Lipman Brewing acquires two local craft beer companies

From left: Master Brewer Dieter Foerstner, Nic Donahue and Michael Kwas at the brewery in The Nations.

R.S. Lipman Brewing, the family-owned business that operates Hap & Harry’s Tennessee Beer, announced Tuesday the acquisition of local brewery companies Little Harpeth Brewing and Turtle Anarchy.

Terms of the deals, which solidify what for years was the working-class section of West Nashville as the city’s de facto brewery district, were not disclosed in a release.

The brewing of the three beer brands — Little Harpeth and Turtle Anarchy will maintain their names, beer styles and recipes — is now being undertaken at Hap & Harry’s brewery, located at 5901 California Ave. in The Nations. That facility does not offer a public taproom and the release does not note if one is forthcoming.

To date, Turtle Anarchy beer had been brewed at the facility, while Little Harpeth beer was brewed at an East Bank warehouse located near downtown at 30 Oldham St. That facility was damaged during the March 2020 tornado.

With the deals, Little Harpeth founder Michael Kwas will now serve as sales manager for R.S. Lipman. Former Little Harpeth sales representative Davey Spohr also has joined the Lipman companies in a sales role.

Kwas began Little Harpeth operations in 2012, with local craft beer scene veteran Steve Scoville serving as brewmaster. The brand is known for its focus on German-style lagers. Its Chicken Scratch is derived from corn, likely the only Nashville beer using that grain for a beer offered year-round.

Brothers Andrew Kamp and Mark Kamp founded Turtle Anarchy in Franklin in 2012. The brewery company’s Portly Stout was one of Middle Tennessee’s first year-round available dark craft beers. In 2015, Turtle Anarchy moved to The Nations, where it remains but now under the Lipman umbrella. Neither Kamp is now involved with Turtle Anarchy or R.S. Lipman.

"Craft beer is a community endeavor,” Nic Donahue, a Lipman vice president, said in the release. “We realized the opportunity to band together with our friends at Little Harpeth and Turtle Anarchy would make us a stronger company, and position the brewery to continue producing great beer in a more sustainable way.

“We’re genuinely excited about — and committed to — maintaining the unique brand personalities of Hap & Harry’s, Little Harpeth and Turtle Anarchy,” he added. “It’s a true combination of community, craft and beer.”

Kwas said joining forces with Hap & Harry’s will give Little Harpeth “an opportunity for growth that we would not be able to achieve on our own.” He said Little Harpeth beer will continue to be brewed using the traditional German mashing method called decoction, with the beer lagered in horizontal vessels.

A four-generation family business, Hap & Harry’s Tennessee Beer takes its name from Hap Motlow, of the legendary Jack Daniel family from Lynchburg, and his friend Harry Lipman. The brewing company’s flagship beers include Hap & Harry’s Tennessee Lager and NASH IPA.

In addition to Hap & Harry’s, Little Harpeth and Turtle Anarchy, The Nations is home to Fat Bottom Brewing, Harding House Brewing and Southern Grist. In addition, Czann’s Brewing will soon begin operations in the fast-changing district, which still offers an industrial, blue-collar feel that pairs with its continued addition of higher-end homes.

Nearby and in Sylvan Heights is located Bold Patriot Brewing at L&L Marketplace. Also, Bearded Iris Brewing will soon have a presence at Sylvan Supply, located in Sylvan Park. TailGate Brewery is located a few miles to the west in West Davidson County.

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