Jackalope Brewing ‘Gets Weird’ To Connect To Community

When Jackalope Brewing opened its doors in 2011, it was the first new brewery in the Nashville area in eight years. It seemed to open the door to a slew of new breweries thereafter and has helped spawn a new energy for the Country Music Capital.

“It’s just been astronomical,” said Jackalope co-founder, CEO and Brewmaster Bailey Spaulding. “I think about 15 breweries have opened here in the six years since then. So we have a community of brewers like Nashville didn’t have before, and our local scene is now getting known to both locals and tourists, and bars and restaurants in town have been very supportive of us all.”

Jackalope produced 5,100 barrels in 2016 with expected production to top 6,000 by the end of 2017. Recently the brewery announced a second production facility and taproom to be opened in the first quarter of 2018.

“Right now we really aren’t able to do sours, since everything is in the same room and we aren’t going to bring bugs into that space,” Spaulding said. “So we are excited to get into some funkier brews. Our creative endeavors also compete for time and space with our main production right now, which means that particularly in the spring and summer we are really limited due to the amount of our main beers we need to produce. ”

Innovation is a driver behind a home brewing competition that Jackalope started in 2016. “Let’s Get Weird” has spawned some inventive creations, including a Coffee Blonde and an American Porter with roasted crickets and Peruvian cocoa.

“There are some really interesting submissions. I don’t think we use any specific ideas other than scaling the winning brew, but it’s fun to exercise our creative brains,” Spaulding said.

“It’s a fun way to connect with homebrewers and to try to encourage creativity and inspiration, which are so important in the homebrewing community. We get 60 or so submissions every year, which I’m always amazed by.

“We’re proud of Nashville’s growth in the brewing industry and we knew there was an opportunity to inspire the local home brewers to make their craft a career,” Spaulding said.

The winner of the contest travels to Jackalope to brew their winning recipe on its 15-bbl brewhouse.

The “weird” part of it spawned from who Spaulding said they are as a company.

“We’re straight forward, with a little twist — like most of our beers,” she said. “We wanted to see how unique a beer can get, while still being drinkable.”

Spaulding said they don’t take the thought of “how will we get this made” into consideration in the first round of judging, but in the medal round it’s part of the discussion as far as who will top the podium.

“For example, I’m allergic to mangoes, so Jackalope can’t really produce a mango beer,” she said. “We put some restrictions on the weirdness — like no souring bugs. Which in its own way can inspire more creativity.”

In fact, the winning beer for 2017 was a Cranberry Brown Ale with oats and lactose.

“We swore when drinking it in the first round that it must have been soured with bacteria or Brett,” Spaulding said. “But when [we] reached out to the brewer he confirmed that it was not.”

1 Comment

  1. I remember the day Bailey told her Parents she wanted to start a Brewery, She had total support. What a business she has.
    Good for you Bailey

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