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Better Beer comes to the Nashville Lawn and Garden Show

Craft beer meets craft landscaping
Craft beer meets craft landscaping
Don Else

Better Beer is coming to the Nashville Lawn and Garden Show

Quality craft beer is making inroads into places it has never been seen. That is why it is so fun to be a part of this burgeoning craft beer industry. Especially in a booming city like Nashville, we are seeing many local bars and taverns changing from four taps of macro brewed, lightly colored, mildly flavorful fizzy water, to 24 taps of great local, regional, and national craft beers. Yeah, I 'm a draft beer guy. But look at what is happening everywhere. The local Mapco has craft draft beer growler fills!

Craft beer is art and science. Landscape design and construction is not as sophisticated, but it does combine the two. Landscaping science is more mechanical to be sure, but you better know that retaining wall leading down to the lake is going to do it's intended job. And the big thing in landscape design these days is the outdoor kitchen, which more often than not includes a kegerator.

And now, thanks to Cary Ann Fuller, from the Tennessee State Fairgrounds, and Kurt Strickmaker and his Better Beer Brigade at Bounty Beverage, craft beer is a part of the 25th annual Nashville Lawn and Garden Show. For ONLY $25, you get a commemorative pint glass, unlimited samples, and admission to the Lawn and Garden Show. And it is Thursday, Feb. 27, from 2:00-8:00 p.m.

For the 25th year, the show, in conjunction with the fairgrounds, decided to add a two day wine festival, on Friday and Saturday. The event features exclusively Tennessee wineries, part of the Tennessee Farm Wineries Alliance, with the opportunity to sample and purchase any of the wines. This, however, left a bit of a gap on opening day.

Carrie Ann, who also spearheaded the Taste of Tennessee Craft Brewers Festival with Rhizome Productions, thought that a mini craft beer tasting would fit the bill. Given the size of the event, only about 300 people, it was most appropriate to work with one distributor, and Bounty Beverage was the obvious answer. Bounty Beverage is wholly committed to exclusively craft beer, and is in the best position to service an event like this.

And great craft beer service is what you can expect. First of all, let's look at the local favorites that will be there. You will be able to sample some great Jackalope beer and the fairly new Black Abbey from south Nashville. Also, Czann's Brewing will be there as a special guest supplier. The other big news is the Sergio brothers will be there from Calfkiller Brewing of Sparta, Tenn. If you haven't seen these guys at a festival, they make it well worth the price of admission.

But wait, there's more. It is becoming more common, but no less exciting, when a new beer is introduced to Tennessee. This event is the Tennessee breakout of Lexington, Kentucky's Country Boy Brewing. These guys have only been open just barely over two years but have taken Lexington by storm. With such big beers as, my favorite, Cliff Jumper IPA (all it takes is one hop!), to the cult favorite jalapeno smoked porter, you can expect a great cross section of tasting opportunities. And, as I understand it, there will be some wild stuff there for sampling. Wild in the beer sense, by the way, STS.

But let's face it, the idea is to promote the Lawn and Garden Show. So I'm lucky, in a sense. I used to be one of those landscape designers. And it is amazing the countless hours and expense these guys go through to create a landscape that they will then have to tear down in just a few days. I am writing this on Tuesday night, and I guarantee there are scores of people laboring to perfect their display.

The point to that, my craft beer aficionados, is that your $25 ticket to the beer tasting also gets you into the landscape gardens. Many of these people are true artisans, and many of them are craft beer guys. Believe me, there are many a case of fizzy yellow beer consumed at the end of a long day, but that is energy drink to landscapers. So take some time and give them some props.

Finally, this event starts at two in the afternoon on a weekday. Who the heck are they going to find to pour the beer for everyone? What? Have you not read anything I've written? The Music City Beer Society! This local group of craft beer fans is committed to being available to be volunteers for everything from beer festivals to flood relief. If you need volunteers, they've got 'em.

Craft beer, craft landscaping. Get out and see it. An incredible bargain at only $25 at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds, just south of downtown. And props to the sponsor, All Seasons Gardening and Brewing Supply on 8th. Great homebrew supply shop. Seeya at the show.

Time for a pint. Cheers!

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