The Beer Skipper: Getting Paddled

Hallooo, shipmates! The Beer Skipper is coming aboard your little skiffs to once again bring you the best of Rutherford County’s craft beer, so spit out that miserable swill you’re drinking and read the expert.

But before I get started, the Skipper has to make a wee confession?I’ve been a little naughty! And when I’m naughty, the Skipper must get paddled!

Oh no, you degenerates, I’m not talking about some weird, perverted activity, nor even the perfectly healthy bondage games me and the missus play on Tuesday nights. I’m talking the “Paddle of Destiny”: the Mellow Mushroom’s latest craft beer deal!

Dreamt up by Kevin Martin, Paul Lindlau and the rest of the MM crew, the Paddle of Destiny is the perfect way for beer fans to while away a few hours at MM, located at 2955 S. Rutherford in Murfreesboro. In fact, the Skipper doesn’t know of any deal like it. For $40, beer lovers get to enjoy substantial samples of all 37 of MM’s tap beers. It’s so much fine ale, lager and cider that it takes two servers to carry the paddle out to customers, according to general manager Martin.

But heed the storm warnings, sailors: 37 samples is a lot of brew! Martin says only one brave beer sailor has tried to paddle solo, and the poor lad’s now resting in Davy Jones’ locker!

That’s partly because it includes such Skipper favorites as Bluegrass Brewing Co.’s Jefferson’s Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout. It’s a smooth beauty with a definite hint of fine bourbon, since it’s aged for 60 days in Jefferson’s Reserve barrels. But it packs a wallop at eight percent alcohol by volume, so it’s best sipped, not gulped.

It joins other area craft beer favorites on the paddle such as Nashville’s Yazoo Brewery’s Nitro Stout. Long a favorite at Yazoo’s taproom, the Nitro Stout is now being kegged and enjoyed throughout Middle Tennessee.

Big Beers on the Northside

Here’s another port ye need to hit, sailors: Northside Liquors, at 220 W. Northfield Boulevard.

Northside chief Matt McAfee relates to the Skipper that he’s just now dipping his feet into the big beer waters, but he’s doing it in a big, BIG way, with “Samichlaus,” the world’s strongest lager.

“Santa Claus” in English, this destroyer is brewed only once a year on Dec. 6 by Austria’s Brewery Castle Eggenberg. While it’s 14 percent alcohol, it also has a secondary fermentation in the cool Alps for 10 months. This period gives Samichlaus a much smoother taste, albeit one definitely a little sweet and alcoholic. It’s a great buy at $5.49 a bottle, so cheers, sailors, and try the world’s strongest lager this winter!

The Beer Skipper, a.k.a. John Cummins, is a Murfreesboro resident, a founder of the Middle Tennessee Home Brew club (msbrewcrew.org) and captain of the Nashville Brews Cruise (nashvillebrewscruise.com). He claims to be the ultimate authority on all things pertaining to beer, but generously tolerates the few readers who may disagree with him. In any case, feel free to email him at jwcummins3@gmail.com.


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