This past weekend, one (of two) pints went for a girls’ weekend (guess which pint!) in Nashville, Tennessee. Amidst copious amounts of incredibly good food (looking at you, Pinewood Social), fantastic live music (hey there, Bourbon Street Blues and Boogie), and plenty of catching up with old friends, we made it a point to visit Yazoo Brewing Company, which is nestled in the hipster-meets-industrial neighborhood of Nashville known as the Gulch. Yazoo is a clearly well-established and well-loved brewery, with a wide selection of classic and experimental beers that are available throughout Tennessee and Mississippi. They are currently expanding towards the coast with distribution in Charleston, South Carolina beginning this month. The craft beer scene in the south is on the rise — but hasn’t quite had the exponential growth that it has up north. Owner Linus Hall noted that some recent changes in Tennessee legislation for lowered taxes and increased alcohol cap through the TN Craft Brewers Guild has begun to open more doors for small breweries in the region. It indeed took time for Yazoo to build its reputation.
As a former engineer, Linus was drawn to brewing beer due to its mix of science and art. He started with a small homebrewing kit and soon discovered his immense talent for making good beer. Yazoo opened its doors back in 2003, and after expanding their offerings and adding a bottling line, Yazoo moved to its current location in 2010 where it remains a popular destination for locals and visitors alike. Yazoo now boasts a 40-barrel brewhouse with a generously sized taproom (and fantastic gift shop to get your Yazoo swag!). Linus’s commitment to high quality, classic beer is clear; if he were a style of beer, he would be a pale ale – “not flashy or trendy, but steady and reliable, and it goes well with pizza!” However, Yazoo is no stranger to more experimental brews, evident in their seasonal releases and Embrace the Funk series.
The Yazoo staff were knowledgeable and had all the Southern friendliness and charm that you hope to find down in Tennessee, and they set us up with two large flights of both flagship and seasonal options. The weather was downright balmy for January, so we were lucky enough to enjoy the brews outside on the front patio. The beers covered an impressive range of styles; year-round they offer the Pale Ale, the award-winning Hefeweizen, Dos Perros Mexican-style beer, Sly Rye Porter, Hop Perfect IPA, Daddy-O Pilsner, HOPRY Double IPA, and the Sue (my favorite!), a smoked porter. For the winter months they have a seasonal Winter Scotch Ale, and they are also experimenting with some funky sour beers for their Embrace the Funk Series. Their offerings were excellent – the group had trouble deciding on the favorite ones. However, some of the standouts for us were the Sue, Hop Perfect IPA, Hefeweizen, and the Pale Ale. Yazoo’s brewery and beers are brimming with fun, funk, and a whole lot of promise for expanding the southern craft beer scene in a meaningful way.
Let us know if you’ve checked out Yazoo for yourself!