2012 Nashville Beer Festival celebrates thriving Nashville craft beer community

NASHVILLE- The craft beer scene in the Nashville area is booming. The second Nashville Beer Fest will celebrate craft beer and microbreweries, with the goal of eventually presenting all local brew at the Festival, which this year is Saturday, Oct. 6, presented by Frugal McDoogal and benefiting the Nashville Humane Association.

The first Festival last year sold out, with more than 2,500 in attendance. Similar attendance is anticipated this year. The Festival will present more than 80 craft beers from around the nation, with special emphasis on local and Southeast brew, as well as brew education, food and festivities.

After over a year of research and communication with the brew industry, the Festival's Beer Advisor Doug McFerrin has discovered the Nashville area now has 20 breweries either licensed and operating or in process of becoming licensed and operating. This includes nine licensed brewers and 11 brewers becoming licensed. Five years ago, there were five breweries or brew pubs in the Nashville area.

"The beer scene has become a beer community," writes local beer blogger Doug Brumley of Fledglingbrewer.com, one of several popular beer bloggers in Nashville. Blogger Sean Smith at Nashvillebeergeek.blogspot.com is another local beer guru.

The craft beer movement in Music City also includes: new Festivals and beer tasting events; more craft brew taps in the growing bar scene; and beer clubs such as the Music City Beer Society (more than 500 members). In addition, there are special events like New Belgium's popular Tour de Fat, the "ballyhoo of bikes and beer," which includes only 15 major cities (from LA to Chicago to Atlanta) on its annual tour, with only four in the Eastern U.S., including Nashville.

In Music City, mainstay breweries Boscos, Blackstone and Yazoo are now joined by upstarts like Jackalope, Calfkiller (Sparta, Tenn.) and Fat Bottom, all of which are developing devoted followings. Calfkiller has more than 3,500 fans on Facebook; Jackalope more than 2,500. Blackstone and Yazoo have expanded in recent years and continue to grow.

The organizers of the Beer Fest started the event to promote craft beer and microbreweries. Currently, most local brewers are not able to make the volume of beer needed to serve 2,500 people in one day, so the Fest will serve craft beer from all over the nation as well as select local brew.

"The Festival is hosted and run entirely by locals, and our main mission is to promote local breweries, groups and businesses," said Dr. Marc Smith, DVM, one of the organizers. "The response to the Festival is tremendous, both from the public and the beer industry, which reveals this area's high interest in craft beer.

The autumn beer Festival will also celebrate brew education, food & festivities. Tickets are $35 and available on www.nashvillebeerfestival.com. Tickets are limited, so guests are encouraged to get tickets early.

Nashville Area Breweries

Big River Grille
Cool Springs
Turtle Anarchy
Fat Bottom

Breweries in the process of becoming licensed

Bell Buckle
Black Abbey
Honky Tonk
Little Harpeth
Panther Creek

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