alltech beer, it is called College Heights, and features WKU’s iconic clock tower on the label. Two beers, a pale and an IPA, have gone into distribution for sale to the public, and the Kroger chain has kept it on for a second straight set. That is a very positive sign. The Brewing and Distilling Arts and Sciences is a certificate program, and is meant to complement a major in a related field. It features four courses, the first being the Science of Fermentation in Brewing and Distilling. This is an intense study of the science of fermentation. The second class is simply Entrepreneurship. For the most part, craft brewing isn’t some corporate spin off. Some

Master Brewer: Joe Walls

guy with a five gallon homebrew kit wanted to make his passion his career. Or hers, of course. It is a true entrepreneurial spirit that drives the industry. The third is known on campus as the Beer Class, but is officially known as a Cultural History of Alcohol. This isn’t just beer or whiskey, this is a full study of alcohol as it relates to history, society and culture. Pretty comprehensive. Finally, there is the Internship in Brewing/Distilling. This class, which can be repeated for up to six credits, is an in the field internship that could include everything from brewing and/or distilling, marketing, management, and nearly any other discipline incurred within the industry. Worldwide, brewing and distilling has grown by about 20% in just the last year alone (OK, I did some research). College and university programs are popping up around the country, but Alltech has truly taken the vanguard with a true, full sized, operating, distributing, production brewery that doubles as a college laboratory. Pretty impressive. And to quote Timbuk 3, the future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades.