Since I was stuck in a hotel for most of my trip to Nashville for the Winter Meetings, I didn’t get a real sense of home-grown Nashville craft beer options. Too many times I ended up with a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale in my hands, wondering where the local flair and flown. What I did have was a mixed bag.
Yazoo is the most ubiquitous label in Nashville. I had some in a hotel, and then at The Grand Ole Opry, and I saw it one menus everywhere. I stopped having it after a while. The Pale Ale was very meh, just not enough hops for this West Coaster maybe, but just not a ton of taste. Just.. meh. Their American Brown ale, Dos Perros, was much better. It’s not quite as good as Turbodog from Abita, or Moose Drool from Big Sky, but it was decent. Think Dos Equis Ambar, but more taste.
I enjoyed the Yazoos okay, but I wouldn’t trade for them or seek them out.
You might say the same for the better brewery I enjoyed: Blackstone. I first had their Chaser Pale, which was just a functional Koelsch to me. It had some interesting notes in the finish but was just basically a German Lager if you are unfamiliar with the style. Their St. Charles Porter, on the other hand, was more memorable. It was a nice blend of roast and smoke, malty thickness and drinkability. Maybe it was the Psycho-Billy band (Harry Fontana) that was playing at Robert’s Western World that night (and the stand-up bassist’s behind-the-neck solo), but that was the best Nasvhille-born beer I had. I’d drink more of their beers over the Yazoo.
The winner, though, was a bourbon barrel beer I had at Jack Daniels’ restaurant — fitting. The problem is, I don’t know who did it, and I think it was Bluegrass Brewing from Kentucky. The restaurant has their Bourbon Barrel Stout on the menu, but it wasn’t a stout. And looking through the list, I can’t tell which one it was. Maybe the Bourbon Barrel Scotch Ale. In any case, it was a delicious bourbon barrel ale, and I thought it was a brown because it was mellow. So many bourbon barrel beers go too sweet and too strong, so it was memorable — whatever it was.