I’m a beer girl through and through. I’ll choose a cold bottle, can, or pint of brew over a glass of wine or margarita any day. In my opinion, a beer is even better if it’s from a local joint with a lot personality. Thankfully, Chattanooga is the new kid of the block when it comes to southern cities with a growing brewery community.
You can use this guide to help you plan your next date night or family hangout, depending on the place. My husband graciously volunteered to help “test” locations, so I included our favorite beers from each brewery we had the chance to visit:
Chattanooga Brewing Company: This Southside brewery is across from Finley Stadium giving you the opportunity to grab a beer or bite to eat before cheering on the Mocs or Chattanooga Football Club. I always grab a pint of Chickbock Maibock when I’m there, and oftentimes at local restaurants or bars when they have it on tap. Steven likes the Chestnut Street Brown Ale the best. Their patio and beer garden are pet-friendly so you can bring your entire family, fur babies included.
Heaven & Ale: Head over to the North Shore to visit Heaven & Ale’s large brewery and taproom. Their vast beer menu has something for everyone and room for the kids to run around or hang out. Their food menu boasts options a notch up from the regular bar snacks or menu you might see at other places. While kids are allowed, I suggest making this trip an adult-only one unless your kids have a sophisticated palate. The beer menu is always changing, but you can keep up with their fun and interesting batches on their Facebook.
Big River Grille & Brewing Works: Big River isn’t native to Chattanooga, but it’s still a local brewery and restaurant whose food and drinks can be enjoyed at their downtown and Hamilton Place locations, as well as Lookouts games. Families of all ages and sizes are welcome to enjoy a delicious meal and good drinks. I tend to order a Southern Flyer Light Lager or Big River Vienna Lager, while Steven likes their seasonal Winters Nip.
Terminal Brewhouse: Simply known as the Terminal, Terminal Brewhouse is a favorite for Steven and me. We frequented the restaurant for beers and pizza rolls a few nights a week during our pre-kids days when we lived a block away in a one bedroom apartment. Located near the corner of Market and East Main, the restaurant is close to some of our favorite Southside favorites like the Choo Choo, Hot Chocolatier, and Clumpies. The food menu shines in comparison to their beers, but only because their food is that good. I’ve never had a bad meal. I like to complement my pizza with their White Shadow Belgian White, while Steven goes for a Philly with their Magnum P.A. West Coast IPA.
Hutton & Smith Brewing Company: Located on ML King Blvd. I love their Basecamp Blonde while Steven always orders The Promenade IPA. You can choose to sit at their bar across from where the brews are being created or in an adjoining room with more seating and shuffleboard. The brewery has tons of different specials every night including $3 pints on Wednesdays. I suggest eating before or after because bar snacks are the only food available.
Oddstory Brewing Company: After leaving Hutton & Smith, take a stroll down MLK to visit Oddstory. Steven thinks Oddstory has the best beer and best atmosphere, and I have to agree. Their open, community-style tables are great for large groups and studying students alike, and their beers are our favorites in Chattanooga. They have some outdoor bar stools which are perfect for the late summer and fall. Their Seventh Sense Cherry Berry Berliner Weisse is my go-to, while Steven sticks with the Cloud Walker Pale Ale as his main drink. We also like to get flights of their other beers to try. They do offer a few snack foods that are more filling than the typical bar snacks.
Big Frog Brewing Company: Located in Red Bank, Big Frog is another on our list to try. This veteran owned and family operated brewery has ales on tap, offers sample flights of their brews, and also fills growlers. Located not too far from our home, this gives Red Bank and Hixson residents a closer option for craft beers when traveling downtown isn’t an option.
Mad Knight Brewing Company: The last leg of our brewery tour will bring us to the St. Elmo community. Mad Knight has a medieval atmosphere tasting room and often hosts live music for the enjoyment of the customers. While Mad Knight isn’t located downtown, it shouldn’t be ignored by the rest of the beer lovers of our great city.