Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Celebrity Chef & Local Brewmaster To Open Mantra Artisan Ales

By Matt Kelsey

The growing Middle Tennessee brewery scene welcomes Celebrity Chef Maneet Chauhan and award-winning Brewmaster Derrick Morse, who will open Mantra Artisan Ales, later this fall.

Chef Chauhan, of Chauhan Ale & Masala House is partnering with Brewmaster Morse, formerly of Cool Springs Brewery, to open a brewery and taproom that will feature high-quality craft beers with daring flavor profiles influenced by Chauhan’s Indian heritage, combined with Morse’s brewing expertise.

Located in Franklin, Tennessee at the former location of Turtle Anarchy Brewing Company, Mantra Artisan Ales will feature 24 taps, including six year-round staples, paired with many seasonal ales.

Mantra will feature six flagship beers, including the Saffron Cardamom IPA, Milk Chai Stout, Sour Belgian Style Pale, Sour Flanders Style Red, Belgian Style Wit/Saison Blend with Coriander and Bitter Orange Peel and a Belgian Style Amber.

Nashville will be the primary launch market for Mantra, followed by Chattanooga, Knoxville, and Memphis. Additional markets, such as Asheville, N.C., Bowling Green, Ky. and Cincinnati, Ohio will be explored in 2016.

Just as Turtle Anarchy was a family-run operation, Mantra will also be a labor of love, as Chauhan’s husband, Vivek Deora, is in charge of growth and business development, while Morse’s wife, Kaleigh, will manage the taproom. Chad Frost, who previously worked for Derrick Morse at Cool Springs Brewery, will be assisting with the brewing duties. "

This project is a dream child of my husband Vivek and mine. Both of us have been working for years on infusing spices and bold flavors into beer,” says Chauhan. “Our dream is finally coming to a delicious fruition and we couldn't be more excited to partner with a scientific wizard like Derrick and our amazing team. The world needs to watch out for some extremely creative and intriguing beer!" 

“Since entering into the beer business many years ago, I’ve wanted to own my own brewery,” says Morse. “To work with the most talented people I know is a true blessing and will ensure the success of Mantra.”

For more information about Mantra Artisan Ales, visit their website here.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Goose Island Returns to Nashville for Migration Week 2015

You might remember last year when Goose Island migrated to Music City for a week full of events.  Well guess what, they're coming back!

During this year's Migration Week, you'll have the chance to sample a handful of obscure offerings, partake in beer & food pairings, as well as choose from an extensive list of Goose Island brews at tap takeovers around town.  Here's the rundown of the schedule:

Tuesday - August 25 - Kick Off Party Tap Takeover at Hurry Back - 6-8 PM
Featuring Halia, Oktoberfest, Sofie, Matilda, 312 Wheat, Bourbon County Proprietors, Bourbon County Vanilla Rye, & Bourbon County Barleywine.

Wednesday - August 26 - Shrimp Boil at Miel - 6-9 PM
Featuring Sofie, Matilda, & Oktoberfest.

Wednesday - August 26 - Beer Dinner at Butchertown Hall - 7-9 PM 
Featuring Bourbon County Coffee Stout 2012, Sofie, Matilda, Goose Island IPA, Oktoberfest, 312 Pale, & Lolita.

Thursday - August 27- Sampling at Craft Brewed - 4-6 PM 
Featuring Bourbon County Stout 2013, Bourbon County Vanilla Rye, Juliet 2010, & Matila.

Thursday - August 27 - Sweets & Sours at Goozy - 7-9 PM
Featuring Hailia, Madame Rose, Lolita, Bourbon County Coffee, & Sofie

Friday - August 28 - Tap Takeover at 312 Pizza - 6-8 PM
Featuring Bourbon County Stout, Bourbon County Barleywine, Bourbon County Proprietors, 312 Wheat, & Matilda.

Friday - August 28 - Tap Takeover at Hop Stop - 8-10 PM
Featuring Bourbon County Stout , Bourbon County Coffee, Bourbon County Vanilla Rye, & Sofie.

Friday - August 28 - Tap Takeover at 312 Pizza - 6-8 PM
Featuring Bourbon County Stout, Bourbon County Barleywine, Bourbon County Proprietors, 312 Wheat, & Matilda.

Friday - August 28 - Tap Takeover at Hop Stop - 8-10 PM
Featuring Bourbon County Stout, Bourbon County Coffee, Bourbon County Vanilla Rye, & Sofie.>

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Devils Backbone Brewing Company Expands Distribution To Tennessee

Lexington, Virginia's highly acclaimed and award-winning Devils Backbone Brewing Company will expand distribution to include Tennessee.  Their award-winning beers will be available in Nashville starting next week.

