Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Picture of the elusive red-capped Sue in its native habitat

I believe this is the first batch of Sue we have bottled with the new red Yazoo caps. Pretty sexy! Enjoy!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Holiday hours

We will be open the week before Christmas on the following days:

Wed Dec 21 4-6 PM for grolwer fills and merchandise sales
Thursday Dec 22 and Friday Dec 23 4-8 PM
CLOSED Saturday, Dec 24th for Christmas Eve

We will be open our regular hours during the week of New Years:

Wed Dec 28 4-6 PM for grolwer fills and merchandise sales
Thursday Dec 29 and Friday Dec 30 4-8 PM
OPEN Saturday, Dec 31st 2-8 PM for New Years Eve, with regular tours

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Enjoying post-race beer and bonfire at our Bells Bend Beer Run at Sulfur Creek Farm

This was the perfect way to start any Saturday, but especially for those of us attending the 12th South Winter Warmer later in the day. A beautiful full moon on the way out to Sulphur Creek Farm in the Bells Bend area gave way to plenty of sunshine at the start of the race. After the starting gun went off (actually, it was just Neil saying "1...2...3...go!) we trekked up a steep hill and then down a quiet country road past fields of steers and horses. It was chilly in the shade, but once we crested that damn big hill again, we were in the sun and the three kegs of Yazoo and a roaring bonfire were in sight.

Thanks to all you Yazooligans who came out and joined us, and thanks to everyone at the farm for the perfect location! A few of you got lucky during the post-race raffle to win some fresh carrots from the CSA on the farm. If you or anyone else is interested in joining the Bells Bend CSA, follow this link for more info:Link

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Fwd: Yazoo Hop Project 62 out today, lots of West-coast goodness

Yazoo Hop Project 62 out today, lots of West-coast goodness

Hop Project #62 was bottled three times: DEC5.11, DEC20.11, and JAN4.12.

For this one we used all American west-coast style varieties - Cascade, Columbus, Centennial, Chinook, Northern Brewer, and Nugget. The result - a burst of grapefruit, long chewy bitterness, and a woody, slightly minty finish.

We did multiple batches of this recipe to try to get it out to all our markets. And that's a good thing, because this is now one of my favorites so far! When all is said and done with #62, we will have shipped it to middle TN, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Memphis, central MS (Jackson, Vicksburg, Greenwood) and starting in mid January, the Mississippi Gulf Coast.


Linus Hall
Yazoo Brewing

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

SOUP & BREAD: a fundraiser for Martha O'Byran Center, Dec 7th, 6-9 PM

Our friend Meg Guiffrida is putting together a fundraiser for the Martha O'Bryan center called "Soup & Bread" next Wednesday Dec 7th at our taproom from 6-9 PM. Several local chefs, food writers, and other good cooks will be on hand with their best soup recipes, served with fresh bread from Provence Bakery and pints of Yazoo beer. The event is free, but we will hold you upside down and shake you for a donation for the Martha O'Bryan center, and Yazoo pints will be specially priced, with the proceeds being donated to the Martha O'Bryan center too. As always at Yazoo, kids are welcome.

The author of "Soup & Bread" will also be on hand promoting and signing copies of her book. Soup & Bread is a program that has raised thousands of dollars, one bowl of soup at a time, for the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Author Martha Bayne and illustrator Sheila Sachs, the longtime art director of Chicago Reader will be there to sell you a copy and inspire you with their amazing story.

So all in all a good time will be had. I have word that one of our favorite Nashville musicians, Paul Burch, might stop by and play a few tunes as well.



Monday, November 21, 2011

Get your tickets early for tours this weekend!

We will be open on Friday 4-8 PM and Saturday 2-8 PM this Thanksgiving weekend. Tour tickets are selling fast on our website today, so I'd suggest buying them early if you want to reserve a spot. As always, we keep some tickets back for people who walk up, so if you want to just hang out, have a pint, and catch the next available tour, you can do that too! We've also gotten in some cool swag, including our new red or black hooded sweatshirts, and the newest Yazoo swiftwick socks. You can get them online at or at the taproom this weekend.

"Bottled on" or "Best before"?

Well, that was an interesting little poll we ran. It seems that a large majority of y'all like having a "bottled on" date rather then just a "best before" date. I'm glad that's what we do then! Our beers generally hold up well for three months after the bottled-on date. SUE holds up well for at least a year if stored cool. We're working on our entire process now to eliminate as much oxygen pickup as we can, from fermentation all the way through packaging.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Hop Project 61 out in bottles today

For this batch, we used some Magnum at the beginning of the boil, and then Warrior and Cascade throughout the boil and for dry-hopping in the fermenter.

