Nashville may be known for its hot chicken and southern whiskey, but did you know they’ve got a booming beer scene, too? Nashville is brewing up all kinds of IPAs, sours, and craft concoctions all over the city! Plus, since you’re in the Music City itself, most of the breweries come with a show, too.
If you’re planning on moving to Nashville or visiting for an extended stay, you better be thirsty. Crack open a can or pour yourself a pint as you read about the best five breweries I visited in Nashville!
I could sum up Yee-Haw Brewing Co. in four words (beer, moonshine, tacos, and music), but I need to say so much more!
The Yee-Haw brewery on 6th and Peabody shares a 30,000-square-foot campus with Ole Smoky Moonshine and White Duck Taco Shop, and features two stages and a beer garden. That means you can have a shot of moonshine, grab a taco, and enjoy a pint of craft beer all in the same spot, all while listening to live music. What more could you ask for??
This spot is close enough to downtown to be a fun, lively location but far enough away so that it’s not overly crowded. Yee-Haw has a great variety of beers on tap, from a pale ale to a Kolsch to an IPA. Meanwhile, Ole Smoky Distillery has over 20 moonshines to choose from, including their boozy cherries and pickles—and they’ve got jars available to take home, too. As for the tacos, you can’t go wrong with any one you get!
2. Tailgate Brewery (HQ)
Tailgate Brewery may have only opened their doors in 2014, but they’ve expanded to three taprooms in Nashville since then. Personally, my favorite spot is their headquarters—not just because Vincent and Jules from “Pulp Fiction” welcome you into the brewery, but they may have a lot to do with it!
The headquarters is a massive location with an outdoor bar, craft pizza kitchen, and an ice cream shop run by Sweet & Three. Tailgate Brewery has endless beers on tap, and they’re constantly adding new ones to their lineup. Their “Shnack Series” is always bringing in new, heavily fruited, small-batch beers with crazy flavors like peach cobbler and chocolate-covered strawberry.
Enjoy some seriously good craft pizza while you sip on fresh beer and admire all the funky, pop culture art that decorates the walls at Tailgate Brewery.
3. Tennessee Brew Works
If you want an authentic taste of Tennessee, head to Tennessee Brew Works. As they say, it’s their mission to create high-quality craft beer that pays homage to the land, traditions, and culture of Tennessee.
You may recognize their logo, since they have a bar at the Nashville Airport and their beer is on tap all over the state. Or, maybe you’ll recognize the labels on their beers, instead. Each of their beers—from their “Urban Hiker” Tennessee Lager to their “Hippies & Cowboys” IPA—features a unique character illustration that reflects what the typical drinker may look like.
Even though this is a brewery, it does cater to everyone. Tennessee Brew Works offers craft beer, wine, cider, liquor, and great food. They also have live music nearly every night of the week, sports playing on TV, and a dog-friendly double-decker patio. Plus, on Sundays, they donate $1 from every pint sold to a local charity or nonprofit! So, no matter who you are, you’ll find something to love (and drink) here.
4. Bearded Iris
If you’re a fan of IPAs, then you’ll want to check out Bearded Iris, a Nashville brewery named after the Tennessee state flower. They focus predominantly on brewing IPAs, DIPAs, and pale ales—and brewing them well!
Bearded Iris has two locations in Nashville, each with their own appeal. Their Germantown brewery has a broad outdoor patio and a luxurious lounge feel, complete with a chandelier and pool table. This is where you can find their flagship IPA, “Homestyle,” and more expertly crafted beer on tap.
The Sylvan Supply brewery also has an intimate lounge vibe and features six horizontal tanks brewing beer behind the bar. This taproom offers more experimental, small-batch beers like their “Delightful Stranger” and “Dapper Detective.” They also have a variety of local favorites from their main Germantown brewery.
As of the end of 2021, Bearded Iris officially merged with Atlanta-based brewery Scofflaw Brewing Co. to become IndieBrew. This merger will help both breweries protect their brands and businesses for the long haul, and it will give them the opportunity to improve sustainability efforts and minimize their carbon footprints. Cheers to that!
5. Southern Grist
Last, I needed to go to Southern Grist Brewing Co in East Nashville, because locals repeatedly told me that I have to visit this place! As soon as I walked in the door, I could see why.
It’s an open, yet cozy brewery with soft lighting, gorgeous teal tile, and plants hanging everywhere. There’s a friendly and welcoming vibe, like everyone there knows each other. It’s like “Cheers,” but better! One of the three co-owners was literally pouring beers behind the bar and chatting with patrons.
The brewery is well known for its innovative craft beer and long list of sour ales—they have nine sours on tap! I tried a few of their beers, including “Merry Crispmas,” which is their holiday lager featuring spruce tips, juniper needles, and juniper berries. It literally tastes like Christmas in a glass, and it’s clearly a big hit here.
I also tried their “Swing Batter Batter” sour ale that’s made with—get ready for it—funfetti cake mix! And yes, it’s as delicious as it sounds. You can get a flight of four beer samples, or just try a 5 oz taster of anything on tap.
They also have a new restaurant within the brewery called Lauter that features snacks, shared plates, and desserts. It’s not your typical brewery bites, either. The menu is full of flavorful food with an Asian flair, like slow-cooked spareribs and spicy miso ramen. I tried their bao bun with burnt sugar roast pork, tamarind chili sauce, fermented cabbage and carrot, and lime aioli. Oh my goodness—I could eat a dozen of them. They’re so light and comforting, bring just the right amount of heat, and pair perfectly with the “Always Something” IPA.
That’s it for the top five best breweries in Nashville! But keep your eye out, as new craft breweries are always popping up in cities across the nation. And if you’re looking for a place to live as you try out all the breweries Nashville and the U.S. has to offer, stay with Landing! They offer flexible leases in gorgeous, furnished apartments in prime city locations. And they’ll let you bring your pet, too! Check out Landing’s fully furnished apartments today!