Devils Backbone is the largest craft brewery in Virginia and one of the most award-winning breweries in the United States.  Currently the reigning 2014 Great American Beer Festival Mid-Sized Brewing Company and Brew Team of the Year, the company also received GABF 2013 awards for Small Brewing Company and Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year, and 2012 Small Brewpub and Small Brewpub Brewer of the Year.  In addition to Tennessee, Devils Backbone is available in Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, and the District of Columbia.

Next week, you'll be able to have your first taste of Devils Backbone's award-winning beers as they celebrate their arrival in Nashville by hosting a handful of launch parties:

Tuesday, August 25
4 - 7 PM - Frugal MacDougal's (Tap Takeover)
6 PM - Broadway Brewhouse Midtown (Tap Takeover)

Wednesday, August 26
7 PM - Flying Saucer (Pint Night & Tap Takeover)
7 PM - Jack Brown’s (Pint Night)

Thursday, August 27
4 PM - Rudies Seafood and Sausage (Tapas Beer Pairing, Tap Takeover, & Specialty Firkin)
5 PM - Edley's 12 South and Edleys East (Tap Takeovers)
5 PM - Filing Station 12 South and Filling Station East (Tap Takeovers)

Friday, August 28
5 PM - Sam’s Sports Grill Murfreesboro (Pint Night & Sampling)
5 PM - Craft Brewed (Tap Takeover, Pint Night, & Growlers To Go)
5 PM - 3 Crow (Tap Takeover)

Saturday, August 29
1 - 3 PM - Wholefoods Green Hills (Samples at the Growler Station)
1 - 3 PM - Wholefoods Franklin (Samples at the Growler Station)
3 PM - 12 South Taproom (Specialty Firkins)

Monday, August 17, 2015

Previewing The 21st Annual Southern Brewers Festival

By Matt Kelsey

In less than a week, the Chattanooga Riverfront will overflow with more than 75 craft beers at the Southern Brewers Festival!

From 2 PM to midnight on Saturday, August 22nd, more than 40 craft breweries will be featured at Ross’s Landing in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Live music at the 21st annual beer festival will be performed by Flow Tribe, Hard Working Americans, The Motet, Lotus and Cory Henry and the Funk Apostles. Expect a rocking good time down by the Tennessee River.
Getting ready for the festival, National Programs and Events Manager Katy DeJonge previews the event:

Can you describe your responsibilities as the National Programs and Events Manager?
I work as the National Programs and Events Manager for the CraftWorks Foundation, which is the charitable arm of CraftWorks Restaurants and Breweries. CraftWorks owns and operates close to 200 brewery restaurants across the country, including Big River Grille, which is the presenting restaurant of Southern Brewers Festival. I help our restaurant teams coordinate large-scale charitable and volunteer activities — basically any event that has over 50 volunteers or will raise over $10,000.”
“It’s basically an event planner position, but I help make sure that our communication is clear with the nonprofits and vendors that we are working with through these activities, manage all financial aspects including payments and ticket sales so they don’t need to be run thru the restaurant, and make sure that the event runs smoothly. Our restaurants host all kinds of fun community activities, so I help with end of school year carnivals for low income schools, back to school backpack filling events, fundraising golf tournaments, holiday dinners on Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, Mustache Olympic events for local charities, tapping parties, and — of course — beer fests.

How did the Southern Brewers Festival get started?
21 years ago, the brewmaster and staff at Big River Grille really felt like there wasn’t much in Chattanooga, regarding hand-crafted beer. They wanted to incite a change, and educate and engage the community in craft beer, which happens to be their specialty. The result was a party in their parking lot, which has grown tremendously in popularity and become over the past 21 years to be known as one of the best beer festivals in the South.

What would you say this event is best known for?If you ask each attendee who walks through the front gate, you will probably hear one of two things: Great Craft Beer and the Music. We are a different type of beer festival in that we provide a wide variety of beer selection, but also provide really great, nationally known music talent. When I look at attendee surveys post event, the question of ‘Why do you attend Southern Brewers Festival?’ is always split down the middle, very evenly, between the two.

What’s new for the event in 2015?
For many years, people have asked for a larger variety of beers on the VIP pier. We’ve made it happen this year! There will be select breweries, in addition to Big River, on the VIP pier this year. Additionally, we’ve got token packages available online for purchase prior to the event. If you purchase ahead of time, you will scan your ticket at the gate and we will hand you your tokens right there, so you won’t have to wait in another line to get your tokens. You can start sampling the minute you walk thru the gate! We also have one additional presale event at our Old Chicago at Northgate Mall. This is the Wednesday before the event, and gives attendees the ability to buy a discounted ticket and discounted tokens right before the event itself.