We have liked using Warrior but it can have a slight tea-like finish. So our goal was to see how well it blended with a classic citrusy hop like Cascade. It has the aggressive upfront bitterness we've come to expect from Warrior, but a mellow grapefruity flavor and aroma.

This batch, #61, will be available in middle TN, and in Knoxville. It's marked NO61NOV14.11 on the label.

And I'd like to note a slight change in our philosophy behind the Hop Project series going forward. We are going to stick with a specific recipe for a little longer than just one batch from here on out, so that we can get each Hop Project out to all of our distribution areas. We plan on making two-three times as much of each recipe before changing to the next one. So the next batch, #62, will be available for a longer time, and hopefully in all the markets we sell our beer. And that's a good thing, since we managed to score a good bit more Galaxy hops for the next one!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Two more 80 bbl tanks heading our way from Vancouver! Just in time too...

Here's a picture of a truck loaded with two new 80 bbl tanks (they will hold about 2480 gallons each, or about 24,000 bottles of Yazoo). Good thing too, we need them! Let's hope for good weather on the trip from the Northwest, and no low bridges!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

You will soon be able to get Pale Ale, Dos Perros, Gerst, and Hap and Harry's at the Bridgestone Arena!

We've worked out a deal with the Bridgestone Arena to expand their Yazoo offerings at Predator games, concerts, and other events at the Arena, starting with the CMA Awards this coming Wednesday. There will be multiple locations on all three levels offering draft pints of Pale Ale, Dos Perros, Gerst, and Hap and Harry's (the lager we make exclusively for our distributor in Nashville, RS Lipman). But the highlight will be a big presence right when you walk in off Broadway and 5th, near section 118. We're dubbing it the "Music City Taproom" right now, with sixteen taps of just Yazoo, Gerst, and Hap and Harry's. That's almost as many as we have at our own taproom! But no growler fills, sorry.

The Arena is making a concerted effort to offer a more local experience to the fans, and I think having more local beer will go a long way towards scoring that goal. Here's to a great season - go Preds!

And thanks to J.R. Lind at the Nashville Post and Dana Kopp Franklin at the Scene for the coverage:

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Something good is coming out of it...

Sierra Nevada isn't coming to TN.

As I have written before, I'm not a big fan of all the restrictions and stipulations that were added to the TN state law that now defines what high-gravity beer is, and what license a brewery needs to obtain to brew it:

But something really good is coming out of all of this. We Tennessee brewers realized we needed a common voice, and have been working on forming a TN craft brewers guild. Brewers from across the state have met twice since the summer, we have adopted a set of bylaws, and are in the process of forming a non-profit organization that will both promote TN craft beer across the state, and represent the interests of TN craft brewers in the legislature. We hope to have the guild officers elected by the end of the year, and some marketing and legislative agendas formed in the Spring of 2012.

We don't have any announcements yet but please "like"us at
and follow the TN Craft Brewers Guild at @TNcraftbrewers on

Monday, October 31, 2011

Want to write about TN beer?

For those of you who enjoy reading about beer happenings in Tennessee in the Southern Brew News, the current columnist is leaving and is looking for a replacement. He writes:

"...if you know of anyone who might be interested in doing this column going forward, have them contact Lisa Hanson at
It's more of a love-of-the-game type gig which doesn't pay very well, but you learn a lot about what's going on beer-wise
in the state. It's pretty fun as well."

Might be a good way to get the early scoop on new beers and events, and make a little money as well!


Friday, October 21, 2011

New Tin Tacker metal beer signs are here!

Hop Project #60 out in bottles today! One batch for every minute in the day - coincidence?

Sorry Steven Wright, bad ripoff of one of your classic jokes...

OK, here's the info on this batch:

Hop Project 60, bottled 10/21/11

First wort hopped with Perle, then Magnum at 75 min, Cascade at 30 min, Warrior at 15 min, Columbus at 5 min, and dryhopped with Columbus.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Only 363 days (give or take) until the 2nd Annual Big Wheel Championships!

In case you missed it, here is Neil's epic ride to the site of the Big Wheel Championships:

It's up on if that link ever goes away. Good stuff!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Hop Project #59 out in bottles, draft

Hop Project #59 is out now in bottles and draft. For this batch, we used the following hops:

First wort hops - Nugget and Cascade
30 minute hops - Columbus
5 minute hops - Galaxy, Nugget, and Cascade
Dry hops - Columbus

The Galaxy and Cascade hops are really nice together in this one. Try it out! It is available in middle TN through RS Lipman, Memphis through Southwestern Beverages, and in central MS through Capital City Beverages.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Touring the new convention center - man this place is huge!

