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12 South Winter Warmer another great success

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The Third annual 12 South Winter Warmer was another great success.

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Winter weather finally graced the Winter Warmer Beer Festival after two years of relatively balmy December temperatures. Not that anyone complained about the warm weather, mind you, it is just more fitting to be outside drinking big high gravity beers, for which this event has become renowned, when it is cold out.

Many have queried as to whether the weather would drive away potential attendees. Well, the event sells out in minutes, so kinda moot. Although this year, they separated ticket sales into two separate days, giving more people a greater opportunity to attend. So the next question is whether the weather (twice, I know) would keep ticket holders from attending. While the blogs, facebooks, and what not, had people trying to sell extra tickets, attendance was pretty well at full.

So, back to the weather. My first Winter Beer Festival was nine years ago in Lansing, Mich. In February. The day started with three or four inches of snow on the ground with four more forecast for the day. It was beautiful. Snow was screaming in like that Detroit vs. Philadelphia football game last weekend. Sold out. Pretty much everyone that got a ticket was there. Outside! Great, great event that continues to this day in Grand Rapids, Mich.

But that was Michigan. Nashville shuts down everything based on a forecast. The snow plows push snow the wrong way. Thousands of gallons of pre-treating brine have been washed away by rain. Every storm is a tornado with sixty mile an hour winds and golf ball sized hail. So how can Nashville support a Winter Warmer Beer Festival, especially in light of potentially inclement weather?

Ah, craft beer drinkers, as a whole, are a stout group, pun intended. The Great Taste of the Midwest in Madison, Wis., ticket holders line up for hours before gates open. They bring their lawn chairs, picnic baskets, maybe even a warm up cooler of beer. People were lined up plenty early for the Winter Warmer, as well. This is the true test of the constitution of a craft beer drinker. Standing, in the cold, in line, waiting. No problem!

The great beer bar Craft Brewed Nashville was the host sponsor. Chip and his team did a great job on that behalf, hosting several events leading up to the Winter Warmer with the highlight being the cask tapping by the Sergio brothers of Calfkiller Brewing Company.

So, I’m not going to talk about the beer. If you weren’t there, you missed, just know it was epic. Great job and congrats to Matt, Johnny and crew from Rhizome Productions, and Chip and team from Craft Brewed Nashville. Oh yeah, Craft Brewed, Melrose area, 21 taps, huge selection of craft beer, homebrew supplies, darts, biergarten. Check it out.

Time for a pint. Cheers!

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