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ENBFThis year’s East Nashville Beer Festival was a complete success! I headed over with Lauren and a few bandmates and friends on Saturday ready to be amazed, and amazed I was! This festival has become one of my favorite days of the year, and Saturday did not disappoint. Lauren has a full review of everything over at Old Red Boots, but here are my top picks, with more personal insight:

Top 5 beers at ENBF 2013:

1. Kentucky Ale: Bourbon Barrel Ale
This is consistently my favorite bourbon barrel aged beer. You get a nice woody, oaky bourbon flavor up front, then a subtle hop character comes through, finishing with a lingering bourbon sweetness. It’s a symphony of all the right flavors.

2. Starr Hill: Psychokilter
Easily one of the best Scotch ales I’ve had. This beer is all about the malt- as it should be- but isn’t overly sweet. Robust and somewhat earthy. Color me impressed!

3. Calfkiller: Classic Spider
Calfkiller has burst onto the TN brewing scene in the past few years with a vengeance. All of their beers are fermented with the same Belgian yeast blend, which gives it a distinctive fruity note that says “this is Calfkiller!” Classic Spider was a special blend of their Brown Recluse and a stout, aged in a bourbon (or maybe it was whiskey?) barrel. I’m not sure if this will become a regularly produced beer, but I wouldn’t mind if it did!

4. Rivertown: Roebling Porter
This is a vanilla & espresso infused imperial porter, and it might as well be liquid dessert. It’s chocolatey, sweet, warming and simply delicious. It’s one of their flagships, too! Sadly, Rivertown doesn’t distribute to TNUpdate: turns out Rivertown DOES distribute to TN- you can get them at Craft Brewed!

5. Yazoo: Hop Project #70 Dry-hopped with Stella hops
Yazoo is known for their creative Hop Project series, in which they use the same malt bill, but different varieties of hops at different boiling schedules for each batch. #70 is the latest batch and (from what I was told at the tap) for this cask they dry-hopped it with a unique Australian hop variety called Stella. As I understand it this was a special cask that Yazoo made for the ENBF, but Hop Project #70 used Stella hops during the boil as well, and is available in retail stores now. 

Honorable Mentions:

Deschutes: Black Butte Porter and Northwest Pale Ale
Deschutes is an Oregon brewery that sadly hasn’t made it to TN yet, so I was unfamiliar even with these two flagship beers. The Black Butte Porter has a slightly nutty character that you’d expect in a nut brown ale, but yet it’s a porter! The Northwest Pale Ale stuck out to me because they backed away from the assertive hop bitterness that most APA’s are known for, and went for a well-balanced pale ale with a nice hoppy aroma.

Left Hand: Smokejumper Imperial Porter
Reactions to this beer amongst my peers were mixed. For me it was a fine smokey, bacon-y porter. I’ve not met a smoked beer that I didn’t like and this was no exception. Some in my group thought it reminded them too much of a campfire, while others wanted more bacon flavor. 

Straight To Ale: Hellfire Quadrupel and Monkeynaut IPA dry-hopped with Citra
This Huntsville brewery produces some fine beers. Their Belgian-style quadrupel, called Hellfire, was warming, earthy, and robust. They also had a special cask of their Monkeynaut IPA that was dry-hopped with Citra hops. The tropical fuity aroma was simply blissful!

French Broad: 13 Rebels ESB
One of my favorite styles of beer is a classic English ESB, or Extra-Special Bitter. I was familiar with French Broad but hadn’t tried their ESB. 13 Rebels was an enjoyable and worthy example of the style. Well-balanced and very session-able, as an ESB should be. 

Least Favorite Beer:

New Belgium’s surprise quadrupel.
I unfortunately didn’t take note of exactly what this beer was aged in or what was supposed to be special about it. It was a quad that had (I think) been aged in some sort of wood barrels. What I do remember though, is that is was too blatantly alcoholic up front. There are 10, 11, even 12% ABV beers that still manage to not allow the boozy alcoholic flavor to overrun the character of the beer. This one though, just screamed “BOOZE” at my palate. That being said, New Belgium is one of the finest, and also largest craft breweries in the nation. Everything about them pretty much rules. 

