Sunday, May 19, 2019

Season 2, Episode 1: The Nashville Episode with Dustin Alvis

"We can't talk about Nashville without talking about hot chicken."

I. Introduction




How do you introduce Nashville?  It isn’t easy folks.  The capital of three states pretending to be one, known far and wide as the Music City, Nashville is the delicate tendon connecting Deep Southern west Tennessee to Appalachian east Tennessee, an urban asterisk punctuating and dominating the agricultural middlelands. Nashville is the birthplace of the Goo-Goo Cluster, the nesting place of the world’s oldest radio show The Grand Ole’ Opry, and one of the great centers of the American Civil Rights Movement.  It is a city of art and parks and the Parthenon, a fantastic museum and recreation of the ancient Athenian Parthenon.  Nashville is a city of universities and cutting-edge medicine, professional sports, cowboys, poets, yodelers, New York-style delis and passels of ghosts.

Oh.  And the beer.  I almost forgot.  Nashville is one of the centers of the American beer renaissance.  



Today's theme is the 1926 fox trot "The Chant" 
by Jelly Roll Morton and his Red Hot Peppers. 

II. Our Guest, the Bombastic Dustin "Viper" Alvis

"Patriotism."

"Supreme concentration."

III. Rubrics, Reviews, and Talking Points: Jackalope Brewing Company Rompo Red Ale 

Not a smilodon. 
BeerAdvocate: 3.59 of 5 

RateBeer: 3.09 of 5 

Untappd: 3.58 of 5

ABV: 5.6%

Ingredients: British hops, caramel malts, Nashville water, and flaked rye. 

Cost: Around $10 for a six-pack

Appearance: Raw honey, a little head, slow recession, a little Brussels lace.  Translucent but far from transparent. 

Aroma: Malty, rye, a bit of sugar

Flavor:  A classic red ale flavor, accentuated with wonderful notes of rye, especially in the aftertaste.  Fairly dry.  Press claims fruity flavors but we didn't pick up any in our tasting. 

Mouthfeel: Some carbonation, but clearly European in style, not overwhelming at all.  Smooth, crisp, "liquidy," to quote Alvis. 

Authenticity, Marketing, and Other Factors:  Authenticity killing it - well-known in greater Nashville and we kinda' love the cryptid swerve.   Packaging and art are great. 

Overall: Alvis gave the Rompo Red Ale 3.5, Roche a rating of 3, and Eric a rating of 3.8 .  Our overall rating? 3.43 of 5. 

IV. Rubrics, Reviews, and Talking Points: Jackalope Brewing Company Bearwalker Ale with Maple Syrup

These colors don't run.
BeerAdvocate: 3.8 of 5 

RateBeer: 3.13 of 5 

Untappd: 3.74 of 5

ABV: 5.1%

Ingredients: Chocolate malts, hops (more than most browns, the website asserts, but no statement as to type), Nashville water, Vermont maple syrup.

Cost: Around $10 to $11 a six-pack

Appearance: Some carbonation, not overwhelming (again, European-type). Color of dark raw honey.  

Aroma: Nutty, notes of the maple syrup.

Flavor: Nutty, more pecan-shell than syrup or sweet, notes like a porter. A flavor profile that reminded Alvis and Roche of Newcastle and made Eric want some apple pie.   The last sip has the strongest maple flavor, which makes us think maybe a couple spins of the can might mix the flavor in a bit more - let us know your thoughts.  Maybe try pairing it with chicken and waffles. 

Mouthfeel: Crisp and delicious, not overly carbonated. The adjunct doesn't leave any filmy or sweet aftertaste. 

Authenticity, Marketing, and Other Factors:  Authenticity killing it - well-known in greater Nashville and we kinda' love the cryptid swerve.   The can is utterly fantastic, a superb example of design.

Overall: Alvis gave this brown ale a 4, Roche a 3.8, and Eric Drummond a 3.6 - the average score? 3.8 of 5. 

V. Rubrics, Reviews, and Talking Points: Jackalope Brewing Company Thunder Ann American Pale Ale

BeerAdvocate: 3.69 of 5

RateBeer: 3.30 of 5 

Untappd: 3.61 of 5

ABV: 5.1%

Ingredients: Citrusy American hops, biscuit and honey malts, Nashville water.  A bit vague, but there. 

Cost: Around $10 a six-pack.

Appearance: Very little head, very little Brussels lace.  Translucent but opaque. 

Aroma: Fruity, citrusy - absolutely wonderful.

