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!



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