Sumner Summer 2017

Mid July.  2017.  Sumner County, Tennessee.

 

Beer gets hot really fast if you don’t keep it on ice.  That’s my least favorite thing about Summertime. Well, sweat bees and chiggers, too.  Not a fan of those biting insects!  I hope you find this writing in the midst of enjoying your summertime.  Next thing we know it’ll be football and orange leaves (my favorite).  A quick update from the brewery goes as follows.  We have been experiencing more frequent brew days now that we have begun working with a local distribution company.  I have found our beer being sold to retailers as far east as Johnson City!  Nashville, the Boro, Franklin, LaVergne, Knoxville, and Cleveland have all been drinking down home brews the past couple months and it’s an incredible feeling to know that these brews are finding more folks.  Gallatin and Hendersonville haven’t slowed down though!  We are trying to be involved just as much locally as ever before.  Our friends at Awedaddy’s, Moby Dicky’s, Bluegrass Bar and Grill, Pour Vous, Starr Ranch, Sanders Ferry Pizza, and of course Prince Street Pizza and Pub have been blasting through some serious suds these past few months!  We have put out double time on the Blonde, Cottontown Brown, and of course the summer seasonal, Sumner Summer 2017!  This year we have made up a few more kegs of Summer Blues, the blueberry version of our summer Kolsch as well as Sumner Shandy, a lemon lime shady concotion with Kolsch and soda.  Sumner Summer 12oz cans are out in the market and I’m excited to announce that Summer Blues will go into cans at the end of this month!!  On top of brewing, I have taken on a number of projects both in and out of the brewery.  In the brewery we are finishing the layout of our upstairs loft area.  Equipped with a kitchen, bathroom, and lounging area, as well as a front and back balcony style deck, this area will be a comfortable spot for us to actually relax, host events, and act as a safe haven in case someone over samples our product.  On top of that I am building an expansion to the walk-in cooler to allow us to rotate more liquid into packaging and to store all these cases of cans!  The refrigerated trailer is nearly complete and is currently acting as extra cooler space until I finish the actual cooler expansion.  Once that is complete I will be able to utilize my trailer for cold deliveries (which I could desperately use right now!)  The building of this cooler has led me to take on a side job building another walk-in cooler for one of our customers.  This week we are known as “The Cooler Dudes”.

We recently had our first official Nashville tapping events.  Pint nights hosted by Jack Brown’s and The Picnic Tap.  Both events went over well and lots of our brew was enjoyed by Nashvillians!

Lastly, before this post gets too lengthy,  I want to announce that we are hosting an event (the first brewery sponsored event….at the brewery) for the upcoming historic solar eclipse!  Instead of describing it here, just click here.  It’s sure to be a great afternoon in Cottontown!SumnerSummerEclipse

Welp, that’s all the time I have for this computer.  Today we are making pickles so I have to go to the store. Stay cool out there!

Cheers,

Brad

March and April and Maybe it’s time…

For those of you that are subscribed to this website update, howdy and thanks for your interest in my little brewery.  My last post was about celebrating two years in business.  Our Tap the Town event in Gallatin is a blast every year and I’m so humbled by all the folks that come out to downtown Gallatin, share our delicious beers in my hometown and celebrate our ongoing and growing business.  This post is about the grassroots steps I’ve taken to make more beer.  Speaking of growing, the brewery is definitely growing.  More so growing out than growing up.  As many of you know, I still work a part time seasonal traveling gig with my Dad, so starting the brewery was always operating around a seasonal schedule.  Mainly it was working leisurely, then working really hard for two weeks to prepare to be out of town for another two, or even 3 weeks.  The support team I’ve had from the beginning, is still there keeping things afloat while I’m away, even more so than ever.  Throughout 2016, we brewed an average of 1 batch per week or 2.75 bbls of beer, selling around 10bbls per month.  Self-distribution in Sumner County has grown our availability to now 20 locations!  We’re now brewing more often averaging 8.5bbls per week.  We hit a wall in March.  Beer was stacking up in the cooler and while our best-seller Creekbank Blonde was moving quickly, our other beloved varieties weren’t getting the attention they deserve. OK, so back up almost a year ago, I made the decision to purchase a 10bbl stainless jacketed fermentation tank.  In order to ferment beer in the tank I had to have circulating chilled glycol.  Had the equipment but couldn’t get it to get cold enough.  So a few months pass and I finally get the chiller working thanks to a few knowledgeable individuals and a few new parts.  As each month passes, the tank just collects more dust and I decided I couldn’t put beer in it because I didn’t quite have the amount of kegs or even cooler space for 10bbls of one beer.  It was a big efficiency and production restraint.

