Asgard Brewery opened the first portion of its facilities on October 1 to a steady stream of curious and thirsty patrons eager to check out the new taproom and get a taste of their specialty beers. The brewery features a Viking theme and logo, and was founded by John Porter (pictured above).
John grew up around the Brentwood/Franklin area, and went to college at Fullsail in Orlando. He says, "I spent a lot of my free time studying both beer and history, which is part of the reason I combined the two when making the name for this Brewery. I have always been fascinated with Norse culture and mythology and also how it tied in with my ancestry."
The name Asgard is derived from Norse mythology. Thor, god of sky, was the guardian of the land of Asgard (home of the gods). Thor was considered the god of the homes and farmsteads of his worshipers.
So if you are wondering what the connection between Tennessee and Viking mythology is, the brewery's website explains it as thus: Tennessee’s rich agricultural heritage and its myriad of outdoor activities helped birth the idea of a Viking theme. Much like Tennesseans, Vikings were well known for their practices of farming and artisan crafts.
Vikings are also renowned for a number of their brews, mead in particular. With this, John saw a great opportunity. He elaborates, "So not only does their mythology interest me, but there is an untapped market with brews coming out of the Scandinavian counties that we hope to collaborate with in the near future."
In regard to why Columbia was chosen as their location, John explains, "Aside from the beautiful location we found, we fell in love with the people and growth this area has been showing. And we know that not only will we be happy and successful now, but with the way Columbia is moving forward with the arts and artisans it promotes, we will only do better in the future."
Connecting location to brew, the idea is to use locally sourced products in the making of their specialty beers. They implemented this on their grand opening by featuring a beer that was filtered (or strained) with Muletown Coffee's roasted beans and eventually plan to use local honey as an ingredient in their ales.
"We plan on making a variety of more staple brews like traditional porters and IPAs; however, we plan to specialize in some crazier concepts like very traditional Belgians and sours which will require a slightly longer process to make, but we think it will be well worth it once we get underway," John elaborated.
The 15-seat taproom and patio is only but the start of Asgard Brewing Company's long-term plans, which include a larger location across the street (in the old Todd's Lighting Gallery building) with a deck overlooking the Duck River. The warehouse where the taproom is located was an old garage that will be converted into the brewing facility, hopefully in the next year or two.
There are even plans to procure a Viking ship, which will sit below the bluff on the Duck River. As John explains, "One of our biggest supporters and friends, Reed Bernie, is a true Viking and adventurer who just so happens to build and sail Viking ships down the Yukon River. He took a trip out this year, but plans to build 3 more ships in the near future, one of which we hope to house at the brewery."
(photos below from the Oct. 1 opening. click to enlarge)
John's comments sum things up well for Asgard Brewing Company: "I've always been fond of crafting, not only physical art but also food, beverages, etc. So given my own love for drinking beer, it was the natural selection out of my many interests to pursue.
In addition, it is one of the oldest known fermented drinks, and it has even been described in the past as the foundation for civilization. I think taking part in such a noble craft that has existed for so many thousands of years is quite possibly one of the coolest ways to influence culture."
Asgard Brewery is located at 104 E 5th St in Columbia and is open 4-10 on weekdays, 4-12 on Friday, and 12-12 Saturday. It is closed on Sundays and Mondays. You can find out more about Asgard Brewing Company by clicking HERE.