Flavor: Light and wonderful. Tropical, fruity, malty, hoppy without being overwhelming.  Fruity without having any fruit adjunct. 

Mouthfeel: Smooth, light, crisp, almost like a dry cider.  

Authenticity, Marketing, and Other Factors:  Authenticity killing it - well-known in greater Nashville and we kinda' love the cryptid swerve.   Packaging and art are great.   The can reflects the whole wonderful mythology of its namesake. Alvis - "Its kitschy, its folk art." 

Overall: Alvis threw this one a 4, B-Roche dropped a 3.25 on top, and Eric gave it a solid 4.  Final average? 3.75 of 5. 

VI. Rubrics, Reviews, and Talking Points: Tennessee Brew Works Cutaway Rye IPA


BeerAdvocate: 3.72 of 5 

RateBeer: 3.28 of 5 

Untappd: 3.53 of 5

ABV: 6%

IngredientsWe couldn't find the ingredients list - but it looks like a classic IPA recipe with a rye adjunct.

Cost: Around $10 a six-pack

Appearance: Translucent, golden, nice Brussels lace, carbonated but with some lovely particulates, not too much head, the head recedes quickly.

Aroma: Fruity but mild.

Flavor: A little bitterness but not strong (around a 55 IBU), rye notes.  We don't get much of a fruit taste.

Mouthfeel: Clean, not overwhelming.  Mild effervescence. 

Authenticity, Marketing, and Other Factors:  Awesome design - kitschy, comic-booky, guitar pick logo is great.  Led to a wonderful debate involving Princess Di, Sandy Duncan, the Hardy Boys, and assassinations.  The art is great, Alvis loves the brewery.

Overall: Alvis gave this a 3.75, Roche a 3.6, and Eric a 3.75.  Overall? We gave it a tremendous 3.7 of 5!

VII. Rubrics, Reviews, and Talking Points: Tennessee Brew Works Wildwood Flower Honey Blonde



BeerAdvocate: 4.01 of 5

RateBeer: 3.07 of 5

Untappd: 3.6 of 5

ABV: 6.8%

Ingredients: Built on a Belgian Abbey yeast, adjuncted with wildflower and sourwood honey from Strange Honey Farms in Del Rio, Tennessee. 

Cost: Around $10 a six-pack.

Appearance: Very pale yellow, unfiltered, not overly carbonated.  A little head, rapidly receding Brussels lace.  The detritus is very stable, even when the beer is jostled. 

Aroma: Mild, sourwood honey leaning. 

Flavor:  Reminiscent of sourdough, according to Eric; the flavors of the yeast and the honey complimenting each other well.  A lot of aftertaste in this one.

Mouthfeel: Aftertaste is significant but not overwhelming - if you like the style you won't mind at all, if you're not a fan of the style, you might just not like it. 

Authenticity, Marketing, and Other Factors:  Awesome design - kitschy, comic-booky, guitar pick logo is great.  The art is great, Alvis loves the brewery.  Alvis things the woman on the beer looks like a Karen.  

Overall: Mister Alvis abstained - this is just not a style he likes and he felt it wouldn't be fair to review it; Squire Roche determined it deserved a 3.5; Professor Smith determined it should be rated a 3.8; overall, the voting duo gave this beer a rating of 3.65.

VIII. Rubrics, Reviews, and Talking Points: Mill Creek Brewing Company Landmark Vintage Lager


"The bear has Nicomacean Ethics in his pocket."
BeerAdvocate: 3.45 of 5 

RateBeer: 3.05 of 5 

Untappd: 3.49 of 5

ABV: 5%

Ingredients: "quality malted grain"; German-style lager

Cost: Around $8 or $9 a six-pack.

Appearance: Pale golden yellow, translucent, largely transparent, not overly carbonated but visible when being drunk, rapidly receding Brussels lace, unfiltered. 

Aroma: Clean, the epitome of a lager.

Flavor: This is a good truly high-quality lager; perfect tailgating beer - Mr. Alvis argues this is one of the best lagers he's ever had. 

Mouthfeel: Clean, dry finish 

Authenticity, Marketing, and Other Factors:  Beautiful, simple design, great small-scale, locally owned brewery. 

Overall: ALVIS: 4.25; ROCHE: 4; SMITH: 4; OVERALL: 4.08 of 5 - hell yes. 

IX. Rubrics, Reviews, and Talking Points: Mill Creek Brewing Company Lil Darlin 


BeerAdvocate: 3.68 of 5

RateBeer: 3.0 of 5 

Untappd: 3.58 of 5 

ABV: 4.5%

Ingredients: Adjuncted with orange peel and coriander.