So, getting back to the month of March….I made the biggest decision thus far, and that was to sign with a local distribution company to take our beer to more locations. This happened in conjunction with the first filling of Creekbank Blonde into the new fermenter, participating in East Nashville Beer Festival, and making the decision to have a local mobile canning company come in to the brewery with their equipment and fill 12oz cans.  Needless to say, a lot of decisions made in a short period of time that has changed the business tremendously!  All I can think is that we did it, now we have to keep doing it again.  See our Whats On Tap section on our website to see all of the new locations that have received our first round of cans and limited kegs.  That’s enough for one write-up to bring everyone up to speed on what’s pretty much going on.  Have you found our Creekbank Cans yet?  Next post will come in a few weeks and I will talk about some of the events and experiences with moving into the Nashville, Murfreesboro, Knoxville, and Chattanooga Markets.  Stay Tuned!

 

Cheers,

BradIMG_1765 cans 2 cans

Cheers to The Years

As much as I would like to keep our friends and consumers updated, I have managed to go almost 9 months without one of these posts.  Somebody could have conceived and birthed a child in this amount of time, and I can’t even count the amount of ideas I have conceived in a 9 month period.  In my last post I was summing up some of our accomplishments in 2015 and here I sit, summing up some of our accomplishments in 2016. I mentioned that our goal for 2016 was to sell 200 barrels of beer and we managed to squeeze out 198 barrels!  I’ll take it!  I also talked about the increase in production with some of the new tanks and kegs.  Well, we did receive that shiny new fermenter back in the summer, but I have yet to fill it with beer due to some hiccups in getting our glycol refrigeration system hooked up.  Fermentation temperature is very important to the outcome of the beer and since this tank sets freely out in the production area, it has to have the ability to allow super cold liquid to flow through cooling jackets to regulate the temperature of the liquid inside.  So in the meantime we are sticking with our original plastic tanks in the dedicated 66 degree room.

 

Ironically in the last post I ended with talking about our most recent beer, Unincorporated.  Just last night we tapped the first keg of the second batch of this beer which I call an “ungoverned ale”, since it blurs the lines of a few different beer styles.  Every Wednesday we tap a different beer at Prince Street Pizza and Pub, my restaurant which has seen pretty awesome success.  Prince Street turns 1 year old this month and we are celebrating our first anniversary on January 14th with pizza and beer specials all day.  We have another birthday in the works and we shall celebrate with an annual event we like to call Tap the Town!  BriarScratch turns 2 and we will host our 3rd annual downtown Gallatin pub crawl on February 18th.  It’s been a crazy 2 years getting to know how this business was going to unfold with my seasonal work schedule balancing brewing and now a pizzeria taproom on top.  As for the pizzeria, we got a bit ambitious back in the summer and our landlord offered us a location in Hendersonville by the lake, formerly the location of Piranhas.  We decided to take this somewhat turn-key bar and open Sanders Ferry Pizza and Pub.  It took off pretty quick but with the cold months came very slow business.  I could write a whole story in itself about that place but needless to say, we were handed an offer to sell the business and as of this month, even though the place is only less than 5 months old, we have sold our Hendersonville business and  decided to focus more time and energy back into our roots in Gallatin.  However, this post is about BriarScratch and BriarScratch will continue to be sold at Sanders Ferry Pizza and Pub!  We launched at another Hendersonville location recently and you can now find our beer at Black Eyed Pea.

How about that new law change?!  If you are unaware, beer is now defined as a malt beverage up to 8% alcohol by weight instead of the previous 5%.. What does that mean?  We can now brew beer up to the equivalent strength of 10.1% ABV along with being able to sell these beers at Prince Street and everywhere your favorite BriarScratch beer is available.  For our first stronger option, we are fermenting an American Strong Ale and transferring a portion of it to be aged in a Four Roses Bourbon barrel.  Some other beers to be brewed on the horizon include a Vermont style IPA, an India Brown Ale collaboration with Panther Creek from Murfreesboro, and an Imperial Stout.

Some construction has taken place at the brewery this Summer.  We added a new loading deck, mill room, and covered the entire front half of the building with a metal roof supported by live edge cedar posts.  This changed the entire look and functionality of the building.  We are also half way finished with the long overdue upstairs completion.  This area has been unfinished since I purchased the place in 2011 and we are now cramming it full of material to make a super sweet guest quarters directly above the brewery.  Future plans will allow us to use this space for family, friends, guests, and events.

