“Do not cease to drink beer, to eat, to intoxicate thyself, to make love, and celebrate the good days.”
- Egyptian proverb
BEER 101: What are you even drinking?
Blackberry Farm and Dogfish Head come together 12
SCHLAFLY IN ST, LOUIS
BREWERY PROFILE: Crafty Bastard kicking it up a notch
WINE VINE: An interview with Maynard James Keenan
Picnic Tap taps into local beer life 19
CASK CONDITIONING: Eric Woodard brings cask brew to life
SOCIAL DRINK: A Pigeon Forge Adventure
CIGAR ROOM: Smokerâ€™s Abbey wants you to relax with them
Yum yum yum at Harvest homestead 30
HEAD BREWER: YeeeeeeeeeeeeHawwwwwwwwww!
BEER RUN: An historic look at Annheuser-Busch
SOCIAL PAGES: What and who is happening at Tennessee beer events?
HOME BREW: A chat with Dynamic Ale Artisans
FUN & GAMES: Chattanooga Cocktail Competition
LAST CALL: On to Valhalla with Asgard
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THE WANDERLUST ISSUE
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6 | TN CRAFT BEER MAGAZINE | SPRING 2016
h yes, entering winter. The leaves are changing color, the temperatures are dropping (well, they're supposed to), football is back, and Oktoberfest and pumpkin beers rule. Pumpkin beer, for some reason, has been getting an increasingly bad rap. But get over it kids. Fruit and vegetables have been added to beer for many centuries. And there are some great ones. Shipyard, Schlafly, and Southern Tier just to name a few. In Nashville, Ken at Czann's has been making a great and very much in demand pumpkin beer. If you are lucky enough to be in the tavern near brew time, you will surely have the opportunity to enjoy the great spiced pumpkin seeds a buddy makes for him.
But more importantly, by my standard anyway, this is also Beer Festival season. We recently enjoyed a trip to Cookville to cover the Blues and Brews festival there. That event will be featured in the next issue. But now I'm going to concentrate on the 35th Great American Beer Festival in Denver. Started in 1982 by homebrewer Charlie Papazian (who also founded the American Homebrewers Association, Association of Brewers (which became the Brewers Association upon merger), and a nuclear engineer), the first year featured only 22 breweries. This year he received a celebratory plaque and medal from Colorado Governor
Hickenlooper. The 2016 event featured 780 breweries entering 7,227 beers into the competition, up 9%. In the festival hall, a record 780 breweries poured samples of over 3,800 beers to over 60,000 attendees who purchased their tickets in just over an hour selling out the event making it the largest selection of American beer ever presented. Long sentence, sorry. Did I have a favorite? Oh hellyeah. Just don't ask me what it was. There were several, actually. So what happens while in Denver when not at the beer festival? Well, the festival contributed over $28 million dollars to the Denver economy. I can attest to that. Our group of over 20 Yazooligans who made the
trek out there visited basically every brewery in Denver, it's environs, and up into Boulder. Many a craft beer was purchased. You’re welcome, Denver. Oh, and thanks! Tennessee fared well with many breweries in attendance. Hutton and Smith of Chattanooga won a medal for their On-Sight Alt. Blackberry Farms again won a medal for their excellent Brett Saison in the Wood and Barrel Aged category. Pumpkin beer? Pump Action Imperial Pumpkin from 4 Noses Brewery in Colorado got that gold. Looking for another reason to celebrate winter? How about the Cullen-Harrison Act. This is the 21st Amendment that fully repealed prohibition. Now this can be confusing. The damn Volstead Act passed in 1919 and enacted in January of 1920 established national prohibition as Amendment 18. Cullen-Harrison finally repealed that abomination when signed on 3/22/33 by FDR who famously proclaimed “I think this would be a good time for a beer.” This act took effect on what became known as National Beer Day on April 7. However, this was a states’ right level thing because each state had to ratify it independently. Beer and wine up to 3.2% alcohol by weight were allowed to be served legally for the first time in 13 years. Cullen-Harrison was ratified nationally and went into effect on December 5 of that year. And the dark years were over. Chekhof saw a winter bleak and dark and bereft of hope. I see a winter bright and warm, thanks to imperial stouts and double IPA's (of course). I think this would be a good time for a beer. Cheers!
THE WINTER ISSUE | Beer 101
AN IDIOT’S GUIDE TO BEER | by Shane Gibbs
ello fellow beer enthusiasts, the purpose of this particular article is to help educate those people in the ever-expanding craft beer world who are new to craft beer or have questions as to what certain things mean. As a beertender, I am often asked questions like what does IBU stand for or what is the difference between a porter and a stout. This recurring article will answer all of those questions and help each of us to be better informed. Let’s first begin with styles of beer. We have German and Czech beers; English, Scottish and Irish beers; American styles and Belgians. Given that many new beer enthusiasts generally do not venture outside of American style beers, I will focus on those first.
American Amber Ale: The citrusy hoppiness of a pale ale but with a much richer malt base of caramel and toasted flavors, this amber colored ale has a pronounced bitterness that fills the gap between a pale and a brown ale. Example: Alaskan Amber American Brown Ale: A light to dark brown ale with a moderate bitterness, this malty, toasty and caramel flavored beer contains light to medium hops and provides a slight thickness on the taste buds. Example: Jackalope Bearwalker Brown American India Pale Ale (IPA): My beer of choice, the IPA ranges from gold to dark amber in color and has an assertive bitterness. It is very dominate in citrus flavor and aroma. Example: Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA American Pale Ale: A gold to amber hue with a pronounced bitterness with citrus and spice flavors, pale ales usually have a low to medium malt flavor with caramel notes. Example: Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale American Stout: Roasty rich coffee flavors and a dark hue with an assertive bitterness make stout the perfect beer for those who want something big and bold. For a seasonal drinker, this is their winter time preference. Example: Sierra Nevada Stout American Wheat Beer - Lightly malted with notes of bread and flour with a straw to gold coloring and low bitterness makes this an easy drinking beer, especially for craft beer beginners. Example: Bell’s Oberon
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Blonde Ale: Harnessing light biscuit notes from the pale malts, this straw to gold colored, moderately bitter ale makes for a nice refreshing thirst quencher. Example: Southern Star Bombshell Blonde California Common: With a light to dark amber color, this “steam beer” has a medium bitterness and a clean, fresh finish. Example: Anchor Steam Cream Ale: This pale to gold colored hybrid of ale and lager has a distinct malt character with low bitterness. Example: Ballast Point Calm Before the Storm Imperial IPA: Much like a normal IPA in color and flavor, the Imperial IPA is highly assertive and can have a slightly subdued maltiness. Also, it has a higher alcohol by volume (ABV) content usually in the range of 7.5% - 10% as opposed to the 5.5% - 7.5% of the normal IPA. Example: Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA. Standard American Lager: A very pale color often referred to as straw with a very low perceived bitterness, this is a lightly balanced lager with a mild sweetness and noticeable carbonation. Example: Sam Adams Boston Lager There are many other styles out there and in time we will cover the majority of them but this should serve as a great starting point for newbies and a reminder for the more experienced. If you have questions or if there is a certain Beer 101 topic you think we should discuss, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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THE WINTER ISSUE | Culture
SAM CAL AGIONE OF DOGFISH HEAD
THE ART OF CRAFT BEER A n Adventu re at Bl a c k b e r r y Far m | by Rob Shomaker
he road leading up to Blackberry Farm winds gently through the hills of East Tennessee. Transition abounds along the way as farms and homes are slowly being buttressed by modern creations that pay homage to the past with an eye towards the future. Blackberry Farm lies at the heart of it all acting as the isthmus that has drawn the attention of the world to this special place shaped by time and the grace of God. While many of us know Blackberry Farm Brewery, the farm existed long before. The late Sam Beall transformed this special spot in Walland, Tennessee into a world-renowned destination known not only for culinary feats but also for leveraging the farm to influence the table. The fact that three James Beard Awards have been bestowed on Blackberry Farm is a testament to the vision, dedication and energy brought about by its team. The guest experience is a central theme on the farm. Memorable, purposeful,
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unparalleled are a few of the words that could be used to describe this approach. This past September the experience focused on the melding of farm and beer with an experience tailored around Blackberry Farm Brewery’s team, Roy Milner and brewer Daniel Heisler along with Sam Calagione Founder & President of Dogfish Head Brewery. Sam has been wildly heralded as one of craft brewing’s great pioneers pushing the boundaries of conventional styles while also uncovering lost techniques and recipes. 60 Minute will forever be seen as a highly lauded example of an American IPA. As a pioneer in the craft brewing industry, Sam has influenced many brewers in their approach to style and breweries in their creation. However, Sam’s approach to building culture very much influenced Roy as he helped shape Blackberry Farm Brewery. For three days a small group of guests spent time with these gentlemen exploring
the facets of the farm and the integration of earth with beer. In preparation for the event, Sam had the idea to take this theme literally and bury beer in the gardens on the farm. He was curious to see if the East Tennessee climate and soil would have an effect on the aging process. The gardeners at Blackberry Farm took this a step further and used the garden areas as inspiration based on what was growing in relation to the ingredients in the beer. What was unearthed was a very educational and unique experience as the buried beers were tasted side-by-side with their non-interred brethren. The result? A noticeable difference between the beers and an enlightening conversation. On another occasion guests were able to gather around and hear Sam tell the story of Dogfish Head from 1995 to present. He weaved a story of both time and beer in a way that was engaging, memorable and impactful. Both Sam and his wife Mariah have an incredible and unique perspective
