Tap Into Local Breweries and Wineries
Nashville’s craft beer business is booming these days with an ever-growing number of hometown breweries as well as several wineries.
I’ve organized this list by geography: Central/Downtown/SoBro, Germantown/North, East, West, and South. A word to heed: if a brewery offers tours, reserve your spot well in advance as they can fill up quickly. And remember: legal drinking age in Tennessee is 21. (Photo above: BeardedIris IG)
To learn about our bumper crop of distilleries, cideries and a meadery (color-coded and sorted by area of town), check out the link at the bottom.
Located at 928 Rep. John Lewis Way, S. (aka 5th Ave. S.), this craft brewery aims to please with small batches of goodness–“from intensely hoppy IPAs to crisp, clean ales and rich imperials stouts” as their website effuses. Here’s a thought: use their curbside ordering to pick up a few 4-packs for the gang. Or drop in to their cozy taproom.
The brewery’s on the west side but this satellite taproom sites atop Music Row. They serve decent pizza in addition to a wide assortment of beers. It’s also home to Tailgate’s cidery facility. Gaze upon the frolicking statues of Musica while chillin’ on the patio.
It’s on the southern end of SoBro has a nice dog-friendly two-story patio and limited indoor seating. Burgers ae top-notch too. An attractive bonus: live music nightly. For $10, on Saturdays you can take the 1-pint tour.
Shares its SoBro facilities with Old Smoky Distillery. It’s a big place that has the feel of a sports bar. Lots of TVs and a large patio with cornhole and other games.
In Wedgewood/Houston, it touts its Belgian-style wares but, in this town, you can’t overspecialize so they also offer other European-inspired creations and some American-grounded IPAs. The name means “strength in unity” or “unity makes strength” so grab a few kinsmen or kinswomen and avail yourself. Maybe grab a pizza too.
A descendant of the Milwaukee’s Fox Head Brewing Company which dates back to the 1800s, this Nashville newcomer remains true to its German roots with classic ales but isn’t afraid to experiment with small-batch brews. The taproom, located in SoBro, is open Tuesday-Sunday.
No, there are no vines at this Marathon Village location but you can dine indoors or outdoors while sipping on selections including Blackberry Express, Razzbury or Honeysuckle Rose’. If you’re looking for a field trip, head to their seven-acre vineyard in Centerville, TN, the hometown of Sarah Cannon, aka Cousin Minnie Pearl of Grand Ole Opry fame. She hailed from the fictional train stop Grinders Switch.
Bearded Iris is a go-to if you’re in the mood for a well-defined IPA, DIPA or pale. Sure, they brew other varieties but they’re notable for well-crafted subtle flavors. Take advantage of $3 homestyles during happy hour. Enjoy their patio or step inside for a game of pool while sipping on a selection or two.
Visit the taproom in MetroCenter, call ahead for pick-up or–and this is unusual–there’s free delivery for orders over $50. Designer brews include Blueberry Lemonade, Fear & Loathing–Raspberry, Cherry Berliner and West Coast IPA.
The Nashville outpost for an Atlanta-based brewery, it’s located in what was once a meat-packing facility on the banks of Cumberland River. Don’t like beer? Not a problem as they serve a variety of adult beverages. And snack boxes just in case you get hungry.
Located about six miles north in Madison, Yazoo was founded in 2003, making it one of Nashville’s oldest craft breweries. My mother-in-law favors their Porter while my wife is a fan of the malty Dos Perros. Take the $10 tour and you’re rewarded with a 5 oz. souvenir glass and samples of what’s on tap. Recently burger-and-fries hotspot GrillShack has opened a location there.
Just across the river at 30 Oldham Street, specialties here are pilsners and sours aged in oak barrels. They take such pride in the formulation of their brews that they actually have an online booklet that details the hows and whys of their creations.
At 948 Main Street near 5 Points, Crazy Gnome is the shire of serious brewers with a sense of humor as evidenced by the names of some of their small-batch creations: Double Vaxxed, Green Symphony #2, Spring Has Sprung and Serious Taffy. They keep things interesting with food truck appearances and comedy nights.
They’re all about fostering community so they welcome groups. Bridal shower in the beer garden? Why not? Lots of picnic tables outside and there’s even a playground for the kiddos. A succinct menu features appetizers, salads and pizza to accompany their standards–honey blonde ale, American wheat, golden light ale and Citra IPA–on draft and in cans. Plus, look for seasonal small batches such as The Grievance milk stout and Nightcrawler American stout.
