BFF’s (Beer Friends Forever)

By Jill Melton / Photography By Mark Boughton | April 27, 2016
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"Hap & Harry"—Hap Motlow and Harry Lipman

This young Tennessee brew was built on an old tradition: friendship.

Launched in 2011, Nashville-based Hap & Harry’s is a well-balanced beer with a big taste. It was created to honor the friendship of Hap Motlow and Harry Lipman, neighbors and friends for over half a century. Back in the day, Hap’s family produced Jack Daniel’s; Harry’s family was the first distributor of the famous Tennessee whiskey after the repeal of Prohibition. Harry’s company was called Lipman Brothers, which today is one of the few remaining locally-owned distributors – and still the owner of Tennessee State Permit No. 1.

The man behind the idea to honor the story of Hap and Harry’s friendship with a new brew is Robert Lipman, Harry’s grandson. Robert wanted to create an easy drinking beer where “you can have one, and then want another,” as friends tend to do. Hap told Robert, “to make great whiskey, you start by making great beer.” To find just the right balance, Robert turned to Linus Hall at Yazoo Brewing Company to help create the original lager recipe, which took about six months to perfect.

“We wanted the sophistication of a craft brew but the drinkability of the popular beers like Budweiser, PBR, or Miller.” Robert likes to refer to Hap & Harry’s as a “session beer,” a beer with a relatively moderate alcohol content, suitable for drinking over an extended period of time (a “session”).

In the old days, the only beers that were available were those produced by local breweries. True to its roots, Hap & Harry’s is produced in Nashville and – at this time – is only distributed in Tennessee. Today, it’s brewed at Turtle Anarchy Brewing Company, soon to be open in The Nations. Owned by R.S. Lipman Company, the sister company to Lipman Brothers, Hap & Harry’s is available on draft and in bottles all around town, and, come summer, you’ll even find it in cans.

The beer’s ever-growing popularity is a testament to its approachable flavor, which has produced a running joke within Robert’s family. He likes to razz his son-in-law, a descendant of the Anheuser-Busch family, “If you want a Budweiser with taste, drink a Hap & Harry’s.”

Hear hear, Hap and Harry! Here’s to good friends.

Article from Edible Nashville at
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