Beer Travels: Nashville

Beer highlights from a trip to Nashville include Yazoo and Jackalope. Plus: the best of Lakefront’s “My Turn” series, American Craft Beer Week, and is Bay View one of the best beer neighborhoods in the country?

Last weekend I took a trip to Nashville with friends. I had no idea how ingrained beer is in this rapidly growing and decidedly cool city, but I quickly found out. It’s a city with ample breweries and great beer bars, which may make for a fine road trip when the Packers play the Titans on Nov. 13.

Jackalope_brewcityHere are the highlights of my weekend tour:

  • Yazoo Brewing Company is in an area on the edge of downtown known as The Gulch. The spacious tasty room was full by Friday afternoon. A small outdoor patio was too. None of that mattered once I got a Hop Perfect APA in my hand. It was fruity, mildly bitter and easy to drink.
  • Jackalope Brewing Company is just a block from Yazoo. It’s inviting wood-accented space was smaller, and a little more hipster, than Yazoo but still offers plenty of tasty options. The Rompo Red Rye was my favorite, and combined bitterness with a fair amount of malt.
  • The Pharmacy Burger Parlor and Beer Garden in up-and-coming East Nashville had ample sours and imports to choose from and a thick, tasty burger to match. A tiered beer garden in the back offers ample picnic tables and a fine place to enjoy the Nashville night.
  • The burger scene is thriving in Nashville, and M.L. Rose Craft Beer & Burgers offers a similarly fantastic burger to Pharmacy and with a beer list heavy on local breweries. You don’t find beers from the likes of Calfkiller Brewing everywhere.
  • As far as beer stores go, Craft Brewed is right up there with the best. The quaint spot in the busy Melrose neighborhood has a few tables and roughly 30 quality taps for sampling. It’s a low-key place is filled with great beer to sample or bring home.

I only got to a few of the places I wanted to try in Nashville. I hope to knock out a few more visits if I head down to follow the Packers. It sounds like a great trip.

Grynder’s Lakefront Poll

Beer guru Tom “Grynder” Ciula posed an interesting question to his regular newsletter followers last week. He asked his readers, of which I am one, to list their favorite three My Turn Series beers. The top three in order were Chad American Barleywine, Johnson Imperial IPA and Dan Baltic Porter. All are excellent beers. Grynder provided a nice reminder just how good the My Turn Series is.

Barley Pop of the Week

Assuming that summer ever makes it here, there are plenty of great new beer options popping up. Ballast Point Mango Even Keel IPA isn’t for everybody, but I think it’s a nice combination of citrus hops and a hint of mango. And, it’s has a miniscule 3.8% ABV, which is well suited for even the hottest days. Ballast Point is on a roll with fruity IPAs, and who knows what’s next.

Quick Taps

American Craft Beer Week runs from May 16 to May 22. For most of us, American Craft Beer Week is every week. But tip a good beer anyway this week to commemorate. Check your favorite beer bar to see what they have on tap.

A couple of weeks ago, Draft Magazine ran a story about America’s great beer neighborhoods. My first thought was, “I want to go to each one.” My second thought was, “Bay View belongs on this list.” Seriously, a two-mile stretch of the ‘hood features Palm Tavern, Sugar Maple, Burnhearts, Café Centraal and Romans’ Pub (I know it’s on the southern edge but I’m counting it). That’s pretty impressive.

Events Brewing

Monday, May 16: The Brass Tap (7808 W. Layton Ave.) commemorates American Craft Beer Week with some outstanding tappings. Two amazing Central Waters brews are the highlights. Central Waters Rye Barrel Chocolate Porter is the first on Monday.

Tuesday, May 17: The second Central Waters standout at the Brass Tap is Central Waters Cassian Sunset. A trip to the Brass Tap is a great way to start the week.

Wednesday, May 18: The Milwaukee Beer Society has a great event on tap for this week at Best Place (901 W. Juneau Ave.). Coffee beers are the highlight from 6 to 9 p.m. Check the events page to see the beer selection and pricing.

Wednesday, May 18: Bear Republic returns to Wisconsin and Ray’s Growler Gallery (8930 W. North Ave.) celebrates that fact with a tap takeover starting at 6 p.m.

Wednesday, May 18: Bierklasse at Café Bavaria (7700 Harwood Ave.) pits German beers against Belgian beers. Decide which you like better at 7 p.m. Reserve your spot.

Thursday, May 19: Try North Coast samples at The Malt Shoppe (813 N. Mayfair Rd.) starting at 5 p.m.

Thursday, May 19: Metropolitan is the guest of firkin night at Honeypie Café (2643 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.). Try a special Metropolitan Arc Welder Dunkel Rye enhanced by orange zest, cherry juice and vanilla. Get there early.

Friday, May 20: Sample beers from Deschutes at Discount Liquor Milwaukee (5031 W. Oklahoma Ave.) from 3 to 6 p.m.

Friday, May 20: Vintage takes over the taps at the Humboldt Park beer garden (3000 S. Howell Ave.).

Saturday, May 21: Deschutes hands out samples at Discount Liquor Waukesha (919 N. Barstow Ave.) from 1 to 3 p.m.

Saturday, May 21: Amber beers are the subject of the weekly sampling at both Three Cellars locations (7133 S. 76th St., Franklin and N72 W13400 Lund Lane, Menomonee Falls) from 1 to 4 p.m.

Saturday, May 21: Frothy Forage at Riveredge Nature Center (4458 County Rd. Y, Saukville) lets nature lovers sample beer and the foliage all at once. More than a dozen area breweries will be there handing out tastes of their brews from noon to 2:30 p.m. Tickets are just $25 until May 17. Check out the details.



Dan Murphy has been reviewing bars for Milwaukee Magazine for roughly 20 years. He’s been doing his own independent research in them for a few years more.