A visit to Chattanooga calls for a lot of exciting activities: spending sunny afternoons on local trails, convening with the famed aquarium’s many creatures, perusing the art museum’s unique collections, and wandering the lively streets of downtown. Recently, Chattanooga has added one more crucial feature to a visitor’s list of must-dos—sample the local beer.
As craft beer and microbrews have gained momentum over the past decade, breweries have sprung up all over downtown Chattanooga, each with its own quirky flavors. The breweries proximity and Chattanooga’s exceptional bike share program give visitors a golden opportunity to spend a day doing a self-guided bike and brew tour of the city.
We’ve narrowed it down to six of Chattanooga’s funkiest watering holes that can be easily connected by bicycle in under five miles. Here, we’ve opted to begin at the furthest brewery and work toward the city center, but the route can be easily completed in either direction.
1. Moccasin Bend Brewing Company
"Still here, still weird," the huge sign at Chattanooga’s second oldest brewery reads. Moccasin Bend Brewing Company (3210 Broad Street) has been around for 10 years with a commitment to making beers as memorable as the inhabitants of Chattanooga. A couple of miles outside of downtown, MBBC has a distinct “Mexican restaurant” atmosphere, with games and couches instead of chips and salsa. Visitors can play cornhole on the spacious back patio and enjoy open mic night every Thursday. With about 15 house brews on tap, every weirdo who wanders in is sure to find a suitable beer.
Roll on: Hop on your bike and cruise north toward downtown on Broad Street. After about a mile, make a left onto 20th Street and then a right on Chestnut. In a couple of blocks, your next destination will be on your right, across from Finley Stadium.
2. Chattanooga Brewing Company
Pair the locally renowned Hill City IPA with a snack at Chattanooga Brewing Company (1804 Chestnut Street), which offers a full food menu alongside its frothy refreshments. Boasting the classic "Two Guys Started a Brewery" backstory, CBC is located in a new 7,500 square foot facility in the city’s growing Southside neighborhood. The space is modern but atmospheric, with plenty of outdoor seating as well as a multi-functional space for community events like yoga, as part of CBC’s mission to revitalize Chattanooga’s Southside.
*Roll on: From CBC, continue down Chestnut Street for two blocks and take a right onto Main Street. These streets don’t have designated bike lanes, but both are small and safe for cyclists. Follow Main Street three blocks to its intersection with Market Street, turn left and The Terminal will be immediately on your right. *
3. The Terminal Brewhouse
The Terminal Brewhouse (1464 Market Street), with classically delicious beer and food, is notable for the utter strangeness of the building it occupies—a skinny, three story triangle of a structure that seems to jut into Market Street at an nonsensical angle. Originally a hotel for train passengers, The Terminal now has an extensive food menu (complete with some pretty hilarious commentary), and it is a perfect lunch spot on your tour. There are five staple beers on tap (including Rock Out With Your Bock Out and Dead Sexy Scottish), plus a sixth beer that rotates seasonally.
Roll on: Continue down Market Street for two blocks and take a slight right onto King Street. Follow King Street for about three blocks to MLK Boulevard, where you’ll turn right. OddStory will be on your right.
4. OddStory Brewing Company
MLK Boulevard is coming alive with small businesses and funky street art. When you pass the colorful sky-high mural, you’re closing in on OddStory Brewing Company (336 East MLK Boulevard). OBC is the brainchild of a father and son team who named the brewery after the old underground city that lies beneath the streets of Chattanooga. OddStory offers 12 types of beer and seasonal snacks, and the indoor garden and roll-up windows create a mood that’s airy yet edgy. You’ll come for the beer and stay for the uniquely serendipitous atmosphere.
*Roll on: Hold on to your helmet, the ride to your next brewery will take you all of about 30 seconds. Continue down MLK Boulevard for one block and Hutton and Smith will be on your left. *
5. Hutton and Smith Brewing Company
Named for the beer-drinking fathers of modern geology, Hutton and Smith Brewing Company (431 East MLK Boulevard, #120) offers 20 brew options for pints, flights, and growlers. The industrial space is simple but fresh, with brewing equipment on display and a garage-door facade. Outside of the taproom, Hutton and Smith’s delicious drafts have become a staple at dozens of restaurants and bars around the Chattanooga area.
Roll on: To get to your final stop, backtrack on MLK toward the city center until it intersects with Broad Street. Turn right on Broad and cruise in the bike lane for a little over half a mile _. Y__ ou’ll find Big River on your right._
6. Big River Grille and Brewing Works
Located in a historic trolley barn in the heart of downtown, Big River (222 Broad Street) is a staple of life in Chattanooga. Offering a dozen craft beers and a huge selection of food, this is the perfect place to end your brewery tour with a scrumptious dinner (and more beer). Outside seating provides prime people-watching opportunities while you cool off and celebrate your bike and brew tour at one of Chattanooga’s most iconic restaurants.
Originally written for Chattanooga CVB.