Beer has always been there for us: Helping us overcome awkwardness at college parties, being the consummate companion for every sporting event, or the perfect drink to compliment the best dish ever invented, pizza (duh).
The Nashville beer scene has some serious chops. Even beyond household names like Yazoo, there are little under the radar breweries that are worthy of scheduling a buzz at in the near future.
Blackstone has the distinction of being the oldest craft brewery in operation in Nashville. They started brewing all the way back in 1994 before craft beer was king, and opened their taproom to the public in 2011. They are best known for their HopJack IPA, and the St. Charles Porter. The TapHouse also features 16 beers on draft, and a food bus they made out of a Ford school bus, retrofitted with a full kitchen. “The Bus” fare is made up of burgers and fries, fish and chips, and other daily specials.
Photo courtesy of Blackstone Brewing Company.
The Yazoo beer and brand is arguably responsible for the mini craft beer explosion that has seen the Nashville area grow to include 15 new breweries in the past decade. Yazoo is widely available throughout the region and in a majority of restaurants and grocery stores, making it easily recognizable and easy to get your hands on. It’s location in The Gulch is a 40-barrel brewery and taproom that’s convenient to grab beers at on the weekends. The selection is always changing but the brews they are most known for are the Yazoo Pale Ale and the Dos Perros Mexican brown ale.
We first fell in love with this brewery by a chance invitation to their monthly Brew and View event, where we watched Spaceballs and enjoyed free popcorn and sampled every beer on tap...the memories might not be so clear at the end of the night, but the love affair with Smith & Lentz Brews could not be denied. The relaxed taproom is open everyday, with an oft rotating selection of brews from partners Kurt Smith and Adler Lentz. Don’t miss their rotation of seasonal ales and lagers. If available, try the S'More Stout and Hazeberry.
Photo courtesy of Smith & Lentz Brewing
Who knew a refugee nun and Catholic church outlaw could inspire such amazing beers almost 500 years later? The inspiration behind Black Abbey beer is none other than Martin Luther, the leader of the Protestant Reformation in the mid-14th century. To get the full history lesson along with an interior that is reminiscent of a chapter house at a monastery, grab a flight and/or take the tour. Our favorite is The Five Points West-Coast style IPA, which is available year round.
Photo courtesy of Black Abbey Brewing Company
Legendary IPAs are the stars of the show at Bearded Iris, a glorious dive-esque Germantown brewery. From the funky decor, to the helpful and charming staff, Bearded Iris has a special place in our hop-loving hearts. Homestyle-IPA ALL DAY.
Photo courtesy of Bearded Iris Brewing
There’s probably no “conventional” path to becoming a brewmaster, but how about this one: A Vermont native attends Harvard University where she earns a degree in biological anthropology. From there she goes to Vanderbilt Law School, and then decides to strong arm a pal she studied abroad with in Scotland to go into the beer business with her in Nashville. And, with that, Bailey Spaulding’s Jackalope brewery was born. There’s a strong coterie of female-operated craft breweries in Music City, and Spaulding’s Jackalope, which first tapped its kegs for the public in 2011, is recognized as one of the finest. Check out their Gulch taproom and try the Lovebird Hefeweizen or the Thunder Ann pale ale.
If you are looking for sours, look no further. Southern Grist’s recent Upside Down Cake series has delighted us with flavors like Pineapple and Mango. If sours aren’t your thing, may we suggest their IPAs and DIPAs. This East Nashville spot is always happening with various events and there’s a new location in The Nations.
We love a good taproom but there is something about sitting outside and drinking a cold beer that we can’t pass up. When that urge hits, we head to East Nashville Brew Works. The light Miro Miel or the Swing Bridge IPA always hits the spot, and the food menu is more than an afterthought. The patio is pet friendly and a great place to relax or play games.