Last time I talked to Ben Bredesen, the proprietor of Fat Bottom, he didn’t have much to reveal about the food — he was mostly focused on crafting the beer recipes, building a professional brewery facility and navigating the complex paperwork that opening a new brewery requires.
Bredesen, a health care software exec (and son of a former Tennessee governor), quit the corporate life last year to concentrate on brewing full time. One of his signature brews is Ginger, an American wheat beer spiked with a ginger kick.
Ginger helped him create his concept for Fat Bottom, whose logo flaunts a 1940s pinup-style drawing depicting an amply endowed young woman holding a foamy beer mug.
Like Ginger, all the various brews have women’s names and similar lady mascots: Bertha is a voluptuous gal representing a hearty oatmeal stout; Black Betty is a raven-haired beauty holding a tall glass of India black ale.
In another unique twist, Fat Bottom specializes in unfiltered beers. Skipping filtration results in bolder flavors, or as Fat Bottom’s slogan goes, “bigger, sexier beer.”
Fat Bottom’s location is distinctive, too: the Fluffo mattress warehouse at Ninth and Main streets, which is in the process of redevelopment. Another highly anticipated tenant is Edley’s Bar-B-Que — the popular 12South barbecue joint plans to open its second location next door to Fat Bottom. (A second local brewery, Broadcast, had also planned to share the building, but we hear it’s not going forward at that location.)
As Bredesen’s brewery came together, he decided to hire a serious chef — Christopher Haston, a veteran of Mambu — to make the taproom fare, albeit in what Bredesen describes as a “very, very small kitchen.”
“It’s a microkitchen for a microbrewery,” Bredesen said, laughing. “But Chris told me it was no problem.”
The menu is small but with rotating selections that pack some culinary punch. The opening day menu will include: duck quesadilla; deviled eggs with lump crabmeat; an adaptation of the British pub food staple “bangers and mash”; and a stellar-sounding charcuterie board with mortadella, salami, jamon iberico, chorizo and a duck terrine.
Bredesen figures he’ll open with three beers (Ginger, Betty and Bertha) on tap and will ramp up to four or five.
A version of this story ran in the Food Biz column in this week's edition of The City Paper and online in Nashville Post.