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It’s October—the weather will start to cool, and the leaves will start to change color. Autumn is upon us, and with it comes on of the season’s favorite festivities, Oktoberfest!
As Music City’s culinary star has risen, so have the number of craft breweries and distilleries based in our own back yard. It’s now entirely possible to celebrate Oktoberfest for an entire month, imbibing only the best local brands. You could try something new every day and not run out of options before Halloween!
This month’s cover is meant to highlight some of those local brands, many of which feature local brand-centric taprooms and many others which are popular at our favorite local gay bars.
Corsair Distillery became licensed in the state of Tennessee in 2010, and by 2012 it had been awarded "Craft Distillery of the Year" and "Innovator of the Year" by *Whisky Magazine*. Corsair is housed at Marathon Motorworks Village, the former location of Yazoo Brewery, is the site of the company’s distilling operation in Tennessee, and now houses a 240 gallon still from the 1920s that survived Prohibition.
Corsair produces a wide variety of spirits, from gin to whiskey and even a red absinthe, all of which are spectacular. Editor James Grady puts this distillery at the top of the list because the company’s signature gin is “out of this world … definitely my favorite Tennessee spirit!”
Corsair has a taproom and offers distillery tours at its location at 1200 Clinton Street
Yazoo Brewing Company
This local favorite produces a wide variety of local craft beers, from seasonal concoctions to locally historic brews. The latter includes the Gerst Amber Ale, Nashville’s oldest beer. Gerst Amber Ale was the recipe of the Gerst House, a recently-closed local legend, and was passed along to Yazoo to keep its beer legacy alive in the community.
Yazoo has also been supportive of LGBT community groups, such as the Nashville Grizzlies, whose Christmas party the brewery’s Taproom has hosted for the last few years. Check them out at 910 Division Street.
Relatively new to the scene, Diskin is Nashville’s first and as yet only craft cidery. Their sweet-tart deliciousness can be found on tap or by the can at bars and restaurants across Middle Tennessee, and the cidery’s tasting room now hosts weekend brunches, as well as other events, in addition to regular tastings.
Made locally, Diskin Ciders translate Nashville into their recipes, with offerings like Lil' Blondie Semi-sweet Southern Cider and Six One Five Fruit Tea Cider. Check out some of their concoctions at your favorite local spot, or at their tasting room at 1235 Martin Street
Other Local Favorites:
Black Abbey Brewery is a local artisanal brand that produces a beer based on the long tradition of German monastic brewing. This brewery offers tastings in its taproom and tours of its facilities at 2952 Sidco Drive.
East Nashville Beer Works—open 7 days a week—is a neighborhood favorite. This is due in no small part to their dog-friendly beer garden! This family-friendly location also features a great menu including pizza and salads. Check them out at 320 E. Trinity Lane, or find them on tap at your favorite watering hole.
Jack Daniel Distillery is the oldest registered distillery in the United States. Visitors receive personally-guided tours of the distillery, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and observe the famous whiskey-making process Mr. Jack Daniel perfected back in 1866. It’s a little drive from Nashville to Lynchburg, but definitely worth an afternoon!
Nashville Craft Distillery is fairly new to the scene. Since 2016, Nashville Craft Distillery, founded by a forensic scientist, has produced small-batch spirits from scratch, with a focus on local and regional ingredients. Earlier this year, a New York Times article, “Five Places to Go in Nashville,” featured this distillery.
Short Mountain Distillery was among the first in Tennessee to recapture the hallowed art of moonshine making for the modern consumer. Departing from touristy attempts to utilize poor-quality, highly flavored neutral spirits, owner Billy Kaufman studied traditional Tennessee recipes for shine and has created a line of high-quality spirits. Short Mountain Distillery is also LGBT owned and operated, so if you haven’t yet, give them a try!
Turtle Anarchy Brewing Company is a family-owned microbrewery in Nashville. What started as a weekend hobby shared by brothers grew into a 5,600 craft brewhouse in Franklin, Tennessee, in 2012, and a much larger facility in Nashville in 2015. Their mission is to brew flavorful, dynamic, and unique beers.
This is just a small selection of the local, craft and artisanal outfits producing quality alcoholic beverages. So this October, as the ghosts and goblins begin to stir, drink responsibly, but get out there and try something new, maybe one of Nashville’s frightfully good spirits!
From Tribe’s Gabriel Diangeli:
I fell in love with Tailgate's peanut butter milk stout from the first time I tried it, and it’s the only dark beer that I crave. Its silky sweet taste coats your mouth with its rich flavor, and leaves an almost chocolaty finish. It’s a very heavy beer so I typically only have one, but that one glass is perfection.
I've come to really enjoy Nashville Brewing companies Lager. It’s not too hoppy and not too wheaty, but leaves a slight citric flavor on your taste buds. To me, it’s the perfect light lager for a warm day.
