As the end of August approached so did our trip to Chattanooga. This year we chose to do several small weekend vacations, Friday-Sunday, that were within 6 hrs of us. This gave us some much needed vacation time, but also gave me the opportunity to visit some new breweries. Chattanooga, TN has 9 local breweries that we planned to visit. Since this is a smaller number than some of my other brewery trails we decided to take in some sites while we were there.
We left from work on Friday afternoon and headed out to Tennessee, about an hour and a half drive so this would be a quick trip and we could start our brewery trail. When we arrived we checked in at our Airbnb and we were off. First stop for the night was going to be Big River Grille & Brewing Company. We needed to grab some dinner so I planned our brewery trail that night starting with a brewpub. The location was very convenient to get to and well location very close to the local college. It is a great location for food, beer, and fun. Big River has 3 unique sections. Section 1 (far right) was a bar and a billiards room. We may have walked into the wrong door and were looking at how we got seated, but no worries we wandered into Section 2 (middle) and found the hostess and full seating to be able to sit down and grab a bite. Then there was Section 3 (far left) which has a bar and TV’s with some seating in it. Overall the layout was done well. They had decent size menu for food with a variety of healthy all the was to your standard bar good. Their beer selection was very good and has several really great options to chose from. I selected the flight and sampled all of their local options that night.
After we filled up on some grub we decided to walk to the next two breweries on the list. One of which would become brewery 100!!! This would be the night that I hit my first goal of 2017. As we walked through downtown Chattanooga I noticed the age of the city. The city seems to really be trying to make some improvements and beautify the area. As we came to the intersection at East MLK Boulevard we happened upon their NightFall Concert Series. The streets were lines with motorcycles and upgraded motorcycle trailers that looked like cars, airplanes, and houses. They had great music, food, and drink stations. If I wasn’t on a mission to hit 100 breweries we may have stopped and enjoyed the entertainment.
As we turned down East MLK Boulevard they had some unique works of art and displays. The Blue Trees were especially cool installation and it was to bring together environmental consciousness and social action. As you get further down you came across an incredible Martin Luther King Jr. mural, that took my breathe away.
When we were done enjoying the artwork we arrived at our destination Odd Story Brewing, which would be the location that put me at the 100 Brewery mark. This location is newer and opened on December 31st 2016. The story behind the name is one of the coolest stories I have ever heard. The name comes from the fabled “Underground Chattanooga“. In the late 1800’s, Chattanooga was destroyed by floods and in an effort to save the town they built it up. Meaning they raised the entire town 1 story and the 2nd floor became the 1st floor. There are said to be these underground tunnels and stores. It truly is a fascinating story.
The overall atmosphere when you walked into Oddstory was of a younger crowd, mostly college students. It had a fun and upbeat vibe about it and was easy to settle in and have fun. I decided upon a flight so that I had an opportunity to try a little bit of everything. They had so many great options it was hard to decided what to pick. In the end I selected some of my favorite types of beer:
Belgian Dubbel 8% – Look for a dark fruit flavors and aromas in this slightly sweet dubbel which boasts a malty backbone and a dry finish from the imported Belgian Candi sugar.
Rosemary Apricot Saison 5.8% – A Saison brewed with fresh rosemary and re-fermented on apricots, Spicy, fruity, floral.
French Saison 5.1% – A Saison fermented at 73° with a fruity and spicy ester profile and a rich, silky finish.
Belgian Pale Ale 5.3% – A Hybrid Pale Ale fermented iwth a Belgian ale yeast strain but hopped at the same rate as the American pale ale.
American Pale Ale 6.0% – Five American species of hops are used in the APA. Look for a tangerine, grapefruit, and piney aromatics balanced with a dry finish.
Indian Pale Ale 7.1% – Seven hops used to create a bold West Coast IPA balancing strong aroma, flavor and bitterness.
Once we finished up at Oddstory we hopped across the street to Hutton & Smith a brewery that pays homage to two geologist, James Hutton and William “Strata” Smith. One of the owners a Geologist herself has come up with clever names for each of their beers so they are geology related. It was a much more secluded hole in the wall type of place. You felt right sitting down at the bar and grabbing a beer and the staff and patrons were such good company.
At this point in the night I had broken my normal rule and had a few more beers than normal at this point so I selected by beers based on the names of the beer since they were so clever. Check out some of these beer names:
And then day 2…..
I don’t ever remember waking up feeling hungover from only 2 flights of beers before.