Cost: $8 to $9 a six-pack. 

Appearance: Yellow pale, translucent but not transparent, lightly filtered. Not too much carbonation or Brussels lace. 

Aroma: An amazing smell, the orange and coriander are just enough.

Flavor: Every element is balanced. The wheat is complex, the notes running through different bread flavors, the citrus and coriander pervade every moment. 

Mouthfeel: Not too much carbonation. 

Authenticity, Marketing, and Other Factors:  Beautiful, simple design, great small-scale, locally owned brewery.  "Less fuss, more beer."  Great website.  Midwesterny, classic mid-century look. 

Overall: Mssr. Alvis gave this a 3.75 (a five for wheat beers, though!); Mr. Roche a 3.75; Old Eric gave it a 4.25.  Overall? 3.92 of 5

X. Rubrics, Reviews, and Talking Points: Yazoo Brewing Sly Rye Porter 

BeerAdvocate: 3.82 of 5 

RateBeer: 3.53 of 5 

Untappd: 3.66 of 5

ABV: 5.7%

Ingredients: English Porter style with Maris Otter malts (Scotch-whiskey style) with an adjunct of rye

Cost: Around $8 to $10 a six-pack

Appearance: Dark brown, nearly black, decent brown head.  Neither translucent nor transparent. 

Aroma: Smells more chocolatey than it tastes

Flavor: Notes of chocolate, a little more coffee towards the back-end. 

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, the aftertaste leaves a slight tingling on the tongue. 

Authenticity, Marketing, and Other Factors:  Yazoo is Nashville's first production brewery since Prohibition, and its durability is a testament to both its business model and the quality of its beer. Really beautiful art, maybe the most dominant and well-known of the microbreweries out of Nashville (arguably a mesobrewery).  Still owned by the original owner (and now his wife), intent on staying in-town.  

Overall: Alvis gave this a 3.5; Roche gave it a 3.25; and Smith a 4.  Overall?  3.58 of 5. 

THE GRAND BREAK - WHENCE MR. SQUIRE ROCHE DEPARTED, FOLLOWING AN ACT OF ABASEMENT INVOLVING THE DETRITUS OF PICKLED EGG LEAVINGS. Which is to say vinegar and spices.

XI. Rubrics, Reviews, and Talking Points: Blackstone Brewing Hopjack IPA


BeerAdvocate: 3.69 of 5

RateBeer: 3.3 of 5

Untappd: 3.68 of 5

ABV: 6.7%

Ingredients: We couldn't find any sort of list of these, I fear. 

Cost: Around $10 a six-pack. 

Appearance: Gold, similar to what one normally thinks of as a lager, translucent, transparent.  Nice Brussels lace.

Aroma: Fruit (maybe cherry), non-floral botanicals, hoppy.

Flavor:  A lot of hoppiness and fruitiness, the bitterness largely at the back-end and not overwhelming by any means.  The last tastes are very grassy.

Mouthfeel: There is a real sense of the "contact" with the beer, easy tingling absorbtion of the alcohol (we felt it in our cheeks). 

Authenticity, Marketing, and Other Factors:  A pretty darn old brewery, as far as microbreweries go, founded back in 1994.  The website is bare-bones, and it isn't easy to find a ton of information on them, but nonetheless... anyway, designs are simple and lovely and we think come from a whole series of artists, one per bottle/beer.  Huge award-winner, if you're in for that thing.  Also - neck stickers.

Overall:  Mr. Alvis gave this a 4 Mr. Smith a 4.25 - a superb beer.  Overall they combined for a 4.125 of 5. 

XII. Rubrics, Reviews, and Talking Points: Blackstone Brewing St. Charles Porter 


BeerAdvocate: 3.72 of 5 

RateBeer: 3.49 of 5 

Untappd: 3.63 of 5

ABV: 5.8%

Ingredients: Again, no data.  Sorry kids. 

Cost: $10 a sixer, usually. 

Appearance: The head is dark, the beer very nearly opaque - held up to the light there appears to be a beautiful red-gold raw honey glow.  Holds its head and Brussels lace well. 

Aroma: Not much coming out of the bottle, a little bit of unfiltered maltiness. 

Flavor: Some classic coffee notes, a little bit of chocolate, maybe even a touch of gingerbread - this is a pure, unadulterated, stereotypical porter. An aftertaste of fruitiness, perhaps a not-overwhelming cherry.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and easy-drinking, not any sort of strong aftertaste. 

