Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Bringing back an icon...join us Fri 3/25 at the Gerst Haus!

A Local Icon, Brewed Once Again in Nashville!

Gerst Amber is being brewed once again in Nashville! This venerable brand, created by William Gerst in 1893, was once one of the most popular beers in the South. The massive old William Gerst Brewery occupied several city blocks in the area near 6th Ave South and Lafayette Street, and at the time of Tennessee’s Centennial was one of the largest brewers in the South. The brewery never fully recovered from the blows of Prohibition, and the last keg of locally-brewed Gerst beer was tapped in 1954.

To keep the Gerst name alive in Nashville, Gerst’s grandson William opened the Gerst Haus Restaurant at 315 2nd Avenue North in 1955. It became a popular watering hole for attorneys and politicians throughout the 1960’s, due no doubt to its proximity to the Courthouse, as well as its massive fishbowls of beer. The namesake Gerst Amber beer, however, was missing until Jim and Jerry Chandler bought the Gerst Haus in 1988. The Chandlers searched to find a brewery to recreate the old Gerst Amber recipe, and found a willing partner in Evansville Brewing in Indiana. Despite the beer being a hit back in Nashville, the brewery went bankrupt in 1997, and the Chandlers moved production to Pittsburgh Brewing in Pittsburgh, PA.

That’s where Yazoo Brewing entered the picture. While researching the local brewing scene while planning the opening of Yazoo Brewing, Linus Hall became fascinated by the wonderful history behind Nashville’s original brewery. When he met Jerry Chandler one day in 2005, he broached the idea of bringing Gerst back to Nashville, and brewing it at the Yazoo Brewery.

With Yazoo’s move to bigger digs in the Gulch in 2010, the brewery finally had enough space to add the Gerst beer to Yazoo’s current lineup of craft beers. After several test batches, the Chandlers and Linus have brewed a true replica of the original Gerst Amber.

We invite all of Nashville to join us for a celebration of the return of locally-brewed Gerst Amber, at the Gerst Haus Restaurant, 301 Woodland Street, on Friday, March 25th, from 6 to 9 PM. Mayor Karl Dean will be on hand to offer a toast, to both the long history of brewing in Nashville and to its bright future!

12 comments:

Dustin said...

Pretty awesome. Is this going to be a draft-only at the Gerst House, or will we see bottles around as well?

Cory said...

This is amazing. I love the story. I am familiar with both the beer and the restaurant, but never knew the story that connects them. I am excited about the launch.

Brian said...

Very exciting! I've been to the Gerst Haus and loved the German food and the beer fishbowls - combine that with local, fresh Yazoo beer and it sounds like a win-win!

Can you give the specs for the geeks?

Maryann said...

This is great to see history being revived in Nashville!!

Mark said...

Fantastic...I will be there, thus is the kind of cool vibe i get from Yazoo and an Oompa band !

can't wait for fresh yazoo-gerst in a 5 lb fishbowl glass.

Anonymous said...

Awesome! Mystery of the carboys finally solved!

Jason said...

That is great news! What an excellent way to bridge the Nashville Beer history. Way to go!

Cool Springs said...

So exciting... see you on Friday!

PDMan said...

Can't tell you how happy I am to hear this! When I first moved here in 1997, Gerst was still being bottled in Indiana for sale here in town. I hope at some point it will become available not only at the Gerst Haus, Sportsman's Grille and your own Tap Room, but at other bars and bottled as well. Long live Yazoo and Gerst!

Bigby said...

Got a growler (and a small sample! Thanks, Brian!) at the tap room tonight. Very, very tasty. Thanks for this, Linus...

binko said...

Awesome! My Great Great Grandfather and Great Grandfather made the barrels for Gerst back in it's day!
Very Nice to see it back home!

Scott said...

To learn more history of the Gerst Brewery, check out www.brewedindixie.com, or pick of a copy of Nashville Brewing (Arcadia Publishing, 2006). Nashville Brewing is a pictorial history of brewing in the Music City from the Civil War to Mondern breweries like Yazoo. The William Gerst Brewing Co. operated from 1890 - 1954. Great to year that Yazoo and the Gerst Haus are bringing it back!