The Culture of Craft in Music City

The Culture of Craft in Music City

A uniquely-crafted taste in every pint and cocktail

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From Hank Williams to Luke Bryan, Music Row has produced its fair share of drinking songs. Maybe it’s thanks to Music City’s craft beer culture. There’s something about being in the midst of Nashville’s wealth of creativity that has also managed its way in every cocktail and pint served in bars, lounges and breweries. Perhaps one of these favorites below will lend the next greatest hit its muse.

Yazoo Brewing Company

Yazoo Brewery, Nashville
Yazoo Brewing Company, Nashville 
Yazoo Brewery bartender, Nashville
The friendly faces you'll meet at Yazoo Brewing Company

While Nashville’s beer history dates back to the mid-1800s William H. Gerst, modern brew pioneer, Linus Hall and his beloved Yazoo Brewing Company stands testament of a new generation’s craft at its 910 Division Street Gulch location. Founded in 2003, Yazoo produces more than 250,000 barrels of ales and lagers annually, including Gerst’s namesake. Head to its taproom where you can taste a true Nashville original, or get a little funky with the ever-changing Embrace the Funk sours program.

Up, a rooftop lounge 

Up Lounge's skyline view, Nashville
Up's skyline view, Nashville
Hot Chicken Tacos at Up, a rooftop lounge
Hot chicken tacos at Up
Cocktail at Up, a rooftop lounge
Cocktail at Up, a rooftop lounge

Across the street from Yazoo is Up, a rooftop lounge (901 Division Street atop the Gulch’s Fairfield Inn). If the breathtaking skyline views don’t win your heart, the menu will. Pair their award-winning Hot Chicken Tacos with your favorite local beer. Or, simply sip on a craft cocktail, sit back and enjoy the view!

Bearded Iris Brewing

Bearded Iris Brewing, Nashville
Bearded Iris Brewing, Nashville
Bearded Iris Brewing Taproom, Nashville
Bearded Iris Brewing Taproom, Nashville

Named for Tennessee’s state flower, Bearded Iris Brewing opened its doors in 2016 at 101 Van Buren St. in Germantown, as one of Nashville’s youngest breweries. Don’t let its youth fool you. The taproom’s menu of unfiltered ales reads like a list of “Who’s Who in Hops” showcasing more than 20 varieties of such strobiles. Which explains why this small team of nine Bearded Iris “cultivars” believe in avoiding novelty while supporting variety.

Homegrown Taproom & Marketplace 

Homegrown Taproom and Marketplace, Nashville
Homegrown Taproom & Marketplace, Nashville
Sips and bites at Homegrown Taproom & Marketplace, Nashville
Sips and bites at Homegrown Taproom & Marketplace, Nashville

Catch the Music City Star from downtown out to Donelson’s Homegrown Taproom & Marketplace (2720 Old Lebanon Rd.). Owners Jennifer Starks and Robin Davis proudly “source products from farmers, growers, artisans, and brewers in and around Nashville and the Southeast as much as possible.” Don’t forget Sunday brunch, where the eggs are farm fresh and the micheladas flow freely.

Black Abbey Brewery 

Black Abbey Brewing, Nashville
Black Abbey Brewery, Nashville
Fellowship Hall at Black Abbey Brewery, Nashville
Fellowship Hall at Black Abbey Brewery

Just 5 miles from downtown at 2952 Sidco Dr. in the newly dubbed design district, Black Abbey Brewery “is the nerdiest brewery in town,” says co-founder, Carl Meir. “When Scripture said ‘My cup runneth over’, it wasn’t talking about milk.” These Belgian-style beers embody a 600-year tradition that Martin Luther would happily drink. Step into Fellowship Hall where tunes from the likes of Iron Maiden co-mingle with aromas of malted grains. Enjoy the heady nose of The Rose or toasty notes on The Forty Four. 

Tailgate Beer

Wes Keegan of Tailgate Beer, Nashville
Wes Keegan of Tailgate Beer, Nashville
Tailgate Beer, Nashville
Tailgate Beer with scratch-made pizzas

Across town and perched upon a seven-acre West Nashville hillside is Tennessee’s largest brewhouse, Tailgate Beer at 7300 Charlotte Pike. What feels more like an entertainment mecca complete with Frisbee golf and Friday movie nights, the craft remains its core. “We have something for everyone,” says owner and brewmaster, Wes Keegan. Whether Peanut Butter Milk Stout or Watermelon Wheat whets your whistle, wash down the taproom’s scratch-made pizzas, salads, sandwiches and such with your favorite brew. Want to stay in town? Tailgate’s Music Row location at 1538 Demonbreun Street will fit the bill.