So we were invited by the Nashville CVB to tour the new convention center. It is massive and pretty breathtaking in its design and scope. I hope it brings lots of thirsty visitors to Nashville!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Last chance to get some Bells Bend Preservation Ale this weekend!

What a great time we had out at Sulphur Creek Farm in Bells Bend this past Saturday! Thanks to Eric, Keith, Barry, Rachael, Tom, and everyone who helped put it together. And thanks to T-Claw and the band for the square dancing! Even with the three or four hundred people who came out, it still felt like a down-home party.

Don't worry if you didn't make it out to get to try the Bells Bend Preservation Ale, brewed with hops grown right on the farm at Sulphur Creek. Despite some valiant efforts, we were not able to drink the entire batch in one go, so there are some kegs still left to serve at our Family Picnic birthday party this Saturday. We will have it on tap in the taproom and outside with the bands. If you like hoppy beers, you have to try this one!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fresh Hop Project #58 bottled Sept 15

It's fresh hop time! 200 lbs of fresh wet hops, one day off the vine, straight from Yakima Valley! This year, the fourth year in a row, our friend Darren suggested a curveball and sent us fresh Styrian Goldings. They are floral, slightly spicy hops normally used for styles like Saisons.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Making it easier to get your tour tickets

We have come up with a solution to the long lines on Saturdays - at least, we hope we have. The long lines are usually due to people getting their tour tickets - we have to check their IDs, everyone wants to pay individually, and so on. One "Yelp" reviewer put it succinctly - "seriously, fix your idiotic, inefficient set up first. It's just plain bad". Thanks Brian A. of Warren, Michigan! We never did hear back from you when we asked for suggestions, so here is what we came up with.

Our friend Lucas Hendrickson is manning a separate cash register in the corner, to the right of the bar. You will know him by the big "TOURS" sign over his head. If you want to pick up tickets you paid for online, or to purchase walk-up tickets, skip the beer line and go directly to him. If there is a line at this register, send someone from your party over to the beer line to get pints for everyone in your party. If you just want to buy a t-shirt or other merchandise, you can skip the beer line and do it at this register as well.

How does it work? Well, as Brandi our taproom manager put it this weekend, "eerily well. We couldn't believe it was Saturday, there was hardly ever a line to get beer, even on a busy Labor Day weekend." So, if you have read some reviews about our taproom and are prepared for long lines, you may be disappointed to just walk up and get your beer right away. But I bet lots of other people will be very happy! Seriously, we are trying to make everyone's experience better, and would appreciate any feedback you may have.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Silo is up!

Our new grain silo is here! We have been planning on adding a grain silo and getting away from buying our pale barley malts in bags since we moved to Division St last year. But more important projects kept popping up - new bottling line to name one. However, we got word from several of our barley suppliers to expect grain prices to skyrocket later this year. It has been a difficult planting season in the northwest where barley is grown. An extremely wet spring delayed planting the barley, and it is looking like the farmers won't get the yields they expected. Also, over in Europe, an extreme drought is making the harvest there look terrible. Plus, as more and more corn is used for producing ethanol (STUPIDEST IDEA EVER!), the lack of corn for animal feed is raising the price of barley as a substitute. Add it all together, and the price of your favorite beer will soon be going up for lots of brands. ABInBev has already announced plans to increase their prices in October.

But by putting a bulk grain silo in, we can save by buying the barley in bulk instead of by the bag. So the price increase on our barley will be somewhat mitigated by buying in bulk.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

It's Wet Hop Time in Tennessee!

Fresh Wet Hops steeping in our Lauter Tun

That time in the year when we call our friend Darren Gamache in Yakima valley, and ask him what he's picking. Darren's family owns the patent on the Amarillo hop variety, one of my favorites and the featured hop in our Pale Ale. I've gotten to be good friends with him over the past eight years, and he has always set us up with some freshly picked hops at harvest time. Over the past few years we have used Amarillo twice and then last year we chose Sorachi Ace. This year we decided to try a variety we had never used before - Styrian Goldings - hey, that's what Hop Project is all about, right?

We got in 200 lbs of freshly picked hops on Wednesday. Hops decomposed really quickly after they are off the vine - the boxes were already starting to get hot when they were delivered only 12 hours after being picked. We spread them out in our cold room and got them cooled off quickly.

