Once upon a time, there were only a handful of breweries in Nashville, Tennessee. Now, the city’s brewery scene is growing and thriving. There are over 20 craft breweries operating in Middle Tennessee, and the majority of them call Music City home. Check out these 12 breweries in Nashville and its surrounding area that are well worth a visit whether you’re a local or tourist.
Breweries in Nashville’s downtown
Established in 2016, the Bearded Iris was the first brewery located in Nashville’s Germantown neighborhood. Highlighted by an eclectic ambiance, the taproom opens right into the brewery. With black and white checkered flooring, fancy light fixtures, and a variety of comfy, vintage chairs, Bearded Irish has to be one of the most unique and inviting breweries in Nashville.
The Bearded Iris specializes in crafting IPA’s and double IPA’s, and the beers available on tap and in cans are constantly changing. The taproom is open every day, so you have plenty of opportunities to hang out and try their beers. It’s kid friendly, you can bring your own food, and pets are allowed on the patio. Additionally, there’s a pool table and a few board games if you’re in the mood for some friendly competition.
Fat Bottom opened as the first brewery in East Nashville and has now expanded to a 33,000-square-foot facility in The Nations, a neighborhood in West Nashville. Ben Bredesen, son of former Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, owns and founded the brewery. The original flagship beers include W.A.C. American Pale Ale, Ruby American Red Ale, Knockout IPA, and Ida Golden Ale. Throughout the year, Fat Bottom brews a variety of seasonal beers, in addition to a few sour and barrel-aged beers.
Brewery tours are available on Fridays and Saturdays. Adjoining the brewery is Fat Bottom’s taproom and restaurant, The Hop Yard. Settle in with a flight of beer or order a beer paired perfectly with your meal. If it’s nice outside, enjoy the ambiance of the beer garden, featuring cornhole, benches, tables and chairs, and greenery.
Jackalope Brewery was the first fully female owned brewery in the state of Tennessee. Bailey Spaulding founded the brewery in 2011, and in 2013, Jackalope became the first craft brewery in Nashville to can its beer. The brewery’s year-round brews include the Rompo Red Ale, Thunder Ann Pale Ale, Bearwalker Brown Ale, and Fennario IPA. Throughout the year, there are also a variety of seasonal beers available. Every month a featured seasonal beer is picked, and 20 percent of the sales goes to a local non-profit organization.
DRINK LEGENDARY. The taproom is open every day and shares space with the coffee shop ZolliKoffee. As a laidback hangout spot, Jackalope’s outdoor patio features picnic tables and giant Jenga. If you’re hungry, the brewery offers a cheese curd plate from a local cheese shop and baguettes from a local bakery, or you can bring your own food. Free trivia is on Thursdays. Brewery tours are offered on Fridays and Saturdays, and live music is slated for Sundays. Also, food trucks come throughout the week.
Located in East Nashville, Little Harpeth Brewing has been crafting German-inspired lagers since 2012. However, the industrial taproom didn’t open until 2015. The brewery and taproom share the same space with tables and chairs surrounded by brewery equipment and kegs. There is even a ping pong and foosball table you can try your hand at in the brewery. On top of that, a major highlight is the stunning view of the Nashville skyline out of the brewery’s back doors.
Little Harpeth Brewing’s taproom is open from Thursday to Sunday. If you get hungry, a limited food menu provided by Village Bakery and Provisions is available. Additionally, on the weekends, there are occasionally concerts and shows.
The brewery and taproom for Smith & Lentz Brewing is open every day and located in East Nashville. Kurt Smith and Adler Lentz opened it in 2014. With a dynamic selection of beer, there always seems to be new beers to try, especially hoppy ales and lagers. Smith & Lentz like to experiment with new hop varieties, different yeast strains, and unique brewing processes. But be sure to try their classics: the Mosaic IPA and German-Pils.
Brewery tours are not regularly conducted but can be scheduled in advance for a party of six or more. Featuring an atmosphere of a local community bar, Smith & Lentz has a rotating schedule of food trucks and invites you to bring your own food. Additionally, there’s a ping pong table, board games, and an outdoor patio.
TailGate is known for its small batch, seasonal brewing and has been around since 2014. In that time, the brewery moved from a three-barrel system to a 50-barrel system. And now they brew 30 beers. TailGate has two taproom locations, one off Charlotte Pike and the other smack in downtown off Demonbreun Street, which is in the heart of Music Row.
Brewery tours are offered on Saturdays and Sundays at the main location on Charlotte Pike. Additionally, TailGate has an extensive gourmet pizza menu, board games, and a variety of events, including trivia, yoga, movie nights, and painting classes.
