Monday, January 18, 2010

After 50 Years-Plus, a Taste of Goldcrest 51

Posted By on Mon, Jan 18, 2010 at 8:20 PM


Goldcrest 51 beer bit the dust when the Tennessee Brewing Company closed its doors in 1954.

But now, thanks to Kenn Flemmons, author of Finest Beer Your Ever Tasted, the Tennessee Brewing Company of Memphis, it's being resurrected ... albeit in one batch and in Little Rock, Arkansas.

A tasting will be held Saturday, January 23rd, starting at 1 p.m., at Vino's in Little Rock.

The re-creation of Goldcrest 51 began with a phone call.

"I found a notebook," the caller told Flemmons.

Flemmons, who grew up in North Mississippi, is a beer-memorabilia collector, specializing in the Tennessee Brewing Company. His interest led to him writing the book and to making contacts with other Tennessee Brewing Company enthusiasts as well as former employees.

The call was from the daughter-in-law of a Tennessee Brewing Company employee who had passed away. Flemmons had her read from the notebook.

"It was the recipe," Flemmons said.

But it wasn't that simple. The recipe had to be reworked both in terms of using modern standards and for a much smaller quantity. In addition, the notebook didn't spell out what yeast or hops were used.

It took years to figure out, Flemmons said. He had help from Vino's head brewer Bill Riffle.

The batch for Saturday's tasting is 3 and half barrels, or about 7 kegs. Pints will be sold for $2 or $3. The date was chosen because it's the 75th anniversary of the beer can.

Given that Goldcrest 51 hasn't been brewed in more than 50 years, how does Flemmons know his beer tastes the same?

"I don't," he said. He then added, "I do to a point," explaining he found a full bottle of Goldcrest 51. He admitted there are a lot of ifs between the taste of that 50-year-old beer, Goldcrest's original recipe, and this latest batch.

Of the latter, he simply said, "I hope it's good."

Flemmons said that while he's talked to some folks in Memphis about having a tasting here, as of now, the Little Rock event is a "one shot thing," adding that people interested in sampling the beer "shouldn't dally."

Goldcrest 51 tasting, Saturday, January 23rd, 1 p.m., Vino's, 923 W. Seventh, Little Rock, Arkansas, 501-375-8466.

For more information about the event, email Kenn Flemmons

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