Happy drinking and I’ll see you next year at ENBF IV!

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It’s Craft Beer Week!

March 20, 2013

Nashville-Craft-Beer-Week-2013

This week is Nashville Craft Beer week! I was too busy to post about this earlier in the week, but better late than never. As you should well know, it culminates in the long sold-out East Nashville Beer Festival this Saturday, but there are also lots of good tastings, tap takeovers, and beer dinners happening all week long. The full calendar of Craft Beer Week events is over at Rhizome Productions, so check it out and find what sounds interesting. I was at Craft Brewed last night for the Straight To Ale tasting and Brooklyn Surprise cask ale tasting. There are several tastings tonight, tomorrow, and thursday so go taste some good beer. And if you don’t have a ticket to the ENBF, check out Craigslist. I believe there are some for sale there. Good luck, and happy Craft Beer Week!

ENBF13_EmailHeader_PreSale_01

It’s almost spring again, and in East Nashville in recent years, that has come to mean BEER FEST. I’ve been to the East Nashville Beer Festival every year of its existence and it’s gotten better every time. Most of you probably know I’m a homebrewer and avid beer lover, so trust me when I say these folks really know how to put on a great beer festival. The list of breweries this year includes Deschutes, Good People, French Broad, Lagunitas, Highland Brewing, New Belgium, Oskar Blues, Rivertown, Schmaltz, Brooklyn, Southern Tier, Starr Hill, Terrapin, Straight To Ale, Green Flash, and many more including all your favorite locals such as Yazoo, Calfkiller, Fat Bottom, Turtle Anarchy, Jackalope, etc… It’s well worth the $50 price because there’s simply no other way to experience so many great beers at once, and many of the breweries have very special, limited-edition (often cask-aged) brews that you’d never find in a store or at a bar. There will also be plenty of food trucks onsite to help fill your belly with yummy snacks in addition to the beer. The list includes Biscuit Love, Wrapper’s Delight, Riff’s, Hoss’s Loaded Burgers, and the Grilled Cheeserie to name a few.

This year also boasts a very special food/beer pairing tent sponsored by Whole Foods! It does require a separate ticket for an extra $45 but I’ve no doubt it will be worth it! The ENBF is also a part of Nashville Craft Beer Week, which boasts even more awesome in-store free tastings and other specialty events, so be sure to check out the full calendar, because the madness starts on March 18th.

The festival did not increase the size of the event this year, but they’ve “…doubled our bathrooms, doubled our hand wash sinks, increased drinking water supply, upgraded glassware (6oz glass snifter), and overall will be creating the best venue possible.” If you had issues with any of those things last year, fear not- it’ll be way better this year.

SO, BELIEVE ME- HAVE YOUR FINGER ON THE BUTTON AT 9AM SHARP THIS THURSDAY. This event will sellout in less than an hour, and probably even less than 30 minutes. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if it sells out in 10 minutes. Trust me, I had an absolute blast last year with my lady Old Red Boots, and we’ll be back in full force this year. You do NOT want to miss this!

The ENBF and Craft Beer Week are all products of Rhizome Productions. Keep your eyes on these folks, because they’re doing some amazing stuff for the beer scene in Nashville, Tennessee, and the southeast in general!

