Southern Grist Brewing, located in Nashville, opened in early 2016. The brewery was founded by Jamie Lee, Kevin Antoon and Jared Welch. Lee and Antoon were co-workers at ServiceSource in San Francisco, a sales and solutions outsourcing firm. Welch moved to Nashville from Ohio to join the ServiceSerivce team, and that is how he met Lee and Antoon, both of whom had moved there to open a new location for the company.

ServiceSource went public with an IPO in March 2011, and the three found themselves with a financial opportunity. Welch had several years of homebrewing experience and the thought of opening a brewery had been lingering around for some time. So, in April 2014, they sat down to create a business plan.

The plan and pre-opening arrangements took nearly two years. As soon as the brew system arrived, it was clear that the jump from the corporate world would have to start. Welch was the first to leave ServiceSource, with the other two going soon after.

Now serving Nashville with two locations, Southern Grist has grown in a big way in just three years. Its beer offerings range significantly as well, with lagers, IPAs, and sour ales.

Among its sour ale lineup is its Cobbler Series, a collection of fruited sours. This series is brewed to mimic various cobbler desserts using adjuncts such as vanilla, cinnamon, and fruit puree.

Boysenberry Cobbler, the newest addition to the series, is an American Wild Ale with a 6 percent ABV. It was brewed with lactose, vanilla beans, cinnamon, and boysenberry puree. The brewery released this new variant in May 2020 along with three other beers, Loud Whisper, Blueberry Pancake Breakfast Brown, and Double Dry Hopped Mixed Greens 46. The Cobbler Series now has 11 total variants.

  • Peach
  • Blueberry
  • Blackberry
  • Stone Fruit
  • Cherry
  • Triple Berry
  • Blue Razz
  • Caprison
  • St. Lucie
  • Dat Cobbler Boi
  • Boysenberry

The beer is poured from a 16-ounce can into a Munique stemmed glass, and the deep red color with hints of purple seems to match the color of the natural fruit fairly closely. There is little to no head, and the same could be said about the lacing.

The aroma is mostly vanilla, with the fruit following. As I taste it, I pick up the fruit more along with the cinnamon. The amount of fruit is lower than I expected. It is decently sour, however, the lactose and vanilla are more present, covering up a lot of the tartness.

I enjoy the lighter body and the slight mouth-coating stickiness that leaves the fresh fruit taste in your mouth. It is very smooth, but a little too silky, making for an unusual finish.

As it warms, the flavors blend more. The combination of vanilla, cinnamon, and fruit really brings the cobbler aspect out more. But the vanilla and lactose also become stronger, muddling the flavor profile.

Southern Grist Boysenberry Cobbler
BREWERY: Southern Grist Brewing Co.
LOCATION: Nashville, Tenn.
STYLE: American Wild Ale
ABV: 6 Percent
IBU: n/a
PRICE: $4.50 (Pack of 4, $18)
RELEASE DATE: May 16, 2020
AVAILABLE IN: 16-ounce cans
I have enjoyed many fruited sours from Southern Grist, and therefore, my expectations were fairly high for this beer. Despite the favorable execution, the beer was still fairly simple in that it tasted more like a fruited sour ale with adjuncts and not like a boysenberry cobbler pie. The strange silkiness took away from what should have been a tart, crisp finish. It was also missing the taste of buttery crust found in other Cobbler series beers. The boysenberry fruit tasted fresh and clean without any artificial flavors, though the use of both vanilla and lactose was overpowering. Boysenberry Cobbler was not a favorite beer of mine. However, I would still recommend trying it to anyone new to this style.
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