Music City Spirits & Cocktail Festival hits East Nashville

Jon and Lindsay Yeager, from pourtaste.wordpress.com
 
Nashville's long been a drinking town; our emergence as a real-deal cocktail destination: more of a long work in progress. Ain't hard to find a well-made artisan cocktail these days, but even five years back, house-made bitters were still a tad exotic.  
 
Credit for that growth goes to a whole host of locals, and PourTaste's Jon and Lindsay Yeager deserve a prominent place on the list. They've developed cocktail menus at creative eateries all around town -- including, more recently, the top-notch spirits offerings at Two Ten Jack here in East Nashville -- and there's a good chance they've poured you a drink around the neighborhood, from Old Made Good parties to Yum! East.
 
This spring, the Yeagers are shining a spotlight on Nashville's cocktail scene in a big way, launching the Music City Spirits & Cocktail Festival, a multi-day event stocked with parties, seminars and tastings meant to celebrate "the rising spirits and cocktail culture that has grasped Nashville over the past 5 years."
 
A healthy hunk of those events are centered here in East Nashville, from the rebranded Pavilion East to fine tobacco haven Smokers Abbey and fine, friendly eatery Treehouse. (A list of currently announced East Nashville fest events follow down below, and more are coming, including a TBA tasting at Antica.) 
 
Ahead of the Music City Spirits & Cocktail Festival -- set for May -- we asked Jon Yeager to tell us a little more about the intent behind the new event.
 
Music City Spirits & Cocktail Festival
 
The East Nashvillian: What inspired you to put this event together?
 
Jon Yeager: "There's multiple other cocktail-related festivals throughout the U.S., with the NOLA-based Tales of the Cocktail being the king of them all. We've had the opportunity to be on the ground floor at some of them. As full-time consultants and party throwers, we felt Nashville as a whole was ripe to honor that part of her identity." 
 
Though there are a lot of national/international names involved -- from El Jimador and Herradura to Woodford Reserve -- do you feel like the fest will offer a good picture of the local cocktail scene?
 
"That's really the whole point, is that what we are doing here is so good, that the nation would steer its eyes this way. Every one of our 'celebrity' guests coming down has said the same thing upon being invited. They've all exclaimed, 'Wow, I've been wanting to get down there for a while. Heard a lot of really amazing things!' We even have Armagnac distillers coming from France that have credited Grays (in Franklin) for being the only place in the U.S. that goes through the amount of its brandy that it does. We feel Nashville really is doing something groundbreaking."
 
Working within the cocktail scene in Nashville over a number of years, what's your perception of how it's changed?
 
"We honor the Patterson House and the Holland House as sort of the trailblazers for us all down here. We wouldn't be doing this if it weren't for them specifically. That said, now that people have the expectation of quality, I see Nashville getting more creative in how they produce quality.  Whether it be through flavor, technique, spirit-specific programs or service, the bar has been set and we observe bartenders taking it to the next level."  
 

Music City Spirits & Cocktail Festival events in East Nashville

 

Wednesday, May 7

 
Tequila Party by El Jimador & Herradura
7-10 p.m. at Pavilion East (11th and Fatherland) 
Importer Brown Forman heads up a celebration of tequila, which includes ample single spirit and cocktail tastings.
 

Thursday, May 8

 
Mini Beers w/ Licor 43 
4-6 p.m. at Treehouse (1011 Clearview)
Attendees will taste Spanish orange liquor Licor 43 on its own and as "Mini Beers" (with cream) during a patio party at this fresh-faced East Side favorite.
 
Wine Cocktails with Bolla Prosecco and Banfi Rosa Regale
7-10 p.m. at Pavilion East (11th and Fatherland) 
A cast of skilled Nashville craft cocktail bartenders and reps from  Bolla Prosecco and Banfi Rosa Regale will share tastes of and info about various wine cocktails.
 

Saturday, May 10

 
Meet & Greet with Woodford Reserve's Marianne Eaves 
Noon to 1 p.m. at Smokers Abbey (604 Gallatin Ave #102) 
Go deep into bourbon nerdery with Woodford Reserve's master taster, and talk cigar pairing with the Smokers Abbey staff.
 

Sunday, May 11

 
ImpexBev Master Scotch Class 
1-3 p.m. at Smokers Abbey (604 Gallatin Ave #102) 
Learn about different scotches from different regions of Scotland by tasting a whole bunch of them, including Arran, Isle of Skye and Kilchoman.
 
Check out other events at the Music City Spirits & Cocktail Festival website. Learn more about Jon and Lindsay Yeager's work at the PourTaste site
 

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