You plant a seed. An idea. It is given water, fuel, the opportunity to grow. It pushes through the soil, breaks the surface, battles the elements, is trampled upon, springs back, rained upon, grows stronger, taller, blooms….
It wasn’t quite a year ago I stood in that warehouse at 809 Ewing Avenue in Nashville looking at the polished equipment, shiny, new, expensive. The remainder of the brewery, tasting room, office, lay in various stages of dreams with electrical cords and wood scattered about. Christian Spears walked us through the building and like a painter he brushed the strokes that brought the dream alive in vivid detail, with passion and purpose, contagious in his vision….I saw it and grew excited too. The beer stood alone…quite literally on a pallet of mixed kegs, close but away from the painting. However, each was very unique from the other, separate in their uniqueness but crisp and purposeful just like the man who shared his vision.
As I approached the building on Ewing avenue this week, only for the second time, it seemed to have a specific polish to it. The construction was complete but there was more to it. There, on a Monday at 4pm stood various members of the team and Christian with a big grin. As we were introduced the greetings were warm and sincere. We later found out that the team wasn’t even scheduled to be there but had simply dropped by to see if they could help – should we all be so lucky to be surrounded by people like this.
Upon walking through the door the painting that had been previously placed in my subconscious had come alive. Steel, wood, music, art and beer all come together in this space in a connected harmony that must be experienced to understand. It was quiet, just us, but you can easily tell this is a place where even the shadows dance. The beer was precisely as I remember it with a few new ones – a 100% wheat beer called Walk the Lime is purely Nashville in its gentle nod to the man in black and yet I can no longer recall any other beer I’d like to enjoy on a hot summer evening. Lime? Yes, almost two cases were zested for the brew and it stands out – subtle but proud. Then, for a drastic change, Country Roots brings a flavorful stout packed with coffee, chocolate sweetness and a dry finish that only a sweet potato can deliver, and it does. I had been wanting to try this beer since my last visit but I was early at the time – it didn’t disappoint.
The tasting room is meticulously complete with taps to spare, a small kitchen for apps on the way and a team who is eager to share their love of beer with all. Live music is regularly played in the space and a recent addition of a turn table has allowed some vinyls courtesy of friends at Third Man Records to be frequently utilized. What a great place to be.
I asked Christian if he loved what he was doing. He paused and smiled, “Yes I do. It has been hard work but if I can make a living I can’t see myself doing anything else.” He said that the seed had been planted in 2010 when Christian came to visit Garr Schwartz in Nashville, they brewed and as they were people kept coming by and asking if they could get some of this or that, shortly thereafter a plan was hatched and it all began. Garr is a beautifully talented brewer who’s eyes light up as soon as he begins discussing his creations – a true artist at heart.