Music in the Dark

Written by Dee Gross for

It was definitely a dark and stormy night.  Talk of tornado and high winds were in the forecast.  Even these perils could not stop the most motivated mad scientist.  Festoon in our most holiday ware, we drove down a long country road to visit our friends at Briarscratch Brewery.  This is an up and coming brewery in Sumner County in a tiny hamlet known as Cottontown.  We had to drive down the end of a tiny road and nearly ran into a fence, but we made it a fashionably one hour late.

We drove all this way to meet this fellow mad scientist.  This is Brad Singleton, and he is the mastermind behind Briarscratch Brewery.
The building is a dream in progress.  The outside was so welcoming and festive.  It was like a warm fireplace in the middle of the pitch-black woods.  The inside was full of potential.
This is the staircase that leads to the upstairs/concert venue.
Here is a my artful view of the brewery floor.
Though this bar now serves as a catch-all, one can see how amazing it will be once it is complete.
 There was no indoor plumbing, but in consideration of the ladies that would be the devised this outhouse.
It has been a long time since I have used an outhouse.  Not since I was a child visiting my grandparents house have I relieved myself outdoors.  I did however appreciate the holiday spirit they infused into it. The Christmas lights were a very nice touch.
The most exciting part of the night, besides the delicious craft beer of course, was the amazing music.  The upstairs room was filled with music and lights.  The fog and the sound drifted down to the lower level, so much so that a times, I was worried the building might be on fire.  The bands were truly talented.  It should no longer be a surprise to find professional quality music this close to Nashville, but it is always a delightful treat. The bands were Spacetrain, followed by Metaverse, and then DJ Boshae. Any one of then would be worth the trip, but all together made the evening epic.
They even added a Christmas tree so you could rock out and keep up the holiday spirit.
We were dressed in our holiday best. Some of us were a little more creative with our holiday cheer.
Here Mr. Snowman is enjoying the pear cider.
For a time, however, the costumes did not matter.Severe weather hit and the lights went out.  High winds, darkness, and tornado warnings did not dampen the party spirit.  It took nearly an hour for the lights to return.  In the mean time, however, choruses of Christmas songs were accompanied by the falling rain.  Then when voices alone would not suffice, they plugged up a generator and got the bands playing again.  To be clear, they just turned on the music; the lights remained off for several more minutes.  The party would later be named The Hunker at the Bunker (aptly names since “The Bunker” is another name for the brewery and we survived tornadic weather).
And now for what you, my dear readers, really care about…the beer.  Sadly, I was the designated driver, so I merely got tiny sips while Husband indulged his mad scientist heart out.  Neither did I get to research as thoroughly as I normally like. The middle of the party/tornado did not seem the best time to conduct a brew-interview. Do not fear dear friends, I wrote to Brad and had him give me a description.  Here he is in his own words:

“I had 6 beers at the party. Cottontown Brown, Farmhouse blonde, Mudpit Porter, Holler Harvest, Pear Cider, and Cherry Weisse. All of my beers are made with spring water from the property in the “Briarscratch holler”. The brown ale is my flagship, made with munich malt, victory malt, Brown caramel malt, oats, and Willamette hops.

The Holler Harvest is a winter spiced ale with cinammon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, and vanilla added at the end of the boil. Early november I gather ripe wild persimmons and smooshed them through a mesh bag to separate the seed from the fruit goo, heat to 160 to pasturize and then freeze. After fermentation I transfer the beer onto the fruit for a week, then keg.

The porter is brewed with chocolate malt and roasted barley.

The Cherry Weisse was a low alcohol berliner style wheat beer fermented with Lactobacillus and Brettanomyces(wild bacteria strains that add wild and tart characters and consume nearly 100% of the fermentable sugars) then I added tart cherry and black currant juices.

The pear cider was made from our backyard pears. We juiced over 100 pears and pasturized and fermented the juice with saison yeast.

The farmhouse was my Creekbank Blonde Ale fermented with natural wild yeast from the farm.”

Now don’t you feel better.  From the tiny sips I had, the porter was my favorite.  There, however, really was not a bad brew.  Normally at new breweries their are a few lemons, but all that I sampled were quite tasty.
Craft beer was not the only beverage served.  There was eggnog, whiskey and this Port Republic Lager.  Husband calls this his shame beer.  It is less than a dollar and far from craft, but it is delicious.  I think Husband feels like he needs a shower to wash off the beer betrayal every time he drinks one.  Sometimes, however, pride just does not matter.  Especially when Husband has his fancy elf shoes as seen in this picture.
Briarscratch Brewery is going to be an amazing place.  It was like a sneak preview of what our brewery could be one day. Now, I know all of you are eager to rush into Cottontown and taste all the delightful brews Brad and his brewing partner can offer.  You must, however, wait dear friends.  Brad cannot open until the Commission finally gives its approval.  They seem to be busy “deliberating” the virtues of Briarscratch.  Until then, beer lovers, know that great beer and perhaps even great music, awaits you in the back roads of Sumner County.


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