CULTURE | THE WINTER ISSUE
on the craft beer community and culture that is both inspiring and amazing, The event concluded with a finale dinner not to be forgotten which I was fortunate enough to attend. Dinner was held in the wine cellar of what is known as “The Barn.” Many may simply compare The Barn to a restaurant but it can be best described as containing a kitchen and culinary team of epic proportions. A table was elegantly set for the group with 6 beer glasses circling the top of each place setting beckoning of what was to come. After a brief introduction, the feast began. Five courses in all, each paired with a Dogfish Head beer that Sam Calagione provided the history and inspiration behind. We began with a marinated watermelon salad containing coriander, pecans and pickled shallots paired with Dogfish Head 60 Minute. Sweet, juicy meets hoppy and slightly bitter. The contrast between the two allowed the flavors to dance elegantly together and brought out more flavors in each. Next wood grilled okra, spiced pepper purée, charred tomatoes and peanuts paired with Dogfish Head Burton Baton which is,
perhaps, one of my favorite Dogfish Head beers. The smokiness of the okra contrasted against the wood/tannin notes from this beer made each more memorable in its own way. For the third course, hearth roasted shrimp, charred zucchini purée and basil mignonette paired with Dogfish Head Midas Touch. Midas Touch was the sweetest beer of the evening and while I would have naturally started here given the selection, it was a welcome change for the 3rd course. The purée and shrimp created an elegant backdrop to allow the flavors of this beer to shine through. For the main course, painted hills strip steak, smoked beet purée and horseradish béarnaise paired with Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron. Palo Santo is a rich and decadent brown ale on its own, especially at 12% ABV. Paired with the strip steak and the flavors from the beet purée the richness of both food and beer intertwined in such a way that it was difficult to focus on much else. Lastly, smoked hot chocolate, devil’s food cake, toasted marshmallow and Aleppo pepper with Dogfish Head World Wide
Stout. World Wide Stout is an exceptionally full beer that coats the mouth with notes of fig, chocolate and coffee. While this beer is a robust 18%, the alcohol warmth doesn’t make itself known until the aftertaste and even then, it is very subtle. Paired with the sweetness and varying textures of the dish, each became more decadent with every bite. Truly a closing act to remember! For those three days in the mountains of East Tennessee craft beer was brought to life for a small group of people by two breweries who are making consistent innovative strides in shaping this art. Both Dogfish Head and Blackberry Farm Brewery are consummate leaders in quality and excellence which is evident not only in their beer but also in their approach to their craft, the community, their teams and to one another. Through the backdrop of the farm with a deep cadre of artisans of both culinary and agricultural trade, the beer from both Dogfish Head and Blackberry Farm Brewery was brought to life in a way that showcases the complexity, flavor, passion and vision of a renaissance that is just beginning.
LEFT TO RIGHT: JOHN COYKENDALL, SAM CAL AGIONE, DANIEL HEISLER, MIKE WASHBURN, ROY MILNER
TNCRAFTBEERMAG.COM | 11
THE WINTER ISSUE | BREWERY PROFILE
YOU CRAFTY BASTARD! A Nanobrew e r y M a ke s Wa ve s i n E as t Te n n e s s e e | by Rob Shomaker
still remember the day I met Aaron McCain and Jen Morgan. They had found me through my blog, Knoxbeersnobs. com, and invited my partner-in-beer Don Kline and me over to hear about their plans to open a nanobrewery, in which they would brew high quality beer in very small batches. It was a cool evening as we sat on the front porch of their apartment. Aaron never missed a beat as he brought beer after beer for us to sample and discuss. Their excitement was contagious, and Don and I later remarked that the beer was not only polished but incredibly unique. Little did we know the impact that this nanobrewery would have on our East Tennessee beer community in such a short period of time. The brewery’s name is certainly a point of curiosity as it can raise eyebrows in some circles or cause gentle laughter in others. While the true origin may forever be lost to history, Jen maintains she suggested it as the two brainstormed at the Thirsty Monk in Asheville while Aaron insists that its roots emanate from playful banter between he and a friend during their high school days in which they would often call one another
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a crafty bastard. Whatever its derivation, the name certainly doesn’t describe Aaron or Jen. Crafty Bastard can be found in what is affectionately known as Emory Place just north of Downtown. The area is buttressed by Central Avenue and Broadway just south of where these two streets intersect. Here you would find an area that could be described as “in transition” as these beautiful buildings from the 1800s are brought back to life. “Vibrant”, “energetic”, and “alive” are simple descriptors of how this little slice of Knoxville feels when the brewery doors are open and beer is flowing. When you walk in the door, the brewery is open, tall and deep. An aged shade of white adorns the brick walls which proudly bear the scars of time. A record player consistently plays familiar tunes from a bygone time and yet perfectly suited for this place in the here and now. Patrons come and go by foot, bicycle and car. Laughter, celebration, support and sustenance add to the sense of community found here simply through the people who arrive and shake hands or a hug with one another. Food trucks and community events are regular occurrences as
are frequent visits from both patrons’ dogs and children. A monthly artist features her work on the walls and live music is regularly scheduled to add color to an already rich tapestry that has been created in this space. While it has been just over a year since Crafty Bastard began calling this place home, it feels as though it has always been here. Jen is the heart and soul of this vibrant canvas to which Aaron adds his own color in the form of malt and hops. Roughly 6 years ago Jen presented Aaron with a home brewing kit for Christmas. Little did they know that this was the litmus for a significant adventure in their lives. Aaron began consuming all he could as he researched styles and techniques while seeking feedback on his creations. As he dialed in his various beer styles, he began getting creative with his recipes often deriving inspiration from culinary experiences as he strove to identify curious flavors and whether or not he could naturally recreate them in his beer. At the same time both Aaron and Jen found inspiration from various beer destinations around the country. It was during a visit
BREWERY PROFILE | THE WINTER ISSUE
TNCRAFTBEERMAG.COM | 13
THE WINTER ISSUE | BREWERY PROFILE
AARON MCCL AIN, JEFF ADAMS
to San Diego while enjoying a beer at Intergalactic Brewing Company, that the two decided they wanted to open their own place. As many brewery owners can attest, the journey from this point wasn’t without its challenges, adjustments and setbacks. However, there were others that believed in their dream and were willing to lend a hand and Crafty Bastard sprung forth. While there are certainly initial overhead considerations for choosing a nanobrewery over a larger setup, creating a nanobrewery affords Aaron and Jen a fair amount of flexibility. All of Crafty Bastard’s beer is served in-house. “From the time the raw ingredients arrive to the time the finished beer is placed in the glass, we’ve controlled the beer the entire time,” Aaron shared with me. Crafty Bastard can also brew different batches of beer more frequently which allows for not only a constantly rotating tap list but also means that there is frequently something new on tap. Crafty Bastard also regularly looks to collaborate with other local businesses as they brew their beer, specifically through locally sourced produce. Jim Smith of Rushy Springs Farms often provides chili peppers as does Beardsley Farm with beets, 14 | TN CRAFT BEER MAGAZINE
muscadines and paw paws. Coffee from Jarrett Vance at Epiphany Coffee Roasters can often be found in a beer on the board and Dan DeRidder, a local mushroom hunter, often swings by with his latest “chicken of the woods” findings which is an edible mushroom found in the area. Aaron enjoys getting to engage with individuals like this as it highlights other local artisans and broadens the spectrum of his creations. He will often go out into the community to locally forage for items such as pine sprigs and bitter oranges. Aaron readily admits that while fermentation space is limited, half of it is dedicated to IPAs as they are not only one of his favorites but also a best seller. Names like Passionfruit Double IPA, Big Bastard IPA and Tesselation IPA are frequently found on the draft list. Aaron and brewer Jeff Adams use the other half of the fermentation space for other creative beers such as a black gose, Hawaiian BBQ Smoke Pale Ale and an Old Fashioned Ale. They’ve also gotten creative with some beers making several versions such as a gose that came in dry-hopped, cherry and passionfruit varieties. Perhaps one of the most surprising creations was a Flanders-style sour that was aged in a
gin barrel. It was similar to commercial examples however the gin barrel added an extra little pop of pepper in the back of the taste – fantastic. Crafty Bastard has also done a number of collaborative beers in a very short amount of time with breweries such as Alliance Brewing Company, Blackhorse Brewing Company and Saw Works Brewing Company. Homebrewers are also welcome collaborators and one brew in particular, the White Wolf Stout, which was brewed with homebrewer Luanne Bourne Rounds, not only won an award but is also still one of the brewery’s highest rated beers on Untappd. A combination of the location, sense of place and the creativity behind the beer has set Crafty Bastard apart in the East Tennessee beer community. In a day and age where craft beer abounds and breweries open with frequency, a combination of both the product and the experience are essential in order to stand apart. Through Crafty Bastard’s connection with community, sense of place and eye towards innovative, memorable and quality beer, I know I speak for many when I say we are proud to have this brewery, and the people who are a part of it in our fold.
