Downtown NashvilleFood & Drink

Navigating Nashville’s Growing Craft Beer Scene

By April 15, 2016 No Comments
Jackalope Brewing Nashville

Try an inventive craft beer on tap at Jackalope Brewing Company. Photo credit: Andrea Behrends


Nashville isn’t all Southern food and country music. Since 2010, a rash of new craft breweries have opened, adding new recipes to the city’s growing beer scene. Use this guide to spots near Hotel Indigo and let your palate inspire your tour of Nashville’s growing craft beer scene.

If you like fruity beers — try Jackalope Brewing Company
Jackalope (701 8th Ave S) is known for its inventive beers, one of which is its seasonal Lovebird concoction. Perfect for a summer day, Lovebird is a strawberry-raspberry Hefeweizen that strikes the perfect balance of tart and sweet. Jackalope offers hour-long tours on Saturdays at 2:00, 3:00, 4:00 and 5:00 p.m. Stop by the tap room and follow your Lovebird with a Bearwalker—another local favorite.

If you like crisp beers — try Czann’s Brewing Company
Czann’s Brewmaster Ken Rebman offers a small selection of masterfully crafted beers. For a crisp, clean taste, try Czann’s Blonde. Unlike some blonde ales, which can taste bland or watered-down, this brew is crafted from five types of hops, resulting in a slightly malted, crisp, dry beer. Czann’s tap room (505 Lea Ave) also keeps one seasonal brew on tap. This spring, the Dunkelweizen tips a hat to Munich malts with hints of banana, caramel and clove. The tap room is small, but its downtown location makes it perfect for hanging out with small groups before catching the action on Broadway.

If you like light beers — try Little Harpeth Brewing
The Chicken Scratch Pilsner is light and crisp — the perfect beer for a day kayaking on the Cumberland or taking an afternoon time out. Little Harpeth (30 Oldham St) is easily Nashville’s most eco-friendly brewery, with initiatives to use cans instead of bottles (this uses less energy during transport), support apiaries to grow the bee population, and minimize their water use. You can tour the brewery at 6:00 p.m., on Fridays; 5:00 p.m., on Saturdays; or 4:00 p.m., on Sundays. Check out the events calendar to see if you can catch a show with your beer.

If you like inventive beers — try Tennessee Brew Works
The spicy Basil Ryeman, made with Thai basil and rye malts, is creamy, spicy, and complex — an accomplished, experimental recipe. Tennessee Brew Works (809 Ewing Ave) has a huge tap room on site, with live music playing most evenings and weekends. If music isn’t your thing, head upstairs for a pint or an entire flight. TBW has taps for five regular brews and five seasonal ones — so there’s plenty to choose from.

If you like malty beers — try Black Abbey Brewing Company
This brewery (2952 Sidco Dr) pays homage to Martin Luther’s connection to beer by offering Belgian-style ales in a “fellowship hall.” Luther was married to a skilled brewer who was said to brew the best beer in Wittenburg. Black Abbey offers handcrafted ales that are malty and smooth, a nod to the Belgian ales of old. Don’t miss The Special, a crimson malt with hints of cinnamon, orange and semi-sweet chocolate.

If you like hoppy beers — try Yazoo Brewery
Yazoo (910 Division St) has been around since 2003, making it one of Nashville’s first craft breweries. Since that time, the brew masters have had the opportunity to perfect a number of recipes, including the Hop Project IPA. Brewed in the traditional style of an IPA, Hop Project uses a blend of spicy and aromatic hops. Since every batch of this brew is made with different hops, you’ll never get the same blend twice — perfect for hop lovers! Stop by the Yazoo tap room for a pint (or get in line for a 45-minute Saturday tour for $8).

If you like variety — try Smith & Lentz Brewing Company
Kurt Smith and Adler Lentz don’t view their small brewing space as an obstacle — instead, they’re making dozens of beer recipes. Smith & Lentz (903 Main St) beers are made with a large variety of hops, experimental yeast strains, and a rash of aging and fermenting vessels. The result? About a dozen interesting brews every time you visit the tap room (open Tuesday through Sunday). Try them while you can, because chances are, there will be a different set of beers on tap next time you stop in.