Tennessee...from start to finish :)

Tennessee...from start to finish :)

Postby redshorts47 » Mon Apr 08, 2013 6:16 pm

Siobhan and I left Clifton Park Friday, March 29 for our trip to Tennessee. The main reason for going down was to visit her Grandmother in Covington, which is just north of Memphis on the very south western side of the state. We drove through the night and got there at 9am. By the way, we tried stopping at Ellicottville Brewery in Fredonia but it looked like the men inside were doing renovations on the place. I didn't bother to get out of the car to tead the sign on the door but they definitely weren't open for business. Does anyone know what's the story with them? We spent the first three days at Grandmas just relaxing and visiting with a little bit of yard work thrown in.

I'm going to try to not be too long winded on this trip report even though it was a huge trip. For our views portion we walked all over the four different cities, checking them out and their river walks and other various parks so I'm not going to go into great detail about them. What's nice about city walking is you can get big mileage fast. One day we walked up to 11 miles calculated by map my run on the IPhone.

Memphis
On Tuesday, Siobhan, her father, and I went into Memphis. We started off visiting a non brewpub brewery, Ghost River. I guess they have some weird laws in TN and they aren't allowed to give out samples. :roll: okay, I'm thinking. How do you know if you want to fill a growler and of what without having it first. The guy gave us some wooden coins for a free beer at Bosco's. I thought that was very cool. We headed out and went out for our walk. We went over to the Riverwalk along the Mississippi River and then walk around the city. Some highlights was Main Street with the Street cars and Beale Street were cool. We also met this Clyde Hopkins fellow. I guess he's some old blues guy, 90 years old actually and is, was somewhat famous in that genre. All I know is he had his name on one of the bronze music notes that line the sidewalk like the starts on Hollywood Blvd. After our walk we went over to Bosco's Squared. We had some lunch and cashed in our free beers. The food was good, the IPA, just so so.

Nashville
On Wednesday morning we said goodbye to grandma and the inlaws and headed for Nashville. Our first stop was Blackstone. Nice looking place, had a brick oven, and a nice relaxing lounge area. Food was really good, for beer, we had the red ale as they didn't have an IPA and the very nice women behind the bar recommended it over the pale. It was good but nothing memorable. Next brewpub I believe was another Bosco's. we had their seasonal IPA, one they claim is a hop bomb. More like a dud. I don't think they do big bold IPA's down there, not like outrage or even a good one like Hurricane Kitty. Next up was Big River, which by the way is changing names. Same big company with several different chain breweries. It was having the big grande reopening this past weekend and is now a Rock Bottom Brewery. They are still brewing. The only changes made is the name on the outside of the building, menus, and merchandise. We then went on a another long River-walk and stroll through the city. The park in front of the court building with the observation tower you can go up is cool and the Capital buildings were nice. After our walk we checked into our cabin at the KOA and took a short nap before dinner. We got up and checked out Yazoo. They have this IPA they call Hop Project. Every batch is different, thus the name hop project. I think they have about 100 or so different batches so far and I'd say it still needs work. Of course the next batch could be great, or the one 10 batches before was really great so you never know. I even saw hop project in a grocery store but you don't know what batch it is, maybe that's part of the fun I guess. I don't know if I like this concept. I like finding a good IPA at a place and knowing I can get that beer again the next time I go. After Yazoo we headed over to Fat Bottom. Finally hit a really good place one we'll remember. Great atmosphere, the guy behind the counter was really funny and nice. He was a young guy that donned a newsy cap and a handle bar mustache. When you first walk into to this place or pull up outside it doesn't appear to be a brewpub, just a small brewery with nothing going on. You walk in and signs direct you through the brewery part and to the back of the building were it feels like you stepped into an illegal speakeasy back in the days of prohibition. Good food that is all scratch made and their black Betty IPA is good and worth remembering. The oatmeal stout was also good but not as good as the black Betty. That does it for Nashville.

Murfreesboro
On our way to Chattanooga we decided to skip over Cool Springs in Franklin but decided to go to Opposums. Really small place but is hands down my favorite place in TN. Doesn't look like much from the outside since it's in a strip mall and is the size of an old Quiznos and actually was before they renovated it the owner said. Now it's very nicely done inside. Very nice young owner that runs it with his father and brother. Really small brewing system but they're looking into expanding much bigger to meet demand. Right now they only have one beer of theirs on tap. It was a red ale and the most refreshing one of the trip. Really good beer. The food is all local and scratch made and is creative. Had this really good blue burger and this most amazing Mac and cheese that had crumbled blue cheese on it. We talked to the owner for a lot longer then we had expected to be stopped and I think each of us had two beers where we originally planned to probably just share one. He gave us a cool oppossums patch and a bottle of his opposums pub rub for cooking and grilling. Definitely be back to this one for sure. The owner is looking for a much bigger building to expand so I'm sure some point in the new future this one will have a new address.