*Also, don’t forget about Fix The Beer Tax! If you’re a Tennesseean and haven’t heard about that movement yet, check out my blog post about it from a couple of weeks ago (which the FTBT folks were kind enough to repost on their blog!). And then email your state legislators and help us get this archaic and ridiculous TN law changed.*

The official DJ Burgers Winter 09 Mixxxx is here! Download it now and get ready to party down with Fan Fiction & Me this Friday at the 4th installment of BFF at Mad Donna’s! (Mad Donna’s is at 1313 Woodland St. in East Nashville, just a block past 5 points and across from Lipstick Lounge.) There will FOG MACHINES. There will be CRAZY LIGHTS. And most importantly, there will be BEER SPECIALS UNTIL MIDNIGHT! (More on the beer specials soon…)

Burgers- Winter 09 MIXXXX

Tracklisting:

Bag Raiders- Shooting Stars (Shazam Dub mix)
Lindstrom & Christabelle- Baby Can’t Stop (Aeroplane RMX)
Yolanda Be Cool- Afro Nuts (DCUP RMX)
Little Boots- Earthquake (Treasure Fingers RMX)
Ke$ha- Tik Tok (Fred Falke Radio RMX)
A-Trak & Arman Van Helden present Duck Sauce- Anyway
Busta Rhymes Ft. T-Pain- Hustler’s Anthem (Bit Funk RMX)
Fukkk Offf- More Than Friends (Markus Lange & Stereofunk RMX)
The Cataracs- Club Love (Nick Catchdubs & Proper Villains RMX)
Dan the Automator-Rapper’s Delight (TEPR Remix)
Golden Bug- Assassin
Bloody Beetroots ft. Cool Kids- Awesome

Some other random tidbits for today:

Ridley Scott directed a remake of Robin Hood that’s due to hit theaters sometime next year. It stars Russel Crowe and Cate Blanchett…. and judging from the trailer I think I’ll end up preferring the Kevin Costner version… See it at Apple movie trailers. (Via Kottke)

One of the few “new” bands that I’ve been head-over-heels for is the Morning Benders. I LOVED their 2008 album Talking Through Tin Cans, and I just found via You Ain’t No Picasso that they’re prepping their next LP Big Echo for release on March 9, 2010 through Rough Trade. Next year is going to be FULL of good releases….

New WOTT mix/POBAH/BFF update

September 9, 2009

Wow. Waaay too many abbrevs in that title.

Ok so there aren’t really any updates for BFF, I’m just shamelessly plugging it. And also pointing you over to Fan Fiction’s blog where he plugged it as well. Be sure to check out the mix he did for Justin Kase’s blog Blogging Is Serious Business. That’s just a taste of the goodness he has to offer for your dancing pleasure this Friday night. Also check out my (DJ Burgers) latest mix SUMMERMIXXXX09. It starts off a little more pop/rock-oriented than anything I’ll spin Friday, but the latter 1/2 should give you a good idea of what I have to offer. Remember- it’s totally FREE, 18+ and at Mad Donna’s (1313 Woodland St.) upstairs lounge. We promise to love you long time.

We Own This Town has just posted a new mix for your downloading/listening pleasure. Go grab it now. It features some great new tracks from the likes of Turbo Fruits, Kindergarten Circus, and The Nobility, plus many more.

Speaking of great local bands, The Protomen officially released their long-awaited new album Act II: The Father of Death on Amazon MP3 and iTunes yesterday. It’s been doing AMAZINGLY well on both. But it peaked at fucking #8 on the Amazon download charts, competing with the likes of Phish, Kings of Leon, etc… Mind. Blown. Be sure to come out to their official album release party on Sept. 25th at Mercy Lounge. It will likely be the most epic thing ever to happen at Mercy Lounge. We’re talking the band plus a full string section and choir, playing both their first album and Act II: The Father of Death, in their entirety. Not to be missed. Then head over to Little Hamilton afterwards to this other party I’m DJing with Kid Chicago. More on that when it gets closer.

