The smell of barbecue in the air; a bright red tomato's juices traveling down the chin; and the fizz in the throat from the first swig of cold artisan beer on a hot summer day are all culinary experiences that are made in Tennessee. From food festivals to tours through wineries and breweries, here's a taste of what Tennessee's cookin' for the summer:
Book tours along the Tennessee Whiskey Trail this summer for a spirited road trip that will get you experiencing Tennessee small towns, small-batch whiskey and national and internationally-known whiskey brands. Learn the stories behind what's in your glass, how to truly taste the flavor of different whiskeys and see how they're produced from barrel to bottle. You can pick up a Tennessee Whiskey Trail passport and get it stamped at each stop. You'll receive a commemorative gift when you visit all 30.
Taste of Music City - Nashville
Foodies from around the nation flock to get a taste of Nashville during Taste of Music City 6-10 p.m. June 16, 2018 in Public Square Park. Tickets include a plethora of food and drink options to leave you full and satisfied with thirst quenched. Enjoy delectable dishes from restaurants like The Farm House, Holler & Dash, Tánsuŏ, Nada, Sinema and Bavarian Bierhaus among others. Wash it all down with spirits provided by Corsair Distillery, Stonehaus Winery, Gypsy Circus Cider Company, Mayday Brewery and many more.
Hops in the Hills - Maryville
The 4th annual Hops in the Hills welcomes local and regional craft beer brewers June 22-23, 2018 in downtown Maryville. The week-of, Brew Week features different experiences each day leading up to the Friday-Saturday festival. Head to The Causal Pint on Monday, Barley's TapRoom & Round 6 Brewing Tuesday, Public House on High Street & Tri-Hop Brewing Wednesday, and Brackins Blues Club Thursday for prizes, games and music. Friday kicks off with a Brew Crawl & Poker Run (passes are $15) 6-10 p.m. beginning at The Public House on High. Grab a poker card and build your hand for prizes. On Saturday, it's music, brews and great food 5-9 p.m. on the streets of downtown Maryville.
Tomato Festivals - Ripley & Rutledge
One of summer's popular fruits, the tomato, has a few festivals held in its honor. Get your tomato fix at Ripley's Tomato Festival July 13-14, 2018 in downtown Ripley. The small town pays homage to the farmers who grow this fruit on an annual basis. Expect lots of food, music, carnival rides, and tomato activities like tastings and a contest. The festival crowns its Tomato Festival Royalty with a beauty pageant and babies can compete for top honors during the Baby Crawling Contest. The Grainger County Tomato Festival takes place July 27-29, 2018 with a full schedule of crafts, music including Trace Adkins headlining 7 p.m. July 28, artistic demonstrations, antique engines and tractors, and, of course, lots of tomatoes. The Famous Tomato Wars and the Jackie Burchell Long Memorial 5K Run aren't to be missed.
Southern Fried Food & Sweet Tea Festival - McKenzie
If you like everything fried, head to Southern Fried Food & Sweet Tea Festival Aug. 24-25, 2018 in McKenzie, Tennessee to get just that. From chicken to kudzu, tomatoes and pickles, this festival will fry practically anything. And, as the saying goes, "Anything is better fried," right? Wash down all that Southern fare with some of the best sweet iced tea. Craft booths, a children's area, local entertainment and artists' works will be on display. Contests for the best fried foods also take place.