Chattanooga
Next morning we woke up and made our way down to Chattanooga. We got into town and went to Big River Hamilton Place. Slugged down an IPA, a little better then the Iast one at the other big river and made our way over to McHales. This is a strange place. A smallish place that sits right off the road. Double glass doors tinted jet black. Reminded me of a sleezy night club from outside and inside, it looked like a place people go to late at night to play pool on one of their several tables or play darts that had one wall lined with them. Apparently you can smoke in their so it had a funky smell to it and just had a feel of a townie bar. The old bigger lady behind the bar was very sweet and poured us a Bloody IPA that we shared. The guy was in the very small brewery they dubbed "the lab". Up to this point all the beers for TN except for the ones at Fat Bottom were just so so, not bad but not memorable. Of course we didn't have samplers and stuck to IPA's except for the red at Blackstone and the stout that I also tried at Fat bottom. They seem to do more malty beers and I will confess I'm finally starting to warm up to them more. After Mchale's we checked into our cabin at Racoon Mt. Campground and then went to check out anoter Big River, a walk thrown in and dinner at Terminal Brewhouse. Very nice building, busy busy place but we found the last two seats at the bar right away. The IPA was decent, we had their root beer that was delicious and the pizza we had was great. At this point we are up to 11 brewpubs and up over ten extra miles for our finish in Knoxville the next day. I definitely woul like to go back to Chattanooga to check the city out some more and go to overlook mountain. Wouldn't mind checking out Terminal again because it was a good place.

Knoxville
We drive up to Knoxville and were planning on only going to the Downtown Grill right in Knoxville to finish up since that looked like the best of the three and it wasn't part of a chain. However you would drive pretty much directly past the other two so we decide to stop. The first one up was Smoky Mountain Brewing. Big place, no IPA... :( had the Appalachian Pale, not bad. I guess this is technically our finish even though I wanted to finish at Downtown. WooHoo!!! We were 't done yet though. We then stopped at Calhoun's. it was a nice place but was weird as everyone was sitting at the tables and not one person at the bar and this place was pretty well packed. We sat at the bar, split a IPA, beer was not memorable. Once again, I just don't think they really make a great hoppy beer in TN with the exception of the black Betty IPA at Fat bottom. Would have loved to have had a flight at each place but with doing multiple stop in a short period of time this isn't at all possible. This being the reason we usually split a pint or have one a piece every now and then. Our last stop in TN and our 14th brewpub was Downtown Grill and Brewery. Really nice old historical building. Has a really cool history and a very interesting curse involving a white mule. You can read about it on their web page here
http://www.downtownbrewery.com/History.html
They had some good food, the IPA was a little disappointing as I was hoping more from this place as it looked it would be really good but wasn't bad. I was just waiting and hoping for that really great IPA, never really found one except for the black IPA. After our 14 th stop we went over to the Worlds Fair Park were they had the worlds fair back in 1982. Walked all over logging in several more uneeded miles unless we wanted to count our planned brewpub stop in Virginia and the two the next day in PA to count. Don't think we will work on those atleast know where in the near future. While we were there we had to check the sunsphere and park out. The huge sunsphere there was very cool. I believe it's 182 feet tall and overlooks the city. We had a beautiful day so we could see everything from the top. Most of the pools there was still empty but they did have the cascading waterfall and pool that it spills into going which was very cool and nice to look at.

We had a great time in Tennessee! would love to go back and visit a couple of the stops. fat bottom in Nashvile, O'possums in Murfreesboro, Terminal in Chattanooga, and also pick up the other three we didn't go to (Blackhorse in Clarksville, Cool Springs in Franklin, and the other Smoky Mountain Brewery in Pigeon Forge) while also checking out the Smoky Mountains and the Climgmans Dome high point.

After visiting worlds fair park we drove up to Christiansburg, VA. Checked into our hotel and stopped at Bull and Bones brewery in Blacksburg for dinner. Really good food and the beer was also not disappointing. Plus they too had their own root beer and that too was delicious. Great trip but we have two more stops in PA still left before we get home. I'll post about those in the PA section. :toast:
A fine beer may be judged with only one sip, but it's better to be thoroughly sure.
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Re: Tennessee...from start to finish :)

Postby Tom » Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:02 am

I guess it's time for a few new patches! :D
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Re: Tennessee...from start to finish :)

Postby redshorts47 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:44 pm

I'll send the paperwork in but there's no hurry for the patches as I don't think you have them yet. I could've easily made the report 5 times as long going into great detail but I wanted people to actually read it, but I didn't want to just list all the brewpubs we went to and say great, good, not good. I wish we had just one more day in the trip to get down into the smoky mountains before heading up but it wasn't at all possible. This was sort of a last minute trip for us. I didn't know whether I had the time off to extend the trip past the days we needed go visit grandma until the day before we were leaving so all the reservations for the three places we stayed were made the night before we left and lucked out. It was a great time. Would love to go do Kentucky but I don't think I could convince Siobhan to do another trip anytime soon as I think she was pretty well beered out at the end of this one :D
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Re: Tennessee...from start to finish :)