We decided to use a method we had developed at the old Marathon brewery, but had not tried yet on our new system. We boiled the wort for the standard 75 minutes, and then transferred the wort back into our lauter tun, adding half the wet fresh hops in the lauter tun. We let the wort steep with the wet hops for 30 minutes, then chilled the wort down on the way to the fermenter. We then transferred another mash into the lauter tun, which still held the wet hops from the previous batch ( a kind of mash-hopping of the second batch). We then boiled the second batch, and used the other half of the wet hops again in the lauter tun with the second batch.

Sounded good on paper, but the wet hops made the second batch a sticky mess. Thank you to Quinn, our head brewer, for sticking it out over a 12 hour day to make sure we finished the brew.

The wort smelled amazing during the brew. I can't wait to taste the finished beer in a few weeks. It will be labelled as Hop Project #58 in stores.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hop Project #57 bottled Aug 30

First wort hopped with Nugget, then Magnum at 75 mi n and 30 min, Nugget at 30 min, Cascade at 5 min, and dry hopped with Columbus.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Another great Chattanooga Beerfest

Thanks to all the Yazooligans we saw this weekend, and we hope we made some more!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hefe cupcakes!

Thanks to local food blogger and cupcake maker extraordinare for posting her recipe for Hefeweizen cupcakes - Erin was even kind enough to bring us some down! I didn't get to try them - by the time I got there, not even a crumb was left. But I'm going to try out the recipe at home. Thanks again Erin!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The hop pickin barn (for that night!)

I love this pic - must be the dog scratching

Picking hops is harder than you think

20 minutes to get them down, three hours to get them off the vine. Good thing we brought some cases of Hop
Project. Started tasting like water towards the end of the night.

The hop harvest at Sulphur Creek Farm in Bell's Bend this week!

We got 25 lbs! Great for first real harvest!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Monday, August 15, 2011

From the Leading Economic Indicators department...

There's a lot of doom and gloom in the economic news these days, but I noticed something interesting and maybe positive today - the price for recycled cardboard is trending upwards! We end up with a lot of cardboard each week, after breaking down all of the boxes our raw materials come in. We collect it and take it over to Smurfit-Stone( actually, it's now RTS Packaging) near Fisk University. They take in tons of cardboard every day, and will actually pay you for it! Well, before the Great Recession, they were paying us around $69 per ton. In late 2008, during the height of the crisis, demand for recycled cardboard disappeared, and Smurfit quit paying anything at all for cardboard - we took it over anyway, better than going in a landfill. But since then, the price has come back up, to just recently $105 per ton. I don't know what that means for everyone, but for us - pizza days at the brewery will come more often!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Hop Project #56, bottled 8/9/11, label reads "56. AUG09.11"

Columbus and Nugget first wort hopped, Nugget at 45 min, then Galaxy at 30, 15, and 5 min. Dryhopped with Galaxy and Nugget.

I'm loving this one! Very soft bitterness, tropical fruit, orange, lemon, but lingering dry bitterness. These hops are amazing! Probably one of the best Hop Projects we've done.

This will go out today destined for middle TN and Knoxville. Make sure you try some! We only got enough of these hops for one batch.


Linus Hall
Yazoo Brewing

Monday, July 25, 2011

If you are in the Jackson, MS area - check out the Out of Bounds Show on 105.9 at 9:45 AM

If you are in the central MS area, check out the Out of Bounds Show on 105.9 FM at around 9:45 AM. I'll be on with Bo Bounds, talking up the southern craft beer lifestyle. Bo and his crew are big supporters of southern craft brew, and we are grateful for their support!



Thursday, July 14, 2011

New Facebook page! Check it out!

We've updated our Facebook page, and would love to get some feedback. We are seeing more and more people using Facebook to get information about our brewery, even more than our website. So we've added a lot of the information on our website to our Facebook page. Take a look and see what you think! (And "like" us while you are there! Thanks!)

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Update on our "bottled on" date stamp...

As you may have noticed, we are no longer notching the side of the labels on our bottled beer to indicate when the beer was packaged. Our new line came with the promise of a real date stamp on every label. Well, that little hot stamp coder is trickier to get set up right than it should be, and it doesn't always hit the same spot on the bottle. Plus, the stamp can be blurred at times. We have been working to dial it in, but the numbers can be hard to read at times. So, we are going to switch to using letters to indicate the month - like "JUN" for June, or "JUL" for July. So as you can see in the photo on the right, this batch of Dos Perros was bottled JUN29.11 or June 29, 2011.

