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The Brief Moment of a Seasonal Brew: A Reflection

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By Heather Richie

Photo courtesy of Blue Chair Tavern        
Photo courtesy of Blue Chair Tavern

The third time I visited Blue Chair Tavern in Sewanee, Tennessee, they finally had Sewanee Fog on tap.

No, there is no beer called Sewanee Fog. That is just what Blue Chair Tavern labels their seasonal offering from Jackalope Brewing Co., based in Nashville. This summer, it was Bearwalker, a maple brown with 100% Vermont Maple Syrup in the brew. It was good; so good, in fact, that on my fourth visit, they were sold out, and I heard other patrons bemoan the empty tank.

I’d thought Sewanee Fog to be a local brew because the south’s craft brewing has reached a tipping point, and the nation at large is experiencing a beer boom. The phrase “Sewanee fog”captured my imagination because the poet Richard Tillinghast, who read this summer at Sewanee’s School of Letters, penned it in the last line of his poem Sewanee When We Were Young. So maybe that is why I was hoping to actually drink the stuff.

I did not know what to expect from my summer on the Mountain until I tried it, and like a good craft beer, it’s a seasonal thing. Perforce, next year’s batch will be new. And I’ll be ready to try to capture summer again, if only briefly in a pint.