Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Corsair Taproom is Open

Nashville Restaurants and Food
The Great Nashville Taproom Swap
Corsair Distillery Taproom
1200 Clinton St.
Yazoo Taproom
910 Division Street

You walk into the grand brick factory building and into a cloistered set of chambers. There in the back you find beer, really good beer, and in a cozy room that reminds you of a hole in the wall pub in Europe. Sounds like the Yazoo Brewery taproom. And it was. But now the great switch is underway and the taproom in the historic Marathon Motors building on Clinton Street is the Corsair Distillery taproom. The new Yazoo brewery and taproom is located over in the gulch.

In case you think this switch was easy, we point out that Linus Hall from Yazoo was still packing his stuff up on this sunny Saturday afternoon. The Corsair guys meanwhile are taking out part of the roof to fit their 22 foot distilling contraption. All of this is met with smiles and a couple of beers.

The all beer taproom is just for fun and a way to get people interested in the Corsair products: artisanal vodka, gin, absinthe, rum and whiskey. They can’t serve those spirits on the exact site of the distillery. The Corsair guys hope to begin distilling in the next few weeks. They’re starting with whiskeys for the Nashville location. Triple smoke whiskey and Rasputin stout whiskey will be aged. The Rye whiskey is un-aged.

We’re really happy that the Clinton Street location is open again as a beer drinking establishment. Even that ratty courtyard is a welcome place to toss a few back. The Corsair folks are doing all of this in a soft opening. They have 15 beers on tap, including a complete selection of Yazoo, and a few menu items. A Scrimshaw Pilsner went well with the spicy feta dip. The boys are keeping the Yazoo tradition of cheese and Provence bread. Roasted jalapeno salsa was pretty good with a Coney Island Lager. They’ll even do beer flights for you.

We enjoyed all of this thanks to longtime reader mIKES who tipped us off to the soft opening. We had a blast with mIKES and his friends as we talked and drank beer in the glorious spring weather. And the funny part is that each one of us had been to the new Yazoo location just a couple of hours earlier.

The new Yazoo taproom isn’t much from the outside yet, but give it time. Inside you’ll find a sleek and modern room, about 10 times larger than the old taproom. And they need that space. They open at 2pm on a Saturday. By 2:18pm we spotted 18 people in line and most of the tables filled. The sunny patio is another nice addition. Despite the crowds the Yazoo staff keeps the beer pouring and no one was waiting in line for long. The only downsides: the room still needs some soul and that will probably come with time. It’s also really loud; perhaps some acoustic tiles on the ceiling might help cut down the din. We enjoyed our Hop Project #28 (a little milder than previous batches) and the Rye Saison (like a heffe but with a nice bite to the finish). They serve Mattingly cheeses from Kentucky and Sweetwater cheeses from Tennessee, along with those specially made Provence breads. It’s awesome to see an original and independent Nashville brewer do so well. Yazoo has been a tremendous addition to this city and we think Corsair will be the same.

Hopefully the Marathon Motors building will be back on track now. We were worried when Yazoo moved out, but With Corsair as an anchor we could see all sorts of funky and cool joints opening up. We’d love to see Clinton Street be the new hip neighborhood in Nashville.

The Corsair taproom is open Thursday 4-8pm, Friday 4-8pm and Saturday 2pm-8pm. Ditto for Yazoo.


mIKES said...

Neat pics~! In that Yazoo taproom photo I see at least 3 people I know.
interesting how close we were to crossing paths - The folks on the end of the line in that picture were just ordering when I arrived.

Eric and Katie said...

Yes, great minds think least when it comes to beer

Anonymous said...

Looks like this picture was taken last Saturday? I was with my wife sitting against the right wall.

I still miss the old place.

Eric and Katie said...

Yes Anon, I think everyone in Nashville was there last Saturday. I think you will like the vibe of the Corsair place...and the new Yazoo will only get more homey as they settle in...

Honeymoon bed breakfast said...

When I emailed the guys at Corsair Artisan Distillery to ask if they had finalized a deal to occupy the Yazoo Tap Room at Marathon Village, it took them a while to respond.

Darek said...

Sorry for the slow response 'Honeymoon bed breakfast,' we apologize. Opening a new distillery is not an easy endeavor given the intense government paperwork!

mIKES said...

I have been going to the Corsair "beer" side of their operation since they opened back on March 25, 2010. I can say that Matt, Jason, Andrew, and Darek are quite busy on the logistical and legal fronts as I write this. The serving room for spirits is moving along - the legal side is a little tougher, and I for one can not say what exactly is going on. But stop in to the taproom on Thursday or Friday 4pm to 8pm and Saturday 2pm to 8pm. These cats are super nice and they have 6 Yazoo and 10 other craft brewed beers on draft for growlers, flights, or pints. They also offer a small but *very* creative selection of sandwiches and cheese / meat samplers. Their plan for Corsair at Marathon, like Eric said, looks like this corner of town is potentially going to become a unique little scene.