Friday, November 13, 2015

Mantra Artisan Ales

Mantra Artisan Ales begins its Grand Opening weekend TODAY!

Dan and I were super excited when we got the invitation to preview Mantra Artisan Ales as part of their friends and family afternoon last Sunday, for a number of reasons.  Firstly, Dan is friends with the brewmaster, Derrick.  Secondly, the brewery also partners with celebrity chef Maneet Chauhan of Chauhan Ale & Masala House, and she's one of the sweetest people ever.  (Read about the first time I met her here.)  Lastly, and perhaps most coincidentally, the taproom is located less than three miles from our apartment, so it looks to be our new favorite watering hole!

Mantra Artisan Ales has absolutely transformed the location it took over after  Turtle Anarchy Brewing Company's departure from the space.  Those who were regulars at Turtle might recognize the bar countertop or the brewhouse and green floors in the brewery area, but that's about all that remains the same.

The taproom is just so... zen.  It's like yoga studio meets craft brewery, in a really beautiful (and admittedly sexy, during sunset) way!  There is beautiful furniture custom/locally made by 5 Strings Furniture, including these beautiful barrel tables with intricate wood carving.  You can sit at the bar on stools, at small high-top barrel tables, in bench/booth seating, or in a beautiful sitting area.  (I chose the sofa.)  In addition, the bathrooms were completely revamped.  I could definitely find myself camping out in the taproom, maybe even working on homework or writing my blog while sipping a beer.

I must admit I have a soft spot for this location.  Dan worked at the previous brewery that was in here, and we took our engagement photos in the space.  It just feels good to come back and see something so cool bring it to life again.

Oh yeah, I need to talk about the beer.  Now I will caveat this...  I'm not a beer fanatic.  I just married one, and I've tasted a ton of different beers as a result.  I like lighter, less hoppy, Belgian style beers.  I can confidently say that Mantra serves up something for everyone!

You can definitely tell that the combination of Derrick Morse's mad scientist brewmaster recipes and Maneet Chauhan's Indian spice influence have created some incredible magic in the brewery.  For the event we attended there were five beers to try; the brewery has 24 taps, and plans to have six flagship beers with a large variety of seasonal ales.  There are also plans to have specialty sodas and a nitro coffee tap too!  There may be some food plans in the work for the future, but for now there's a yummy assortment of "Global Munchies" available for purchase.

I liked the beer here, and so did my husband.  It's hard not to...  I really liked the Citra Saison, which they ran through the Randall (it's like an infuser for beer, in Aubrey terms) full of fresh lemons and oranges.  You could taste the citrus, and it was delicious!  I think my "usual" beer at Mantra would be their Battleground, a Saison/Wit blend, because that's the style I gravitate towards at just about any brewery.

That said, another beer worth shouting about is the Japa, their milk chai stout.  First off, I love just about anything chai.  Secondly, if you can get this on Nitro, it adds a creamy smoothness to it that is just to die for.  I would happily drink this beer in front of a fire pit while eating warm chocolate chip cookies.  And I'm not typically a stout drinker!  Worth a try for sure.

The brewery itself is looking better than ever too.  You can tell that there will be more beer produced in the space than ever before, as well as fun experiments in open fermentation and other methods.  I've included a photo for the beer nerds.

All in all, we couldn't be prouder to have this craft brewery opening in Franklin.  It's a great addition to the scene, and I know it'll soon be packed with regulars, as well as beer lovers making the reverse commute from Nashville to check it out.  You'll also be able to find it on tap locally, and eventually in other cities in the region.  Definitely check out their membership opportunities too; I purchased one for my husband as a gift, and we can't wait to get back to Mantra more frequently in the future!

Disclosure:  I enjoyed visiting Mantra's event and sampled beer for free, as my husband is friends with the brewmaster.  I was not asked to review the brewery or beers in exchange for my attendance, and all opinions are my own.  I just want to tell everyone about this great new local business!

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