Too many local beers on tap? Ignorance abounds
This time we are exposed to this rampant ignorance on Reddit, one of the social media platforms where people ramble on about whatever. Some character, whose reddit handle is just five numbers, three zero something, went on a rant about how too many tap handles in local bars and pubs are going to local beers. Then he proceeds to say how all the local beer is so bad. Yeah, really, in print, for all to see.
Fortunately for him, his identity is completely unknown other than his five number handle. So he can go out to his not favorite local pub and buy a not local beer without fear of being faced by the ninety-nine percent of beer people in this town that actually like the quality and variety of the local craft beer.
The funny party, I guess, is that he claims to have worked for a beer distributor for the last three years. Doing what, one can only imagine. The sales rep for a distributor is out busting his butt to get his beers onto tap handles around town. The rep celebrates any new handles he can get, and supports the bar by going there and drinking his beer, local or otherwise. So Mr. Number didn’t do that.
The support people at a distributor do everything they can do to make sure that the new handle they scored is supplied with adequate product. They know beer, and they know what they sell. They celebrate their job and the tap handles they have around town by going out to their favorite local bar and buy some of the beer they supply. So that can’t be it.
So, this obviously non-beer guy, who worked at a distributor, probably in accounts payable, or just a delivery guy, is complaining about too many local beers on tap. Yes, in multiple threads he advises the readers that he worked at a distributor, as if that gives him instant credibility. But his comments completely invalidate that claim.
So, let’s look at a couple facts. He bemoans the fact that a couple of years ago he saw distributors bringing in great, out of state beers, but they are now pushing all local. This could not be farther from the truth. Just a few years ago, only Lipman Brothers and Bounty Beverage handled craft beer. Lipman handles Yazoo and it remains their biggest beer product. They also handle Sierra Nevada. Mr. Number , who only drinks super hoppy beer, thinks Sierra Nevada is great. Well, you can get Sierra Nevada most anywhere in Nashville. It was great twenty years ago when it was the only pale on the market, now it’s pretty pedestrian.
The boom of craft beer did not go unnoticed by the distributors, and now they are actually pursuing and battling for any new out of state beer that may, or even may not, be considering distributing into Tennessee. The great craft beer that has hit this market in just the last year is amazing. DET and Ajax fought for Lagunitas. Everyone thought Ajax had them wrapped up, then DET announced the release date. Lagunitas makes a great IPA which is available most everywhere in this town. We have also gotten Rivertown, Good People, Straight to Ale, Flat 12, Finch’s, and others. Oh, by the way, they all make great IPA beers.
And has anyone noticed all the great new beer bars opening up around Nashville? Anyone try to guess how many new tap handles are in town? There are over one thousand new taps handles, most all delivering great craft beer, in and around Nashville. JB’s Pourhouse thirty-six taps. The Pourhouse has fifty-six taps. Bar Louies’s has forty-eight. There is certainly no shortage of new, quality, draft beer in Nashville.
Then consider some of the current beer bars in town. Eighty-four taps at the Flying Saucer. Seventy-two at Broadway Brewhouse downtown. Broadway Brewhouse and Mojo Grill has seventy-eight, including four taps from Stone, pretty big beers there. One would probably also include 12 South Taproom, Riverfront, 3 Crow Bar, Paradise Park, Bailey’s, Corner Pub, Corner Bar, Sam’s, and, of course, many others. There is certainly no shortage of existing, quality, draft beer in Nashville.
Finally, let’s look at the local craft brewers. Yazoo Brewery, the oldest non-restaurant brewery, was referred to as sub-par. Perhaps he forgot, or never knew, that Yazoo is a multiple award winner at the Great American Beer Festival. Their hefeweizen, which he likened to “banana and poopie,” clearly showing his Cicerone quality palate, was a medal winner last year. Then Mr. Number berated their IPA, known as Hop Project, saying they were afraid to call it an IPA because it was so bad. Of course, part of the reason they got two new two-hundred barrel fermenters was because demand remains incredibly high for the Hop Project, as well as all of their beer.
Admittedly, as a hop head myself, the great local IPA style beers are from Yazoo or Blackstone exclusively, but that doesn’t mean that the others breweries aren’t making great beer. In fact, the demand for Jackelope continues to grow, and they have expanded their brewery operations, as well. Turtle Anarchy is very highly regarded and will be celebrating their one year anniversary this Saturday. Fat Bottom is making inroads, and we are about to have the great opportunity to enjoy Black Abbey and Tennessee Brew Works.
Opinion is one thing. Informed opinion is entirely another. If someone wants to find a hoppy IPA in Nashville, they will have trouble finding a spot where there isn’t one. The fact that there are so many taps being taken up by local breweries is a great testament to the quality of the beer, and the dedication of the brewers. Celebrate their success by getting a pint or two of their great, fresh, quality, local draft beer, and give little time to the pettiness of people such as Mr. Number.
Time for a pint. Cheers!