How would you describe the event to someone who hasn’t experienced it before?
The energy is unreal! So much fun. I don’t even get to drink at the event, but walking through the crowd, you just have so many happy people who are laughing, enjoying a beverage, and dancing to the music. And the views across the river front are unreal. You really can’t beat it. It’s a blast.

How were the forty breweries that will be attending this festival chosen?
Actually, we have 50 as of today. We really focus on hosting breweries that we have relationships with and host in our own restaurants (on the Old Chicago side) as well as local breweries. It’s important to us that people have the ability to try a beer that they can find locally, but may not have tried before. Big River was once a small local restaurant with beers people hadn’t tried before, as well. We want to help others build their audience. The craft-beer community is one where if one succeeds, we all succeed.

As a two-day festival, what can attendees expect?
We are actually back to a one-day festival this year. Last year, we did two days to celebrate our 20th anniversary. So, people need to make sure that they are there on Saturday!

Are there any aspects of the festival that people may not be aware of?
We have great charity partnerships that help execute this event. The local Chattanooga Knights of Columbus chapter coordinates all of the beer pourers for the event. The Chattanooga Community Kitchen and East Tennessee Chapter of Make a Wish are coordinating our other volunteers. We couldn’t do this without the help of their people!

The proceeds of this event benefit the CraftWorks Foundation’s signature programs. Can you tell me a little about those?
As I mentioned above, our restaurants across the country do many things with local charity partnerships. Signature programs really condenses about 20 different events/relationships/local grants that we provide. I’m not sure that you have the time to go into significant detail, but I welcome anyone to visit our website for more details.

Are tickets still available?
Absolutely! And we still have a limited amount of VIP tickets as well. Gate prices are $30 for GA, $125 for VIP access (VIP includes unlimited pours for beers on the pier and complimentary food). Both types of tickets are sold online and also will be available at an even lower price at Old Chicago next Wednesday ($20 GA).

For more information about the Southern Brewers Festival, visit their website here.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Nashville's Top 5 Beers For Summer

Summer is in full swing and it's certainly warming up out there.  Luckily for us, there are plenty of refreshing beers that are brewed locally to keep us quenched.  We put together a list of some of our favorite beers for hot summer day and hope that you'll join us on Twitter and Facebook to discuss which beers keep you refreshed during the dog days of summer!


East Tennessee's infamous Blackberry Farm has recently begun distributing their beer to Nashville.  Previously, it was only available locally at Sean Brock's Husk and demanded a lofty price of $30 a bottle.  Luckily, the bottles can now be found at retail for around $12.99 which is a worthy price for this deliciously refreshing Classic Saison.  Blackberry Farm won a James Beard award for their wine program in 2014, and their beer program has been rapidly gaining attention in their own right.

This beer is currently available in 750 ml bottles.  Look for it at select retail locations or at fine dining establishments.


Nashville's beloved Yazoo Brewing Company has really set the bar high with this traditional gose.  The beer is light and refreshing with some nice lemony-tartness, slight saltiness, and plenty of tangerine-citrus-like flavor.  This is an easy drinker that provides plenty of interesting flavor without being too heavy.

Yazoo Summer is available in cans or on draft.


One of Middle Tennessee's newest breweries, Mill Creek Brewing Company, is the first brewery to do business from Nolensville, TN - a small town south-east of Nashville.  Their facility wont open until the fall, but you can currently try their first beer, Lil Darlin, on tap around town.  It is a very bright and refreshing citrus wheat beer that is sure to be a hit with fans of Bell's Oberon.

Lil Darlin is available on draft only.  Look for it at your favorite bar or growler filling station.


While Jackalope's Rompo is brewed year round and isn't technically a summer beer, it is a beer that is perfect for summer... Especially now that it is available in cans!  This red rye ale has nice fruity esters and a crisp malt body.  It's a light and refreshing option for a hot day, and is perfect for those who aren't a huge fan of hoppy beer.

Jackalope Rompo is available on draft or in 12 oz cans.


HonkyTonk Brewing Company have recently opened in Metro Center, where they have been pumping out some quality beer.  Their West Coast IPA has been a favorite of ours as it is one of the first IPAs brewed locally that packs a HUGE amount of tropical and citrus hop flavor.

This beer is available on draft only.  Look for it at your favorite bar, or drop by HonkyTonk's taproom at 240 Cumberland Bend, Nashville, TN 37214.