Join us this Saturday night as we do a tap takeover with Swaney Swift for their 2nd birthday and next Saturday for Prince Street’s 1st birthday.  We are also planning a beer dinner with Crescent City Po Boys that we will keep you in the loop about.  Follow us on Facebook for all the updates!

 

That’s all for this moment in time.  I need to go keg some beer!

 

Cheers!

Brad

 

Always Springing Forward

Finally,  I have found a moment of peace where I am compelled to write something.  These updates just seem to happen organically, not scheduled by any means.  It is definitely mid spring in Tennessee, but today I find myself in Tucson, Arizona, doing my regularly scheduled non-brewing occupation.  It’s 95 degrees here today, we’re all finished up for the day, so I’m taking refuge in the A/C and working on behind the scenes BriarScratchy things.  That usually consists on spending money on things but its great to buy new things for the brewery when beer sales are doing great.  If you’ve bought a BriarScratch Beer in the past couple of months, your dollar is being well spent, going right back into making the business better.  I just ordered some logo’d plastic stadium cups for this summer’s outdoor events on the square along with some sweet camouflage coozies with an orange logo.  Let us know if you want one of the coozies, they are only $3 when you buy them from us directly!

Ok so let’s go over all the things that have happened in the first 4 months of 2016.  For starters, I partnered with Spencer Wakefield and opened Prince Street Pizza and Pub in an old block building located right in the heart of downtown Gallatin on January 8th.  If you haven’t been there yet, well then shame on you!  We truly make the most delicious pizza and snacks in town and we have a craft beer bar, which currently has 12 taps (soon installing 12 more to make 24), and we tap only Tennessee craft beer.  That’s right, among all the BriarScratch offerings that flow through there, we also have Yazoo, Mayday, Jackalope, TN Brew Works, Blackstone, Ghost River, Wiseacre, Honky Tonk, Blackberry Farm, Black Abbey, Blackhorse, Saw Works, Calfkiller, Roots Cider, Ole Shed, Fat Bottom, Mill Creek, Little Harpeth, Tailgate, Bearded Iris, and Mantra Artisan Ales!  The response has been over the top for this place and I am very proud to have brought something else to Gallatin that plays a part in our city’s culture.

On February 27th, we hosted the 2nd annual Tap The Town downtown Gallatin pub crawl.  We celebrated one whole year in business!  Over 400 people came out for the event!  The weather was amazing and we had live music at each location, making for a very pleasant and busy night.  Each location experienced record sales for the night.  I consider our first year a great success with very little strife.  The biggest problem has been me trying to balance my work schedules and not being able to package beers fast enough.  The thing about our ales, is they can be ready in 12 days from brew day, or 28 days from brew day really just depending on a few factors like schedule, tank space, or keg space.  I’m doing as much as I can to improve all these factors so that I can produce more beer this year.  in 2015 we sold 105 barrels of beer.  A barrel is a measurement of beer production and equals 31 gallons.  Some breweries brew more than that in one batch but for us it’s huge!  That’s 3255 gallons, That’s over 26000 glasses of beer sold, and that doesn’t even include all the beer we’ve given away for promotional events, weddings, and parties! I plan to sell 200 bbls of beer in 2016.  It’s good to have goals!

As for increasing the operation, that is going to take more equipment.  We are fairly limited on space and can only do so much in our building but my goal is to push the envelope and make it happen.  I recently purchased a used glycol chiller unit for an amazing deal and just made the decision and ordered a big, shiny 350 gallon fermenting tank to go along with it!  I plan to use these, among 1 other old stainless steel dairy tank that has been hiding in our old barn for decades, to ramp up production on my flagship beers.  On top of that, I have invested in more kegs and odd and end do-dads that will help increase overall efficiency.  The actually brewing equipment isn’t getting any bigger any time soon. I will still brew 85 gallons per batch, I will just now have more space to store and ferment so I will be able to brew more often and brew 2 batches in one day more efficiently!  Creekbank Blonde has made up about 50% of our total sales so I want to focus on keeping up and getting that into more locations, along with pushing our seasonal and specialty brews a little stronger.

