The Nashville Beer Guide

November 14, 2019

Beer expert Russell Alba spills on the best breweries and bars in Music City. Check out his favorites in the area, from Heaven and Ale in Chattanooga to Yee-Haw Brewing in downtown. Cheers!

When a friend of mine suggested we take a weekend trip over to Nashville, Tennessee, my first thought was,“I wonder how the local beer is?” My next was would I would be stuck drinking the usual supermarket light beer all weekend. I did my usual research of asking my fellow Instagram beer lovers what I absolutely couldn’t miss while visiting their city. I got mounds of recommendations and as usual, the spots they recommended turned out to be far superior to those google searches turned up.

From the very first stop into town to the last on the way out, the Nashville beer scene was a pleasant surprise. Our first stop was Heaven and Ale in Chattanooga, Tennessee. We randomly found this gem by checking out local breweries on our drive and looking for a spot with a high enough rating worth stopping for on “Hop Plotter” a GPS-style app that tells you breweries near you. For a brewery I’ve never heard of, this place had some of the best beer I tried in Tennessee. A stunning selection from the Chatty Light lager to the flavor packed Love Supreme Stout which is brewed with crème brulee coffee and vanilla beans. This place is a must if you find yourself in the Chattanooga area.

Southern Grist

(All photos credited to Nashville Guru)

The two places I knew I couldn’t skip on this trip were Southern Grist and Bearded Iris breweries whose beers I’ve already had the pleasure of trying at local beer fests. Bearded Iris stood out with their hazy, flavor-packed IPA and DIPAs, the beautiful taproom reminiscent of an old tavern, and the friendly staff who were obviously passionate about pouring their beer. Southern Grist was the spot I was most looking forward to checking out, and it did not disappoint! Sampling everything on the menu plus a few selections off the cellar list made for a very fun afternoon. From their brand new Imperial Skitt Hill to Bean There, Brown That a Brown ale brewed with vanilla beans.

Bearded Iris

Even the downtown Nashville area bars had local IPAs and tons of options other than the norm. If you enjoy live music from country to rock, this place is like going to the Super Bowl. Another place worth mentioning is Yee-Haw Brewing which shares their space and beer garden with Ole Smoky Distillery. For $10, you can get a moonshine tasting, 12 oz. craft beer, and a $10 off coupon for any merchandise. This place was packed when I went there Sunday before the Titans game. They have tons of activities from Basketball, Ping-Pong and Bocce Ball to great local food onsite, ranging from Prince’s Hot Chicken and Asheville-based White Duck Taco. Although none of the beer stands out, they have an incredible space and the perfect Football atmosphere to kick back and watch games all Sunday with their outdoor projectors and indoor TV that was literally the size of a wall.

Yee-Haw Brewing

As an avid beer drinker and someone constantly traveling and trying beer from around the world on a weekly basis, Nashville is making huge strides. I can’t wait for the next time I find myself there and can only hope my travels bring me places that have as much passion for beer as I found in this city.