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THE WINTER ISSUE | WINE VINE
MAYNARD JAMES KEENAN M usi c, W i n e , a n d ot h e r M usin g s | by Mark Crowe | photography by Travis Shinn
ool, A Perfect Circle, Puscifer, Caduceus Cellars, Merkin Vineyards, A Perfect Union of Contrary Things, television and film roles. Maynard James Keenan is the embodiment of creativity and ever the artist, never happy unless he keeps pushing himself to create even more. The elusive Grammy award-winning artist shocked me by agreeing to an interview with Tennessee Craft Beer Magazine. I have been a Tool, Perfect Circle, and Puscifer fan for many, many years. I remember watching an MTV broadcast before one of the big music festivals, and Kurt Loder of MTV admitting he was nervous and starstruck interviewing Keenan before Tool’s performance at the festival. So here I am, set to be connected
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to a guy who admittedly does not like to be interviewed, be in the spotlight, or share personal things with journalists. To make matters worse, on the front page of his website for Puscifer, Keenan says, “People think I am a miserable sod, but it’s only because I get asked such bloody miserable questions.” But I am going to go down the rabbit hole, swallow the red pill, and pull back the curtain to see what I can discover. Puscifer, the multimedia cabaret troupe meant to be a performance piece “not just a rock band regurgitating songs at you, but something that will not overwhelm your senses but entertain and dance with them,” is performing at TPAC in Nashville. We enter the theater to a full blown wrestling match, bodies are flying through the air
and slamming onto the mat with a loud thud. Flanking the full sized wrestling ring at center stage are bleachers filled with fans cheering on their respective wrestler. It was kind of like a visit to an alternate universe version of Medieval Times where visitors cheer for their knight whilst yelling at the beer wench to bring another ale. On this night however, there were no shouts of “run him through” but rather cheers for every high flying arm drag, spiral ride, full speed slam into the turnbuckles, pile driver, and of course top rope full body slam. What the hell does this have to do with anything? While I am not quite sure, I do know that Maynard comes from a wrestling family. His dad is a well-known wrestling coach at Keenan’s high school in Michigan.
WINE VINE | THE WINTER ISSUE
Keenan continues his love of wrestling and mixed martial arts and currently studies Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at a high level. When the opening act is finished, Puscifer takes the stage. The drum set is planted dead center stage in front of the wrestling ring and Keenan and Carina Round perched proudly in the ring using it as their stage. They entice the audience with song after song while sometimes confusing images play across the large screen behind them. During portions of the performance the wrestlers come back out and intertwine themselves with the performance. It is a sight to behold and when finished, I think we all wanted more. Keeping with the elusiveness and the belief that the performance should be the focus, not himself, Keenan is in shadow for the entire performance. Not once does a spot light hit him, even when introducing the band and his singing partner Round. During the interview, I become a little bold and ask Keenan why, since he was in Nashville after all, he didn’t play a song from one of the Puscifer EP’s called “Cuntry Boner.” Keenan answers, “I have to be careful where I sing that song, because Dwight Yoakam might come out of the stands and beat the sh*t out of me.” I mention that surely someone with an MMA background can take Dwight Yoakam. He fires back, “You can never underestimate a woman scorned.” Keenan believes Puscifer has to infuse comedy and become performance, sometimes teetering on the edge of satire and being quite “colorful” and sophomoric at times. His belief is that comedy isn’t pretty. He quotes Steve Martin, “It’s self deprecating or somebody else is getting thrown under the bus. We have to laugh at ourselves.” (You will have to look up “Cuntry Boner” to see what I’m referring to.) Keenan describes “The beauty of Puscifer is going into theaters where there
are ushers, not the rock clubs the people are used to. The unfamiliar forum throws audiences off their normal game. They are out of their element, because people have to sit in their own seat and they get chastised for pulling out a camera or invading someone else’s space. It’s like boot camp for them, breaking them down to build them back up so they can pay attention and appreciate what’s happening in front of them.” Keenan’s passion for performance matches his passion for wine. He is the owner of Caduceus Cellars and Merkin Vineyards, both in his hometown of Jerome, Arizona. He talks about how it was really hard to be accepted by the wine community. He was just another “f*cking rockstar trying to put his name on a label and selling wine” was the intial reception. Once the community realized that he not only produced rich complex old world reds, and wonderful Italian style whites, but he also grew the grapes and blended the wines himself, they became more accepting. He has a tasting room associated with Caduceus Cellars, and is about to open up one for Merkin Vineyards along with an osteria that includes locally grown produce and pastas made with locally grown wheat as part of his ever-growing operation. When asked if he enjoyed craft beer, he said he enjoys the care taken to produce it, saying “something has to be top notch, or don’t f*cking do it.” Maynard has millions of dollars invested in the wine business and while he certainly wears lots of hats, beer would be a distraction. He uses time out during his
tour stops to study the local wine scene and visit as many wineries as he can, if he can pick up an idea or a tip here or there he is all for it. After all, he is growing many varieties of grapes on 110 acres in the desert of Arizona! Talking about appreciation of an art form and the care it takes, be it beer, wine, or music, “People come in and taste wine that is in the process of fermenting. They make an ugly face and say it’s awful. Of course it is. It’s not done. Same as if I play a rough track. You can tell they want to say it’s terrible. When I play the song when it’s completed or pour the finished wine, and they think it is great. It’s the same with anything you do. Getting to the finished product is about patience, understanding, and a faith in the process.” I think we here at Tennessee Craft Beer Magazine agree and are lucky to be able to swim in the splendors that have become an ocean of great beers that adhere to Keenan’s thought about faith in the process. It was an honor to be Keenan’s guest at the Puscifer show and part of his book launch for his new autobiography A Perfect Union of Contrary Things. If you are a Tool, Puscifer, or A Perfect Circle fan; or a fan of fine wines, I encourage you to pick up a copy. I am looking forward to future renditions of “Sips and Sounds” and I hope you are, too. Until then, Cheers! I guess this time I’ve traded my beer glass for a Riedel stemmed wine glass. “Clink” and Rock-on! TNCRAFTBEERMAG.COM | 17
THE WINTER ISSUE | FEATURE
THE PICNIC TAP AT NASHVILLE FARMER’S MARKET S potli ghti n g Te n n e sse e Be e r s an d O f fe r i n g an I n n o v at i v e C as k P rog r a m | by Chris Chamberlain | photography by Brandon Lunday
ver the past couple of years, the Nashville Farmer’s Market has really concentrated on becoming a gathering spot for Middle Tennessee residents who are looking to shop for local products in a welcoming environment that also offers dining and drinking options. In addition to reconfiguring the market sheds to feature more farmers and producers, market management has sought local entrepreneurs to develop these opportunities for food and bev. When Eric Woodard moved to Nashville from Texas three years ago, he had no intention of being one of those entrepreneurs, at least when it came to running a taproom. Instead, he tried his hand remodeling old houses to flip in Nashville's white hot real estate market, and five months in, finally sold his first listing. After all that time floating drywall and refinishing vintage hardwood floors, Woodard figured he deserved an afternoon of relaxation and headed over to Nashville Farmer’s Market in search of some spicy food and cold beer. He did manage to score some great Indian fare at Swagruha, but he was stymied in his search for a beer to enjoy with his Chicken Tikka Masala.
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His disappointment made him wonder if he wasn’t the only one who might be in a similar predicament. Perhaps he should have been eating Turkish food, because kismet was about to strike him in a big way. As he headed for the door at the Market, Woodard read a sign posted by Nashville Farmer’s Market management looking for a few new restaurant concepts to occupy the then vacant spaces along the southwest stretch of the Market House food court. Already familiar with the rapid growth of Nashville’s craft beer scene and the aggressive expansion plans of the Market, Woodard figured that combining the two would be a bet worth making. He put his idea on paper in the form of a business plan and quickly landed meetings with the Market’s Board of Directors. A few short months later The Picnic Tap opened and has been going strong ever since, showcasing a lineup of 15 rotating taps of craft brews from Nashville and surrounding areas. The Picnic Tap’s focus on local beers has dovetailed nicely with the Market’s dedication to featuring regional growers and producers, and customers have latched on to the new relationship. Plus, it’s always great
to have access to some fantastic beers during a trip to shop for groceries. The Picnic Tap offers pints, tasting flights and growler fills seven days a week, and Eric and his hardworking crew regularly host Pint Nites featuring limited release and seasonal beers in the fall and spring. The bar at The Picnic Tap has become a popular place for several of Nashville’s brewers to launch new releases and a dedicated crew of fans have become regular attendees at these special events. After a successful first year of collaborating with Nashville breweries for a series of special cask-conditioned beer releases, The Picnic Tap is going even bigger with their Second Annual Winter Cask Ale Rotational Series, which will feature a one-of-a-kind cask conditioned beers every weekend late December through mid March. The Picnic Tap is also expanding, adding outdoor patio seating in early 2017. If you’re a fan of local Middle Tennessee beers and cask-conditioned brews in particular, make your way down to the Picnic Tap early and often. Follow them on Facebook at www. facebook.com/thepicnictap for the latest news on their special events.