Postby Laurie » Tue Apr 09, 2013 8:52 pm

Sounds like a lot of planning went into this as well as all of the research. Interesting to note the differences in beer styles. And my guess would be that if you placed a pint of Outrage near that lovely wife of yours, she may not be beered out!!! Of course saving yourselves for TAPNY, coming up soon is not a bad plan either! Congratulations to both of you on accomplishing another state!!
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Re: Tennessee...from start to finish :)

Postby redshorts47 » Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:54 am

Thanks Laurie, the initial research took quite a bit of time and then with all the calling to make sure that they brew on site and serve food. The nice thing about TN Views and Brews is that most of them are grouped with in the major cities. I printed out detailed maps of the cities and marked them all on the map with their hours of operation and noted which ones had parks close by that would be interesting to go see. Of course on the trip plans changed a little bit. We originally were going to stop and see a friend in Ohio but ended up driving through the night. This led to a change in plans and having to skip over our first planned stop in TN being Blackhorse in Clarksville. I knew we would hit up the one in Memphis and that it would be really bennificial to do the 5 in Nashville and the 4 in Chattanooga that would give us 9 for just those visiting those two cities. Then we'd pick up the rest in Knoxville, of course plans changed a little bit again because we decided to stop at O'possums on our way to Chattanooga the night before seeing it was just a couple minutes off the highway that we were going to take down. All the planning for it was a lot of fun and was very happy to get the extra days off so we didn't have to rush right back to NY after visiting Grandma in Covington.

We are really looking forward to TAP. We will only be there Sunday though this year since we decided to go down on the Browns Bus.

We're also really looking forward to the Views and Brews NH gathering this year. It was so much fun hanging out with everyone last year.

You're also right about the Outrage. I don't think Siobhan would ever pass one up. We actually took a growler of Outrage down to Grandmas as well as a bunch of Heady Topper. We had to have some good beer to hold us over the first 3-4 days down there before we would begin the Views and Brews. Now that's planning :D :toast:
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Re: Tennessee...from start to finish :)

Postby redshorts47 » Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:20 pm

The forms and money order are in the mail. Of course, I don't expect the patches any time soon. Thanks Guys
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Re: Tennessee...from start to finish :)

Postby Woolybear » Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:27 pm

Sounds like a fun adventure, congrats on finishing the state and thanks for all the leg work.
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Re: Tennessee...from start to finish :)

Postby redshorts47 » Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:55 am

Thanks Paul. We definitely had a good time at it and was nice to explore the major parts of Tennessee. I originally just wanted to see if there were any places near her grandmothers but once I started searching it turned into a state wide search. It was a lot of work but was fun at the same time.
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Re: Tennessee...from start to finish :)

Postby Tom » Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:55 am

I updated the TN page, but it lacks hikes and URLs. I pointed that page to the TN page here.

And I still need to do the Google Map...
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Re: Tennessee...from start to finish :)

Postby redshorts47 » Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:58 pm

Thanks Tom. I got a new monitor for my computer so I can do things now without having to use my iPhone. I'll get all those hikes and url's posted to help you out a bit. I can also get all the url's for the brewpubs for you as well.
Last edited by redshorts47 on Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tennessee...from start to finish :)

Postby Tom » Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:29 am

Awesome!
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Re: Tennessee...from start to finish :)

Postby redshorts47 » Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:33 pm

Here's the url's for the brewpubs Tom. I'll do the ones for the hikes when I get some more time

Blackhorse- Clarksville
http://www.theblackhorsepub.net/

Boscos- Memphis
http://www.boscosbeer.com/memphis/story/index.htm

Blackstone- Nashville
http://www.blackstonebrewery.com/

Rock Bottom- Nashville (use to be Big River Brewing up to a week ago)
http://www.rockbottom.com/locations/nashville?action=view&no_redirect=true

Boscos- Nashville
http://www.boscosbeer.com/nashville/story/index.htm

Yazoo- Nashville
http://www.yazoobrew.com/

Fat Bottom- East Nashville
http://www.fatbottombrewing.com/

Cool Springs- Franklin
http://coolspringsbrewery.com/

O'Possum's- Murfreesboro
http://www.opossumspub.com/

Big River- Chattanooga ( Two Big Rivers in Chattanooga...same URL)
http://www.bigrivergrille.com/

McHale's Brewhouse- Chattanooga
http://www.mchalesbrewhouse.com/

Terminal Brewhouse- Chattanooga
http://terminalbrewhouse.com/

Calhoun's- Knoxville
http://www.calhouns.com/

Smoky Mountain Brewery- Knoxville
http://www.smoky-mtn-brewery.com/locations.html

Downtown Grill and Brewery- Knoxville
http://www.downtownbrewery.com/

Smoky Mountain Brewery- Pigeon Forge
http://www.smoky-mtn-brewery.com/locations.html
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Re: Tennessee...from start to finish :)

Postby Tom » Sat Apr 13, 2013 7:45 am

You're earning that Patch!
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Re: Tennessee...from start to finish :)

Postby redshorts47 » Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:21 am

Thanks Tom! Congrats to you and Laurie on your Winter 115! It was great to see you guys today even though it was only for a short period of time. See you guys at TAP in a few weeks :D
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