Ok, if you’ve read this much so far, that’s fantastic.  I write these things more so as a personal company journal to look back on down the road, but also to offer transparency in this brewing endeavor for those select few who are truly interested in what we have going on. Let’s see, what else is happening.  So far this year we have launched in 4 new locations with 2 more on the horizon. Along with Prince Street, we released beer in Last Call Bar and Grill and Starr Ranch in Gallatin, along with Piranha’s and Moby Dicky’s in Hendersonville.  Next month we will be launching in one of our favorite summertime spots, Awedaddy’s at the Gallatin Marina!  We will also have ourselves a tap at the brand new Blossom and Cellar Door Craft Cavern in Hendersonville, founded by our friend Tamara.  It’s going to be an amazing Summer, that’s for sure!

We have some events as well!  We’ll be participating in The Crawfish Boil and Fashion Crawl on the Square.  Come see us May 6 and 7 at The Strawberry Patch in Hartsville, and May 14th at SpringFest at the Sumner County Comer Barn on Hartsville Pike benefiting Children Are People.  On June 12th we are hosting our annual Summer kickoff event, Sumner Summer 2016.  Location will be announced soon on Facebook!

Last but not least, let’s talk about the beer.  As usual, the flagships Blonde and Brown are selling just fine.  We have been focusing on brewing Hitchin Post Pale Ale quite a bit more, and selling it at the pub as Prince Street Pale Ale.  It’s been a while since we’ve seen Mudpit Porter but it’s making its comeback real soon as Eddie is moving it to the brite tank for carbonation tomorrow!  Pop’s Hops is an ongoing hit.  We just sold the last keg of #13 to Crescent City for the annual Crawfish Boil.  We put out a new Amber Ale as a one off recently and dubbed it Rusty Roof, based on it’s beautiful rusty hue.  Light, malty, delicious, and gone…  Same goes for The Volunteer and Dixieland D-Light.  Two awesome and extremely drinkable beers that I would love to produce year round, but just not enough room in the files.  Roaddog Red is the current seasonal, named for our buddy and road warrior in the holler.  I will be doing a special version of the Red ale very soon with cognac soaked berries in honor of a fallen friend, taken from us too soon.  This guy left a positive impact throughout our city and I want to give a little something back in return.  Another special brew we just finished off was a porter brewed with honey and rye, called Queen Bee.  We aged Queen Bee in a whiskey barrel for 8 weeks given to us by our friends at Broadway Liquors in Gallatin.  The barrel previously held Eagle Rare, a 10 year bourbon by Buffalo Trace.  We managed to fill 75 bombers and host our first bottle release event on March 19th!  The winter seasonal South Tunnel Stout didn’t stick around very long either.  Our stout brewed with lactose sugar, oats, cocao nibs, and toasted oak chips is probably one of my favorite beers to brew throughout the year.  And last but not least, one of my main focused on side beer projects, The Briar Farm, is starting to develop.  Using a unique yeast strain we harvested from a little briar on the farm, we are creating alternative versions of our beers with an array of flavor complexity.  The 1 year beer, released at our anniversary event, was a saison brewed with Sorachi Ace hops, allspice and clove. The yeast is now currently resting in a portion of the red ale, making a beer I aptly named Farm Dog.  Oh wait, there’s one more.  A beer I named Unincorporated.  Just like our little community, this beer isn’t governed.  It is a hybrid of styles and makes its own rules.  Its brewed with all the grains: Barley, White Wheat, Malted Rye, and Golden naked Oats.  Its got 3 different hop varieties.  It’s very tasty! It’ll be out and about next week.  Ok that’s all for now. I can’t even focus on writing anything else.  Beer, beer, and more beer.

 

Cheers

Brad

 

2015 = Strong

Since February 21st, I have been galavanting about town, creating relationships with small business owners, and selling my dream product, kegs of craft beer brewed in Cottontown Tennessee. It has been some of the greatest and most enjoyable accomplishments of my life! Today I was able to view an article published on a well known national online magazine that BriarScratch was fearured in. You can see that here. 50 in 50 <~~

I haven’t brewed or sold quite as much beer in the past 3 months as I did over the summer but that’s ok because I have found a groove in the entire operation, as the first few months were very new and a definite learning curve. Things have been pretty smooth sailing this season and I have the largest inventory of full kegs in my walk-in cooler to date. This business isn’t meant to grow grow grow like most traditonal manufacturing. It is and will be a small operation on the farm catering to local community flavor.

