Now in its fourth year, Boscos Brewing Company continues to make its presence felt on the Nashville, Tennessee craftbeer scene. The two-story weathered red brick exterior beckons only with a red neon "Boscos" sign in front. Inside, a 12-place light wood bar anchors the drinking activities in the front-right portion of the single, large open room. A lone 8-tap brass "goal post" hosts the taps of the house beers. A beer engine offers up the current hand-pulled cask-conditioned brew. Behind the bar shines a large, mirrored bar back surrounded by two-tone stone tiling. For $30 a year Mug Club members get one and a half pints for the price of one, and $2 pours on Mondays. The mugs reside above the bar area. Numerous medals earned at Real Ale Festival competitions attest to the regard shown toward the beers of Fred Sheer. Owner Kent Taylor shows his confidence in the house beers by serving no outside beers, even though Tennessee law allows brewpubs to buy a distributor license and have their beers sold at other establishments. The adjacent lounge features two silent TVs showing sporting events. A dozen small circular wooden tables and chairs fill the front area, with a view street-side through paned windows. A small glass merchandise case displays glasses and logo-ware clothing. Most of the layout is wheelchair accessible.
The left half of the room holds large circular tables of the raised smoking section of the dining room. Booth seating spans the interior wall. The right rear of the room is the main dining room. 15-feet overhead the ceiling of purple tile sports tin ductwork and subdued track lighting. Mirrored arched "windows" on both long walls give the impression of spaciousness. The kitchen at the rear glows from the ambers of the wood-fired oven. Looking down upon the dining area from the rear is the shiny DME brewhouse holding six copper-clad vessels.
A good way to start tasting is with the $8 sampler of eight four-ounce glasses laid out on a descriptive laminated mat. The Famous Flaming Stone steinbier is a clear gold color with a mellow, malty flavor, slight caramel sweetness, and nice dry finish. The India Pale Ale is a clear amber, with a mellow hop aroma and flavor, with the hops dominating the flavor throughout, well into the aftertaste. The seasonal Oktoberfest is a deep gold color, with a mellow maltiness and surprisingly noticeable hops. Another seasonal, the American Brown is a clear mahogany with a very dry malty flavor. The seasonal Munich Dunkel is a dark amber, with a light body and pleasant dark-malt flavors. The Isle of Skye Scottish Ale is a dark amber color with a big mouthfeel, very malty flavor, and slightly dry finish. The Germantown Alt is a deep amber color with a nice even flavor balance from the hops and malt that leads to a dry finish. The firkin of American Brown Ale shows a smooth mouthfeel, with a nice dry malty flavor and good supporting hop bitterness. Most beers are filtered and run $3.50 a pint. Ales are served at 40-degrees F, Lagers at 38.
An excellent time to try the food is during the Sunday Brunch. Specialties include Omelettes, Eggs, and Quiches. Pints are reduced to $2.75 and live Blues or Jazz is featured. Happy Hour lasts 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, along with 75¢ off from 11 p.m. until close Sunday through Thursday, and 12 until close Friday and Saturday. Located just a few blocks south of Vanderbilt University, the crowd tends to be "smoky", accommodated by a cigarette machine in the hallway. A full liquor bar is available but a nuisance city ordinance currently hinders growler sales. Note: Beers no greater than 5% can be sold in grocery stores, while those over are available only in liquor stores. Tennessee brewpubs keep their "beer" at levels of 5% or less.
Boscos supports the local homebrew scene through sponsorship of events such as the Music City Brew-off, where, in 2001, 248 entries in 28 categories were judged as part of a American Homebrewers Association (AHA)-sanctioned competition. Local homebrew club Music City Brewers coordinated the event, with club president Steve Johnson overseeing multi-day activities involving the Institute for Brewing Studies (IBS) and the AHA. A guided Pub Crawl offered attendees the opportunity to experience Nashville hospitality and sample craftbeer produced at other Nashville breweries. Look for future events for American Beer Month and National Homebrew Day. Music and beer, a successful combination in Nashville, Tennessee.
Reviewed by Tom Ciccateri -