With our new bottling line, we're confident that our beer will hold up well for at least three months, possibly longer. But you can always see how fresh the beer is by checking the label, or by checking the top of the case box if we have a case display out. I personally wish all beers were date-coded, so I could judge for myself how fresh it was. Some beers are fine with a little age on them - big, bottled-conditioned Belgian beers for example - while some go downhill quickly - like hoppy IPAs. "Best before" dates are a step in the right direction, but you don't know if the brewer is using a three month window, a six month window, a year...

There are still honest people out there...

Thank you, whoever you are! You have affirmed my faith in humanity, at least for a while. Nice to find your letter buried in the bills in our mailbox...

Friday, June 24, 2011

Bangin Tacos at @yazootaproom now using Dos Perros to marinate their pork! Get you some! Here till 8 PM.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Hop Project #52 bottled today

Bottled 6/16/11, should be marked "52 06.16.11 on the label

First wort hopped with Magnum, then Columbus, Cascade for bittering, Centennial, Magnum for aroma, dryhopped with Magnum, Phoenix, and Cascade.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Interesting story on the new owners of Pabst,0,7730989,full.story

Savor DC 2011

What a great event! 72 breweries and 144 beers from all over the US. Our Rye Saison and Sue were big hits. I really enjoyed meeting people from all over, especially the guys from Evolution Brewing, Buckbean, Troegs, Capt Lawrence, and many more. That's me, Mark Henderson from Lazy Magnolia, and a guy who is thinking about opening a brewery in TN.

Sorry, couldn't resist. That is of course Ken Grossman, of Sierra Nevada, and we talked a good bit about the recent TN high alc law change. He says they were unaware of the proposed pilot project idea until they started getting hate mail about it, and basically told the Senator sponsoring the bill that they were not interested in coming to TN unless all TN brewers were included. I believe that is the way it went down, after talking to Ken and reading this:

Ken is a pioneer in our industry and a cool guy. I hope they do locate another brewery in TN.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Yes, there is usually a great mobile food truck at Yazoo...

I guess I haven't mentioned it here before... but yes, we have been inviting some of the great mobile food vendors down for taproom hours. Not everyone is on twitter, but if you sign up and follow just one person, make it @yazoobrewtaproom.

Brandi keeps it updated with what mobile truck is coming down every day we are open. Lately, it's been great food from the Latin Wagon, the Grilled Cheeserie, Banging Tacos, Pizza Buds, and more. And like I mentioned in my last post, Eat Street will be filming Saturday as part of their feature on Nashville mobile food trucks! Come on down!

OK, enough about politicians... busy weekend planned!

Here's what's happening at and around Yazoo this weekend:

TASTE OF MUSIC CITY, Fri 5-8 PM, Sat 11 AM - 8 PM

This festival has expanded to include a bona-fide beer garden on the lawn in front of the Metro Courthouse. Some of Nashville's local brews will be poured, including Yazoo, Gerst, Boscos, Big River, Jubilee, and the one from the new Mayday Brewery in Murfreesboro. There is a preview party for the beer garden Friday from 5-8 PM. The Taste of Music City starts at 11 AM on Saturday, with Deaderick St closed so you can wander up and down, tasting the best food from Nashville's restaurants. Stop by and say hi!


Eat Street travels the country filming the local street food vendor scene. They have heard a lot about Nashville's recent explosion of mobile food vendors, and are filming around Nashville this weekend. Come down to Yazoo starting at 2 PM if you want to be a part of it! Riffstrucks will be here!


This should be a hopping good time down in Birmingham, as Free the Hops in AL just got a bill passed that will allow brewers to have taprooms. It's held at the cool old foundry Sloss Furnaces, a great place for a festival.


Linus and Lila will be traveling up to D.C. this weekend to represent Yazoo at this national celebration of craft beer, featuring over 70 craft brewers and their beers, paired up with some of the best food D.C. has to offer.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

SB 1224, the "High Alcohol Beer" bill - before and after

OK, so we have been getting a lot of emails, tweets, calls, etc, asking what we think about the new bill, waiting to be signed by the Governor into law, that will create a new ABC license to brew high-alcohol beers. Well, maybe the best thing to do is to compare the situation before and after the bill becomes law:


1. Breweries could get a "distiller's license" to brew high-alc beers. Yes, they already could! For some reason, none of the reporting has mentioned that we have been brewing high-alc beer for a year now, which is how we are able to legally brew our "Sue", a 9% abv smoked imperial porter, which won a silver medal at the 2010 Great American Beer Festival.

2. Breweries could get a "liquor-by-the-drink" restaurant license to serve beer, high-alc beer, wine, and spirits. However, the ABC ruled that breweries could not sell growlers to-go of normal strength beer if they held a restaurant liquor license. That's why if you buy a growler at Blackstone's brewpub, you have to do the transaction in the brewery part of the building, which is not covered by their ABC restaurant license.

