By Peter Covino
The travel bus literally makes a stop in Nashville this week, with the Nashville Brew Bus.
Ever wish you could stop at one brew pub after another, like they do in California’s wine country for wine, and spend the day sampling beers?
You can, on that next trip to the Nashville, as the Music City offers up the Brew Bus, an all-inclusive afternoon aboard a bus that takes you to three beer locations on a leisurely city trip that takes about three hours or so. Snacks and water are also included as the bus makes it rounds to the various beer stops. A bonus stop at a local restaurant included a full pint of beer at the tour’s final location.
The Nashville Brew Bus offers two separate tours, A and B, so you can actually go on it twice and have two completely different brewing experiences.
My recent brew bus tour started on a late Saturday morning, with everyone gathering at the M. L. Rose restaurant. The restaurant, which serves up many local brews as well, was also the last stop on the tour, where everyone got to enjoy a full pint from the beer menu, which features several of the Nashville brewers.
On board the bus (there also are walking tours, but not in the summer heat, thank you) it is a comfy experience, where the guide talks about the afternoon stops, the brew pub scene in Nashville and more. It’s a fun trip, if you like beer and that is what the capacity crowd (24 adults) was there for.
First stop: Yazoo Brewing Company.
The largest and one of the oldest craft breweries in Tennessee, Yazoo is gigantic compared to the other stops on the tour.
Yazoo features a large, inviting tap room. The tour spends most of its time in the brewing area, where everyone got to sample some of the featured beers, as well as hear about how the brewery got started.
They were all tasty, but I particularly liked Dos Perros, a Mexican style beer, made with German Munich malt, English Pale Malt and Chocolate malt.
This is not a quick-moving tour, as you savor that last sample beer in the tap room, there is plenty of time to purchase a whole pint or try a brew that was not offered.
Next up was Czann’s Brewing Company, a hole-in-the-wall kind of place, but very homey inside. The tap room is a great place for a brew or two with its wooden tables and some very nice beer including a the Blonde, Pale Ale, Indian Pale Ale and Dunkelweizen. We got to sample all four (from what I can remember) and it was most definitely all good.
I tend to like dark beer more than pale ales, so it was the Dunkelweizen that was my favorite. It is a traditional dark German wheat beer.
Each of the beer stops, includes a tour by either a manager/owner or guide so you can learn a lot about brewing, if you are paying attention and not just drinking beer.
The third brewery was Honky Tonk Brewing Company, a place you would never know about it, unless maybe you are both a beer fan and a Nashville resident.
Mostly hidden in industrial park, Honky Tonk is completely non-descript on the outside, but inside the place again is a place made for beer fans.
The place definitely has some fans and its most frequent guests are honored on the chalk board on the wall behind the bar.
Here, again we pretty much got to sample several from the menu, which includes West Coast IPA, Seasonal IPA, Simple Man IPA, Honey Biscuit Blonde and TN Jed.
The brew bus will cost you $55 for a ticket. If you bring along a designated driver to take you home, that ticket is only $30. But there really is no danger in over-doing it on the tour, unless you opt to purchase a lot more beer on your own.
If you are planning a trip to Nashville soon, the brew bus is a fun way to spend the afternoon. You can book your tour and find out more information at www.nashvillebrewbus.com.
Note: If you don’t have plans for going to Nashville soon, you can still put together your own mini-brewery tour with so many Florida craft beers now available.
You can start off at Reprise Brewing (1224 Pennsylvania Ave.), St. Cloud and continue along Florida’s east coast with stops at Cocoa Beach Brewery (150 N. Atlantic Ave.), Florida Beer Co. (200 Imperial Blvd.), Cape Canaveral and continue north to Bugutty Brewing Co. (715 North Courtenay Parkway), Merritt Island and Intercoastal Brewing Co., 652 W. Eau Gallie Blvd), Melbourne and finish off in Daytona Beach with stops at Daytona Beach Brewing Co. (482 Fentress Blvd.) and Tomoka Brewing (188 East Granada Blvd.) There are also many clusters of microbrews in the Orlando and Tampa areas. Just remember to have a designated driver.