Ok – I admit it. We take our younger kids to breweries – often. After all, parents need to have a little fun too, and when visiting a new city it’s not like a babysitter is always a great option. But you don’t have to sacrifice the kids’ day to make it happen, as long as you choose the right breweries. On our recent trip to Chattanooga we did just that.
Chattanooga is a thriving city, growing and evolving in every major category, from art, to food, to, you guessed it, beer. Both the beer AND the food really stood out in our selections. Have you eaten in Chattanooga recently? It’s a foodie’s paradise.
Here’s our list of Chattanooga Breweries that will satisfy the entire family.
ODDSTORY BREWING CO
When we visited five breweries in one day in Chattanooga, Oddstory Brewing stood out as one of our favorites. Yes, the beer is great. But the beer is pretty great at many of these places.
What really stood out about Oddstory was the massive lawn in the back, complete with all kinds of games and a stage with live music. And dogs. Dogs were everywhere here, with some pretty firm rules about how to behave to remain a patron, which translates to a lot of friendly pups.
The kids absolutely loved it and spent the time all over the massive lawn. With lots of space to play, and cute dogs everywhere to pet (asking permission first!) the kiddos just couldn’t get enough. Meanwhile, the adults sat around sharing stories, staying true to how Oddstory was named.
The beer list at Oddstory is pretty diverse with hop forward, malt forward, sour and many other options. They also serve draft cocktails.
But the food menu. Wow. I have to say I’ve never seen such an eclectic menu at a brewery. Thai Chicken Sando, Yaki Udon noodles and Roasted Root Vegetable salad at a brewery? No way!
Our Beer Picks: Sky Island Sour and Nitro Nightjar
NAKED RIVER BREWING COMPANY
Naked River features another large outdoor beer garden great for the whole family. But even more so they were captivated by the Chattanooga Football Club, a pro soccer team that plays right across the street at Finley Stadium. We suggest combining some of the best beer around before or after a pro soccer game – the tickets are very affordable.
I should also mention at this point in our journey we were like, “What is with all of this great food at Chattanooga breweries?” Chattanooga has come a long way as a foodie destination in the last decade, and these places don’t disappoint. Naked River features a whole lotta craft BBQ that complement their craft brews. They’ve got a great kids menu as well.
Our Beer Picks: Dirty South Trail Ale and Sticky Parts
CHATTANOOGA BREWING COMPANY
Started in 1890, Chattanooga Brewing Company is the oldest brewery in town, and as such boasts a rich history. They were known to have some of the best German style beer in the country. Prohibition closed the place down, and state and local laws kept it closed much longer. But they came back strong in the early 2000’s, staying true to the brewery’s origin with their authentic German Style Beers.
Chattanooga Brewing Company is also located right next to Finley Stadium. So why not catch a game and go to both breweries? By the way, Finley Stadium does not just host the Chattanooga FC soccer team, but the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team as well. They’re also the location for a lot of cool events, like a weekly farmers market, festivals and food truck gatherings.
CBC made our list for several reasons. The food menu is fantastic, and super kid-friendly. From chicken tenders, to burgers, to our own kid’s favorite, baked pretzels.
Our Beer Picks: Hot Mama Habanero and Hazy Rider
Insider tip: From upstairs you can (kinda) see into the stadium – no ticket required!
THE TAP HOUSE & EMPYREAL BREWING CO
We enjoyed the Tap House & Empyreal Brewing Co while visiting the Saint Elmo’s Maker’s Market, hosted in the brewery’s parking lot. The Maker’s Market is a place for local crafty artisans to sell their handcrafted wares. We enjoyed looking at all of the items on display – from candles to paintings to clothing. We wound up purchasing two tie dye t-shirts from a really cool local who does really unique things with the dye. I personally wound up with a Charlie Brown replica! Check out the Tap House website for dates.
