Nashville needs more breweries and today we get one. Not only is Fat Bottom Nashville’s newest brewery, it’s East Nashville’s first. Many have been anticipating this new brewery for weeks, even months, but I’ve been waiting for a year. About a year ago, Ben Bredesen stood up in a monthly staff meeting to announce he was leaving our company, a good job and a steady paycheck to start a new brewery.
Just so you’re clear, this is not an unbiased review. Ben’s my friend and he’s worked his ass off for a year to get the brewery off the ground. Wednesday night June (@nashbeergirl) and I were privileged to attend the friends & family soft opening. Ben’s hired a great staff and they were working hard taking care of things while letting him enjoy the moment. Every time I’ve dropped by the brewery in the last few weeks, Ben has been hard at work. So, for the first time ever in this building, I got to see him hang out, relax and enjoy the crowd. He had a big smile on his face all night. He’s done a great job, he should be smiling.
Ben has done a lot of things right, and one of those decisions was hiring a great chef to create the best taproom food in Nashville. This picture is a few bites from the cheese plate plus one of the tasty deviled eggs. The Duck Quesadilla was amazing and the selection of meats on the Charcuterie plate was excellent. His team knocked it out of the park.
A great feature of the brewhouse is the openness of it. Patrons entering through the front door on Main St will walk right past the heart of the brewery, separated only by a beautiful wood bar. There, they can sip their beers and see everything. If brewing is underway, they’ll have a front row seat. The open brew house is cool, but I’m hoping Fat Bottom fills it with more fermenting tanks so they can make even more delicious beer.
Fat Bottom has three beers on tap for opening day. Ginger American Wheat, Black Betty India Black Ale (aka a black IPA) and Bertha Oatmeal Stout. Not to discount Betty or Bertha, but I think Ginger will be Fat Bottom’s Flagship beer. It’s not only a great beer, but a unique one, not like anything currently in the local market. It’s hazy like a wheat beer should be and has a crisp taste. I’m not a fan of ginger in most foods, but it really works in this beer. Black Betty is everything you expect in a black IPA, hoppy, but not bitter. The flavor has a hint of roasted darkness, but not like you’d get in a stout or porter. Betha is smooth, creamy and rich. But she’s not too heavy, so don’t be afraid of the dark.
An Irish red, Ruby, and a coffee porter, Java Jane, will be added to the taps down the road.
The taproom has three sections: the brewhouse bar (see above), the main taproom and the outside biergarten (as our German friends would call it). As cool as the inside is, the beer garden may be the best part of the Fat Bottom experience. It’s going to be a prime outdoor hangout spot in the Spring and Fall, but should be well shaded too on warm Summer evenings.
I was thrilled to be one of the first through the door and get a taste of Fat Bottom batch #1 Black Betty, Ginger and Bertha. June and I had a great time and I have a feeling we’ll become regulars. Public opening is Friday, Aug. 17 at 4pm (which is today if you’re reading this post the day it’s posted). They’ll be closed this Saturday, Aug. 18, but normal hours start next week, Tuesday, Aug. 21. The taproom will be open Tuesday-Friday 4-10 PM and Saturdays 2-10 PM. There’s a lot of pent up demand in East Nashville for a brewery, so I’m guessing opening night will be very busy, but don’t let that keep you away. Go, enjoy the crowd and beer, and someday you’ll tell your grandchildren the story of how you attended Fat Bottom Brewing’s public opening. Yeah, it’s a big deal.