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


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