For almost four years, 216 Noah Drive in Franklin has been the place where Mantra Artisan Ales created and served culinary-inspired beers and made a name for itself.
What began as a side project for the former head brewer of Cool Springs Brewery Derrick Morse has now grown to an all-encompassing beverage company with three distinct brands that have outgrown the original location.
On Sept. 1, the brewery will leave the space to focus entirely on the new 83-acre beer park and new state-of-the-art brewing facility in Murfreesboro known as Hop Springs. As a part of the move, Mill Creek Brewing Co. will take over the Franklin space, expanding their taproom presence to the Franklin area and utilizing the additional brewing capacity as a test kitchen for experimental and specialty beers.
The move marks Mill Creek Brewing’s third taproom opening and second production facility. It will make them the only distributing production brewery operating in Williamson County.
“This opportunity is a great example of the growth the brewing industry across Middle Tennessee is experiencing,” Mill Creek CEO Chris Going said. “We’ve been eyeing Franklin as a potential expansion location for the past few years, and the opportunity to take over this space, continue the beer legacy started there and become a new partner to the Franklin community all are exciting pieces of this win-win situation for both our companies. We wish our friends at Life Is Brewing nothing but the best as they continue on to the next chapter for their organization.”
Since beginning in early 2015, the Life is Brewing team grew their small craft brewery to include three different beer brands (Mantra Artisan Ales, Steel Barrel Brewing and Humulus Project) and two venues including the Franklin Location and Hop Springs.
“The time is right with our new facility in Murfreesboro to go all in on our brand new Beer Park,” Morse said. “The Franklin location has served us well, and we will always have our roots in Franklin, but we have outgrown the physical space and are ready to embrace that growth and keep moving into the future.”
Growth has always been a theme for these two breweries. The inception of Mantra began with a partnership with celebrity chef and restaurateur Maneet Chauhan and her husband, Vivek Deora, who remain part of the parent company, Life is Brewing Bev. Co.
Life is Brewing CEO Mark Jones was a driving force for the expansion to a new complex located on John Bragg Highway between Murfreesboro and Woodbury, which includes hiking trails, disc golf and big plans for more activities.
“We are so happy with how the community has already taken to this facility since we opened our doors and are excited to keep taking on more events and providing more great times for people all over middle Tennessee,” he said.
Mill Creek opened its doors in Nolensville in 2016 with a heavy focus on distribution across Tennessee and other states. Their taproom space expanded in July 2018 with the opening of The Mill Creek Taproom at 12 South in Nashville, which won the title of "Best Burger in Nashville" from Nashville Scene's Burger Week in their first week of operation in 2018, and later that year was named "Best New Taproom" by Nashville Scene.
The Life is Brewing team behind the scenes at Mantra will now get to move from the original 15-barrel brew system to a brand-new, state-of-the-art, 60-barrel brew system that can brew more than 125,000 barrels per year.
“The difference between these two breweries is a lot more than just capacity,” EVP of Sales at Life is Brewing Jay Martin said. “The new facility will allow us to keep a steady flow of our year-round offerings in the market as well as get us back to experimenting with new beers that will be offered in the taproom and at the upcoming beer gardens at MTSU football games.”
No details regarding the opening date of Mill Creek Taproom at Franklin have been provided at this time.
About Life is Brewing and Hop Springs
Life is Brewing is a craft beverage and consulting company founded by the team behind Mantra Artisan Ales who brew culinary inspired and true sour beers under the brand Mantra Artisan Ales, clean and true to style beers under the brand Steel Barrel Brewing and experimental IPAs under the brand Humulus Project. Steel Barrel Brewing at Hop Springs is open now with taproom hours seven days a week and a series of events and concerts taking place weekly. Hop Springs is located at 6790 John Bragg Hwy, Murfreesboro TN 37127. www.hopspringstn.com
About Mill Creek Brewing Co.
Established in 2014, Mill Creek Brewing Co. is based out of historic Nolensville, just south of Nashville. They specialize in brewing drinkable and approachable craft beers, full of flavor and accessible to all. It’s beer at its finest, stripped of pomp and privilege, bare-boned but bold. It’s the beer you can drink all day and never get tired of. At Mill Creek, it’s all about the beer. To learn more about Mill Creek, visit www.millcreekbrewingco.com.