Yazoo Brewing Company
A homebrewer's hobby turned into one of Nashville's most reputable craft breweries
Yazoo Brewing Company’s story is well founded, starting with owner Linus Hall’s passion for homebrewer to formulating Nashville’s first craft beer brewery since Prohibition. For the record, the name Yazoo Brewing is in homage to Linus and Lila Hall’s hometown of Vicksburg, Mississippi and the stately Yazoo River that transverses the city. Linus and Lila held corporate positions and eventually decided that brewing beer was simply more exciting than climbing the corporate ladder.
The couple moved to Nashville to realize their dreams of entering the craft beer arena. Linus Hall earned an MBA from Vanderbilt University and also a craft brewing degree form the American Brewers Guild in California. He then interned with New York’s Brooklyn Brewery before returning to Nashville to begin his entrance into craft brewing as a means of existence.
Yazoo Brewing Company saw the first light of day on October 3, 2003 in the historic Marathon Motor Works building, In the ensuing years, Yazoo Brewing has become the iconic brewing model for the State of Tennessee and many of the region’s surrounding areas.
Yazoo initially self-distributed kegs of their popular beers, Pale Ale, Dos Perros, Spring Wheat, and Onward Stout to local bars and restaurants, which is how they quickly gained an enthusiastic local following.
In 2005, the Spring Wheat was replaced with their now much more popular and award winning Hefeweizen, and they began bottling their beers. They also started brewing other styles of beers the locals loved, such as their Sly Rye Porter and Hop Project IPA. By 2009, Yazoo had brewed Tennessee’s first legal high-gravity ale that they called SUE, which was a smoked Porter that paid homage to the South’s inclination to smoke all kinds of foods.
In 2010, Yazoo Brewing moved to The Gulch, one of Nashville’s most attractive neighborhoods. This location added a new 40-barrel brewhouse, with room to produce much more beer and innovate with new beer styles. In early 2019, the company opened a new taproom and brewery on a 6.5-acre campus north of the city overlooking the scenic Cumberland River that flows down through Nashville.
Yazoo Brewing Company produces a year-round lineup of some ten different brews that have an enthusiastic following throughout the state and elsewhere. Among his credits are the development of SUE, and the company’s Hefeweizen, which has garnered a host of individual awards, including the gold medal at the 2004 Great American Beer Festival, and is still one of the most popular beers in their entire portfolio. On top of this, the craft brewers have also won numerous “Best of Nashville” awards for their microbrewery and their American craft beers.
Yazoo even tried their hand at wood-aged and barrel-aged sour beer, which ended in success, since their Embrace the Funk Cherry Deux Rouges won the bronze medal in its beer style category at the Great American Beer Festival.
From their start as American homebrewers, to opening their first small brewery, and finally moving to their bigger location, Yazoo has been tremendously successful. With all of this growth and success, the Yazoo Brewery continues to be independently owned and operated by Linus and Lila Hall who maintain 100% ownership and direction of the Nashville brewery. Linus Hall has become a true celebrity in the craft beer world and continues to run the brewery operation seven days a week. In fact, you can frequently find him tinkering with something in the production facility.
The beers of Yazoo Brewing Company set the standard for locally-produced brews and must be considered among the finest in the nation. We hope our Craft Beer Club members enjoy!