It’s been a while. Things have been a little crazy around here, so I’m trying to get back into the swing of things. We just celebrated Kyle’s Birthday over the weekend, which was, of course, a good time. Mostly because I drove Kyle and a few friends around to some of the local breweries.
If you don’t have a designated driver (or decide to Uber), that’s ok, because Knox Brew Tours can hook you up on a great brew tour.
We were able to stop at seven different breweries on our tour. The Knoxville craft beer scene has really expanded over the past few years. It’s exciting to see new life in downtown Knoxville. I’m already planning to go back to a few of the places that we checked out.
I’ll just break down our day (in order) and my overall thoughts of each location.
Smoky Mountain Brewery
(Two Locations: Turkey Creek & Maryville)
First stop was for lunch and brews at Smoky Mountain Brewery. We’ve been here a few times since we live out west, so nothing really exciting to say. It’s a cool restaurant to check out if you’ve never been. If you are planning a brew tour then I’d probably skip this one since it’s out of the way.
Blackhorse Pub & Brewery
(Bearden area, located in the Western Plaza Shopping Center)
Blackhorse Pub & Brewery was really nice. It’s definitely somewhere I want to go back to for dinner one night. The guys all really liked the beer here. We also had a skillet cookie with ice-cream on top which was pretty dang good. The vibe is definitely more restaurant and less pub. The service, food, and drink were all excellent. Maybe not the best pick for a brew tour since it’s a little farther away than the other places but a good pick for date night.
Alliance Brewing Company
(South Knoxville, near Island Homes and Ijams Nature Center)
Alliance Brewing Company is awesome. It’s a very casual craft brewery with a great outdoor seating area. They’re dog friendly and we met a lot of sweet pups outside. I’m already planning a day to come back with our two furry boys. They also have a cider on tap which I’m excited to try in the future. Alliance needs to be on your Brew Tour list.
(Downtown Knoxville, Old City)
Balter Beerworks is a beautiful brewery and restaurant in the heart of downtown Knoxville. They have a good amount of indoor and outdoor seating. I had a few of the potato chip nachos and they were awesome. It’s definitely more of a restaurant vibe here, so I’d probably suggest to skip it if you are doing a brew tour, but to come back for lunch or dinner one day. (That’s what I’m planning on doing!)
Last Days Of Autumn Brewing
(Old City area, off of Magnolia)
I loved the casual atmosphere and friendly staff at Last Days Of Autumn. They have a small food menu if you get the munchies, and, of course, lots of beer. We picked out Jenga amongst the many board games and played a few rounds. Great place. I’d highly recommend checking out on a brew tour, or just for an afternoon with a few friends.
Crafty Bastard Brewery
(Old City, off of Central)
Crafty Bastard Brewery was probably the most creative brewery that we visited. They have indoor and outdoor seating and it is really casual. So, it’s my kind of place. And they’re dog friendly! I tried the spicy ginger ale (non-alcoholic, you know, since I’m a great DD) and it was fantastic. Check our their website for all the interesting brews they have on tap. There’s always a food truck around too.
Schulz Brau Brewing
(Old City area, located off of Central on Bernard Ave, just a few blocks from Crafty Bastard)
HOLY COW, Schulz Brau is amazing. I don’t know why it took me so long to finally visit. The beer garden is incredible, and dog friendly, which makes it even better. They have cornhole boards, a food truck, giant pretzels, and lots and lots of beer. I’m glad we stopped here last on our brew tour because it’s really pretty in the beer garden at night. This needs to be #1 on your brew tour list. I’m already planning to come back here with the dogs.
That’s it for our day of brewery hopping.
I did want to mention that Downtown Grill & Brewery and Saw Works Brewing Company were on the list as well, but we decided to skip them this time around because we’ve been to both a few times already. I think most Knoxville natives have probably been to both of them. If you’re visiting Knoxville, then you need to check them out your brew tour! (Downtown Grill & Brewery is fun to go to anytime… and they have amazing brunch.)
Are you ready to plan your brew tour yet?