Tennessee Toast to showcase craft spirits

The Tennessee Toast tasting event and silent auction is Feb. 15, 2017.(Photo: submitted)

When the American Craft Spirits Association steams into town next week for their annual confab (Feb. 15-17), distillers will spend time swapping sordid tales of dumping batches along with their sweet successes along the way. They‘ll check out the latest in copper still technology and marvel at all the boutique cooperages that have sprung up.

In other words, it‘s pretty geeky, but that‘s what you expect at an industry-only convention. Unless you have the hundreds of dollars to join and attend, you‘ll be on the outside looking in.

Fear not, though, all you fans of small-batch whiskies and gins. The distillers are not leaving you completely out in the cold.

On the first night of the gathering, the ACSA has teamed up with the to throw a big tasting event and silent auction called The Tennessee Toast. Billed as the largest craft spirits tasting ever held, it plans to feature, at last count, 25 distilleries from 12 different states.

Unlike other tasting events that are dominated by the biggest producers, this will feature smaller makers, including many from Tennessee. Yes, the big boys and  (Daniel and Dickel) will be there, but local favorites Nelson‘s Green Brier and Corsair will be joined by the likes of High Wire (South Carolina) and Maggie‘s Farm (Pennsylvania), one of the county‘s best rum makers.

Andy Nelson, ‎co-owner and head distiller of Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery, is pretty stoked that the group chose Nashville this year as it‘s convention destination, saying in a statement, “We are extremely proud of what we‘ve built here, and Nashville is the perfect city to showcase to the rest of the country what the region has become.”

The silent auction emcee is the noted whiskey author and ascot-wearing Fred Minnick, who should serve up plenty of droll repartee along the way.

The Tennessee Toast will take place February 15, 6-8:30 p.m. at The Bell Tower (400 4th Ave. S.). VIP doors open at 4:40 p.m. Tickets are $79 until February 14, and $89 at the door on the night of the event. VIP tickets are $99. Tickets can be purchased online at .  This is a 21 and over event and requires a valid state or federal i.d. for entry.

Reach Jim Myers at or, on Instagramand on Twitter.

2 CONNECTCOMMENTEMAILMORERead or Share this story: http://tnne.ws/2kFPQah