CASK CONDITIONING | THE WINTER ISSUE
WHAT’S IN THAT CASK? | by Eric Woodard
first got introduced to cask-conditioned ales just a few years ago when I used to live within walking distance of a really cool little craft beer bar in Houston, Texas, called The Petrol Station. The owner, Ben Fullelove, used to order casks from faraway breweries like Stone and Dogfish Head, and these tappings became neighborhood events. Once the word was out that there was a chance for us beer nerds to get our hands on a pint of something truly unique, a line would form, and on many occasions a cask would be emptied in short order, sometimes even leaving a few folks standing with empty glasses! So naturally, when I wanted to try and do something really special at The Picnic Tap at the Nashville Farmer’s Market, I thought that collaborating with all of Nashville’s super-talented brewers to create a handful of cask ales would really be a lot of fun. But what is it about a smallish tank of beer that sits on the top of the bar? What’s so special about an unrefrigerated pint that the bartender pulls from a spout under the flow of gravity, or better yet using a funky
hand pump known as a “beer engine?” In short, a cask ale or “real ale” is a beer that is unpasteurized, unfiltered, and one that has been allowed to mature and re-ferment just enough to carbonate naturally via the action of the yeast. Now these are not akin to the increasingly common whiskey and wine barrel-aged brews which seek to extract flavors from their conditioning vessels. Rather, a cask beer is said to be a “living” beer, as the live yeast cultures that the brewer originally added to ferment the sweet wort into alcohol and carbon dioxide have never been completely removed, but rather given a chance (with the addition of a small amount of extra sugar for the yeasty beasties to munch on) to keep metabolizing in much the same way that some home brewers “naturally carbonate” their beer in bottles. When done right, the result is a beer with Old World style and New
World craftsmanship. So when you see a cask, either a 5.4 gallon English “Pin” or his larger cousin the 9 gallon “Firkin” know this: order a pint of it because it’s bound to be a unique version of one of your favorites – one that’s perhaps just a little bit warmer and softer than the standard draft version you’re used to, but great nonetheless. And if you’re really lucky, you might even come across a cask pale ale that’s been dry-hopped, a cask stout that has been aged with cinnamon and vanilla, or a cask farmhouse ale with an extra dash of spices or a fruit infusion. Last year during our Winter Cask Series we rolled out ten such brews and this year we’ll have at least a dozen throughout the winter months. We’d love to see you there and teach you all about real ales, so come on down! Cheers and ask for Eric when you arrive.
The Forty Four porter brewed with coffee Available Now! at fine retailers and The Black Abbey Fellowship Hall Nashville, TN
TNCRAFTBEERMAG.COM | 19
THE WINTER ISSUE | Feature
1 2 3 4 5
6 Blues City Brewery LLC › citybrewery.com 7 Rockn’ Dough Pizza Co. › rockndoughpizza.com 8 Perrylodgic Brewing Company › perrylodgic.com
High Cotton Brewing Company › highcottonbrewing.com Boscos Squared › boscosbeer.com Wiseacre Brewery › wiseacrebrew.com Ghost River Brewing Co. › ghostriverbrewing.com Memphis Made Brewing Company, LLC. › memphismadebrewing.com
11 32 31
12 34 20 19 18 16 5 17 1
412 45 51
BOTTLE SHOPS / GROWLER STATIONS 1 2 3 4 5
Mr. Whiskers › on.fb.me/1NcnvR0 Mt Juliet Market › mtjulietmarket.com Priest Point Wine & Spirits › liquorinnashvilletn.com Melrose Wine and Spirits › on.fb.me/20B2djS The Casual Pint › thecasualpint.com
6 Homegrown Taproom & Marketplace › homegrownnashville.com 7 Filling Station 12South › brewstogo.com 8 Filling Station East › brewstogo.com 9 Frugal MacDoogal › frugalmacdoogal.com Feature your bottle shop here! Contact us for more information.
SOUTH 31 32 33 34 35 36
Big Frog Brewing Company › bigfrogbrewery.com McHale’s Brewhouse › mchalesbrewhouse.com Big River Grille & Brewing Works › bigrivergrille.com Hutton & Smith Brewing Co. › huttonandsmithbrewing.com Chattanooga Brewing Co. › chattabrew.com Terminal BrewHouse › terminalbrewhouse.com
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37 Moccasin Bend Brewing Company › bendbrewingbeer.com 38 Big River Grille & Brewing Works (Hamilton Place) › bigrivergrille.com 39 Binary Brew Works › 10101brew.com 40 Oddstory Brewing Co › oddstorybrewing.co
MIDDLE 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37
9 Blackhorse Pub & Brewery › theblackhorsepub.com 10 BriarScratch Brewing › briarscratchbrewing.com 11 Honky Tonk Brewing Co. 12 Little Harpeth Brewing › littleharpethbrewing.com 13 TailGate Beer › tailgatebeer.com 14 Blackstone › blackstonebrewery.com 15 Yazoo Brewing Company › yazoobrew.com 16 Jackalope › jackalopebrew.com 17 Tennessee Brew Works › tnbrew.com 18 Czann’s Brewing Co LLC 19 Rock Bottom Nashville › rockbottom.com 20 Fat Bottom Brewing › fatbottombrewing.com 21 The Black Abbey Brewing Company, LLC › blackabbeybrewing.com
Cool Springs Brewery › coolspringsbrewery.com Granite City Food & Brewery › gcfb.net Turtle Anarchy Brewing Company › turtleanarchy.com O’Possum’s › opossumspub.com Mayday Brewery › maydaybrewery.com Jubilee Craft Beer Company, LLC › jubileebeer.com Ole Shed Brewing Company › oleshedbrewing.com Calfkiller Brewing Company › calfkillerbeer.com Mantra Artisan Ales › mantrabrewing.com Bearded Iris › beardedirisbrewing.com Southern Grist Brewing Co › southerngristbrewing.com New Heights Brewing Co › newheightsbrewing.com Smith & Lentz › smithandlentz.com Red Silo › redsilobrewing.com Asgard Brewing › asgardbrewery.com VonSeitz Theoreticales › theoreticales.com
Kingsport 55 56
5 51 27
59 60 61
42 43 62 48
39 40 33 34 5 3536
45 44 46 5 47 41
tncraftbeermag.com WINTER 16/17 EAST 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51
Fanatic Brewing Company › fanaticbrewing.com Blackhorse Pub & Brewery › theblackhorsepub.net Schulz Bräu Brewing Company › schulzbraubrewing.com Crafty Bastard Brewery › craftybastardbrewery.com Balter Brewing › balterbeerworks.com Scruffy City Hall › preservationpub.com Downtown Grill & Brewery › downtownbrewery.com Alliance Brewing Company Saw Works Brewery › sawworks.beer Smoky Mountain Brewery › smoky-mtn-brewery.com Bluetick Brewery › bluetickbrewery.com Smoky Mountain Brewery (Maryville) › coppercellar.com
52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62
Blackberry Farm Brewery › blackberryfarm.com/brewery Smoky Mountain Brewery (Pigeon Forge) › coppercellar.com Smoky Mountain Brewery (Gatlinburg) › coppercellar.com Sleepy Owl Brewery › sleepyowlbrewery.com Studio Brew › studiobrew.net Holston River Brewing Company Depot Street Brewing › depotstreetbrewing.com Johnson City Brewing Company › johnsoncitybrewing.com Yee-Haw Brewing Co. › yeehawbrewing.com JRH Brewing › jrhbrewing.com Last Days of Autumn › lastdaysofautumn.com
THE WINTER ISSUE | Social Drink
OLD FORGE DISTILLERY | by Chris Chamberlain
efore you start snickering about East Tennessee genealogy, Old Forge Distillery in Pigeon Forge is indeed owned by two couples who happen to be siblings and in-laws. Laurie Faulkner and Chris Blanton are brother and sister who have invested in the distillery with the respective spouses, Craig Faulkner and Leslie Blanton. The family already owned property and several businesses in and around the
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Old Mill neighborhood of Pigeon Forge, and the old general store/gift shop next door to the historic mill building looked like the perfect location for the new distillery. The family also runs a construction business that tore down the old building and repurposed some of the old beams and planks to create an attractive tasting room and efficient production and packaging space. “The new floor was the old ceiling a
hundred years ago,” shares Laurie Faulkner. “We tell people when you come into Old Forge, don’t drink too much because you’re walking on the ceiling.” The next link in this family affair was probably the most important. Keener Shanton is a cousin to the clan who was working full-time as a fireman when he heard that some of his kin were planning to open a distillery. Already a home brewer
Social Drink | THE WINTER ISSUE
on his days off from the firehouse, Stanton was experimenting with some legal home distilling under a fuel ethanol distiller’s license. He went from full- to part- to no-time working at the firehouse. As the distillery was being designed and constructed, he prepared to jump in with both feet. Plus, it never hurts to have someone with experience with fighting fires when you’re dealing with the distilling process. Old Forge officially opened to the public on July 1, 2014 and immediately started to take advantage of the crowds of tourists visiting the Pigeon Forge area. Spending little on traditional advertising, Old Forge generates plenty of traffic through tastings and word of mouth. Unlike some other East Tennessee moonshine purveyors, Old Forge offers a lineup of products that extend far beyond just the traditional flavored ‘shines. To be clear, they do sell plenty of fruity and sweet moonshines, and Shanton is not ashamed of these products. “We don’t hide the fact that our flavored shines are made with 100% corn mash grain neutral spirits that we blend in house with flavorings. We specifically wanted a blank canvas to compound with because
