Down in the gentrifying “gulch” district in downtown Nashville craft breweries are appearing. But Yazoo has been around in Nashville since 2003. The tap room is a large comfortable room with many taps, happy laughter and clinking glasses of Yazoo being consumed by hipsters and factory workers alike when I got there last Friday night.
Katie that marketing manager told me that they have seen 40% growth last year alone, getting them close to 20K bbl production in 2013. They are keeping local, so us easterners “need to have a friend in Nashville” if we want to taste their beers in the near term outside of Tennessee. Katie promised that they wouldn’t expand too quickly and forget their loyal base.
Ivan – one of the brewers – gave a very thorough tour of the brewery explaining the brewing process in detail as we wandered the premises. I must admit it was the first time I heard germination include the phrase “after they sprout, we kill them sons of bitches”… But, i think we got the idea.
The beer is really good – including a GABF winning Hefeweizen (thankfully not too much banana) and the popular local Dos Perros Ale – with just a touch of chocolate malt to give it body. I didn’t get a chance to sample “The beer named Sue” a 9.2 ABV “malt bomb” with smoked cherry wood malt. They are aging some in wooden casks “to keep the beer Geeks interested” commented Ivan.
In a nod to the history of brewing in Nashville, Linus the owner decided to brew a beer styled after the first brewers in the city “Gerst Brewing” established in 1883 (closed in 1954). Working with the Gerst Family (who still run a German restaurant in town) Yazoo recreated a preprohibition Amber Ale for their “Gerst House”. It became so popular it’s now brewed year round along with “Hap and Harry” which is a contract brew for the Lipman Brands tribute to the founders of Jack Daniels, a nice crisp lager.
If you are in Music City – grab a Yazoo – and if you can drop down to the “gulch” and visit them – southern hospitality and great fresh beer. Can’t beat it for BeerAppreciation.