Every North American city I’ve been to over the past few years has a vibrant and growing craft beer scene. As part my pre-trip planning, I look for a craft beer bar or two and create a list of beers I hope to try when visiting a city. For this recent trip to Nashville, a small craft beer bar in the Gulch neighbourhood, Hops + Crafts, came very highly recommended.
Early afternoon on my last day in the city, after filling up on a wonderful pulled pork sandwich from the Peg Leg Porker just around the corner, I arrived at Hops + Crafts just as it was opening. Not sure if it’s a good or bad sign when you’re the first person in the bar for the day. But when you catch a look at a set of taps like this, any guilt is gone. After all, this was a small sliver of vacation time for me…
There were more than thirty beers on tap from around the USA with a strong focus on local and regional beers. Definitely my kind of place for a spell of afternoon imbibing and relaxing. As a visual, here’s where their beers were from as shown on this map of the USA in the bar:
Like any good craft beer bar, they had tastings available for those who wanted to try a number of different beers. I left the choice in the hands of the very friendly and knowledgeable guy behind the bar. The only direction I gave him was I wanted to try Tennessee beers and avoid ones I had already sampled in the previous few days. He came back with this selection:
Of these six wonderful beers, the Yazoo 10 year IPA was a standout (back left in the picture) and my favourite from all I had sampled here and at a few other scattered establishments over my four days. The other beer that I found exceptional in this tasting was the Jackalope Leghorn (front centre in the picture).
With the temperatures and humidity pushing up against my innate Atlantic Canadian ability to tolerate heat, I had to call it a day after the one sampling tray and start focusing on other means of hydration so I could get some Nashville exploring squeezed in. This was definitely one of the best and friendliest craft beer bars I’ve been to in my travels. If I had more time in the city, this place would have been a repeat visit joint for me as there were many, many, many more beers I wanted to sample.