In 1991, just outside Vanderbilt University in Nashville a little pizza place named Guido's started doing business. It quickly became a hit with the locals who went crazy for their New York style pies and in particular, the dough. Guido's would eventually relocate to the Cool Springs Galleria area in Franklin. From there it would be sold to former British Infantryman, Chris Hartland and his wife Jane who immigrated to the area in 2008.
Chris and Jane would add a microbrewery, the first in Williamson, County and was re-branded Cool Springs Brewery. Offering a full bar menu, centered around the original Guido's pizza as well as craft beers brewed right on the premises. They also offer live music.
The duo behind CSB weren't fooling around either. Investing significant dollars in brewing equipment and bringing in Brewmaster Mike Kraft (yes that means the beer was Kraft-brewed) from Texas. Mike got the couple up and running but eventually need to meet new challenges. He left the brewery in 2012. Enter Derrick Morse. Born and raised in the unofficial capital of craft brewed beer in the US, Boulder Colorado.
CSB takes up a few units in a strip mall. It's adorned much as you would expect with the large brew vats sitting prominently by the front window. Inside has all the trappings of a slick, big box sports bar. That is to say, TV's, TV's everywhere. The space is rather expansive with plenty of seating and can also handle larger groups either in the dining area or a semi private room.
One thing I love about brew pubs like this is they offer a tasting board. Usually about 5 beers you can order in sample size before diving headlong into one brew or another. On this day we ended up with a bonus glass to make it an even half dozen. I'm not much of a dark beer lover so the Shaft Black IPA was just simply not for me. On the other hand I love grapefruit and as such the Private Johnson Pale Ale was clearly my favourite. Oddly enough, one of my dining partners absolutely hated it for the very reason I loved it. Others on the board included Tiches Wit, Saison and Franklin's First. All of which I enjoyed. There was also a wheat beer that I really didn't like. I haven't found a wheat beer I do like so take that for what it's worth.
The chicken wings were excellent. The sauce wasn't quite Buffalo style but leaned somewhat towards that. It had a nice sweetness to balance it out. Sort of a Buffalo wing meets Asian wing thing. They were also perfectly cooked. Nicely crispy on the outside and beautifully tender and juicy inside. They come served with Blue Cheese or Ranch dips. We ended up with both but never touched either.
The Pizza was very good. My only complaint would be I'd like the crust to have been a little crispier on the bottom but from a taste point, it was just plain great. There was enough sauce that you could taste but not enough to provide personality. The toppings, while many, weren't so heavily mounded on as to weigh the whole pie down. It's thin crust pizza and needs a lighter hand here. I really loved that they used capicola. This Italian ham is amazing on pizza.
So there you have it folks. A great lunch in the Cool Springs area which if you are familiar, is inundated with just about every national chain on the grid.
You can find Cool Springs Brewery at 600A Frazier Dr. Unit 135, Franklin, Tn.
View Larger Map
You can also find them on the web, facebook and Twitter.
Well that's all for now peeps. See ya next time in the food court.