our customers don’t want coffee or French toast flavored drinks that also taste like corn. We could have distilled our own mash until it was flavorless, but that would be a waste of our resources.” So yes, there are plenty of flavored options available at Old Forge, with some of the most popular including Blackberry, Coffee and Bananas Foster. The flavored moonshines are all bottled (well, jarred) at 60 proof except for a spicy Cinnamon version that packs an 80 proof punch. That purchased GNS is also run through a proofing still process to create an 80 proof vodka that really offers little benefit over other vodkas except that you can buy it on Sundays at the Old Forge gift shop. But the rest of Old Forge’s products do demonstrate creativity, ingenuity and dedication on the part of the distiller. Three versions of clear moonshine are interesting when tasted side-by-side as part of the 1830 series, named after the year the Old Mill started up operation. The 100 proof Unaged Corn Moonshine is made with a traditional sugar and corn mash in about a 55%/45% ratio by weight. The sugar definitely still manifests itself in a sweet palate entry, and
the hot finish is expected in such a young higher proof product. The 1830 Original Distiller’s Blend adds rye and malted barley to the mix of sugar and corn milled next door at the Old Mill. Closer to the white dog whiskey that goes into barrels for aging at traditional bourbon/ whiskey distilleries, the additional grains add some spiciness and herbaceousness to the flavor. The third clear moonshine is 1830 Original Miller’s Blend with sugar, corn, malted barley and wheat comprising the mash bill. The softer wheat lends a gentle mouthfeel to the ‘shine, and you can imagine what this might turn into if it had some time on oak. Old Forge also makes a rum, a product that Shanton is particularly proud of. Winner of a gold medal at the 2016 SIP Awards, Silver Old Forge Rum is made from blackstrap molasses and cane sugar. “Our first batch of rum did really well at the awards,” shares Shanton. “In fact, we haven’t come away from any competition we entered without at least some hardware.” Bottled at 92 proof, this rum contributes nice fruit notes and autumn spice to cocktails. (Contd) TNCRAFTBEERMAG.COM | 23
THE WINTER ISSUE | SOCIAL DRINK
Old Forge also sells an aged bourbon, but it is not a product that was distilled in their facility. Old Forge Reserve Single Barrel Release Tennessee Bourbon Whiskey is a purchased product, selected from a stock of 8-year old whiskey with a high rye content (30%) and then laid down for another year in oak before bottling. They are also looking at aging some of the bourbon in rum barrels and some rum in their bourbon barrels to experiment with new finishes. The result is a fine smooth sipper, but probably not the best bargain in the brown liquor market at almost $50 a bottle. Feel free to pick some up while you’re visiting the distillery, but there are more interesting products coming from Old Forge. Like their gin, for example. Part of their Tennessee Roots line of products made primarily with local products, Old Forge’s Harvest Gin is a quite unique product. Distilled from wine made with Tennesseegrown Muscadine grapes, this spirit is run through a gin basket attached to the still to introduce some lovely botanicals to the 24 | TN CRAFT BEER MAGAZINE
aroma and flavors. Not as Juniper-forward as many gins, Harvest started as an experimental project. After tasting the first batch, Hanton suggested Old Forge purchase the entire output of the vineyard for this gin. The final product is barrel-aged for at least six months to create a soft herbaceous and earthy gin that offers up hints of vanilla from the oak to complement the expected piney juniper notes. That gin basket is also an integral part of what might be the most innovative series of products offered by Old Forge, their Distiller’s Select series. The basket acts as a pressure infuser to impart interesting flavor combinations into a base 92 proof spirit that is great with just tonic water or as the foundation for inventive cocktails. Rather than just using the syrups and extracts that add flavor and color to the moonshine products, Shanton uses fresh ingredients in his Distiller’s Select Series, although some recipes do include a little but of extract to accentuate the flavors. Shanton is probably a pretty good cook in
the kitchen, because some of his flavor combinations are absolutely delicious, notably Ginger/Lemongrass, Orange/Rosemary. Cherry/Basil and Peach/Habanero. Other fun flavors include Sarsparilla made from real roots and also a blend of three different types of mint. Future releases will include sophisticated flavor combos such as Lemon/ Fennel, Cucumber/Dill and Anise. There’s more good news coming for Old Forge as they install a new 300-gallon still which will expand both their capacity and capabilities as a distillery. Where the old still system uses four 5500 watt water heater elements to warm the mash, the new stainless steel system will be steam jacketed and will be great for both cooking and stripping runs. The old copper still will continue to be used for rectifying. Shanton is quite excited about the distillery’s future and his role there. “They let me produce what I want how I want to make it!” Considering how their product line has expanded in just two years, the owner’s faith in Shanton is well-placed.
6448 Nolensville Rd (615) 283-8657
2805 Old Fort Pkwy (615) 295-2332
Eat! Drink! Be merry!
(But please do so responsibly.) Happy Holidays from Lipman Brothers
THE WINTER ISSUE | Cigar Room
SMOKER’S ABBEY; EAST NASHVILLE’S ONE-STOP SHOP | by Justin Harris
n the heart of East Nashville, where Gallatin Avenue turns into Main St. is a small slice of heaven where locals and tourists can gather 7 days a week...and most days, into the wee hours of the morning. Smoker’s Abbey, which opened in 2013, is a small neighborhood tobacconist with a large selection of boutique cigars, handcrafted tobacco pipes, cigar accessories and apparel and now regional craft beers by the bottle, can and on tap. Envisioned to just be a spot where he
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and his buddies could hang out and smoke cigars and pipes, owner Joshua Stump’s idea turned into a full-fledged business. “My intent was never to compete with other shops in the area, I just wanted a place to relax and hang out with good people,” says Stump. Three years later, Smoker’s Abbey has become the spot in Middle Tennessee to find those unique and small batch cigars that other brick and mortar shops cannot get or won’t take a chance on. Affectionately known as “The Abbey” to
those that frequent it, the staff has managed to create an atmosphere of community, as there seem to be no strangers in the establishment. With a slogan that boasts to provide “Peace for Your Soul”, they promote the lifestyle of enjoying fine cigars and fellowshipping with like-minded individuals and lovers of the leaf. Providing a little something for everyone, Smoker’s Abbey is frequented by professionals taking a quick break during their workdays and those that just want to meet up for herfs or
Cigar Room | THE WINTER ISSUE
cigar gatherings at night. Newcomers and experienced cigar smokers alike are welcomed, as the knowledgeable staff is well equipped to educate and help clients find a special gift, a cigar that suits your immediate need, or one to take home and enjoy on your patio. Business for Smoker’s Abbey has been on the rise despite looming FDA regulations, which are threatening to put insurmountable taxes and stipulations on the cigar industry. While manufacturers have been hesitate to release new cigars because of the restrictions, Smoker’s Abbey just recently introduced their very own house blend cigar called the Saint Francis. Produced by the Esteban Carreras Cigar Company out of California, the Saint Francis, who is the Patron Saint of Nature and founder of The Franciscan Order, was the inspiration and impetus for the shop’s owner and management team to create their signature stick. Saint Francis Wrapper:Nicaraguan Habano Maduro Binder: Nicaragua Filler: Nicaragua Vitola for Eval: 5 1/2 x 54 Toro Brandishing a deep, dark chocolate brown wrapper, the Abbey house blend is a silky and attractive cigar, complete with an in-shop applied chocolate colored ribbon (representing the
brown habit or monk’s cloak of Saint Francis) as opposed to the paper cigar labels we’re accustomed to seeing. The construction of the Saint Francis is very traditional and rugged in that it sports a Cuban-styled “pigtail” and a “shaggy” unfinished foot. The taste of the cigar is anything but traditional though, as the Nicaraguan tobacco looks and tastes very similar to that of a milk stout craft beer. Deep rich cocoa notes, nutmeg, sugar and cream combine to make a complex and enjoyably smooth smoke. In September, Smoker’s Abbey took their offerings up one more notch as they began to offer craft beer. From Wiseacre Brewing out of Memphis, Yee Haw Brewing Company of Johnson City, to Good People Brewing Company from Alabama, the Abbey has a constant rotation of taps and bottles to ensure consumers have plenty of beverage options every few weeks. Seeking to provide their clients with whatever their palates crave, be it fine cigars or great local beer, Smoker’s Abbey has become a one-stop shop in East Nashville and Middle Tennessee for those that enjoy an easy-going, fun vibe. Smoker’s Abbey is located at 604 Gallatin Avenue, Suite 102, Nashville, TN, and they are open everyday to partake in a fine cigar and a beverage with you, encouraging you to find that rest for your soul.