3. Manufacturers who hold a TN distiller's license could get an ABC retail liquor license to sell their products to-go. However, those products had to be sold in special 750 ml commemorative bottles only, not in their normal packaging.

4. Breweries that received local beer board approval for off-premise sales could sell their regular-strength beer to-go, in any size package they wanted. Growlers, cases of bottles, 1/6 bbls, 1/2 bbls, no problem. Heck, we'd sell you a 40 bbl tank of beer if you brought the tank back the next day.


1. Instead of a "distiller's license", the legislature created a new definition of "high alcohol content beer" as beer between 5% and 20% abw. It also ratified any actions the ABC made in giving a manufacturer of high alc beer a license prior the effective date of the law (i.e. they covered the ABC for giving us a distiller's license before ). From what I hear, getting this license will be just about the same procedure for getting a distiller's license, which was $1000 per year and an annual inspection of the brewery.

2. The legislature authorized licensed high-alc brewers to offer free"tastings" during tours.

3. The legislature authorized the ABC to grant high-alc brewers a restaurant license to sell high-alc beers in their attached restaurants. As I noted above, this is not a change in law, breweries could already get a restaurant license to serve high-alc beer, wine, and spirits. With recent changes to the law to allow for limited-service restaurants (i.e. "bars"), allowing restaurants to serve as little as 15% of their revenues in food sales, this license could cost as high as $4000 per year, and as little as $1000 per year if the restaurant got 50% or more of its revenue from food sales.

4. OK, pay attention. Here is where it gets complicated. The legislature authorized the ABC to grant high-alc brewers a retail liquor license. Remember, if you had a distiller's license, you could already apply for a retail liquor license, but could only sell in 750 ml commemorative bottles.

If a high-alc brewer gets a retail liquor license, then the following applies:

a. as far as the state cares, the brewer can sell both high-alc and regular-strength beer at the
same location. But the local governing body (in Nashville, the beer board) can decide if THEY will allow both types of sales on the same premises, and what hours and days that can take place, if at all.

b. the brewer with a retail license could only sell a combined total of 5 gallons or 1/6 bbl to any individual per visit. That's including both regular-strength beer and high-alc beer.

c. for high-alc beer sales, there would be a 15% "inspection fee" paid to the local governing body, based on the wholesale prices of the high-alc beer. Most people would call that a tax, instead of an "inspection fee", but what the hey.

Ok, so you can see how much has changed. A TN brewer can now get a "high alcohol content beer" manufacturing license. Before, they could get a "distiller's license". I have not heard from any other TN brewer saying that they were denied or were having problems getting a distiller's license, so I can only assume that no other brewery tried in the past year.

Before, we could get a restaurant license to serve pints of high-alc, but would not have been able to sell ANY kegs or growlers to go, of either regular or high-alc beer, unless we set up a separate part of the building that was not covered by our liquor license. We decided for the time being that having a separate area with separate entrances, dispense systems, etc., wasn't feasible. Now, nothing on that front has changed (it was an ABC ruling that said you couldn't sell anything to go if you had a restaurant liquor license, and they have not changed their stance as of now). So if we got a license to allow us to serve pints of high-alc beer, we would not be able to sell growlers to-go, of anything - regular or high-alc.

Before, a manufacturer holding a distiller license could apply for a retail liquor license, but they could only sell in 750 ml commemorative bottles. To get a retail liquor license, the ABC requires the local county or metro government to give them a "certificate of compliance", which can be difficult in Davidson county. For instance, the store has to be on a "major thoroughfare", and the cash register has to be visible from the street. You can't make this stuff up.

Now, we could get a retail liquor license, if we could get the certificate of compliance from the city, and sell high-alc beers in whatever package we normally sell them in at wholesale. But we would be limited to 5 gallons per person or 1/6 bbl, combined of both beer and high-alc beer. And the high-alc beer would be subject to a 15% wholesale tax. We sell dozens of kegs every weekend, many of them the full 1/2 bbl size. So that is not an attractive option for us.

So if you have read this far, congratulations! Get yourself a cold Sue from the fridge, and stop duct-taping your head. It won't explode!

What does this mean for Yazoo? Maybe if we were focused on high-alc beers exclusively, it would make sense to jump through all the hoops to get a restaurant license or a retail license. For us, it probably won't mean any changes at all in the near future. We will go on making Sue, and hopefully another high-alc beer in the fall, if we can ever get caught up with sales of our regular lineup. We may apply for a restaurant license, but for a brewery that chooses to only open to the public for 14 hours a week, the $4000 license, plus increased liquor liability insurance, ABC cards for all of our staff, etc., may not be worth it.