Authenticity, Marketing, and Other Factors:  One of the most honored brown porters in all of and the most honored.  This is, most seriously, a perfect example of a porter. 

Overall: Alvis gave this a 3.5; and Smith a 4.  Overall? 3.75

XIII. Rubrics, Reviews, and Talking Points: Black Abbey Five Points IPA 


BeerAdvocate: 3.8 of 5 

RateBeer: 3.34 of 5 

Untappd: 3.68 of 5

ABV: 5.6%

Ingredients: Listed malts include Citra, Amarillo and Cascade, though the implication is that there are others, with late hopping to increase the brightness of the citrus flavors.  Pale and caramel malts. 

Cost: $8 to $10 a six-pack.

Appearance: Beautiful. Yellow leaning to gold, not too much carbonation, not too much head, lace holds (at least on the first pour).

Aroma: Hop-forward; Piney, citrusy. 

Flavor: West Coast-style IPA.  Bitter without being overwhelming. Rich and piney, very citrusy.  Not as dramatic as Heady Topper, but reminiscent of its notes.  Not subtle.  Eric wouldn't pair this with anything - well, except maybe vanilla ice cream, but Black Abbey recommends very strong flavored foods.  

Mouthfeel: Very effervescent. 

Authenticity, Marketing, and Other Factors:  Marketing uses a church aesthetic, brewed in an old church, very Tudor or medieval in its look.  A Nashville original.  Great stuff. 

Overall: Alvis gave this a 3;  Eric a  3.75.  Final rating? 3.375 of 5.

XIII. Rubrics, Reviews, and Talking Points: The Rose Belgian Blonde

BeerAdvocate: 3.74 of 5 

RateBeer: 3.39 of 5 

Untappd: 3.61 of 5 

ABV: 5.7%

Ingredients: Black Abbey doesn't give a clear list of the ingredients, save for a note of 

Cost

Appearance: Blonde, translucent, nearly transparent, unfiltered, 

Aroma: The website advertises this as having the scent of spicy cloves and candied bananas. Reminded us of a farmhouse or saison. 

Flavor: Powerful, reminiscent of sake with hints of plums, farmhouse complexity.  Banana notes, but we're not thinking candied - more of a peel odor in the mouth.  Alvis is reminded of bubble gum flavors.  A mild bitter finish. 

Mouthfeel: Mildly lingering, not as dry as the literature seems to note, but not unpleasant.  "Chewy."

Authenticity, Marketing, and Other Factors:  Marketing uses a church aesthetic, brewed in an old church, very Tudor or medieval in its look.  A Nashville original.  Great stuff. Also this led us to talk about the War of the Roses for, well, awhile, which led to a discussion of minor league baseball, which in turn led to a bit about the late, great, departed but not forgotten Prince. 

Overall: Dustin gave this a gentleman's 3;  Eric a 3.9. Final consideration? 3.45 of 5

XVI. Our Sponsors

Today we have two magical sponsors:

Leben Farms of Abingdon, Virginia

Leben Farms is a community supported-agriculture (CSA) program that offers locally grown fresh vegetables in weekly boxes to its members in Southwest Virginia and East Tennessee.  Using organic and regenerative practices to grow nutrient dense food, community-supported agriculture is a food production and distribution system that directly connects farmers and consumers. In short: people buy "shares" of a farm's harvest in advance and then receive a portion of the crops as they're harvested.

Check them out on Facebook or Instagram.

Also...

Glade Pharmacy in Glade Spring, Virginia
33472 Lee Hwy, Glade Spring, VA 24340

Locally owned and managed, Glade Pharmacy provides the highest quality pharmaceutical service in the Emory/Glade Spring area.

XVII. Plugs

Beorn from The Hobbit


Bolton's Spicy Chicken & Fish
Nashville, Tennessee

Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend
Earwolf

Hot Streets
Adult Swim / Cartoon Network


Hugs

Bryce McCloud
Isle of Printing

Prince's Hot Chicken Shack
Nashville, Tennessee


Rompo Beer Bar Rosemary and Patchouli Soap
Little Seed Farm

The Sandwich Opera House
Sandwich, Illinois


They Live. 

Abingdon, Virginia

XVIII. Brewery Home Pages

Black Abbey Brewing Company - Nashville, Tennessee

Blackstone Brewing Company - Nashville, Tennessee

Jackalope Brewing Company - Nashville, Tennessee

Mill Creek Brewing Company - Nolensville, Tennessee

Tennessee Brew Works - Nashville, Tennessee

Yazoo Brewing Company - Nashville, Tennessee

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