TNCRAFTBEERMAG.COM | 27
THE WINTER ISSUE | PAIRINGS
COMING HOME R econne c t in g w it h Fa m il y | By Nancy Vinneau | Photography by Karan Simpson
’ve traveled a lot, lived and cooked in 22 states,” muses Corey King, executive chef of Harvest at Homestead. “My food reflects the culture of all those places.” That spans the sea-tofork traditions of two coasts, from New England to the Pacific Northwest, and takes in regional influences as diverse as New York Italian, New Orleans Creole, and his Tennessee roots. A desire to reconnect with his father, with whom he’d lost contact as a youth, initially prompted King’s return
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to his native state. An opening for executive chef at the unique property in Thompson’s Station convinced the Johnson and Wales graduate to stay. Construction of Homestead Manor began in 1809 by a Revolutionary War gunsmith and his wife, Francis and Mary Giddens, and is steeped in the region’s history. During the Civil War, the Confederacy led cavalry charges across its fields, and the antebellum home became a makeshift hospital. In the decades that followed,
Homestead Manor served as a general store and post office. More recently, it was a tearoom until purchased by A. Marshall Family Foods (Puckett’s Grocery, Puckett’s Boat House, Scout’s Pub) for a fine restaurant and event center. These days, its grounds, including a solar-powered greenhouse, are devoted to growing herbs and vegetables for the restaurant, giving Harvest at Homestead hyper-local status for its farm-to-table fare. That makes chef King proud.
PAIRINGS | THE WINTER ISSUE
Furthermore, he’s found abundant sources for meats and other products within an immediate 40-mile radius of the restaurant. “We butcher whole hogs and send the belly out to be specially cured for our bacon. Our beef is ground to my specs,” he says. And, of course, I use local beer in a few marinades, as well as my fried onion batter and pizza dough.” After years of moving around, Corey King is feeling settled and content. He’s close to family. With a focus on local food and drink, he’s cooking in an historic place dedicated to preserving the past while ensuring the future. A cunning array of Tennessee craft beers at hand, King has put together some tempting winter pairings with some of his favorite dishes offered at the restaurant.
BEEF &BEER/HAP & HARRY’S Whether it’s the crisp golden brew of Tennessee Lager or the deep brown, bready yet bitter balance of Tennessee Ale, King believes Hap&Harry’s beers and his beef dishes make ideal partners. “Both are terrific for easy drinking with everyday comfort food,” he says. “I’d pair the Tennessee Lager with my short ribs, and the ale with
my burger, but, come to think of it, the reverse would be just as good.” His Triple B burger has got it all: a hefty grass-fed patty stacked with thick strips of house bacon, crunchy beer-batter onion rings, and crumbles of gorgonzola to pump up the umami. But in cold weather, there’s nothing like the complex comfort of beef short ribs, simmered to succulence in a heady broth.
LITTLE HARPETH LOVE CHICKEN SCRATCH AND UPSTREAM The love of Little Harpeth beers among chefs is widespread. King joins the ranks who hail Chicken Scratch for its straight up clean and refreshing taste. It stands up well to most foods, without overwhelming them. Its light herbal/floral character and hint of corn sweetness is a match for King’s Grilled Portobello Mushroom stuffed with herbed goat cheese. Brewed in the tradition of California Commons, Upstream is a coppery pour, crisp and toasty on the front and slightly woody and hoppy on the finish: just right with a platter of King’s charred carrots. Grown on the Homestead farm, the sweet root veggies are seasoned in basil oil before the char. King completes the plate with a curious and delectable sprinkling of brown butter “dirt.”
YAZOO SUE When he tasted this porter, it inspired King to alter his pizza dough recipe, replacing water with Yazoo Sue. Good thinking. Cherrywood smoked, it imparts a mellow smoky malt flavor to the crust. And as King starts his pizzas on the grill, and finishes them in a brick oven, that smokiness gets further enhanced. A glass of Sue is perfect with any of his pizzas—especially the meaty ones with house sausage and brisket.
GOTTA GET UP TO GET DOWN Rare Ethiopian coffee beans are at the heart of this milk stout, created by the folks at Wiseacre Brewing in Memphis. Those beans imbue it with silken coffee and chocolate notes and an overlay of berry fruit. Get up! Smooth, slightly sweet, this could be your ultimate dessert beer. King pairs it with a marvelous Butternut Squash Cheesecake, made by Homestead pastry chef Lokelani Alabanza. She crowns the confection with candied walnuts, bourbon glaze and a sprig of mint plucked from the garden. Get down!
HARVEST AT HOMESTEAD 4683 Columbia Pike, Thompson Station, TN 615-538-6113 homesteadmanor.com
TNCRAFTBEERMAG.COM | 29
THE WINTER ISSUE | HEAD BREWER
L TO R: CRIS ELLENBECKER, BRANDON GREENWOOD, JAY HOLLINGSHEAD AND CHRIS HAYS
SILLY NAME, SERIOUS BEER Yee-Haw B re w in g Co m pa n y an d i t s B re w m as t e r, B r an d o n Gre e n wood | by: Rob Shomaker
t’s hard not to reflect on my childhood memories of 7am on Saturday morning, watching the Dukes of Hazzard, in syndication of course, pull another one over on Boss Hogg and Rosco P. Coltrane. Somehow the words, “Yee Haw” are wrapped up in that memory. Perhaps it is a truly southern phrase. One of euphoria and excitement that makes it difficult not to smile, just a little, when you say it. While many have questioned the name, it may be a better fit than we think. I had heard the rumors. A top tier brewer who’s last stop was Lagunitas in Chicago. He had taken that facility from 0 to 300,000 barrels of beer in a matter of months while at the same time overseeing the facility in Petaluma, California. When my good friend in beer, Jeremy Walker, made the leap to Yee-Haw Brewing Company to lead the sales side, I knew it was legit as Jeremy had plenty of opportunities over the years; he chose this one. Brandon stands at a medium height and build. He carries himself as one who could just as easily tote sacks of grain all day as he could push a pen. Currently, he also lacks the all-too-common brewer’s beard instead opting for the clean shaven look. I was told he could be a little gruff, a little rough around the edges and even Jeremy lovingly calls him “Oscar.” While I had met him once before, I could understand the impression. However, behind that initial impression there was more, a richness, a
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focus, a determination, a genuineness I couldn’t initially put my finger on. Brandon hails from Unionville, Pennsylvania, just outside of Philadelphia with a background in organic chemistry. However, it was a trip to Prague in 1992 that changed everything for him. Brandon shares that he was staying in a hotel directly across the square from a brewpub. In the mornings he’d walk across the square and order a stone mug of beer to drink while reading the paper. He described it as dark, rich with the flavors of a warm chocolate chip cookie right out of the oven. It was unlike anything he had ever experienced and opened his eyes to the way beer could be. A few years later, with a Bachelor of Science degree under his belt, Brandon began evaluating whether or not to pursue an advanced degree. He had also been home brewing a fair amount by this time. It was a conversation with his mother that led him to begin looking at brewing schools and in 1994 he selected Heriot-Watt in Edinburgh, Scotland, to pursue a masters in brewing, malting and distilling science. It was in Scotland that Brandon also got his first brewing job, Caledonian Brewing Company. He walked in the door and asked if he could work there while he studied, for free. The gentleman didn’t know quite what to make of this American so he told Brandon to come back at 4:30am and be ready to work. At 4:30am Brandon was at the brewery. Waiting on him was a jumpsuit
and a pair of boots. While it was hard, very manual labor, this time had an effect on Brandon’s work ethic and perspective on beer. Working in the brewery also had an additional advantage in that it helped him decipher the thick Scottish accent which he was able to apply in the classroom as well. “I cried the day I left Scotland,” he says. However, with his studies concluded and Scotland brewing jobs difficult to come by, it was time to come back to the states. Stroh’s in St. Paul, Minnesota was his next stop before returning to the Philadelphia craft beer scene. He setup Nodding Head Brewery and Restaurant and spent 5 years there before an opportunity at Genesee Brewery presented itself. Brandon spent 3 years with Genesee as an assistant brewmaster and technical brewer. He then moved to Mike’s Hard Lemonade providing both brewing and technical services for 5 years. As he tells it, Mike’s Hard Lemonade was a great gig that allowed him a multitude of opportunities. He also added that the focus on quality at Mike’s made an impression on him. While he enjoyed his time there, the travel kept him constantly on the go. That’s when he met Tony Magee of Lagunitas where he spent a brief 2 years building out Chicago and overseeing Petaluma. Lagunitas was also a great gig, but with a wife, a young child and a travel schedule much more hectic than he had initially anticipated, it was time for a change. Brandon and Joe Baker, who was looking
HEAD BREWER | THE WINTER ISSUE
to start a brewery, crossed paths. Joe invited Brandon down to Tennessee to take a look around. Mountains, plenty of fishing, a slower pace of life and southern courtesy helped seal the deal. Brandon was in. While he knew the brewing business inside and out, it was time for his focus on quality of the product to intersect with his desire for a certain quality of life. Johnson City was the place, Yee-Haw was the beer. He adds, “I am all in on this one!” We began our visit with Brandon in the brew house which sits just to the left of the tasting room it shares in the historic “Tweetsie” depot in downtown Johnson City. Brandon designed the space to maximize flow, and it shows. Mill, brew house, fermentation, brite tanks, bottling/kegging then the door – all in a line from right to left as we view it. The space is immaculate with everything having its place. Brandon shows us the grain room while touching on the materials used to brew, “garbage in, garbage out,” he says with a smile. “You can’t make a quality product if you don’t start with quality ingredients.” This year the brewery will produce 11,000 barrels of beer with the ability to grow up to 17,000 which, at this pace, will come sooner rather than later. There is also another element to the brewery that gives it an additional edge; a lab. “That was a condition of my employment,” Brandon says. “We had to have a lab.” Robbie Brooks acts as the QA Manager and as Robbie shows the lab space Brandon casually comments that each batch of beer has 36 separate tests performed on it. I asked for clarification – 36 is the number. While I am uncertain of lab to brewery metrics in the 11K-17K barrel range, I do know how many breweries I’ve been in and how many labs I haven’t seen. A lab is certainly a competitive advantage. Further, with four mainstay beers; Pale Ale, Eighty, Pilsner and Dunkel – going as far south as the Georgia line, as far north as southwest Virginia and as far west as Nashville, the
beer has to be right – every time. We retire to the tasting room where he pours a round of Kolsch. While not one of the mainstay beers, this was a beer brewed specifically for Jeremy Walker’s wedding. “I like this one,” says Brandon. “We may keep it around.” It’s sweet, light, fruity, thirst quenching. Each of Yee-Haw’s beers has a consistency and focus about them that is reflective of the man at the helm. While he may have seemed a bit gruff at first, as we walked through the brewery and I watched him interact with this team the sense of respect that each person has for him was apparent. I am reminded of professors and coaches of my youth who, while I may have been uncertain how to act around them at first, I knew I was in the presence of greatness. The respect, admiration and appreciation he has for his team is also very apparent as he describes their enthusiasm and their shared commitment to making great, high quality beer. While Brandon may have assembled stainless steel and grain, he’s also brought together a dedicated, focused team who understands his insistence on quality. Quality in the materials, quality in the process, in cleanliness, in the metrics from the lab and in the consumer’s hand. “They make this place a success,” he says. His focus on quality extends further though. “Beer is meant to enhance an experience not be the experience,” he explains. Those experiences often involve other people, like it did during our conversation that August afternoon. While Brandon is diligent in his work, he genuinely cares for his team who makes Yee-Haw possible. He relishes in their success and in the fact that with Yee-Haw his weekends are free. Within 15 minutes he can be with his son, fishing in the mountains. The right person in the right place can unleash an avalanche of change and create excellent beer. That person is Brandon and that place is Johnson City. I’ll say “Yee-Haw” to that.