I don't see us getting a retail liquor license anytime soon. If our friends at Corsair are still fighting to be able to open their liquor store side, after over a year in business at Marathon, I can only imagine how hard it would be for us to get the metro council to change Division St to a major thoroughfare. At least our cash register is visible from the street.

I'm probably going to get some comments, asking how I can't see the whole deal as a victory for TN brewers. But again, I don't know of any TN brewer that was denied the same license we got to start brewing high-alc a year ago. Getting the "pilot project" language thrown out of the bill WAS a victory for craft brewers in TN. All the folks who contacted their lawmakers changed the language of the bill for the better. However, I hope that, after reading through all of this, and comparing before and after, and after you unwind the duct tape from your head, you will agree with me. Not a whole lot has changed for TN craft brewers.



Friday, May 20, 2011

The new and exciting adventures of Yazoo Pale Ale

Our new pressure sensitive labels finally arrived, so we can run the whole line together. 100+ cases an hour, no missed labels, hardly any low fills - this is so awesome! Plus the shelf life of our beers will be much better.

You can tell our new labels by the fact that the "bottled on" date is no longer notched, but is stamped on each bottle. It's a better label too - you can't hardly get it off the bottle.


Linus Hall
Yazoo Brewing

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Friday, May 13, 2011

High gravity beer license bill

OK, we have been getting a lot of calls, emails, facebook postings, tweets, etc over the proposed amendment to SB1224. Here's the story of what is happening from our point of view.

We have been concentrating all week on getting our new bottling line up and running. The technician from Italy was here starting last Friday, and it's been 12-14 hour days since. So in the middle of all this, I got a call last Friday afternoon from a lawyer who helped us get our TN ABC distillery license last year. He told me that there is a certain nationally distributed brewery who was looking to set up another brewery location in either eastern TN, Virginia, or North Carolina. They want assurances from TN that, if they chose TN for their new brewery, they would be able to brew high-gravity beer, and to serve it at an on-site restaurant. So an amendment was added to an unrelated bill, that would create a new definition of "high alcohol content beer" and authorize the ABC to issue licenses to brew it. But then the state-wide definition was narrowed to only allow this particular brewery to qualify. Why, I don't know.

At the same time, the group who purchased the old Coors brewery in Memphis got wind of the amendment. We were going to join with them, to lobby for the bill to include all breweries in TN, but then found out they wanted to go it alone.

We don't have the resources to hire lobbyists. I started calling and emailing our senators. I talked to our distributor, asking them to try to contact the legislators and lobbyists crafting the bill. We have had ZERO input into the wording of this bill.

There are good parts and bad parts to this bill. The good: high alcohol beer manufacturers will be able to sample and sell high-alcs in the same facility where they are made. It would end the silly restrictions against selling growlers to go if you serve high-alcohol beer. It would allow the brewers to operate a restaurant and serve high-alc alongside regular strength beer, and still sell growlers to-go of both types of beer.

The bad: well, that's obvious. It only authorizes three brewers to be part of this "pilot project". We were only included at the last second because we already hold a distiller's license to brew high-alc beer, and the bill ratifies the ABC director's decision to grant us one last year.

I don't like that part of the bill, but I feel that after a year, the ABC director can report positively on the "pilot project" and the legislature can open the license to all brewers. I can't speak for all other TN brewers, but it has been a year since we got our distiller's license. I reported on this blog the details on how we went about getting it. I've talked to several TN brewers about the procedures, and gave them advice on how to go about getting one. We are only included in the bill as it is written, so that the legislature can ratify a decision the ABC had already made, i.e. granting Yazoo a distiller's license.

Again: we have had ZERO input on this bill. We are caught up in the drama of two relatively huge out-of-state brewers trying to influence TN law. Those of you who know me, know that I shoot straight from the hip.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Special Taproom only beer - 100% Brett IPA

So for the next in our special taproom only beers, now that Spring Puppy is almost out, is a very special one. We took about 10 bbls of hot Pale Ale wort, hopped it with lots of Amarillo, whirlpooled it again, and knocked it out into a fermenter waiting with a special Belgian wild yeast, Brettanomyces Drie. Brettanomyces is a wild cousin of normal Saccharomyces ceravisiae, brewers yeast, and is found growing wild on fruit skins in the lambic region of Belgium.

