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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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Before I remove myself from the interwebs for a few days to be with the fam, I thought I’d debunk one of the most pervasive turkey myths out there: that turkey contains more tryptophan than other foods and that it makes you sleepy. THIS IS NOT TRUE. Turkey contains about the same amount of tryptophan as other meats and some veggies. What makes you feel sleepy after a big holiday meal is what makes you sleepy anytime you eat way too much- food coma. There are some slightly differing opinions out there as to what causes the proverbial food coma, but it is not the tryptophan in turkey that directly causes sleepiness after holiday meals. It is simply the fact that you probably ate way too much in one sitting, and probably had some wine to go along with it. For more info see this article from Snopes, this article from NPR, and this article from Live Science.

I’ll leave you with this bit of complete and total absurdity from an Indian gameshow. That should hold you over till next week when I eventually resume posting. Have a great Thanksgiving!

There is not shortage of good music to see this weekend in Nashville. Here’s what made a blip on my radar.

FRIDAY:

Social Distortion w/ Chuck Ragan and Sharks @ the Ryman. 8pm. $35

John Vanderslice w/ Damien Jurado @ the Basement. 9pm $12

SATURDAY:

Bad Cop, The Growlers, Majestico, Mom & Dad @ The End. 9pm $5 (Certain out-of-town media will be there filming, so… you know, it’ll be the place to be.)

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. w/ Generationals @ the Basement. 9pm $10

Mogwai w/ Errors @ Exit/In. 9pm $18 adv/$20 DoS

Another few things to note:

Musician’s Corner in Centennial Park is off to a good start for its second year of existence.

-fEASTival is a new FREE food/music/art festival being held this Saturday the 21st in the 5 Points area of East Nashville. Check out their website for a list of yummy food vendors, beer vendors, and stage lineup which includes such notables as Majestico, Cheer Up Charlie Daniels, the Grayces, and Tiffany. Yes, THAT Tiffany… who a) apparently lives in Nashville now? b) recently starred alongside Debbie Gibson in Megan Python Vs. Gatoroid c) is now doing country music. Whoa.

Have a great weekend!

First of all, I was very happy to hear that Nashville’s own Arnold Myint, head chef and owner of P.M., Cha Cha, and Suzy Wong’s House of Yum, has made it to the next season of Top Chef, which will begin airing on Bravo on June 16th. More info on that at the Tennessean. (Via Nashvillest twitter)

Now for what to do this weekend:

Friday there’s a helluva one-two punch at the Cannery/Mercy Lounge. Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings will be soulin’ it up downstairs while My So-Called Band will be igniting your 90’s nostalgia upstairs. I’ll be shooting the Sharon Jones show, then DJing some 90’s jock jams after MSCB. So please do head over to Mercy and keep on dancin’ after the show.

Saturday is all about the rockabilly as Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers, Pine Hill Haints, and The Clutters invade Mercy Lounge.

This Nashvillest post also has several flood benefits going on this weekend. Be sure to check one of those out.

I’ll go ahead and mention that this coming Monday is the final installment of the Road to Bonnaroo series, featuring Space Capone, My Tyger, Heartbeater, Deep Fried Five, And The Relatives, Delta Saints, Pico Vs. Island Trees, and Cheer Up Charlie Daniels. This one should be interesting.

Also worthy of mention, the Nashville’s Dead kids did a pretty cool video interview segment with Pujol and friends, complete with guitar amps in the middle of the road… and lots of luv. Check it below:

Jack White’s label Third Man Records has just opened its new office in downtown Nashville, Stereogum and Nashville Cream reports. Included in the new space is a custom designed recording studio. Damn… I’d love to see that. Apparently the opening party featured a performance from yet another JW supergroup side-project called The Dead Weather. This new band features Jack on drums, Raconteur Jack Lawrence on bass, Stonage Queen Dean Fertita on guitar, and the Kills’ Allison Mosshart on vocals. Not only is the space an office and studio, but it will (does?) house a record store and photo studio. Is the photo studio hiring? If so I’m first in line.

Blogging is Serious Business reports on the new Friday night series kicking off May 8th, and lasting all summer, called Noise to Nashville. It’s being put on by Ultimo & Disco and Beatport. “A fusion of indie, pop, electronica and nu disco, Noise will bring artists by the likes of A-Trak, Cut Copy, Chromeo, The Presets, Crookers, Diplo, Little Boots and the best local and regional residents.” Wow. If you had come up to me 5 years ago and said that such large national electronic artists/DJs would be hitting Nashville on a weekly basis in 2009, I’d have laughed in your face. It’s really amazing how far Leon Jackson, Justin Kase, Principal & Coach, Jensen Sportag, and the many others involved in our electronic scene have taken it.

In other music news, BrooklynVegan and Bob Lefsetz chime in on the Ticketmaster/Live Nation fiasco. I’ve said all I can say about it… but I thought you might find both of these posts interesting.

David Friedman of Ironic Sans has a good idea for progressive food packaging. I may just do a little of my own progressive packaging next time I go to the grocery store…

Space Shuttle Discovery had its launch scrubbed yesterday due to a hydrogen leak in one of the fuel lines. Apparently this has nothing to do with the valve issues that caused the earlier delays. They have a tentative launch set for March 15th, this Sunday.

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