I have released and about to release some news beers. Pops Hops #10 was a beautiful session IPA, highly rated by the local hop heads, and only a few kegs remain.  I whipped up a brew I call The Volunteer. An American style wheat beer with an addition of orange zest and white pepper. One of my personal favorites thus far as far as flavor and balance plus a little  Vols love!  Pops Hops #11 is on its way and it has a big tropical and piney hop flavor backed up with a distinct honey malt base. Lastly, one of my favorite homebrew recipes made its scale-up debut on Thanksgiving. Holler Harvest is a fall spiced amber ale with wild local persimmon fruit added. Check out Whats on Tap?! To see updates to where you can find these tasty creations and all our other offerings!

Its time for another big announcement as well! I am helping set up Gallatin’s newest business, Prince Street Pizza and Pub! The pub will feature a vast craft beer selection including 4-5 BriarScratch Brews!! They will offer flight samplers, pints, pitchers, and growlers to go, along with delicious pizza and such. Again, we are tapping into an untouched market in Gallatin! Opening January 6th!

This weekend, Eddie and I will be brewing up the official Winter seasonal, South Tunnel Stout! This roasty stout is a hybrid of all my favorite stout varities: Milk Stout, Oatmeal Stout, and Chocolate Stout. Milk Chocolate Oatmeal Stout combines lactose sugar, malted oats, flaked oats, cocoa powder, and cocoa nibs with 5 varities of malted barley to create a surprisingly easy drinking flavorful winter beer. Look for it around Christmas!

Keep up the support and drink craft beer!

Cheers

Brad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi Honey!

So long September!  Man oh man has it been a fast year.  Is it just me?  Here we are, October 1st, 2015, making plans and booking up weekends for the remainder of the year. I remember this time last year, anxious to receive my new shiny brewing equipment and walking around in a pile of construction madness.  My little operation in the holler has come a long way over the past year and it seems as though things are evolving right on pace with what I imagined in my head several years ago.  I had no business plan, no blueprints, no financial structure, only the knowledge that craft beer is being accepted and is a product that just works when done correctly.  With all that said, we have made it into the 4th season, which just so happens to be one of my favorites!  Cooler weather, colorful scenery, football, and an explosion of flavors!  Fall is just awesome….plain and simple.  I’m excited to work on some fall flavors in the brewery this month and we have plenty of them!  As Sumner Summer has faded away so has that beer.  You can actually find the last two kegs of it lingering around town, I’ll just leave that to you to seek it out if you wish.  With Autumn in the air, we have some new stuff to drop on your taste buds starting with the official Fall Seasonal, Hi Honey Autumn Ale.  As a kid I spent a lot of time with my Grandma.  If any of her 10 grandkids would call her up on the phone she would always start off my saying “Hi Honey”.  In the 1980s she had her own small local business in Gallatin.  Evelyn’s Monogramming Shop was located on Main St. and was well known all around.  Grandma’s house was right in the heart of Gallatin’s Main St. neighborhood and I could always hear the cheers of the Green Wave football games on Friday nights.  I sure do miss my Grandma and wish she was here to see the endeavor that I have worked hard to create.

As a small ode to Miss Evelyn, Hi Honey Autumn Ale is an amber ale, made with munich and caramel malts, oats, and honey nut cheerios.  Then 10lbs of local honey is added to every batch.  It has a distinct honey flavor and light body, and a honey color that is just the perfect fit to the season.

Next up on the fall tour is a little Oktoberfest, TN style.  Since we don’t yet have the proper equipment to do traditional lagers, our FlannelFest is an amber brew, fermented cool (not cold), and made with Munich malts and German hops to create something that just kinda sorta works.  Time to bust out those Flannels and fill up those mugs and toast to changing of the wardrobe!

I’m bringing the darkness back with Mudpit Porter batch #2.  Batch 1 was released in the spring and made a few fans along the way.  The thing is, we forgot to add the cocoa powder which was part of the original recipe.  This is not a seasonal.  This is one of my main go-to recipes for those that like dark beer.  This one carries all the qualities that I love in a good porter beer:  1) Light to medium body, not thick at all.  2)Additions of oats create a silky texture and enhanced mouthfeel.  3)Molasses adds an extra layer of complexity to the flavor and lends to a dryer finish.  4)Cocoa adds an extra layer of chocolate flavor and aroma to the already expected coffee, caramel, and dark chocolate flavors from the roasted barley and caramel malt. 5)Just enough hop bitterness to balance the sweetness and make for an overall amazing drinking experience.  Stir all that up in a glass and you’ve got a mudpit of flavor!

