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“Fix the Beer Tax” supporters rally in Memphis at Young Avenue Deli

February 09, 2013 By: mike Category: Breweries, Craft beer, Distribution, Events, Memphis

High Cotton at Fix the Beer Tax rally

High Cotton Brewing’s Mike Lee hands out samples of Ginners Pride ESB at the Fix the Beer Tax rally on Friday at the Young Avenue Deli.

More than 100 beer enthusiasts and industry representatives gathered Friday night in Memphis to rally for change in Tennessee’s beer taxes.

The “Fix the Beer Tax” campaign, which launched last week in Nashville, took over the Young Avenue Deli in Cooper-Young for a rally in support of the “Beer Reform Act of 2013.”
Fix the Beer Tax
“This bill is about bringing jobs to Tennessee. If we can fix our beer tax, we can have more brewers here, more jobs in those breweries. We can have more choices for consumers and more choices, most importantly, at a lower price,” said Tennessee State Sen. Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown), sponsor of the bill. (Watch video of Kelsey’s speech below.)

The Beer Tax Reform Act of 2013 seeks to reform the 17% beer wholesale tax in Tennessee, which contributes to the state having the highest beer taxes in the nation. (Read FuzzyBrew’s earlier post here.)

In addition to speeches by Kelsey and others, there was great Tennessee beer to try.

For a $5 donation, you could sample beers from Ghost River Brewing, Jackalope Brewing CompanyYazoo Brewing Company, Calfkiller Brewing Company, along with Memphis start-ups Memphis Made Brewing Company and High Cotton Brewing Company.

You can follow the progress of the bill on the Tennessee General Assembly’s website here, or follow the campaign at www.fixthebeertax.com, and at www.facebook.com/fixthebeertax.

State Sen. Brian Kelsey:

Memphis Made’s Drew Barton:

A visit to Jackalope Brewing Company in Nashville

November 30, 2011 By: mike Category: Breweries, Craft beer, Travelin'

Jackalope sign

On my recent visit to Nashville for the Music City Brew Off, I finally made it to the taproom at Jackalope Brewing Company. Jackalope, the first entirely female-run commercial brewery in Tennessee, opened its doors earlier this year. The taproom still has limited hours and is open only on Fridays and Saturdays.

At some point, Jackalope beer will be available at bars and restaurants in the Nashville area. For the time being, it’s only sold at the Jackalope taproom.

Jackalope - table

The owners have added some quirky touches (lots of jackrabbits with antlers!) to the 1,500-square-foot space, and it seems like a great place to hang out. There was live music the night we visited, as well as a food truck outside selling burgers.

All three of us who blog here at FuzzyBrew checked out the taproom that night, and our biggest complaint was the beer.

Jackalope-pint

I had heard from some Nashville folks that Jackalope’s pale ale was pretty solid, but there wasn’t any available when we visited.

Instead, I tried the Bearwalker, a “maple brown” ale made with Vermont maple syrup. It was indeed syrupy, but I didn’t get much else from the beer, which tasted to me like a homebrew that was not quite ready for prime time. One unnamed FuzzyBrewer refused to even finished his.

Meanwhile, Jackalope’s Jack-Ale-Lantern, a pumpkin-pecan beer, got mixed reviews. I wasn’t able to try it because it’s apparently brewed with nuts and I’m allergic.

The Rompo, a red rye, was the only other Jackalope beer on tap. In addition, the tap room had one “guest brew” available, an IPA from French Broad Brewing Company.

Jackalope - wall

Despite our complaints about the beer, we all thought the taproom has a pretty cool vibe and hope to visit again.

Has anybody else had a chance to visit Jackalope? If so, what did you think? Leave a comment below.

In Nashville, Jackalope Brewing Company is now open for business (sort of)

June 01, 2011 By: mike Category: Breweries, Craft beer, Travelin'

Jackalope signI visited Nashville this past weekend with plans to check out the city’s newest brewery and taproom, Jackalope Brewing Company.

But when I got to the taproom on Saturday at 5 p.m., it was closed. No sign on the door about the hours or anything.

In fact, there was a group of about five other people standing at the front door who also wanted to check it out and were calling the phone number on the website in hopes of getting some info. No such luck.

Well, turns out Jackalope is open — but only on Fridays, from 4 to 8 p.m.

(Right before I left for Nashville, the website listed the days of operation as Thursday-Saturday, but it’s since been updated to just Fridays.)

Here’s the official word from Jackalope’s blog, Blogalope, from a May 30 post titled, “It’s The Equipment’s Fault:”

We got the last two equipment deliveries last week, so now it’s on to setting up our big equipment so we can distribute and be open more than one night a week. We’re dreaming big! I don’t know how many of you have ever unloaded large brewing equipment from a truck, but it’s both scary and time consuming. I tell you this, because pulling several tons of steel off a truck leaves little time for brewing. For the next two weeks, we’re going to be running a little low on beer. We think we’ll have two kegs this Friday … we just realistically think we’ll be out of beer by about 6/6:30ish. This is your warning. We think this shortage will last two weeks.” [source]

So I didn’t make it inside Jackalope or get to sample their beers. I’m definitely looking forward to that on my next trip to Middle Tennessee.

I did, however, make it to two other Nashville beer sites – Yazoo Brewing Company and Blackstone Restaurant & Brewery. More about those places on FuzzyBrew soon.

Jackalope, first female-run commercial brewery in Tennessee, to open in 2011

November 24, 2010 By: mike Category: Breweries, Craft beer

Jackalope Brewing CompanyJackalope Brewing Company is set to open a craft brewery and taproom in Nashville in spring 2011 and will operate the first entirely female-run commercial brewery in Tennessee.

Bailey Spaulding, CEO, and Robyn Virball, President, have leased an 8,223-square foot space at 701 8th Avenue South near Division Street, just down the road from Yazoo Brewing Company.

“Starting Jackalope in Nashville was an easy decision,” Spaulding said in statement.

“We were inspired by Nashville’s creative and entrepreneurial culture. Music City has vibrant energy, supports local business and most importantly, loves delicious beer. Robyn and I are excited to house our business in the 8th Avenue Corridor, where many inventive, local businesses thrive and set a welcoming foundation for our brewery and other entrepreneurs to grow.”

Jackalope’s beers, to be distributed by BountyBev, will initially be available only on draft at bars and restaurants in the Nashville area. The taproom, which will be open limited afternoon and evening hours during the week, will feature four different brews, including a rotating tap for “experimental and seasonal beers.”

Spaulding and Virball have started a blog, Blogalope!, and a Facebook page.

Their mission, according to Jackalope on Facebook, is simple: “We want to make delicious and unique beers for the local Nashville scene and beyond.”

Cheers to that!

Meanwhile, check out this video about Jackalope from Nashville television station WKRN News 2: