Shift Beers with Kuchnia and Keller’s Aaron Clemins

There were certain chefs who immediately came to mind when I started thinking about Shift Beers. Aaron Clemins was one of these people. Aaron has a passion for craft beer and fine dining that is unsurpassed in Nashville. Aaron was hired as City House’s first employee almost 10 years ago and remained at Beard award winner Tandy Wilson’s right hand as executive sous chef ever since.  Aaron recently left City House to open his own restaurant with Fresh Hospitality in Germantown.  The highly anticipated Kuchnia and Keller is slated to open in early Fall. Here’s how Aaron described his new restaurant to Tennessee Maltz:

“Kuchnia & Keller is a bar and restaurant at 1300 3rd Ave N in Germantown. Opening at the end of summer, the food is Eastern European inspired. The name comes from Polish and German words for “kitchen” and “cellar,” respectively. Having grown up in Wisconsin, I wanted to open a place that reflected my roots as well as my adopted home in the south. We will celebrate the great drinking culture of the Midwest as well as Nashville’s amazing beer scene. Craft beer and cocktails will be the main focus of the bar along with wine from eastern Europe, Italy and the U.S.”

Aaron was thrilled to participate, so I asked the same Shift Beer questions that Tony Galzin and Karl Worley answered:

  1. What is your most memorable beer experience?
  2. What is your desert island beer?

Aaron was very candid and, frankly, I love both of his answers:

“This might not be P. C. nowadays, but I promise this was normal…

Growing up in Wisconsin, everyone I knew or was related to had a bar in their basement. We were not allowed to drink as kids, but we certainly did bring a lot of beers to adults. When I was about 10 years old, I was doing the usual task of bringing my dad a beer (which involved, going downstairs and pouring it from our kegerator). I remember bringing it up and then for the first time I asked him if I could try his beer. He seemed a little surprised, and I remember all my uncles who were standing around started to laugh. “Oh sure, he said, “go for it.”

So I took my first sip of that “Champagne of Beers” and immediately (I’m sure with a classically horrible face) spit it right back out and said, “that’s gross! Why do you guys drink this stuff so much?”. Of course, everyone was cracking up and my dad just said, “you will understand when you’re older”. And he was right.

Desert Island Beer:

This is about as difficult a decision as a beer nerd can make. I’m going with Serendipity from New Glarus Brewery. Low alcohol, sweet, tart, fruity. From the great state of WI. Doesn’t need to be ice cold either. Awesome for lounging beachside.”

Don’t miss Kuchnia and Keller when it opens later this year. I’m sure it will quickly become #ITcity’s newest hotspot and will be a fantastic place to have a beer.  Tennessee Maltz will keep you updated on K&K’s opening date as it approaches. Cheers!


Photo by Christen Clemins


Blackberry Farm Brewery Can Launch at Martin’s BBQ Downtown

Since starting production in 2011, IMG_20170704_171729_179[8413]Maryville’s Blackberry Farm Brewery has continually impressed with their corked and caged bottles. From fruited sours to Brett saisons, BFB’s 375 and 750 mL bottles are fantastic at home or in restaurants, but these formats haven’t been conducive to the outdoor lifestyle that so many Tennesseans hold dear.  Fans of BFB can now rejoice, as the brewery releases three new canned beers next week. BFB and Ajax Turner are hosting a launch party at Martin’s BBQ’s massive downtown outpost (410 4th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37201) on Monday and you’re invited. From 6-10 PM, the BFB team will be offering their first canned beers: Coyote Tactics IPA, TN Times Pilsner, and Screaming Cock Pale Ale. All three are available in beautiful 12 oz cans designed by artists who are friends of the Farm.

“Much like the beers, we wanted each label to have its own personality,” said Roy Milner, Blackberry Farm Brewery’s Chief Fermentation Officer. “Working with artists familiar with Blackberry Farm’s culture ties this project closer to the people that we interact with on the Farm. We want the cans to feel more youthful, bold, and in the moment. These new beers are meant to inspire recreating, connecting, and enjoying yourself and an active lifestyle.”

Blackberry Farm Brewery has partnered with St. Louis, MO’s Brew Hub to brew BFB’s canned beers at Brew Hub’s sprawling Lakeland, FL brewery.  Brew Hub was founded in 2012 and is already brewing with craft beer heavy hitters such as Decorah, IA’s Toppling Goliath and Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing. Brew Hub plans to have 5 regional breweries to serve smaller breweries across the country.

“We’re incredibly happy to be working alongside the team at Brew Hub to begin offering our new can line of beers. Their dedication to quality and attention to detail are second-to-none, and reflect the same passion and care that have been the foundation of our own brewing program since day one. It’s a natural fit and an exciting new chapter for our brewery,” said Roy.

Tennessee Maltz was lucky enough to drink these beers throughout the 4th of July holiday and they all lived up to what one would expect from BFB. I can’t wait to get these cans out on the river or to a tailgate. In the meantime, come drink (or keyhole) a few with me on Monday. Just the thought of pairing these great beers with Martin’s delectable smoked meats already has my mouth watering.


4th of July Beer Fest at Little Harpeth Brewing

Still need plans for July 4th, but don’t want to brave the crowds downtown? Kwas and the crew at Little Harpeth (30 Oldham St, Nashville, TN 37213) have just what you’re looking for.  Little Harpeth’s east bank brewery offers a fantastic vantage point of one of the greatest fireworks show in the country. With easy interstate access and tons of free parking (at the brewery and across the street at Crosspoint Church), Little Harpeth might be the perfect downtown July 4th spot.  This year, Little Harpeth is asking $30 for admission, which includes all the LHB beer that you can handle responsibly and music from DJ Ben Spinks. Admission for those under 21 is $15.  Food trucks A Little Italian, Twisted Thai, and Skip’s Links will all be on-site, as well. Whatever you do, have a safe and awesome 4th of July!

LHB 4th 2

LHB 4th