The resulting beer is pretty amazing. I've never tasted anything like it. We didn't filter the beer, just carbonated it and racked it into kegs. It's cloudy golden orange, with a frothy off-white head. The aroma is all fruit - pineapple, bubble-gum, some cinnamon. It's sharply hoppy with a slight acidic finish. Come on down and try it yourself. It's on tap all this weekend until it runs out!

Friday, May 6, 2011

First run!

First run on the new bottling line


Linus Hall
Yazoo Brewing

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Thinking of starting your own brewery?

Vince Cottone at Sound Brewing Systems is a great resource. I check his website at least three times a week, except lately there hasn't been much used equipment out there. But he has some excellent advice on starting a brewery.

His latest advice is almost a rant! But it is full of great points. I get emails all the time from people thinking of starting "small" and testing the waters. You have to read his advice at on his "Nano-brewery" page. Not to throw cold water on anyone's plans, but every word rings true.


Friday, April 29, 2011

Hop Project #49 bottled 4th week April

Hey, what's that popping out of the ground? It's the latest version of our ever-changing IPA! This batch used Amarillo, Magnum, Cascade, Columbus, and Centennial. That blend was used at first wort, 75 min, 45 min, 30 min, 15 min, 10 min, 5 min, and 1 min. It was dryhopped with mostly Centennial and a little Amarillo.

I'm picking up a lot of citrus and a little rose in the aroma. It has a wonderful body of chewy hop resins, not as much upfront bitterness but a nice lingering one. We went back to some of the hops we have really liked on this one, but with a different schedule in the boil.

I predict this one will not stick around long.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

New labeller arrived!

Our new labeller has arrived! We're switching to pressure sensitive labels instead of the cold glue paper labels we use now. Pressure sensitive labels are a little more pricey but in the end should do a better job than the 1970's vintage labeller we have been using for the past six years. It's exciting to see our new line taking shape! We plan on doing our first test bottling when the technician from Italy gets here late next week.

New AC for the taproom!

Our taproom fans will be glad to see it going up - we're adding another 5 ton AC unit for the taproom, to hopefully keep the room cooler this summer. It's being installed this week and our electrician is hopefully going to have power to it over this weekend.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Cool! We're listed on The Jack Trail!

Great guide for all the cool things to do in middle TN

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Hop Project #48 bottled 2nd week April

For this puppy, we used Columbus, Warrior, and Chinook for bittering; Hallertaur, Citra, and Amarillo for flavor at 30 minutes; Hallertaur, Citra, and Amarillo at 5 min; and dryhopped with Amarillo and Centennial.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Glad that's cleared up...

Hey, what do you think? We're getting some bar signs done for Hop Project, and to help the bar staff keep up with what Hop Project they are serving, we've come up with a "now serving" sign (like you are at a deli or something). Pretty cool idea Neil had!

Now you'll know which batch is on at your favorite pub as soon as you walk in!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Friday, April 1, 2011

Made it to the final 8!

We made it to the final Eight of Nashville Business Journal's March Brand Madness competition, thanks to your votes! It was a tight race with Old Time Pottery, but we made it through and now face Pinnacle Financial Partners. Now I know what you are thinking - we're toast, there's no way we can take on a mighty financial institution and come out ahead. And the early voting is looking like that is the case - we trail Pinnacle 82% to 18%. But I'm not giving up! So, in between reading all of the prank April Fools press releases that came out this morning, head over to

and VOTE for YAZOO!

Update! At 3:15 PM, it's now 41% for Yazoo and 59% for Pinnacle! Come on late risers, this is a beer drinker's time to shine! Bankers are heading home (or over here for a beer later). So head to the website above and vote, and we'll sneak out a victory!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Vote for us!

The Nashville Business Journal is running a fun March Madness style competition between some of Nashville's favorite local brands. We're still in the hunt! It's been a pretty unfair run for us, up against two of our friends in Hatch Show Print and Griffin Technologies. But we have made it this far! So if you are bored at work, click over to and vote for Yazoo. We are up against Old Time Pottery this time, and as of now we are lagging behind!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Live from the Gerst Haus, from Friday March 25th tapping

Here is a link to the video from Fox 17:

It was a great time, and thanks to everyone who came out to celebrate!

Friday, March 25, 2011

What timing!

So when the Tennessean's story on us bringing Gerst back to being brewed in Nashville hit:


I got an email from my friend Scott Mertie, who was the author of "Nashville Brewing",

Scott has taken it upon himself to get a historical marker made commemorating the exact spot where the old William Gerst Brewing Company was located. Stay tuned - I smell another party coming up when the marker is unveiled!