Brew Biz: Werts and All

Ken Carman is a BJCP judge; homebrewer since 1979, club member at Escambia Bay and Music City Homebrewers, who has been interviewing professional brewers all over the east coast for over 10 years.

Written by Ken Carman

A Brief History of Home Brew Stores in Nashville, TN

This is going to be more than a bit sketchy. Most of these folks I never even knew their last names. But home brew stores have grow along with the hobby. They are more than a mirror or a reflecting pool. Sometimes they have led the charge. And sometimes, even these days, they have held back progress.

The first store, owned by Wine Art out of Ohio I believe, was Little Ole Winemaker in the Green Hills area. I was a new resident of the Nashville area and working as a security guard to make ends meet. This was 1978. That’s right: 78. I was making my rounds when, in the store front, I saw a sign, “Make Your Own Beer!”

I walked in and asked the shopkeep, “This is legal?”

“Oh, yeah, they just made it legal.”

Her name was Joan and I will never forget her. You will soon understand why. She was thin, about 5’5′, kind of sandy brown/gray, curly, short hair… but not “butch” short, as we would have referred to it back then. Hey, it was still the 70s.
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