I am no road warrior. I rarely travel for work but enjoy it when I do. The best part of business travel is getting to taste local beers wherever I go. Two years ago I had to visit a client in Beckley, WV, a city better known for its exhibition coal mine than craft beer.
I had to drive because you can’t fly from Nashville to Beckley. Serendipitously, at a gas stop in Wytheville, VA, I found Devils Backbone Eight Point IPA. My night at the Beckley Hampton Inn was looking better. It’s a 6.2% 60 IBU IPA with Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, Columbus and Simcoe hops. Those are big hops, but it’s not a hop bomb. Rather, Eight Point is a very well balanced IPA with a solid malt base and the big hop flavors you expect.
Devils Backbone is Virginia’s largest craft brewery. They opened the doors in 2008 with a German-designed Japanese-built 8.5 barrel system. Seriously. They are a GABF three-time winner of “Brewery of the Year” in several categories.
Devils Backbone operates two breweries in central Virginia, the original Basecamp Brewpub & Meadows in Roseland and the Outpost Brewery & Tap Room in Lexington, a state-of-the-art production brewery. (That’s about 7 hours from Nashville. Beer run, anyone?)
I was lucky enough to attend a private kickoff event and got to sample several Devils Backbone beers. The Basecamp Favorites are the year round offering while the Trailblazers are limited release beers:
- Vienna Lager: a good representation of one of my favorite, but hard to find, styles
- Eight Point IPA: brought back good memories of a great IPA from a lonely night in a WV hotel room
- Gold Leaf Lager: a bready, light Helles lager that’s super easy drinking
- Schwartz: I love a good Schwarzbier and this one measures up
- Trail Angel Weiss: a classic German hefe with the obligatory banana and hints of honey
- Spiderbite: a session black IPA and my favorite of the night, but unfortunately a limited release beer, so get it before it’s gone
The Devils Backbone team is in town this week to feature their beers throughout Nashville at these locations:
Tuesday, August 25
- 4 to 7 p.m. Frugals Tap Takeover
- 6 p.m. Broadway Brewhouse Midtown Tap Takeover
Wednesday, August 26
- 7 p.m. Flying Saucer Pint Night and Tap Takeover
- 7 p.m. Jack Brown’s Pint Night
Thursday, August 27
- 4 p.m. Rudies Seafood and Sausage Tap Takeover and specialty firkin with tapas beer pairing menu
- 5 p.m. Edleys 12 South and Edleys East Tap Takeovers
- 5 p.m. Filing Station 12 South and Filling Station East Tap Takeovers
Friday, August 28
- 5 p.m. Sam’s Sports Grill Pint Night and Sampling
- 5 p.m. Craft Brewed Tap Takeover, Pint night and Growlers to go
- 5 p.m. 3 Crow Tap Takeover on the back patio
Saturday, August 29
- 1 to 3 p.m. Samplings at the growler station at Wholefoods Nashville
- 1 to 3 p.m. Samplings at the growler station at Wholefoods Franklin
- 3 p.m. 12 South Taproom Patio Party with specialty firkins
Disclosure: The event was a private event for friends and associates of Devils Backbone and their distributor, Ajax Turner. The beer was free. It was also delicious.