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THE WINTER ISSUE | BEER RUN
ANHEUSER-BUSCH A Foundati o n of T h e G at e w ay C i t y ’ s B e e r C u lt u re | by Melissa D. Corbin
ike many of us, Budweiser was the first beer I ever drank. I didn’t initially care for it. Folks would say things like “you have to acquire a taste for it.” My knee jerk response was usually, “does that mean horse piss is an acquired taste?” Eventually, my recycle bin was covered up with empty Bud bottles. Shall we just say that a lot of ferment has passed these lips since those days? There’s a certain nostalgia attached to that red and white label. And the Clydesdales? Forget about it. I still tear up with that lost puppy Budweiser ad. Though, the “Brewed the Hard Way” ad is far from embracing the cult of craft brews. Does nostalgia come with a price? Earlier this year, the Anheuser-Busch (AB) InBev merger created quite the stir. The global force it continues to bear in the beer industry is staggering. “The reality is that within 5 years, AB is going to own a local brewery in every state. They know 32 | TN CRAFT BEER MAGAZINE
what to do to be successful. If you don’t says Travis Moore- Senior Brewmaster at have resources, it’s real tough. They’re a big the St. Louis flagship AB brewery. The giant company. They’re going to do what 35-year old University of Georgia graduate a big giant company does,” says The St. says that his “passion for brewing comes Louis Brewer’s Guild Executive Director, from being involved in the brewing Troika Brodsky. community and having a passion for the Even still, small and independent craft different styles of beer.” He continues, brewers were up 6.8% as of September “Respecting each style and its relevance is 2016, according to Bart Watson, Chief key. This is what drives me to remain active Economist for the Brewers Association. in the brewing community.” Brodsky contends that while the defiBrodsky suggests that there’s not one nition of “craft beer” has become cloudy, St. Louis resident who has not been it is the support and knowledge from touched by AB’s presence in their town, generations of AB brewers that have “They’ve by no means walled themselves created such a thriving beer culture as the off into their own castle. They care one in St. Louis. about our city. These are still people “I’ve seen our brewmasters who are an elite who are wanting to make good beer... group of folks and who are highly trained; There’s not an institution in town that at times, they’ve left and gone off to do they haven’t supported.” Moore concurs, their own thing. But, the cool thing is that “We’re beer people, too. We have a lot of because of our focus on quality, consistency respect for local craft breweries in our and passing that brewing knowledge, we hometowns. We believe that they make retain the best brewmasters in the industry,” up an important part of the fabric of
BEER RUN | THE WINTER ISSUE
the beer culture here in St. Louis. We work together and collaborate every chance we get.” Take the St. Louis Heritage Beer Festival. Ten years ago, there were only 7 post-prohibition St. Louis breweries. These fierce independents wanted to celebrate the beer culture of their beloved Gateway City. AB bankrolled that inclusive celebration which has grown to more than 40 breweries from the St. Louis 100-mile radius for the annual June festival. And, in 2012 the St. Louis Brewer’s Guild resulted from these AB funded beginnings. When a fire wrecked havoc on the Ferguson Brewery last year, AB invited the Ferguson folks to pour their own recipes at the AB Beer Garden in support of the employees who were left without income during the re-build. More than $6k was raised from that single event. Stories like these are why setting up shop in a town where the “big boys” are has its advantages. “You can go down a rabbit hole, and if you really want to get negative about it…well, I’m happy to leave that to other people. AB is an old pre-prohibition brewery, you get to see the horses, and you get free beer at the end. The tour is really cool. I’ll usually take folks around to several breweries, but I also take them to AB, always,” explains Brodsky. See for yourself by touring this historical pre-prohibition brewery, and don’t forget to check out the Clydesdale paddocks. The Biergarten offers many of the AnheuserBusch products, and their menu is quite the spread. During the holidays is an extra special time at AB. Now in its 31st year, Anheuser-Busch will host its annual family-friendly “Brewery Lights” event this winter. The brewery will have thousands of lights adorning the iconic red
brick buildings for guests of all ages to enjoy, as they stroll through the brewery grounds. Attendees can roast s’mores in fire pits and enjoy a meal at the Biergarten. Guests 21+ are encouraged to also sample the beers. Folks can get more details about Brewery Lights and other tours at www.budweisertours.com. At the end of the day, Moore is a “Bud guy, through and through.” Actually, he says the only thing he drinks more of is water. Yet, he says he enjoys sampling any beer, and says that’s how you learn. His advice for brewers is “First and foremost, brewers shouldn’t cut corners…We take a very hands on approach from ‘seed to sip’ all the way to our daily sensory panel tasting. You have to have focus on process and quality.” Beyond the AB Biergarten, Moore suggests these St. Louis top picks: Urban Chestnut: New World Meets Old World at Missouri’s first LEED certified craft brewery. Schlafly Beer: Missiouri’s first new brewpub since prohibition, it’s now the state’s largest locally owned brewery. 4 Hands Brewery: Offering four year-round beers along with a slew of seasonal beers. “If you come to St Louis and put in the effort to see several people, you’re going to see the range of what’s possible in beer. We’ve got the history. It’s what we’ve been a part of for 250 years…from the home of the largest brewery in the world to the more than 50 breweries in our town,” explains Brodsky. The St. Louis Brewer’s Guild offers an inclusive look at breweries within the 100-mile radius of St. Louis at stlouisbeer.org.
After all these years, the contents of my recycle bin reflects a much broader palate, and you’d be hard pressed to find a Budweiser in the mix. Regardless, I for one am grateful for the heritage of AnheuserBusch and how it has paved the way for those who respect the craft…the most noble craft of beer. If you head out for a beer run to St. Louis, here are a couple of my favorite places to stay: Hotel Ignacio 3411 Olive St St. Louis MO 63103 (314) 977-4411 www.hotelignaciostl.com River City Casino & Hotel 777 River City Casino Boulevard St. Louis, MO 63125 (314) 388-7777 www.rivercity.com While waiting to hang with the Clydesdales on my last visit to AB, the kitchen whipped up fresh pretzels served with their house mustard. Whether it’s used for dips, marinades or even a vinaigrette, this is one easy recipe worth keeping on hand.
SHOCK TOP WHOLE GRAIN MUSTARD Recipe Compliments of The Biergarten at the Anheuser-Busch St. Louis Brewery and Tour Center 1 bottle (12oz) Shock Top Belgian White 2 Cups Yellow Mustard 3 Cups Dijon Mustard 2 Cups Whole Grain Mustard 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt Blend ingredients and refrigerate until ready to use!
