Nov 24, 2021 - Food and Drink
Nashville beer nerds brace for Black Friday
People wait in line for Bourbon County beers in Austin, Texas in 2013.
People wait in line for Bourbon County beers in Austin, Texas in 2013. Photo: Rick Kern/Getty Images for Goose Island

By sunrise on Black Friday, shoppers thirsty for a once-a-year deal will begin to line up in front of select Nashville liquor stores across the city.

  • It's part of a relatively new tradition that has turned Black Friday into a national beer holiday.
  • The object of suds nerds' affection is rare beers — mostly barrel-aged high alcohol stouts.

What's happening: In addition to special beers from Nashville breweries, the headliner is the annual Bourbon County series by the Chicago brewery Goose Island, which launched the Black Friday tradition.

Why it matters: Benjamin Hale, beer buyer at south Nashville's Craft Brewed, says Black Friday is the shop's best-selling day of the year.

  • "Bourbon County created this whole situation with it being a day for barrel-aged beers and stouts in general," Hale tells Axios.

The latest: Following Goose Island's lead with the Bourbon County series, several Nashville breweries have joined in with special Black Friday releases. Hale says Blackstone, Southern Grist, and Bearded Iris are among the local breweries with unique releases on Black Friday.

How it works: People will start lining up at 6am, perhaps earlier, Hale says.

  • "It's a lot of dudes, a lot of middle-aged guys. It's not necessarily a youngish crowd."
  • Craft Brewed will open its tasting room at 8am, giving drinkers a chance to try a Bourbon County variety on draft and get a ticket to buy bottles. Shoppers are limited to one bottle per variety and availability varies from store to store.

The bottom line: "It's definitely a party," Hale says. "In past years we've had DJs. This year we're doing a pop-up with Brave Idiot hot chicken. It's a fun environment."

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