Low clouds threatened all morning to cast the day in a gray warm gloom. First thing: we had been shorted a table, and for a breathless quarter-hour we waited to find out whether we'd be crammed seven at a time into six square feet of sodden grass. Busying his hands on the hem of his brown jean jacket, Will turned to the sky and let out a nervous laugh. "It's a little cold, isn't it?" At our knees sat an assload of beer (and a firkin of cider), nearly all of which was clocked for spring weather—the kinds of seasonal quaffers that quench best on a heat-drawn thirst.
When a third table appeared we made quick work of rearranging the jockey boxes and lining up the kegs for tapping. We taped labels, set up swag, scrawled out a schedule, and before long our man Tyler came loping through the day's first show of sun. A most welcome and radiant countenance, and with it came the first glint of the festive mood that marked the rest of the day. As if to punctuate the shift, Will hoisted the six liter and cracked a boyish smile.
We finished off the fine details of setup and about 11:45am we poured our first glass, a dram of Schneider & Brooklyner Hopfen-Weisse. The day felt suddenly light, and as the tap mechanics from Ajax-Turner cranked the last regulator into place, the flood gates opened bringing a surge of expectant faces and off we all went together in a deluge of some of the world's finest beer.
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It's important to note that while only about half of what we poured on Saturday is "high-gravity" by Tennessee standards, all that's about to change. You may have heard about the new legislation. One of the fun changes for us: As of July 1, we'll be able to sell all gravities of beer (I'm looking at you All Day IPA!). So whatever your favorite beer from the festival, we can make that available in the shop come summer!
Some of these beers (denoted by an *) are already available to us, and those are highlighted in previous blog posts. But for completion's sake, below is a full list of beers we poured at the 2014 East Nashville Beer Festival.
DRAFT *Petrus Aged Pale (Belgium) *Petrus Aged Red (Belgium) *Wild Beer Co. Bliss (UK) Wild Beer Co. Iduna (UK) Cuvée de Jacobins (Belgium) *Ichtegems Grand Cru Flemish Red (Belgium) 1809 Berlinerweisse (Germany) Banhof Pineus Gose (Germany) *Schneider & Brooklyner Hopfen-Weisse (Germany) *Uerige Doppelsticke Altbier (Germany) Birra del Borgo ReAle Extra (Italy) *Birra del Borgo & Dogfish Head My Antonia (Italy) *St. Feuillien & Green Flash Belgian Coast IPA (Belgium) *De Glazen Toren Saison d'Erpe Mere (Belgium) *Vapeur Saison de Pipaix (Belgium)
FIRKIN *Etienne Dupont Cidre Bouche (France)
BOTTLE *St. Feuillien Tripel (Belgium) *De Glazen Toren Saison d'Erpe Mere Lentebier (Belgium) Hanseens Oude Geuze Lambic (Belgium) Hanseens Experimental Cassis Lambic (Belgium)
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And certainly not least. . . A HUGE thanks to all of our volunteers for doing such a bang up job and making the day more than we could have hoped for. Clay, Alanna, Nathan, Blye, Thomas, Shelby, Jared and Jessica: you all really brought it! We could not have had such a wild success (nor so much delicious fun) without you. Thanks!