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THE WINTER ISSUE | SOCIAL PAGES
12SOUTH WINTER WARMER On December 3rd, the Winter Warmer was back for its sixth year. Woodland Wine Merchant hosted another successful Rhizome event and 45 breweries brought a wonderful afternoon to our brew loving public. | photography by Sean von Tagen
34 | TN CRAFT BEER MAGAZINE
HOME BREW | THE WINTER ISSUE
A CONVERSATION WITH DYNAMIC ALE ARTISANS | by Art Whitaker
very year, there are several homebrew competitions that are held across the state. These competitions held in Memphis, Clarksville, Nashville, and Chattanooga make up the circuit where the medal winners are tabulated and the Tennessee Homebrewer of the year is awarded. This issue we talked with the 2015 Tennessee Homebrewer or in this case, the Homebrewers of the Year. Ryan Golden and Matt Warren of Chattanooga, also known as Dynamic Ale Artisans won the coveted title. These two brewers and members of the Barley Mob homebrewing club have accumulated a large collection of medals over the years, and have won several Pro-Am competitions also. TCBM: How long have y’all been brewing and what got you started? Ryan: I got started about 8 years ago with my cousin, Rob. We thought it sounded like a cool hobby & like most people just hoped the end result was drinkable. We brewed three batches that were all highly drinkable but for whatever reason didn't stick with it, all of our equipment sat in my basement for a couple of years until Matt & I started talking about brewing together. Matt: We brewed our first batch together on Jan 29, 2011. We were both already pretty heavily into craft beer (so we thought, haha) and just decided one day that we should dig his equipment out. If it were not for Ryan & Rob taking that initial plunge none of this may have ever happened. TCBM: Y’all have won several Pro-Ams and recently your collaboration with Olde Hickory Brewery out of Hickory, NC was on tap at the GABF(Great American Beer Festival). Tell us a little about some of the Pro-Ams you’ve won. Ryan: We have won twice at Chattanooga Brewing Company((APA and Irish Red Ale), Cool Springs Brewery(Flanders Red)
and at the above mentioned Olde Hickory Brewery(Imperial Berliner with Brett) Matt: We've really enjoyed every pro we've had the chance to brew with, everyone has been really cool to us. We were even lucky enough to get invited to Monkey Town Brewing to collab on a Blueberry Berliner. The Flanders Red with Cool Springs is still barrel aging, really looking forward to that one. TCBM: You guys brew a prolific amount of beer. How often do you brew and how much time does it take out of your lives. Matt: We've only had 58 batches/brew days in an almost 6 year span but ever since we got a bigger system 2 years ago our batches have been between 10-15 gal & we'll often split a batch up into a few variants. We brew pretty sporadically. I'm lucky enough to have an understanding wife(Danielle) & kids(Dylan & Jackson) that tolerate my brewing. Ryan: We've averaged roughly 10 batches per year since we started & I'm not married so managing that aspect is easy for me but I do tip my hat to Matt for being able to juggle kids, work, marriage, etc. TCBM: What is your philosophy on brewing and are there any pro ambitions: Ryan: I think both of us enjoy drinking beers that fall on the more extreme end of the spectrum regardless of style which in turn affects how our recipes are constructed. Going pro is definitely something we want to explore. We still have much work to do in terms of planning but the feedback we have received from the many competitions, ProAms, & beer fests we have attended over the years has been very positive. Matt: Attention to detail/sweating the small stuff & never being completely satisfied with a beer or process. Constant improvement or in one word "dynamic" which is why we chose the name Dynamic
Ale Artisans. I'm in love with both the art & science side of brewing. We have been pretty set on the idea of going pro for a few years now. It's just a matter of time & money at this point. For this month’s recipe Ryan and Matt have submitted their multiple award winning Barrel-aged Trappist single. You can follow the exploits of these two on their Facebook page: Dynamic Ale Artisans
EXALTATION (BARREL AGED SOUR TRAPPIST SINGLE)
OG - 1.050, FG - 1.001, 6.4% ABV 94% Pilsner 3% Vienna 3% Wheat Malt Mash @ 154° for 60 min 14.2 IBUs of Sterling (90 min) 7.3 IBUs of Sterling (20 min) 3.7 IBUs of Sterling (flameout) Primary w/ WLP530 (Abbey Ale Yeast) @ 67° then age ~16 months in a Flanders Red barrel Optional (age in any barrel or add soaked oak cubes to carboy) Optionally pitch some nice dregs into barrel (we used Crooked Stave, Russian River, Birra Del Borgo, Cantillon, Jolly Pumpkin, & Evil Twin) ***This base beer is excellent on it's own but the barrel microbes will transform it into a completely different beer that is well worth the wait. For all things Tennessee Homebrewing follow Tennessee Homebrewers Guild on Facebook and seek out your local homebrew club, and as always, Relax Y’all, and drink a Homebrew. TNCRAFTBEERMAG.COM | 35
THE WINTER ISSUE | HOME BREW
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FUN & GAMES | THE WINTER ISSUE
DEMOGORGON BY TOBY DARLING
ON YOUR MARKS, GET SET, SHAKE! | by Toby Darling | photography by Mia Littlejohn
hiskey and beer have always gone well together. They share production tactics, have overlapping histories, and have stood side-by-side in a Boilermaker for as long as cocktails have existed. However, in the last several years, there’s been growing interest from bartenders in reinventing the possibilities of beer-whiskey cocktails...and that’s why Chattanooga Whiskey decided to launch the “Great Whiskey Comes from Great Beer” Cocktail Competition. Spanning Chattanooga Whiskey’s current distribution territory across Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina, the brand has made a name for itself as an awardwinning Straight Bourbon Whiskey with a loyal fanbase. The small company thrives in collaboration, always supporting other masters of their craft and their start-up creative energy. The Great Whiskey Comes from Great Beer Cocktail Competition will engage partnerships with local bartenders and breweries through free, but ticketed, events in each market. The first competition took place in
Chattanooga on October 16, 2016 at the Tennessee Stillhouse, the company’s MicroDistillery. This research and development facility is conveniently located directly across from the Chattanooga Choo Choo in the city’s booming Southside district. Chattanooga Whiskey teamed up with a popular local brewery, Hutton & Smith Brewing Company, whose brews have been making waves and gaining attention nationwide, having recently brought home a medal from the renowned Great American Beer Festival 2016. The rules were simple: ten of Chattanooga’s top bartenders throughout the city were invited to come up with creative, unique, and complex cocktails using both Chattanooga Whiskey and Hutton & Smith beer. The cocktails were absolutely incredible, with some competitors even using tricky ingredients such as egg whites, shrubs, fire, and dry ice in their cocktails. Despite the nerves, each bartender was met with a round of applause and the evening progressed seamlessly. Additional competitions will take place in
Atlanta, Charleston, and Nashville in 2017. Chattanooga Whiskey will be teaming up with a brewery in each one of these cities. The first and second place winner of each competition will be invited to Chattanooga to compete in a final showdown for a chance to win a ticket to “Tales of the Cocktail” in New Orleans. “We’re really excited to have the opportunity to team up with local breweries and share the excitement with the city’s bartenders,” said company Founder and CEO Tim Piersant. “It’s an opportunity to celebrate ingenuity that circles back to Chattanooga Whiskey’s motto: rules are good, change them.” DEMOGORGON by Toby Darling
2oz 1816 Cask .5oz Vanilla Stout Beer & Mango Simple Syrup 3 dashes of Fee Brothers Peach Bitters Garnish: Dried Mango Glassware: Rocks Combine all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice and stir. Strain into a rocks glass with a large ice cube. TNCRAFTBEERMAG.COM | 37
THE WINTER ISSUE | Last Call
ASGARD; A VIKING BREW LOVE AFFAIR | by Don Else
his episode of Last Call brings us to Columbia, Tenn. and Asgard Brewing Company. Asgard is one of the latest kvamas, err, arrivals, on the Tennessee craft beer scene. They intend to “craft beers worthy of Gods and Heroes!” Nestled on a bluff overlooking the scenic Duck River in the heart of downtown Columbia, Asgard opened on October 1, just in time for famous Columbia Muletown MusicFest. This theme based brewery is based heavily on Norse Mythos. Asgard, in Norse mythology, is one of the Nine Worlds and home of the Aesir tribe of Nordic Gods. It is ruled over by Odin and his wife, the Goddess Frigg. But why the Norse theme? Well, the base story, is that, like the Vikings, Tennessee has a rich agricultural history and an abundance of outdoor activities. But John Porter, President and son
38 | TN CRAFT BEER MAGAZINE
of co-founder/CEO Dr. Stephen Porter, simply says “Vikings are awesome!” It's more than that of course. John is a history buff and enjoys watching the History Channel and studying fraeoi, uh history, when possible. He finds himself continuously drawn to Viking and Norse history, and sees the hype established by the Marvel Thor character and the History Channel Vikings show. The Porter's also saw the Viking theme in beer as an untapped market with great potential. Regulations make it very difficult for Scandinavian beer to be exported, yet the styles are very unique and groundbreaking. The Vikings are known for having made great beer, including mjodr, er mead, introducing local arctic ingredients such as juniper and heather. Asgard will take a similar approach, in
that they are highly committed to using locally sourced ingredients, including famous Tennessee honey. The advent of the brewery goes back many years, actually. When Stephen was in school at the University of Michigan, he and his buddies made strong (8% and up) beer in a 55 gallon trash can and bottled it in recycled bottles recovered from the back of local bars. They even looked into an opportunity with another brewery a few ago but ultimately did not make the move. The quaint and very cool rustic little taproom is open six days a week in downtown Columbia. This is a destination brewery. Slide in on a Saturday or Sunday and make a day of it. Tour the town, hit River Walk Park just across the Duck River, and enjoy a few pints at one of Tennessee's newest breweries. Skol!
Published on Dec 9, 2016