November Beer of the Month- Sierra Nevada Celebration

This has been a good month. I turned 40 (that sort of sucked), my wife bought me some great music gear, I received my plate at the Flying Saucer, and one of my favorite seasonal beers showed up in the stores. What beer would that be? Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale! This a winter beer released once a year, and supposedly the make minor recipe tweaks (mainly in the hop schedule). Grab this while you can, because once its gone, you have to wait another year. Besides, this beer is best when fresh.

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale ( Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Chico, CA)

6.8 % ABV. American IPA. Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale represents a time honored tradition of brewing a special beer for the holiday season. There are generous portions of barley malts and fine whole hops of several varieties, creating a brew with a full, rich and hearty character.

Smitty's Review:
Sampled at 45 degrees. Pours a translucent amber orange with an off-white head. This has a nice nose of fresh floral hops, with just a hint of caramelly malts in the background. Medium bodied with average carbonation, but with the Sierra Nevada characteristic mouthfeel that makes this go down so darn quick. Pale malt profile of caramel and biscuit dominated by an aggressive herbaceous hoppiness. Bitter, yet dry and slightly grassy finish that has flavors of tea. Some bitterness clings to the palate. This seems to have a tad less sweetness and more dryness compared to last years batch.

Recommended Food Pairing: Beef, Grilled Fish, Pork, Cured Meats, Salty and funky White Cheeses.

Where To Buy: Midtown Wine and Spirits, Mr Whiskers, Frugal McDoogal, Stones River (Murfreesboro), Flying Saucer

12th South Tap Room and Grill

This place has been open since June 2006, and I am kicking myself for not checking this place out earlier. Nashville can never have too many beer bars, especially ones that serve good food. 12 South Tap Room and Grill is located in the redeveloped area of Berry Hill, next to Mafioza's. There is parking right in front and plenty of extra side street parking. They feature live music nightly, which ranges from experimental jazz to country to folk. You can check their web site for artists and events.

My best friend Viktor Krauss was playing two sets there, so I figured it was the perfect time to check out this place. The interior has a hip semi-artsy, coffeehouse-like vibe.The crowd is a nice mix of musicians, neighborhood residents, and students. I went right to the beer list and quickly ordered my favorite Yazoo beer, the Sly Rye Porter which happened to be on special. I sat and enjoyed two great sets of music while visiting with friends. I did not eat, but the menu is sort of world and south American fusion. Friends tell me the food is very good, but not to eat there if you are in hurry.

This is a beer blog, so what did I think about the beer selection? Not bad at all, especially considering the size of the place. 20 taps were more than adequate, and there was nice representation from local and regional brewers. They have about 75 bottles, range from macro pale lagers (crap, but some people like it), micro domestics, and European imports. If I had one criticism for the beer list, it's that Belgian style beers are very poorly represented.

Local brewing blogger Troy also pointed out that it's non-smoking and that music starts at 9pm nightly. I dig this place and I plan to add this to my picks of Nashville beer destinations. I love the Flying Saucer, but I think 12th South Tap Room and Grill will compete for my business when I feel like kicking back, hearing good music, and getting away from the crowds. Check it out!

Address: 2318 12th Ave. South, Nashville, TN 37204
Phone: 463-7552

Terrapin Beer Dinner at Flying Saucer

Hey middle Tennessee craft beer drinkers! We have an exciting event coming in the next few weeks. Sadly, I have tickets to the Illinois/Vandy game that night and can not attend. I REALLY want to try the oak-aged beers. For those that have never gone to a beer dinner, give it a shot. I think beer is a better for food pairing than wine. See for yourself.

The Flying Saucer Draught Emporium in Nashville will present a beer tasting featuring Terrapin Beer Company on Thursday, Nov. 20 at 6 p.m. The event will be hosted by Brian “Spike” Buckowski, founder and brewmaster at Terrapin Beer Company in Athens, Ga. Beers to be featured include the Rye Pale Ale, the Golden Ale, the India Style Brown Ale, the 2007 Big Hoppy Monster, the 2008 Oak-Aged Big Hoppy Monster, the 2008 Oak-Aged Rye Squared, the Gamma Ray Wheat Wine Ale and the RoggenRauchBier. Four to five food courses will be served to accompany the beer. Tickets are available at The Flying Saucer and are $35 for U.F.O. Club members and $40 for the general public.

If you have any questions or would like an attachment with more details, contact:

Jessica Neal
Obsidian Public Relations
516 Tennessee St., Suite 216
Memphis, TN 38103
(901) 484-8920

Yazoo Celebrates Five Years

Starting a micro brewery is not cheap, let alone keeping one afloat financially. I must commend Linus Hall for 5 years in the business, and putting local beer in many local restaurants as an alternative to crappy macro pale lagers. There is an anniversary party on Saturday, November 8, at the brewery. There will be food (catered by South Street) and bands. Party kicks off at 2pm and goes until late. What has me excited are the following special beers that will be on tap:

RYE SAISON - a delicious Belgian farm ale brewed with a portion of Rye grain and a classic Beglian saison yeast.

WET HOP HARVEST ALE - They were lucky enough to score about 100 lbs of fresh, wet Amarillo hops, straight from the fields at harvest in Yakima valley. Supposedly a hop head's delight. I will be the judge of that! Heh Heh.

Unless my wife delivers our third child early, expect to see me there. Support your local breweries and get your ass down there as well. Look for me in the Chicago Bears hat.

Address: 1200 Clinton St, Nashville, TN 37203