They Might Be Giants have released DVD children’s album called Here Comes the Science. Naturally I’m quite happy about this since it involves the two things this very blog is about. i09 posted several videos of songs from the album and it’s absolutely delightful. These guys have a long-proven record of being absolutely masterful songwriters, and to combine that kind of skill with the mission of educating our children about reality just makes me ecstatic. If I ever have kids, their first gift will be a boxed-set of all the TMBG children’s albums. John and John, you are my HEROES!!!! Check out Science is Real below, and check out the i09 post for even more.

bfffinal-WEBIt’s a little last-minute, but that’s how everything’s been going these past few weeks…

I’m proud to announce a new indie/electro dance night in east Nashville. It’s called “BFF” and features DJ’s Burgers (me) and Fan Fiction (aka Joseph Howard who runs the awesome NashvilleNights blog). It’s gonna be at Mad Donna’s (1313 Woodland St.) on Friday Sept. 11th. There’s NO COVER and it’s 18+. East Nashville hasn’t had any dance nights of this genre to my knowledge, so FF and I put our heads together to create our own. We want to make it a monthly or maybe bi-weekly gig, but this is the first one so we’ll see how it goes. Please do come check it out. All the credit for the catchy name and flyer design goes to Joseph. We’re gonna dance to bloghouse like it’s 2k7, y’all…

I’m sad to report that Benjamin A. Harper (the one from Feable Weiner, The Comfies, and The Nobility) had his house broken into and all of his music gear stolen yesterday. As a musician I really sympathize with him on this and it hurts to see such a good person have to loose so much. Unfortunately he wasn’t insured and replacing that equipment would be virtually impossible. But you can help him out through a wonderful service called Fundable. Go here to donate some cash to his fund, and only if he reaches the magic $2500 mark will your credit card/paypal be charged. Please help this man out! He deserves it!

Oh, and apparently Jack White and Keith Richards are working together in the studio. WTF?

Let’s get the obvious stuff out of the way 1st… Camera Obscura was amazing last night, and we got to chat with TracyAnne for a minute. She seemed to like Nashville and I told her to be sure to come back on their next tour. Let’s hope they do. Oh, and the sound was exceptional too. Mercy has good sound for the most part, but this mix was especially good. Perfect night.

final-logo-2The Green Wagon is an awesome little store that only opened 6 months ago on Murphy Road in the Sylvan Park area, and just as I expected, the girl who runs it is opening another location on the east side. I must say it’s much sooner than I expected, though! She’s also opening a vegetarian cafe along with it. I’ve been to the current store a few times and it’s pretty awesome. If you haven’t checked it out yet, please do. And if you’re on the east side you’ll no longer have an excuse not to go. Via Nashvillest. Also, thanks to Morgan for pointing out my error regarding the age limit of the Opryland’s Poolapalooza events on yesterday’s post. They are actually all-ages this year.

Some cool sciene-y tidbits today:

The next mission to Mars will be called “Curiosity” thanks to a 6th grader name Clara Ma who won NASA’s essay contest to name the rover. Up until now it’s been called “Mars Science Laboratory.” This next rover will be by far the biggest we’ve sent to the red planet- about the size of a small sedan. Via Bad Astronomy.

Just when you thought Blu-Ray had totally killed the DVD, some scientists in at Swinburne University in Australia have come up with a new 5-dimensional storage technology that may put the DVD back in 1st place. Their idea is to use sophisticated multi-surface gold nanoparticles in the disc. It will not only use the different layers of the disc (as DVD’s currently do), it will also use polarization and the color of the laser light to encode information. The end result will be a DVD that can potentially hold about 7 TERAbytes of data. TERA-bytes. More at the Daily Galaxy.

Remember those crazy devices on Star Trek that doctors could just wave over a patient and tell what was wrong with them? Well, that technology is slowly becoming reality with the invention of a new portable device that identify pathogens in about 5 minutes. The Ostendum corporation has developed a prototype and is currently testing it. Although you still have to take blood or other fluid samples from a patient to use this thing, it’s still pretty damn cool, and will be a HUGE advantage in the battle against pandemics such as the H1N1 (Swine) flu. Via Science Daily.

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