BIG things coming up

With my fall travel schedule wrapping up, I’ll soon be back in Cottontown busy busy with all of my upcoming projects around the farm.  Things are changing and progressing in many ways.  At the bottom of the page is the list of new accepted uses in Agricultural Districts of Sumner County.  This is a great thing and truly a step towards a new generation of local business in our rural communities! What’s your favorite on the list??  Maybe we’ll have a brewery, hayride, duderanch, cheese making, wedding venue combo!

We have a really cool event coming up on November 2nd. The Fall Harvest Farm-to-Table Dinner hosted by The Butterbean Bakery and Bistro in Gallatin.  We will be pairing Briarscratch beers with each of the four courses provided.  Tickets are extremely limited and on sale at the restaurant.  The menu is as follows:

Continue reading


My favorite time of year is upon us!  And what a wonderful time of year for the craft beer drinker.  The crisp air, football, the leaves turning, and the autumn harvests pair so beautifully with the brown ales, Oktoberfest, and the pumpkin spiced beers that are beginning to grace our shelves.  Fall is the season of change, and change is what we’ve been looking for!  We want the freedom to be able to establish our little farm inspired brewery….on the farm!  Jumping through local government hoops and spending money on permits and requirements, just to sit in front of a group of people that know nothing about this business and tell you its not feasible, is quite the bummer.  Graciously enough, however, we have been joined with the right open minded people that want to see more good things come from our community.  Why would anyone say no to any type of business that was respectful, responsible, natural, creative, and controlled?  Continue reading

August update

Hey folks,

Here’s an update on where we stand with establishing Briarscratch Brewery.  As many of you know, I plan to build this brewery to stay true to the roots that created the whole idea…. close proximity to our source of spring water, and located in the Briarscratch holler where the brand was inspired.  I want to establish the brewery in an existing building on my property in the holler off of Bursby Branch Rd. in Cottontown.  This hasn’t been quite as easy as most would think.  My biggest problem thus far has been getting zoning approval for the location.  As the saying goes, there’s more than one way to skin a cat.  Well as with most things, we have options.  Continue reading

Trying to get in the zone…

Today applications, information, and a chunk of money were submitted to the county construction and development department to add me to the roster for next month’s Zoning Board of Appeals meeting.  The meeting is a public hearing held at Gallatin’s administration building on Thursday July 11th at 6:00 pm.  We are looking to be granted a “Conditional Use Permit” to operate our small industrial manufacturing of beer on our remote property in Cottontown which is currently zoned agricultural. Continue reading

A hot topic

Our recent appearance at the annual Taste of Gallatin has created a bit of buzz around town over the past 2 weeks.  The local exposure was wonderful and I was able to let many folks know about BriarScratch.  Apparently we were a crowd favorite as well after being awarded Best Exhibitor and Best Beverage award from the event!  Being involved with the local Chamber of Commerce has led us to meet dozens of new people.  They also got me interested in attending a local city counsel meeting in Gallatin when I was informed that the city would soon be voting on regulating local alcohol manufacturing.  This triggered an interest in the local news and I became both directly and indirectly involved in the topic.  The link to the article is posted at the bottom. Continue reading

Spreading the local love, May 23rd

So very excited to announce being a part of yet another premiere local event for the month of May.  On Thursday, May 23rd, come out to Triple Creek Park from 5 to 8pm for the 6th annual Taste of Gallatin event sponsored by Gallatin Chamber of Commerce.  This event is set up to spotlight our city’s local food scene and various other local business.  What pairs well with local food??  Local handcrafted beer of course! Continue reading

Sumner County’s first beer festival! May 4th

That’s right folks!  On May 4th, 2013 at Anchor High Marina in beautiful Hendersonville, TN, the inaugural Crafty Cat Beer Festival is taking place!  This is really exciting news!  I have been waiting for the day where a craft beer event would take place a little closer to home for some time now!  I hope some local fans of my brewery will check this event out and get the chance to hang with locals and try samples of all sorts of fine craft beers.  In addition to beer sampling there will be classes in Beer 101, home brewing, food pairings, entertainment and more adult driven activities.

I have been given the GO for having a BriarScratch booth at this event and am looking forward to spreading the word and gaining new local recognition in the Hendersonville area!  Looks like we’ll be pouring some brown ale, smoked porter, and a little red ale as well.  If you’re from the area and don’t have plans for May 4th, then I suggest you get on down to the lake and take part in this exciting event.


Photo: Help United Way of Sumner County TN by supporting the Upcoming Brew Fest. Visit or on Facebook and like this page.  Thanks to alll.


SPRINGing Forward

Let me start by saying that I’m no blogger.  I’m not the best at taking time to share information beyond the regular short facebook statuses.  Shouldn’t the plural of status by “Stati”?  I was never the kind of kid that kept a journal or wrote about personal stuff very much. However, when I get down time in the mornings I usually spend it in front of the computer.  Funny thing is, I only seem to get “down time” when I’m “working”.  By that, I mean my current job requires me to travel to many locations and we sometimes are in hotels with days between our Smoke School programs.  Right now I’m stuck in Tucson, AZ with absolutely no objective for today but to sit by the pool and go visit a local brewery or 2 (There are about 6 here, all with taprooms and great beer).  Luckily we’re reevaluating these schedules by moving Smoke Schools closer together and that will result in more hectic traveling but more time home in Cottontown for BriarScratch!!

The main purpose of this post in to give a little update for the coming months.  I’ll be on the road for another 3 weeks but due to the sweet nature of working for a Smoke School, I’ll be starting my “off season”  which means I’ll be home from the middle of May through the last week of August.  Sounds sweet but I actually work significantly harder when I’m at home then when I’m actually doing what pays the bills.  Tending to a large garden, finishing a major construction project or 5, mowing, bushhogging, weedeating, truck restoring, helping out friends, helping with my friends band, on top of numerous DIY brewery projects the help get the ball rolling.  Still gotta make time for family, girlfriend, music festivals, cookouts, annual summer canoeing, time on the lake, beer festivals, tastings, and crafty events, weddings, and all the little things that make up the big picture of my life.  Many times I wonder how I’ll ever get this brewery off the ground so soon!  I definitely know I can’t do it alone.

Since I’m on the road the rest of April, the remaining part of this month only consists of communication (and fermenting beers back home).  In the past few weeks however, I met with an attorney that specializes in the industry, contacted the County Clerks office and informed of my venture, briefly spoke with the county law director along with the county zoning planner, and basically learned that I’m going to have to do some serious groundwork with the local government to convince the “permission granting” people that this is a really good idea. Also its important to note that TN’s fix the beer tax campaign wasa success and the states tax on beer will be adjusted to a more fair structure.  This is great news for breweries, small business, and consumers alike!  On the brewing side of things, I brewed 3 beers last week; an experimental farmhouse style ale with local honey bittered without hops and only lemon zest and dandelion flowers from the farm, The Creekbank Blonde, and my first collaboration beer with Murfreesboro brewers, Panther Creek, which is a super hoppy brown ale.  I recently emailed the Beer Board chairman, County Law Director, and Building Commissioner and am awaiting responses that will hopefully have some insight on helping me moving forward with this.  On may 10th I’m scheduled to brew my first 20 gallon batch with my new shiny brew kettle!  It will be a recipe I call Sumner Summer Ale, a light German Kolsch style beer.  Then another the following week that I call Dusty Trail Pale ale which will under go a process called “Dry Hopping”  that accentuates the natural citrus and herbal flavors of american hops.  There are several other smaller batch brews on the agenda that will be announced when the time gets closer.  I’ll be working on finalizing my home brewery with a water line, gas line, fermentation room, and finally the patio! Of course a party will be in store for that!  We are working on several local Sumner events for this summer which includes a good friends wedding, a local music festival, and hopefully a local bar or 2!  These events should help gain a lot of local recognition.  In a couple weeks I’ll be posting some dates for some of these events where hopefully YOU can taste some of my beer.  Until then keep supporting your local TN breweries or where ever you are keep it “down home” ya’ll!



To grow and prosper!

So I’m obsessed with wanting to make beer.  Not just for myself but, most of all, to share with my friends, family, and community.  I think that part is pretty clear to most people.  The other variable of course is the career aspect. Mainly I want to be able to wake up, ride my four wheeler to work, and when the work day is done, enjoy the fruits (pints) of my labor. Sounds great, right?   It truly is a labor of love to make a great craft beer.  But every business is driven by work and money and in order for me to do this the money has to flow from somewhere.  Right now I’m making it. I’m currently on the road (in Indianapolis tonight) being involved in the schedule and business in which I was fortunate enough to be a part of right out of college.  I’m saving up to invest as much of my personal savings into starting BriarScratch as possible.  The best thing about this job is I only have to travel during the spring and fall months, giving me all winter and summer at home and still making consistent pay.  When I’m at home things are nonstop.  I’m constantly caught up on some kind of project on the farm from construction, to my 10 year ongoing custom Chevy truck project, to aspects of the brewery and our local craft beer culture on top of staying active with my family, friends, and girlfriend.  If I were in Cottontown right now, there would be no way I would be sitting still writing this blog entry.  One thing I really like about traveling (other than getting to see a big part of the country and lots of breweries), is the time I get to sit around, relax, and do extensive research on things I’m truly interested in.  I’ve learned more in the past 10 days on starting up a manufacturing business than I have in my 26 years of existence.  Tonight was just as informative as I read this nice little piece of literature.  “A Brewer’s guide to Opening a Nano” by Dan Woodske, owner of Beaver Brewing Company in Pennsylvania. It’s a very inspirational read for someone trying to open a brewery that’s smaller than typical profit turning systems.  He lays out advice and stories from personal experience and offers quite a bit of reassurance on the whole start up procedure.  If you’re thinking about opening a brewery too, maybe I’ll pass it along to you!  Some things that are going to take place over the next month will mainly include establishing the LLC business type, submitting a trademark for the brand, and discussing with Sumner County zoning officials if I can even legally establish a brewery and tasting room on my 9 acres in the holler.  From there it’s permits, permits, taxes, new brewing equipment, and more permits and taxes.  Then beer.  In that order.  And then my friends, I’ll do what I do best….throw a party.

Nashville Craft Beer Week 2013 (March 18-24)

Today marks the first official day of Nashville Craft Beer Week.  There is an abundance of craft beer oriented events taking place throughout middle TN.  If you live in the middle TN area then check out the full calendar of events HERE.  I can’t say that you’ll find any BriarScratch brews this week but there are many great local and regional craft breweries that will be pouring an almost endless array of styles at dozens of locations.  Hopefully a little Cottontown Brown will make it to the spotlight during next years Craft beer week!  Support your small, independent breweries!  Happy NCBW!