Over the past few years, local breweries have sprung up across the U.S., bringing something of a revolution with them. From small towns to big, bustling cities, the craft beer scene has exploded, with new brew houses completely reshaping the way we think about what was once a fairly straight forward and simple beverage.
Nowhere is this more evident than in Nashville, Tennessee, where some of the best brewmasters in the country are pushing the boundaries in terms of techniques and taste. Find out which of those breweries are worth visiting while in the Music City.
Nashville’s biggest and most well known brewing company is Yazoo. The company has been around since 2003, and over the years it has acquired a very loyal following that extends well beyond just the Music City. Yazoo’s seasonal beers are always a good bet for those looking to sample its offerings, but the Pale Yale is its signature drink,. The light and frothy beverage is a staple throughout the city and is available on tap at many local pubs. For the true Yazoo experience, however, be sure to stop by its own taproom.
Innovative and eco-friendly, Tennessee Brew Works has earned itself a reputation for making refreshing beers in a manner that is good for the environment. Beyond that, the company’s two-story headquarters is a great place to sample a few adult beverages while visiting Nashville. The most challenging thing you’ll face while at TBW will be deciding which beer to try first. There are often more than two dozen to choose from, and they always pair nicely with the food on the menu too, which is surprisingly delicious. Recommend drink: the Country Roots stout.
For a taste of Belgium in the heart of Tennessee, head over to The Black Abbey Brewing Company, which has quickly become a favorite with locals and out-of-towners alike. One of the best is the is a Belgian-styled blond called The Rose, although in order to try it you’ll have to be willing to get off the beaten path a bit. The brewery’s abbey-themed tap house is found In the souther part of the city, away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Nashville. It is well worth the trek however, as this is one of the best craft beers around.
One of the more innovative breweries in all of Nashville, Jackalope is known for using a variety of unique ingredients, including apricots, raspberry, and even maple syrup. Located not far from downtown, the Jackalope brewery –– dubbed the Den –– is easily accessible and offers a comfortable and inviting place to hang out. It is not uncommon for the company to host special events at its headquarters, but it is also simply a place to gather with friends, play some games, and enjoy a fine beer, such as the very popular Bearwalker ale.
Known for its New England-style IPAs and stylish taproom found in Nashville’s trendy Germantown area, Bearded Iris Brewing is a relative newcomer to Music City. Founded in 2016, the company didn’t take long to leave its mark on the local craft beer scene. Those who enjoy a bold tasting brew will want to try Lavish, an oatmeal stout that is one of the most popular on the Bearded Iris menu. The brewery also happens to be family-friendly, encouraging visitors to bring their kids, dogs, and even their own food.
The first thing you notice about Czann's Brewing Company –– located on the south side of town –– is that the tap room is intimate, friendly, and inviting. The second thing that will catch your attention is just how fresh, crisp, and refreshing the beers are. The company offers a blend of popular stalwarts along with a rotating lineup that includes seasonal offerings and one-off brews, all of which are worth a try. For those looking for a place to start however, be sure to check out the Czann's Blonde, which is light, yet full-flavored and satisfying.
East Nashville is a hip and trendy destination for travelers looking to escape the busy downtown area and there are a number of good brew houses located there as well. One of the best is Southern Grist, which is a relative newcomer to the Nashville scene, but has already impressed with its high quality offerings. So much so, that the company had to open a second location in the up and coming Nations area just to meet demand. With 15+ beers on tap and an incredibly laid-back atmosphere, it is easy to see why this place has quickly become a favorite. IPA lovers will really enjoy a hoppy beer will want to savor the DDH Mixed Greens, a favorite amongst the locals.
Another East Nashville staple, Smith and Lentz is known for its ever-shifting menu that not only continually introduces new beers to the line-up, but gives them some of the most creative names around.. Many of those beers are highly original, featuring ingredients you won’t find anywhere else. The taproom is open seven days a week and is both dog- and kid-friendly. It’s difficult to choose just one beer to recommend, but the German Pilsner is a popular choice with locals.
Little Harpeth Brewing –– named for a nearby river –– is another Nashville brewery that puts an emphasis on being eco-friendly. The company makes some of the most popular beers in the area and a number of its beers can be found in pubs and restaurants throughout the city. Drop by the Little Harpeth taproom to get a look at how those brews are made and sample a few of the latest concoctions. The most popular is the Chicken Scratch, and American pilsner that is refreshing and light, particularly on a hot day in Nashville.