Situated just south of the Music City Center, Tennessee Brew Works boasts a location in the center of Nashville. It’s been open since 2013, and since the beginning, the brewery has put an emphasis on using a greener brewing process. Tennessee Brew Works’ classic beers include the Southern Wit Witbier, Cutaway Rye IPA, Extra Easy Extra Special Bitter, State Park American Blonde Ale, and 1927 IPA. The brewery also makes a variety of seasonal and specialty brews.
Tennessee Brew Works is open seven days a week and also offers lunch and dinner. Brewery tours are available on Saturdays. On top of that, there is live music every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, in addition to trivia on Tuesdays.
One of the most well-known breweries in Nashville, Yazoo Brewery has been open since 2003. They started selling kegs to local restaurants and bars and quickly gained a local following. In 2005, Yazoo started bottling their own beers. Six years after originally opening, they grew out of their space and moved the brewery to the Gulch, while expanding to a 40-barrel brewhouse. Yazoo beer can be found all over Tennessee and Mississippi, where founder and brewmaster Linus Hall is from.
Try the classics like the Yazoo Pale Ale, Dos Perros, and the Hefeweizen. Brewery tours are available on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. The taproom is open every day, and you can sample a flight of beers. Additionally, there’s an outdoor patio where you can enjoy a pint of beer on a pleasant day.
Breweries in Nashville’s suburbs
Cool Springs Brewery was the first microbrewery in Williamson County, a county south of Nashville’s city limits. It’s about a 20-minute drive from Nashville. The brewery offers five year-round beers, including an IPA, mango IPA, Belgian wit, altbier, and a Kolsch named Franklin’s First. There’s a variety of rotating and specialty brews on tap as well.
The brewpub features a menu of American and British food with a variety of appetizers, main dishes, and sides. Cool Springs Brewery is open for lunch and dinner every day, and you can pair your meals with a cold beer. Also, you can purchase growlers of beer to take home with you.
In 2015, Mantra Artisan Ales opened in Franklin close to the city’s historic district and is approximately 30 minutes from downtown Nashville. One of the brewers and founders, Derrick Morse, is known for concocting complex arrays of unique beers, which is why he’s been given the name “mad scientist.” The other founders are Chad Frost, who attended a professional brewing program in Berlin, Germany, and Maneet Chauhan, a celebrity chef. Their goal is to create high-quality, worldly-inspired artisan beers.
Known for its variety of different beers, including an extensive list of sours, Mantra’s brews are some of the most unique beers I’ve ever tasted, including the Creamsicle IPA and Le Petit Café, a coffee sour. The taproom is open seven days a week, and brewery tours are available on Saturdays. Mantra Artisan Ales also has a variety of events like Food Truck Friday, free yoga on Saturdays, and a running club on Thursdays, in addition to live music shows from time to time.
This funky brewery situated in Murfreesboro is 35 minutes southeast of downtown Nashville and has been open since 2012. It’s too easy to love Mayday Brewery’s slogan, “Beer, Hugs, and Rock ‘n’ Roll.” And if you’re a fan of ales, Mayday will be the brewery for you. Additionally, unique artwork is dotted across the walls of the taproom and a variety of board games are available to play over a pint of beer.
Mayday Brewery is open Wednesday through Sunday, and brewery tours are available every Saturday. Throughout the week, a wide range of live music shows hit the stage in the taproom. And there’s even yoga on Saturdays and trivia on Sundays. If that wasn’t enough, food trucks are there every day Mayday Brewery is open.
Located in the beautiful town of Nolensville, Mill Creek Brewery is about a 30-minute drive southeast of downtown Nashville. With an industrial taproom open to the brewery, the picnic tables looking onto the brewery equipment make for a laid-back, community atmosphere. Mill Creek’s classic beers include Lil Darlin, a citrus-infused wheat beer; Landmark, a vintage lager; Silo, a farmhouse ale; and Woodshed, an IPA. They also brew a variety of seasonal beers and unique batches.
Mill Creek’s taproom is open Thursday through Saturday. While the taproom is open, Chago’s Cantina food truck serves food including tacos, nachos, and chips and salsa. Mill Creek Brewery occasionally hosts events like cornhole tournaments and holiday celebrations.
If you’re visiting Nashville, experience the thriving brewery scene. And if you’re a local, support the brewers and drink local. Go on a brewery tour to learn about how the beer is brewed and what makes the brewery unique. Order flights of beer to sample a variety of the brews and discover what you like the best. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and visit the breweries in Nashville!
Have you visited any breweries in Nashville? If so, which ones? Are there any you’d like to visit?