I can't say enough good things about Pickers Blueberry vodka! Blueberry is my favorite flavor, and Pickers have done it justice. Slightly sweet, with a minimum bite, and because it’s actually made with fresh blueberries, you know it has a very crisp taste. Because the vodka itself has such an amazing flavor, I don't want to ruin it by adding too much else when I make a drink with it. A little sprite, a splash or fresh Lemon juice, and if you've got a big sweet tooth like me, maybe add a little triple sec to spruce it up and make the blueberry really pop!
When it cools down outside I tend to reach for darker liquors, and Pennington Ryes are very satisfactory. From a strawberry that will knock your socks off, to a soft vanilla that will warm you right up, and even a peach apricot that adds a little fruity goodness to your life. I like them all simply on the rocks, or with a splash of soda water to sparkle it up. We all need to treat our mouths to something delicious, so open up and give it a try.
For those with a thirst to celebrate, Red Bull Unlocked is the key. In city after city, the most exciting bars, clubs, mixologists, performing artists, and more take over a local landmark building to showcase their signature ambiance while also collaborating for a must-see mashup. And now it's Music City’s turn to seize the spotlight, as the event brings 10 bars together in East Nashville’s Five Points neighborhood.
Fueled by the best of Nashville’s thriving music scene, Red Bull Unlocked has curated an eclectic night of show-stopping entertainment performances including a pop-up Whiskey Jam show, DJ sets, musicians, and more. The full lineup is here:
- Whiskey Jam (feat. Dozzi, Willie Shaw, and Johnny Hayes)
- A.B. Eastwood
- Daisha / Rap Girl
- Boom Bap (DJ Collective feat. DJ-Rate, Case Bloom)
- Whiskey Disco (DJ Collective feat. Coach, Jim O'Shea)
- Old Crow Medicine Show’s Jerry Pentercost (DJ Set)
- DJ Stretch
- DJ Griffin Green
- The Play Mates (Drag Show feat. Sasha, Vanity, Deception, Aura Mayari, Corlis Todd, and Carmin Triple C)
Counting down to the epic celebration, Daisha shares, “I never thought I’d have the opportunity to perform in so many of Nashville’s top spots all in the same night. Fans can expect a lot of bops and high energy. I want people to dance and have a good time.”
Ward Guenther, Whiskey Jam Founder, adds, “Red Bull has been enjoyed at Whiskey Jam since the very first night, so it's only fitting Whiskey Jam is enjoyed at Nashville's first Red Bull Unlocked. Looking forward to this!”
Red Bull Unlocked Istanbul
Photo courtesy of Red Bull
Local favorites including Pearl Diver, Tin Roof, Lipstick Lounge, White Limozeen, and more will join forces for one epic night. Full list of bars and partners below:
- The Dive Motel
- Lipstick Lounge
- Pearl Diver
- Play Dance Bar
- Rosemary & Beauty Queen
- The Stage
- Tin Roof
- Whiskey Jam
- White Limozeen
- Woolworth Theatre – Opening Fall 2022!
- Eleven Eleven - Opening 2023!
Date: August 21, 2022
Time: 6 PM – 11PM CT
Location: 1102 Forrest Ave, Nashville, TN 37206
Entrance: Ticked event
Rumble Boxing, the boxing-inspired group fitness studio, opened its doors for the first time in Nashville on June 20 at 609 Overton St, Nashville, TN. The hottest workout on the block is hosting its official grand opening from August 4th-7th with daily classes, membership specials, and prizes from local vendors. The new Rumble Boxing studio is currently offering a buy one class, get one free promotion for the Nashville community.
Rumble Boxing delivers 45-minute, 10-round, strength and conditioning group workouts, crafted around teardrop-style aqua boxing bags and high-intensity strength training circuits. This brings all fitness levels together to experience what Rumble is known for: combining the sweet science of boxing with high energy and positive vibes.
Rumble Boxing Fitness Studio
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
This boutique fitness brand offers serious benefits like increased stamina and strength, with cardio that’s actually fun. The seasoned trainers at the new studio are thrilled to serve their local community while offering this fun, new modern approach to boxing and welcome members of all fitness levels to the Rumble family.
The new Rumble Boxing studio is owned and operated by Blake Baskin and Antonio Compton. With their background in the fitness industry, this dynamic duo is excited to bring their passion for boxing and group fitness to Nashville. As business and life partners, Blake and Antonio aim to create a strong community within their new Rumble Boxing studio and share their message of non-apologetic inclusivity.
Black and Gay-Owned Business
Rumble Boxing Store with Dolly Parton Mural
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
“We own who we are, and this brand aligns with that perfectly,” said Antonio. “This is what we want to create and bring to this community: a fitness class that is designed for anyone and a place for people to be who they are. As a Black and gay-owned business, we want to help lower the division we see in the world right now. Our goal is to bring people together through Rumble, set everything aside, and have fun.”
To echo their message of acceptance and inclusion, Blake and Antonio commissioned a local Nashville artist to paint an 11 X 6-ft. mural of Nashville icon and philanthropist, Dolly Parton. The massive portrait features the country star in Rumble Boxing gear in the lobby of the studio.