The Volunteer!  Possibly a brew that I’m most anticipating.  Honestly, as I write this, I have no idea how this beer is coming along.  The idea started as an Orange and White brew.  Orange peel and White Peppercorns were what I had in mind.  Traditional Belgian Wits use Orange Peel and coriander, so i thought I go a little off the trail with that.  I brewed up a wheat ale base with 33% wheat malt and 64% Pilsner malt.  3% roasted barley went in as a color adjustment in attempt to bring an orange hue to the beer.  I think I may have gone a bit to heavy and need to scale back to 2% because its looked sort of a dark copper. Next was the boil process, where it was bittered to a nice balance with Magnum hops, and finished with zest of 8 oranges, 35 grams of ground white pepper, and 8oz of Sorachi Ace hops.  Sorachi Ace is a unique hop variety that originated in Japan and contributes a nice lemon citrus character.  I’m a little worried I went to hard on the pepper but only time and yeast magic will tell.  This one should be about ready in a few days!  Its too bad the team in which inspired such a brew isn’t quite performing the same…

What about the hoppy stuff?  Ah yes, the best selling craft beer style in America, the India Pale Ale.  Back when I worked at ther Bearden Beer Market in Knoxville in 2010, the most common question was, whats your lightest thing on tap?  Now, you hear much more often, what kind of IPA do you have?  My how things have evolved in just 5 short years.  The craft beer craze is bigger than ever and hops are all the rage.  Not just any of the 200+ starins of hops, it’s the pungent, piney, resinous hops that these hopheads want.  My Dad happens to be one of those converts.  It all started when he told me I had to keep something hoppy on tap.  So Pop’s Hops was born.  Then came Pop’sHops #2, then #3.  When it came time to brew our first commercial beers, I was ready to create #7.  Each Pop’s Hops is a different recipe, showcasing the beauty of hop flavor with various other ingredients.  Not always an IPA to style, but always a beer that has gone through a “dry hop” stage where at least 4 to 6 times the regular amount of hops passes through the beer.  Pop’s Hops #10 is a golden ale base, weighing in right at 5% alcohol by volume, highly hopped with Chinook and Citra hops, and fermented with the Kolsch yeast strain used in Sumner Summer for a delicate fruit and malt profile and clean finish.  This week it will get a double dose of those same hops straight into the fermented ale.  After a week of extracting those amazing oils, the beer will have a very pronounced aroma and flavor.  Enjoy!

 

If you’re still reading….in other news we have a few events coming up.  This Saturday, Jessica will be at Cragfont for the Handmade Harvest Festival.  Enjoy samples of Blonde and Flannel, along with our shirts and glasses for sale.  Tuesaday 10/6 I’ll be at Crescent City Po Boys from 7-9pm jamming to live blues and talking up our beers.  $1 from every BS Beer sold will go towards the cure for breast cancer!  Saturday 10/24 is the TN guild Fest at Little Harpeth Brewery in honor of the TN Craft Brewers Guild.  I will be out of town with the other job, but hopefully we will be able to assemble a crew to represent there!  That’s all we got so far for October!  We’ll be looking for our next location to release our beer in Hendersonville soon as well so be on the lookout for that!

 

Thank you so much for supporting my dream as a small town brewer.  It’s truly amazing that so many folks have chosen to drink local!

Cheers!

Brad

 

Another Sumner Summer coming to an end

Here we are, staring down September.  Who doesn’t love September though?!  Kids are back in school, the weather is cooling down, and football season is kicking off!  I personally love Fall!  Favorite season I must say.  Something about stepping outside in the middle of fall, out here in the country when everything is dry, leaves are orange, and the air is crisp.  I’ve got some fall-y things that I’m pretty excited about in the brewery.  1st up is the brand spankin new Fall Seasonal brew from BriarScratch Brewing.  Hi Honey Autumn Ale is an American style Amber Ale made with 2row barley, caramel malt, and a few boxes of honey nut cherrios!  Now, we’re not the first brewery to put breakfast cereal in a brew.  Beer is made from grains.  Cereal is made of grains.  Cheerios especially are made from oats, which when using oats in a brew can enhance the body and flavor of certain beer styles.  It also happens to be one of my favorite cereals and is about what I’m going for in the flavor profile of this beer.  An addition of 10lbs of local honey was also added to the brew.  I was able to purchase a 5 gallon bucket from a local hive owner, John Ratcliff.  This will allow me to replicate the recipe 6 times to keep this beer flowing throughout the fall season.  The beer is still about 2 weeks from being ready to keg, and will be released at Gallatin’s 3rd Thursday event on September 17th.  Upon the release I will talk a little more about the origin of Hi Honey.  Until then I need ya’lls help finishing off the Sumner Summer Ale!

