Friday, September 26, 2008

Wet Hop 2008 pics

Well, we brewed our Wet Hop ale yesterday! The wonderful smell of fresh-off-the-vine Amarillo hops is still wafting around corners of the brewery when I walked in this morning. The opportunity to brew this beer was a pleasant surprise. I'm friends with the grower who has the patent on Amarillo hops - they are only grown on his farm in Washington state. We had been told by the hop broker that buys his hops and sells them to us craftbrewers, that we would probably not be able to get all the Amarillo hops we need for next year. So I was floored when my friend called me up, said "don't worry, the harvest has been great, and I even have a treat for you. I'm going to send you about 100 lbs of hops fresh off the vine for a harvest beer!"
Now, we normally get our hops in pelletized form, and I have never used whole leaf hops in our brew system. But there was no way I was going to turn him down. So we devised a method to use our mash tun, which has a set of screens in the bottom, as a sort of "hop back" to hold back the hops. We brewed up a strong IPA in the kettle, and then poured in all the fresh Amarillo hop cones into our mash tun. We pumped the hot wort from the kettle into the mash tun and let the fresh hops steep in it for about 15 minutes. We then pumped the wort through our heat exchanger into a waiting fermenter, leaving the hop cones behind in the mash tun.
But wait, we weren't finished. We mashed another batch of IPA in right on top of the fresh hops, and finished topping off the fermenter with this beer. So our Wet Hop Ale of 2008 will be a blend of one batch where we added the fresh hops right at the end of the boil, and one batch where we used those hops in the mash. I think this is a unique process - I've certainly never heard of anyone else doing it that way.

Anyway, the proof will be in the puddin'. I can't wait to try it! Here's some pics of the process:

Justin from Davis on Draft podcast came to bear witness to the hops (back left talking to Neil)

Monday, September 22, 2008


We're turning five years old next month, and we're planning a big bash at the brewery. It's going to be held Nov. 8th, Saturday, from 2 PM until late. Here's the lineup:


starting around 8 PM

starting around 10 PM


Not only will we have the regulars you've come to love over the past five years, but for the occasion we brewed TWO new beers!

RYE SAISON - a delicious Belgian farm ale brewed with a portion of Rye grain and a classic Beglian saison yeast. Yes, I've been talking about brewing this for years, and finally have it ready.

WET HOP HARVEST ALE - we were lucky enough to score about 100 lbs of fresh, wet Amarillo hops, straight from the fields at harvest in Yakima valley. The IPA we brewed with it will blow you away. That's all I have to say to all you hopheads out there.


We're getting South Street restaurant to set up onsite and fry up loads of fresh catfish. What, a catfish fry in November? That's right! We'll also have some pulled pork barbeque for those who don't do fried. Weirdos.

So that's the gig. Check this space for more details as we get close, and leave the whole weekend open - Saturday for the party, and Sunday for the recovery!

Asheville Brewgrass Festival 2008

A good time was had by all. We don't sell our beer in Asheville, N.C. yet, but I've always heard it was a great festival. So Neil and I made the drive up to the mountains with our Pale Ale, Dos Perros, and Hefeweizen. The Dos Perros was a big hit - somewhat to my surprise, I thought Asheville was supposed to be a hop-head haven - and the festival was great. We look forward to coming up again next year!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Monday, September 8, 2008

Grimey's Fall Fling this weekend! Sept 13th!

Grimey's & The Basement's Next Big Outdoor In-Store - Sept. 13, 10am-8pmWe've got an initial lineup for our big shindig on Saturday, September 13th. Confirmed as of press time are:The Dexateens, Meemaw, Caitlin Rose, Korean Is Asian, The Sleep Study, Stone Jack Jones, This Modern Station, The Pragmatic, and Tiger! Tiger! Local DJs (Brother Dylan, D-Funk, The Curse of the Drinking Class, DJ B, Left Can Dance) will spin. More acts to be announced next week.It's an all-day free music festival and store-wide sale. See ya there!
The Yazoo beer van will be there pouring all day, and this time they plan to open up the Basement too. So it will be double your trouble!

Art on Tap at the Dixon in Memphis

We've been to this event twice now, and it's a good time. You can taste just about every beer available in Memphis, all under the stars in the gardens at the Dixon art museum. This year the tiickets went way up to $50, but it still drew a pretty good sized crowd. The band was surprisingly good, playing every song from my senior prom back in 1989. Hard to beat a cover band that can play REO Speedwagon followed by Tone Loc.

See Phil and Jody, I told you I'd put your pics up on our website!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Is Yazoo moving?

You might have read the story in the City Paper today, speculating that we were getting ready to buy a building on West End or the Gulch and moving out of Marathon. Let me set the record straight:

We have run out of space here at Marathon. Our options now are to continue to build out the back side of the part of the building we are in, or to look for more space. When you consider how much it would cost to renovate the back side of our building, looking for another building to move some of our production to seems like the best option.

So we looked at a lot of buildings in and around downtown. We narrowed it down to a couple, and started negotiating with the current owners. While talking with Metro Codes, we found to our suprise that brewing beer was no longer an approved use in anywhere except an industrial zoning!

The old version of the zoning code had an exemption that let small breweries operate in the commercial districts. That's how all four of Nashville's breweries, us included, were approved. But in the newest version of the zoning code, that exemption was left out. Why? No one at Planning had any idea. But it meant that in order for us to either expand here at Marathon, or to move some operations to another location, we had to get the zoning text amended to allow for microbreweries to operate again in commercial zoning.

So that's all the current zoning bill 2008-282 is about, getting us compliant with zoning again and giving us the option to look for more space. We have no plans to leave Marathon anytime soon. But we're seriously feeling the walls, and need more space. And we have to get the zoning code changed to do it.

p.s. Update - the zoning text amendment passed with no problems.