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Beer Buzz: Quaff On! opens north of Nashville

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October is a good month to open a brewery. Triton celebrated its second anniversary on Oct. 5, Black Swan marked its third year on Oct. 10 — and on Oct. 12 Quaff On! Brewing feted its grand opening as the production brewery for Nashville's Big Woods. Former award-winning Oaken Barrel head brewer Mark Havens moved to this start up venture located at State Road 135 (one mile north of downtown Nashville), and is developing a new line-up while bringing along Big Woods' already established signature brews.

"Building a brewery from the ground up has been a challenge," said Havens of his six-month tenure at Quaff On! "I was really comfortable at Oaken Barrel, but I watched other Oaken Barrel Barrel brewers move up, including Andrew Castner to The RAM and John Treeter to Broad Ripple Brewpub, and I thought, 'I would love a new challenge in life. So I made this move with [OB owner] Kwang Casey's mentorship. Despite having to get know another system and another team, it's been nice seeing the hills and the trees during the 30-minute commutes and it's been a good relationship collaborating with Jeff McCabe, Tim O'Brian and Ed Ryan, who opened Big Woods Brewpub in 2009."

Because the name Big Woods also represents a Minnesota brewery, and Quaff On! has been the mantra for Big Woods in Nashville, the decision was made to retain Big Woods for the local destination and rename the production brewery. The plan is to distribute brews for on tap sales and in bottles statewide and into the Midwest. "I'm excited to show what we can do," summarized Havens.

The buzz

Brew Bracket 8 featured Oktoberfest style beer from Bier, Flat 12, Iechyd Da, Sun King, Thr3e Wisemen, Twisted Crew, and Upland. The RAM took the popular vote for first place after a fierce "battle to the end," leaving Sun King second. This is RAM's third Brew Bracket win.

Daredevil Brewing will have Lift Off IPA available in cans before year's end. Lift Off is a well-balanced IPA with West-Coast hops.

On Oct. 9, Broad Ripple Brewpub celebrated its 2500 batch since its 1990 opening with homebrewer Chris Pliley's recipe Swiss Army Knife Double IPA brewed collaboratively with head brewer John Treeter. Touted as a "hophead delight" with Warrior and Citra hops and grapefruit zest, its "extreme dry-hopping" nevertheless yields pleasant smoothness with a long-lasting resiny aroma.

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