We have a new release location this week.  Wednesday 8/26, join us at 7pm at Half Time Sports Bar and Grill for the official BriarScratch tap launch.  We will be accompanied by Clint Park and David Wakefield performing live acoustic jams!

Upcoming events:

8/26:  Half Time tap launch

9/10: Taste of Hendersonville w/Bluegrass Beverages

9/17: 3rd Thursday on Main in Gallatin

9/19: Brewfest at the Barn, Gallatin TN

 

Drink up!

Lots of great beer has been pumping out of the brewery this summer!  Sales continue to increase a little bit each month as I am finally finding the balance in my system and what the brewery is currently capable of producing.  If you are curious to know where and what is currently pouring, check out http://briarscratchbrewing.com/whats-on-tap/ 

The year round flagship brews are Creekbank Blonde and Cottontown Brown.  If you haven’t tried these beers yet, you haven’t tried BriarScratch.  The summer seasonal has been a huge hit so far.  Sumner Summer Ale “the official summer beer of Sumner County”.  This one will pour through August as we just recently brewed the last batch for the year.  Time to focus on a Fall seasonal!  Go to our facebook page and vote on your favorite idea.  On top of these 3 I have done some really tasty single batch beers.  Pop’s Hops #8 is currently pouring and is made with 4 hop varieties and our very own wild briar yeast. Pop’s Hops #9, a big hoppy American IPA, will start going out in the next week or two.  Other brews on the lineup include Winchester’s Gold; a wheat ale with lemon zest brewed for the Gala at Cragfont, and a saison style farmhouse ale infused with a locally made organic elderberry syrup.

We recently released at 4 new locations!  Broadway Liquors and Discount Tobacco Outlet are both filling growlers of draft beer to go.  Look for BriarScratch at these locally owned establishments.  I’m proud to be working with Brixx Pizza of Hendersonville and the brand spankin’ new Tennessee Pour House in Gallatin.  I am doing a special brew for Pour House, Aela Brown, which is Cottontown Brown infused with their custom light roast coffee!  You have to check this place out if you’re a fan of things that taste amazing, which I believe you are!

If that’s not enough, I also did a collaboration with The Copper Still Wine and Spirits.  Adam, the owner at Copper Still, got his hands on a freshly emptied 25 gallon whiskey barrel from Tenn South Distillery.  The barrel previously held Clayton James Tennessee Whiskey, and was refilled with Cottontown Brown.  Over the course of 6 weeks, our brown ale took on flavors of oak, vanilla, cherry, and a hint of smoke, and the result is phenomenal! A light bodied easy drinkin beer with the flavor of a nice whiskey.  This will go super fast so if you’re interested in trying it, head on over the The Copper Still and ask for “Southern Proper”

July has been one hot month here in Middle Tennessee, and brewing beer is definitely not the way to beat the heat, but drinking a cold one sure does the trick.  Lots of great local things are happening in our community, so please do your part and keep it thriving!

Cheers from the holler!

 

Brad

Sumner Summertime and the Growing Growler Game

Here I am, taking a break from the heat and all the duties of today, thinking about what’s next.  It’s been one heck of a first four months in business running this operation.  To date I have brewed 28 batches or about 19000 glasses of beer.  So often, people ask me when I’m going to expand, or when I’m going to start selling my beer here or there.  People that ask these questions have no clue what this thing entails, or how I’ve adapted this business to fit my life based on my other job.  For those that don’t know, I instruct an environmental training procedure in 26 different cities twice a year with my Dad in the Fall and Spring months.  Since the summer “off time” has kicked off, my hours with the brewery have tripled, but that is all due to kegs being emptied as fast as I can replace them.  There is a lot of behind the scenes work, a never ending circle of cleaning equipment, events, deliveries, draft maintenance, improvements to the equipment, and now that it’s 90 degrees out, it’s 105 in the brewery on brewdays.  If it gets any bigger at all, I will have to have a full time employee and the business is just not where it needs to be for that yet.  BriarScratch is currently on tap at 7 locations with a few more on the horizon.  I am now pushing the threshold of capacity on my beer production with my 85 gallon system and I must say, I’m pretty happy about it all! I cannot put into words how the year 2015 was the perfect time to kick this operation off.  Craft beer is not a fad as it sometimes seems, but more so directly related to folks becoming a bit more educated towards products, and a desire to either try something new, support a local brand, or just taking advantage of better things becoming more readily available.  With the opening of several new business around Gallatin, the timing just couldn’t have worked out more perfectly.  From the beginning I leaned towards the idea of only working with locally owned businesses to sell my beer, and at one point, that didn’t seem like it was going to work…..until 2015 rolled around and opened a handful of doors perfectly suited for our local beer brand.  We are pouring with some great local restaurants like Swaney Swift’s, Crescent City Po Boys who both offer a great array of beer styles including multiple BriarScratch offerings but the big thing happening right at this very moment is the introduction of growler stations around Sumner County!