The excitement and buzz around Rumble allowed Blake and Antonio to recruit top-tier trainers to head up the new studio, including Head Trainer Oronde Jones, a well-known celebrity trainer in the Nashville market.
Rumble Boxing Fitness Studio
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
“Compared to other fitness classes, Rumble is a class you can truly get lost in for 45 minutes. With the dark room, you don’t have to worry if anyone is paying attention to you. The music is awesome and inspiring, and the beat drops right when you need it the most. Also, with boxing being a sport you can never truly master, you’re always improving and crafting your skill. On the floor, you’re consistently doing something new, which prevents you from ever hitting a plateau.” Said Oronde Jones about his favorite part of Rumble.
Rumble has massive brand loyalty and widespread appeal, partly thanks to attracting top names like Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Kendall Jenner, Hailey Baldwin, Jason Derulo, David Beckham, and Kevin Hart to its studios.
About Rumble Boxing
Founded in New York City in 2017, Rumble is a group fitness concept delivering a mix (or combination) of boxing-inspired circuits and the transformative power of resistance training. Pro and amateur fighters glove up together, no matter their fitness level or skill, to reveal their inner fighter. The experience is a 45-minute, 10-round, full-body cardio and strength workout crafted around specially designed water-filled, teardrop-style boxing bags. Rumble was founded by Noah Neiman (former Barry’s Bootcamp Master Trainer, and cast member of Bravo’s Work Out New York), Eugene Remm (Co-Founder of Catch Hospitality Group (Catch Restaurants, CATCH STEAK, Lexington Brass), Andy Stenzler (Co-Founder Cosí, Kidville), and Anthony DiMarco (13-time IRONMAN, former Managing Director, Google).
Who would have thought that we would have to get through a pandemic in order to appreciate the small things we have, such as the ability to simply pack our bags and hit the road?
For two years, there’s been nothing left for us travel junkies to do but sit at home and try to find new destinations that we will conquer once we defeat what appears to be the biggest villain of the 21st century. But once that happens, hold your bags tight because we will be up for some of the most interesting travel experiences. Take a look at some ideas for your post-COVID traveling plans:
A Gay Cruise
One of the best options to have in mind when all of this passes is a good, nice and long (pun intended) gay cruise. Or cruise in general, for that matter. Bear in mind, social distancing will still be a thing in the post-COVID world. But COVID-19 likely doesn’t mean that cruises will cease to exist. On the contrary, though cruise ships will probably keep the number of passengers smaller than before, it is believed that they will become an even bigger hit in the following period, especially because they are all going to go a lot more environmentally-friendly. On the bright side, is there any better way of celebrating the end of the pandemic than by cruising around some magnificent seas, stopping by at great cities and having romantic dinner nights at nice restaurants?
A getaway in nature
On the other hand, there is always the option of stepping away from the hustle and bustle of large cities, and spending some time in a place that’s not only healthy, but also beautiful. Some of the destinations that plenty of people will look for are the ones that can cater for both peace of mind and amazing things to see or do. One such destination is New Zealand, one of the greenest countries on Earth right now. Not only will you be visiting the magnificent country that gave us the beautiful Shire from Lord of the Rings; this is also a destination that’s excellent for everyone who prefers relaxing to partying. If you’re up for some partying, you will be able to hit Auckland, while if you’re for something calmer, there’s plenty of amazing places that you can see and visit.
Dancing Around at Pride
Pride parades are also events that you want to have in mind for the post-COVID world. Such events have always been quite important, but it seems that they are now more important than ever. The virus has canceled more than 75 Pride parades all around the world, which is one of the reasons why we must support the ones that will see the light of day once the pandemic stops. Truth be told, the upcoming Prides will perhaps be the best Prides ever organized. Give the gays a couple of weeks of quarantine, then let them outside and see what kind of party they are able to throw!
A road trip
If you’re, as well, waiting for the day to wake up and say “long gone are the days when we were not allowed to go wherever we wanted?”, and if staying at one place gave you a lot to think about, then your first post-COVID travel experience should definitely be a nice road trip. You can practically choose which country you want to tour, and you can either take your own car (you have probably missed it so much), or rent one at your destination. Australia is an amazing country for this, though, as it offers the possibility of seeing the Great Ocean Road, which is an amazing thing to see and experience. On the other hand, if you do not want or cannot leave your country, you can also choose to go on a domestic road trip – there are amazing things to see in your vicinity as well.
Holiday for a single guy
If you’re single, or you’re traveling someplace with another single friend, then you should definitely organize a nice vacation for yourself or for you and your single friend, and hit one of the best European cities. Europe has been greatly affected by the virus, which means that now it’s time to pay it back and get it back on its feet by traveling there and seeing all the amazing things it offers. Any city you choose in Europe – you will not make a mistake. Apart from being able to see great landmarks, you will also have the chance to have a drink at great gay clubs and pubs, and join unforgettable gay parties. And if the gay scenery is not your forte, worry not, as Europe indeed has to offer so many different and magnificent things.