Iced tea may be the official beverage of the South, but for my money, there’s no better heat-beating summer drink than a nice cold beer. People who turn up their noses at beer in November are sucking one down with the rest of us by the time July rolls around. As improbable as it may seem, Nashville, that buckle of the Bible Belt, is a virtual Nirvana for serious beer drinkers.
Here’s is a preview of what’s brewing and what’s on tap for the summer at our four local brewpubs.
MARKET STREET BREWERY & PUBLIC HOUSE, 134 Second Ave. N. 269-9611
Market Street’s Pilsner just won a Gold Medal in the Beverage Tasting World Beer Championship, held in Chicago (a beer town if there ever was one). Nashvillians knew it was a good beer all alongit’s been Market Street’s best seller since the get-go. When the weather warms, many are looking for a change, and they might be asking for Blackberry Wheat, which is based on Market Street’s Bavarian Wheat Beer. It’s only available on draft at the moment, but Market Street has considered a bottled version.
BOSCO’S NASHVILLE BREWING CO., 1805 21st Ave. S. 385-0050
Flaming Stone Beer, the most popular of Bosco’s five always-on-tap brews, is heated over Colorado granite in a brick oven. Caramel created on the granite’s surface gives the Flaming Stone Beer its unique flavor. Serious beer connoiseurs come to Bosco’s on Mondays and Wednesdays at 4 p.m. to get a glass of Cask Conditioned Ale, which in Britain is typically served from a beer wagon with a hand pump. Also currently on tap are Bosco’s SpringFest, a German style beer; Black & Tan, a mix of stout and bitters; and Extra Special Bitter, a typical English pub beer. Coming next week, Bosco’s Wheat Beer, an easy drinking beer.
BLACKSTONE RESTAURANT & BREWERY, 1918 West End Ave. 327-9969
Blackstone, Nashville’s only brewpub with patio seatingsun and suds, what could be finer?keeps five beers on tap: Chaser Pale, Red Springs Ale, Brewmaster Special Nut Pale Ale and St. Charles Porter. Brewmaster Dave Miller says the sale of dark beers doesn’t necessarily drop off in the warmer months, but there is a definite preference for more light-bodied beers. Currently, Blackstone’s special brews are ESB (that’s Extra Special Bitter to you), a British style drink, and American Amber (sometimes referred to as West End Amber), a lighter-bodied beer. In July, Blackstone will introduce Hefeweizen, a German-influenced wheat beer with a distinct, spicy flavor and aroma.
BIG RIVER GRILLE & BREWING WORKS, 111 Broadway 251-4677
Big River, the Chattanooga-based brewery and restaurant, has enjoyed a successful expansion into the Nashville market, right in the heart of The District. Currently on draft is the first of a full line of Berry AlesRaspberry Wheat. When that tap runs dry, they’ll switch to Blackberry Ale, then Strawberry Wheat, finishing the summer with Cherry Porter. Big River currently has 11 beers on tap, with the golden Nashville Steamer and their lightest Cap City running neck and neck as the most requested.
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