Last month we had the privilege of connecting with a new Nashville-based brewery called Tennessee Brew Works. Our friend and writer Claire Gibson met Garr Schwartz and Christian Spears, the men behind TB Brew Works, and was kind enough to invite your professors to a private tasting at her home. This was very exciting for us because Claire is not only a great writer but a killer cook so we knew she (and her husband Patrick) would be great hosts!
TN Brew Works will arrive this summer in Nashville, TN with a tap room opening in late July and we are excited to partner with these guys to take you on some virtual tours, tastings, and maybe even the grand opening. Let’s go journeying together! Wait….is journeying a word? It should be. It could either mean taking a trip together or spontaneously breaking into “Open Arms” in front of strangers. Either way, let’s make it a thing.
I digress…let’s talk about the beer! Doing a tasting with the dudes that brew the beer sitting right in front of you can be a little nerve racking. I mean, we can hide behind a camera all day but this was the real deal. What if it wasn’t any good? Would we be able to give honest grades? Would Brian make a fool of himself? Well, the beer was amazing! Honestly, it’s some of the best and most interesting craft beer we’ve had.
We tasted 6 beers on that rainy Saturday but we’ll highlight two of our favorites
BASIL RYEMAN - The name alone is cool enough right? The second half pays homage to the ‘historically cool’ Ryman auditorium in Nashville, TN. This is a Farmhouse Ale which is a style of Saison (french for season) that was originally brewed in the cooler months in farmhouses and then drank by the farm workers in the warmer months. TN Brew Works Basil Ryeman gets the first part of its name because the brew is actually made with basil. One might think that’s an odd ingredient for a beer but it’s actually pretty amazing. The basil flavor does not over power the beer. You can definitely tell it’s there but the sweet and fruity flavors complement it so well that you just want to keep sipping this brew.
TRIPEL SPEARS - This is a big one! A high gravity 10% ABV that will knock you on your A in the best possible way :) ABV stands for Alcohol by volume meaning the amount of space in the beer taken up by alcohol as a percentage of the total volume of the beer. For Example a Miller lite is a little over 4% ABV. The Spears in Tripel Spears is for co-founder Christian Spears and the Tripel is because it’s their version of a Belgian Tripel. A great Tripel will hide the high alcohol with amazing flavor. It sneaks up on you. Here’s why this beer is great. Flavor. This brew has a great brown sugar sweetness to it with a touch of cinnamon on the end. It is very focused on the yeast which help to bring out the flavors and the sweetness and adds to the complexity. We often talk about the importance of a beer being balanced and realize that the bigger the beer the harder that is to accomplish but this one has it. It’s like a tight rope walker, slack liner, unicycle riding brew.
These were just a couple of the Grade A beers we tasted with Tennessee Brew Works. The cool thing about their beers is that even if these two don’t sound like something you’d like, chances are you’ll find something of theirs that fits your taste buds. If you’re in or around Nashville make sure to keep up with their progress and visit the tap room. If you’re not in or around Nashville come visit, first round is on you :)