Do you know what a growler is?  It’s not surprising that probably 3 out of 5 people I talk to don’t know or have never bought a growler of beer.  I purchased my first growler in 2009 at Yazoo Brewery in Nashville.  A typical growler is a half gallon glass jug.  The purpose of one is to fill it with freshly drawn draught beer, take somewhere, pour, share, enjoy, rinse, and repeat.  Well just 2 years ago, the only places that were offering growlers in the area were local breweries in Nashville and a few specialty beer stores.  The game has changed.  Part of it has to do with a change in TN laws allowing liquor stores to sell more than just alcohol, which also altered the regulation of beer sales.  So now you have every quality liquor store bringing in craft beer growler stations.  It doesn’t end there, however.  Gas stations, convenience stores, and even local discount tobacco stores are offering the option to draught beer to-go now.  It’s crazy.  Want a custom BriarScratch Brewing growler?? Well get on over the The Copper Still on Long Hollow Pike in Gallatin and getcha one!  I built their custom 6 tap growler station out of a converted deep freezer and I must say, it’s pretty awesome.  What about this Friday, 6/26, we are launching BriarScratch at Broadway Liquors in Gallatin!  I’ll be there from 4-7pm talking about all things beer.

So far, it’s been a pretty toasty Summer.  I have yet to get out on the lake, or get in a swimming pool, or do much of anything summery.  But, what I have done is brew several batches of a really delicious, light, summertime beer I like to call Sumner Summer.  Say it 5 times fast.  You can’t.  Most people can’t even order it correctly.  My other year round light beer is called Creekbank Blonde.  It’s ok, you can just say Blonde Ale, or Summer Ale and I’ll be ok with that.  In June 2011 I brewed my first solo all-grain brew.  It was a Kolsch style beer that I called Sumner Summer Ale.  I had a dream that when I opened my brewery I would host an annual event to kick off Summertime in Sumner County.  Well we did just that last month with Swaney Swift’s on the Square!  We still have a few Sumner Summer Tshirts left also so let me know if you want one!  Ok back to the beers, these beers pair great with summertime so maybe you need to stock up on a couple growlers for the weekend?  With the growler game so strong, I can almost bet that if you live in Sumner County, there is a place within 15 minutes or less for you to go and fill up.

NEW RELEASES and EVENTS:  So if you’ve taken the time out of your busy day to read most of this, then you saw about our growler release at Broadway Liquors.  The just did an entire store remodel, and my good friend Brendon is a manager there.  Come see us Friday evening.  We’ll be filling growlers of Brown and Summer and the 2 taps will rotate with our different beers.  They have 12 taps total.  6 local, and 6 national.

TN Pour House is a new coffee shop and bistro opening in the fairview area on Green Lea Blvd behind Walgreens.  The exact opening date is not set yet but they are extremely close.  Very cool atmosphere, great food, and local products, plus fair trade coffee.  This place is the real deal and a passion of owners Eric and Angel.  They are offering beer, but not just any beer, BriarScratch Beer.  Starting with 2 taps, they will have Cottontown Brown, and a rotating tap!

I have a friend that is opening a new type of business in Hendersonville where the old skating rink used to be.  It will be called Blossom.  The kitchen will serve fresh food options with a strong focus on Thai-Lao foods.  The bar will be totally craft beer focused offering an experience with every visit.  There is no place in Sumner County like this place will be. There will be much more info to come but we are totally committed to this one.

7/4:  We’ll be serving up cold ones with our friends at the Galloway Farm firework show in Bethpage.  $10 to get in.

7/16 : 3rd Thursday on Main.  Gallatin Square offers a free concert and this month’s was a huge success.  Next month we’re talking about having our own separate line for BriarScratch Beer so come check it out!

 

I’ve written too much.  Lots to say these days!

 

Drink local, drink down home.  Cheers!

Brad