Tennessee is home to plenty of refreshing beers.  What is your favorite local summer beer?  Let us know on Twitter or Facebook!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Mill Creek Brewing Company Debuts Inaugural Beer

Nolensville, Tennessee's Mill Creek Brewing Company released their very first beer to the public this week following two years of planning and fundraising.  Last November the brewery emerged with an ambitious Kickstarter campaign and we sat down with Co-Founder Chris Going to discuss the future of the brewery and to sample three of their beers.  Of the beers that we tried, one of them is the first beer available publicly: Lil Darlin.  The beer is a citrus-infused wheat beer that is sure to be a hit with fans of Bell's Oberon, Blue Moon, etc.

Martin’s BBQ in Nolensville hosted a kickoff event on July 16 attended by co-founders Chris Going and Michael Krewson who's brewery grew out of their home brewing experience. “We want to make beer that people will want to keep coming back for,” said Going.  Currently, Mill Creek is contracting with another local brewery to brew Lil Darlin, though they plan to begin production at their own facility in Nolensville beginning in October.  The facility will feature a taproom and offer growler fills and samples.

In the meantime, keep your eyes out for Mill Creek Brewing Company's Lil Darlin at a bar near you! For more information, visit Mill Creek Brewing Company's Facebook page.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Previewing Mafiaoza’s Music City Brewer’s Festival

By Matt Kelsey

Attention Nashville craft beer aficionados: One of the biggest beer festivals of the country will soon return to the Music City!

The 14th Annual Mafiaoza’s Music City Brewer’s Festival returns to Walk of Fame Park in Nashville on July 25th, so there’s plenty of time to prepare. This outdoor festival is so big, it’s divided into two different times: Session A lasts from 12 noon – 4 PM and Session B takes place from 6 – 10 PM. There will be live music, food available for purchase from local restaurants and caterers, and craft beer featured from many local, regional, national and international breweries creating a fun and lively party atmosphere for everyone to enjoy.

Looking ahead, Regional Event Director Candace Price discusses the upcoming event.

What is Mafiaoza’s Music City Brewer’s Festival best known for?
This is the original beer festival in Nashville, the oldest, the biggest and many say the best.

What do you think is the secret for its longevity?
This is the oldest beer festival in Nashville and one of the oldest in TN. Our event started as an chance for brewers to have their product sampled to consumers as a marketing opportunity. This is and always has been an event for brewers to launch their products and promote to consumers. They can reach over 7,000 consumers with a collection of novice craft beer drinkers trying some of these brews for the first time to connoisseurs that take pride in knowing everything about the beer-making process and everything about every type of beer available.

What’s new for the event in 2015?
We have quite a few new beers this year, including Ole Shed, High Cotton, Crazy Mountain, Orange Blossom Brewing, Southern Prohibition, Tallgrass, Smutty Nose, Tin Man, Chattanooga Brewing Co., Blackhorse, Founder’s, Dogfish Head, Wiseacre, Straight to Ale and Carson’s Brewery.

Why is the festival divided into two sessions?
Over the years, we outgrew the space at Walk of Fame Park with roughly 5,000 in attendance, but because we have always partnered with the Hilton and provided rooms for our brewers there, we decided to stay at the park, but to grow the event, we would need to expand to two sessions.

Are there any differences between the festival’s two sessions?
Generally speaking, the day session is a little more laid back and less crowded. The evening session is a little more of a party atmosphere. Same beers available at both sessions, though.

How many breweries will be participating at the event?
We have 54 this year.

There are quite a few breweries based outside of TN attending - How were they chosen?
We first reach out to local TN breweries and then we go through our distributor partners that know new brands that they would like to promote.

Can participants attend both sessions?
Yes, but we encourage them to pace themselves. It can be a long day, if you attend both.

Do you know what type of food restaurants will be offering at the fest?
Mafiaoza’s will have a variety of pizzas. We also have hot dogs, burgers, chicken, Mrs. Grissoms salads and more.

What’s the one can’t-miss thing attendees must see or do at this event?
The venue is absolutely beautiful. The beer selection is amazing. The people watching is great, too. Check out what Lagunitas has going on — it’s always entertaining!

Are general admission tickets still available?
Yes. Tickets are still available for both sessions. Prices go up $10 day of event, so get them early!

What are you most looking forward to at this year’s event?
Watching everyone have a great time!

Are there any little-known facts that attendees should know about the festival before arriving?
Uber will have a special code, so you can ride to and from the event and be safe!

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

For more information visit Mafiaoza’s Music City Brewer’s Festival Website