Home to both artisan old-style beer and coffee, this 1056 E. Trinity Lane brewhouse spot has the distinction of being perhaps the only taproom where you will find a draft at 8am. It gets raves for its cold beer, warm staff and friendly atmosphere.
Pilsners, lagers and IPAs comprise the bulk of offerings at S&L, located in the heart of East Nashville at 903 Main Street. Their food–especially their pizza–gets high marks. Note: parking is minimal so consider alternatives to driving your own vehicle.
(May show up as East Nashville Taproom on your map app.) Since turning a passionate hobby into a business in 2016, the three co-founders have created more than 1,000 distinctive beers. The upside is there’s always something new. The downside: that creation you loved last time may be on hiatus so you should have ordered another round. No matter. With 25 beers on tap plus bottles and cans, choices abound. They even offer seltzers. It shares space with the well-reviewed restaurant Lauter.
It’s also a restaurant with an above-the-norm selection of salads, sandwiches, appetizers and entrees. Pick a beer and they’ll pair it with something from their menu. Food selection first? Sure, they’ll match it with a fine beer.
This Opry Mills tasting room of the Hampshire, TN winery allows those of you 21+ to try before you buy. Along with a cabernet sauvignon, riesling, and merlot are more exotic choices include Cajunfest, Raspberry Romance and the People’s Choice Blackberry. In a twist of truly southern innovation, they offer a novel concoction of peach wine and black tea called the Wine TeaZer.
It’s the East Nashville taproom for the brewery located west of town. See below.
If you want to visit multiple taprooms in close proximity, this is your zone.
The tour, which includes a walk-through of the bottling operation, comes with two 2 10-oz. beers. There’s also a separate historical tour that covers Nashville’s long love affair with brews. The taproom operates in conjunction with the B’stone Bus, a food truck, where we always default to their fish’n’chips. Half-price all day Sunday.
A taproom outpost of the mothership in Germantown, its stated desire is for this Sylvan Supply location to be a “more vibey destination.” Mission accomplished. These good folks partnered with Black Dynasty Ramen so you can have some nice (but pricey) noodles with your porter or pale ale.
Located in the L&L Market, on Charlotte Avenue is Nashville’s only brewery to transplant from Norco, California. It may also be the only place that offers a manifesto in addition to malt beverages. Built in 1929 as a hosiery mill, the room has a great old industrial vibe.
There’s nothing automated about this small-batch brewery in The Nations. They pride themselves closely monitoring a short list of creations done well including a variety of ales, a blonde and an IPA.
Also in The Nations, Fat Bottom is celebrating a decade of offering “the beer next door,” the kind of accessible brews always welcomed at a cook-out. Their facility is huge by local standards–33,000 sq. ft. Tip: partake of their BOGO Happy Hour deal on drafts Monday-Friday.
Embracing a farm-to-pint philosophy, community-minded Harding House emphasizes local sourcing whenever possible. You’ll find seasonal selections based on available fruits including peach, persimmon and pawpaw as well as several mainstays. I’m crowning HH as creator of my all-time favorite beer name: a light lager called Church Parking Lot.
See listing under East. Their food service is called L by Lauter.
See listing under Central/Downtown/SoBro.
A family-owned microbrewery, operations started in Franklin before moving to a much larger facility in The Nations. Now owned by another family-owned enterprise, the folks behind Tennessee-brewed Hap & Harry’s, it continues its tradition of small-batch brewing while also operating in-house bottle, can, and keg operations.
One of our favorite brews is The Rose but feel free to find your own favorite. With seating indoors and on the patio, the surroundings are rather spartan, almost abbey-like. The crowd is very laidback, not the sports bar crowd.
Less than a 10-minute drive south of downtown in Wedgewood-Houston, Jackalope offers $10 tours which include a tasting and a pint glass. Chill out with your pooch on their pet-friendly patio.
Way south of town in Nolensville, the brewers at Mill Creek subscribe to the motto “Less fuss. More beer.” If you need a pretentious vibe, go elsewhere but if you’re drawn to a family-friendly environment offering a dozen-plus beers and seltzers, y’all come. They’re cooking up burgers, wraps and sandwiches and even boast a kids’ menu.
Want to hit several spots without driving? Check out the Music City Brew Hop. Choose from two loops–each making hourly stops at seven breweries. The East Route includes Bearded Iris, Barrique and Southern Grist while the West Route stops at Tailgate, YeeHaw and Fait La Force. A full-day pass is currently priced at $39.