Though you may not know it by looking outside recently, Spring is on the horizon for us here in Kentuckiana. It is a season that is ushered in with much fanfare and hype. Mixed among furry mammals shadow hunting, balancing eggs on end during the Vernal Equinox, and trees spewing their venomous pollen at every turn, is my favorite sign of the coming warmth…the beer festival. Luckily some come sooner than others, and the East Nashville Beer Festival poked its head out of its mammal hole this past weekend; I was there waiting for its delicious sign of Spring.
I decided that I was coming to the East Nashville Beer Festival the moment I left The 12 South Winter Warmer earlier this past December. The Winter Warmer was an amazing festival of big beers, and I knew the moment that I heard the same production company, Rhizome Productions, put on the East Nashville Beer Festival as well, that I would be attending. And while the beers were a little less on the gravity side for this festival, the quality was every bit as good. Some of the beers that stood out for me (based on photos and limited memory – apparently alcohol does that to people, who knew?)-
Blackstone Brewery’s Bourbon Barrel Chocolate Oatmeal Milk Stout
Aged in bourbon barrels from the award winning Corsair Distillery in Nashville, this brew was the epitome of smooth, delicious, warming, and aromatic. I recall (ever so slightly) the big bourbon aroma hitting my nose. Mmmm about sums it up.
Rivertown Brewing Company’s Roebling Imperial Porter
Let me just read you a few highlights from the description – brewed with imported organic sweet Ugandan Vanilla beans – cold pressed organic Peruvian espresso – organic raw can sugar. I’m just going to let that thought sit with you for a while.
BBC 2010 Barrel Aged Hell for Certain
I ran into my good friend and yours, Phil Dearner, from BBC and he happened to be feeling generous enough to share this limited edition with myself and a few friends. I’m fairly certain he said it was a 2010 vintage, but Hell, the one thing I can be for Certain about is that this Belgian Strong Ale mellows amazingly.
Look, I could go on and on and on and on and on, but here’s a list of notable beers that I found amazing: Left Hand Smoke Jumper, Cool Springs Sharks With Frickin’ Laser Beams Attached To Their Heads (sour…amazing!!), Schlafly Black IPA and Milk Chocolate Stout, Lagunitas Sucks, and one from Calfkiller that was terrific, but that I can’t remember.
All in all it was an amazing festival. The weather was perfect, the food trucks were out in full force (I remember absolutely destroying some honey chicken wings), the music was jamming, and the beer was fantastic. If you want to make plans for either of the mentioned festivals for next year, plan ahead…they limit the number of tickets sold to each festival and both literally sold out online within the first 10-15 minutes they were available.