Oh yeah – about the Tap House. It’s the real deal with their own Empyreal Brewing choices as well as over 30 various beers, ciders and kombucha on tap from all over. They don’t have a kids menu but the food is very kid-friendly, with a huge selection of just about everything you can imagine.
Our Beer Picks: Pucker Up! Cherry & Lime Sour and Sinful Monk
BIG RIVER GRILLE AND BREWING WORKS
Located downtown, this brew pub may be more of a lunch or dinner choice for you. They have a great kids menu with mac & cheese, burgers, and pizza to name a few. But it’s the adult food menu that really caught our attention. The menu is immense with a wide range of appys and entrees, to include an entire Brewer’s Favorites section.
Our Beer Picks: Southern Flyer Light Lager and Seven States Pilsner (to make room for the great food)
TailGate is located right near the Chattanooga Choo Choo, and the perfect place to stop after exploring the shops and food at the station. There are a number of locations around Tennessee, and the Chattanooga location looks like a mini version of the famed Flatiron Building in NYC.
We like this location for kids because you order beer and food downstairs and then find a space anywhere in the building, upstairs or down, to enjoy it. They’ll bring the food by when ready.
And speaking of food, in true Chattanooga fashion they did not disappoint, with a kids menu as well. Try the Garlic Knockers…
The other cool thing about Tailgate is that they created their own beer-making docuseries available online. After all, you can teach your kids about beer brewing before they’re allowed to drink it.
Our Beer Picks: Three Berry Cobbler Sour SHNACK and Trees: Lifted Hazy IPA
FIVE WITS BREWING COMPANY
Five Wits is also located in the Chattanooga Choo Choo area, and a bit more cozy and quaint than other breweries. They offer a smaller brew selection, to date five in total, but in the craft beer scene this can be a really good thing.
This is a kid friendly environment, and the food is once again really interesting, with a whole lot of sandwiches, salads and sides to choose from.
Our Beer Picks: America’s Day Dream Wheat Ale and Frieda Sour Ale (You guessed it by now – we like the sours)
WANDERLINGER BREWING COMPANY
There’s great brews here and it’s kid friendly, but only up until 9PM when Wanderling becomes 21+. This place is worth the stop for the beer-alone.
They do have a small menu as well that includes baked pretzels, a build-your-own grilled cheese, and ramen!
Our Beer Picks: Joose Caboose and Blackberry Hug
BONUS: HUTTON & SMITH BREWING COMPANY
Hutton & Smith is not a kid-friendly option, in fact they’re not a kid option at all… but we just had to include them in our list because they’re just that great.
In fact, they’re one of the remaining breweries in town that are 21+, which for those without kids or for parents on a date night out can be a really good thing.
Both the beer, and the theme of the place are wildly entertaining. The name Hutton and Smith comes from two famous geologists, John Hutton and William “Strata” Smith, both considered the fathers of modern geology. I won’t spoil it for you, but when you’re there take the time to learn about all these two’s accomplishments in the world of geology.
They have over twenty beers on tap, all cleverly named with geology puns and references. There’s no food menu here, but they do provide snacks, and most patrons bring their own food or order takeout or delivery.
When checking out Hutton & Smith be sure to look at their events schedule for things like Chess Night and Comedy Night. H&S’s cozy taproom is the perfect place to enjoy either one.
Our Beer Picks: Tectonic Session IPA and Good Schist American Pale Ale
BONUS 2: SOUTHSIDE SOCIAL
Can’t ditch the kiddos but dying to try some Hutton & Smith beer? Southside Social is where to go to make you and the kids super happy! They’ve got Hutton & Smith (and Wanderling) on draft here. It’s not a brewery, but it’s a ton of fun (with beer!)
Plus the kids can play pool, corn hole, ping pong and more for FREE! Yup, free. The nachos here are THE BOMB, too. We loved hanging out on the patio and taking in the sunny day!
How is it even BETTER?? Chattanooga Brewing Company and Naked River are within walking distance. Yes, we did all three in one afternoon, and it was awesome.
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