by TJ AndersonThis prediction from Dwell magazine, from late last year, just made its way into my Facebook feed: “Step Aside, Subway Tile — Penny Tile Is the New Classic.” Penny tile,
Nashville Beer Gardens And Beer Halls That Are Perfect For Fall 2017
by TJ Anderson
Pretty recently, I shared a rundown of seasonal fall beers from Nashville craft breweries, at least partly inspired by Oktoberfest being nearly here.
The other thing Oktoberfest season always makes me think about: beer gardens. Or biergartens, more accurately.
In a lot of cities, people turn to thoughts of beer gardens in the spring and summer, but Oktoberfest or no, in Nashville, early fall’s the prime beer-garden time to me. And Nashville now has a few pretty great options for beer-garden aficionados. To be fair, it also has a few bars with “beer garden” in the name that don’t totally qualify.
A proper beer garden — if we’re tracing back to the beginnings in 16th-century Germany — was built in gardens alongside breweries. On top of the underground cellars where beer cooled and fermented, gravel was scattered, broad-leaf trees and tables were planted, and beer was poured by the gallons.
In America, we sometimes settle for “a place that serves beer and has a patio.” But if you’re looking for something with more distinct biergarten-y vibes while the weather’s just starting to cool, here’s where I’d head in Nashville:
121 Opry Mills Dr
Nashville, TN 37214
Few Nashvillians consider Opry Mills a dining destination, but that’s changed some with the opening of the Bavarian Bierhaus, a new addition to Nashville’s beer-garden landscape that just started welcoming guests in April of 2017. The vibe they aim to set — “where it's Oktoberfest every day!” — comes through pretty well, from the huge indoor beer house space (with 500 seats) to the big beer garden outside (another 120). All told the place is 15,000 square feet, so it’s hard not to feel like you’re in the middle of a big sudsy party. The Bierhaus' vibe is overall pretty kitschy (maybe steer clear if you’re allergic to lederhosen), but things get serious in the kitchen. It’s led by Dennis Stukel, a German-trained, Michelin-star-having chef, and the Bierhaus menu ranges from schnitzel to wurstchen to to spaetzle to apfelstrudel. There’s plenty of beer, too. More at bierhausnashville.com.
731 McFerrin Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206
You almost never get into East Nashville’s Pharmacy Burger Parlor and Beer Garden without a wait, and that speaks both to how much Nashvillians and visitors like the food (from house-made Bratwurst to burgers doused in mushroom stroganoff béchamel), drinks (lots of unique German beer and, for non-drinkers, old-time soda fountain phosphates) and vibe. Their fenced-in backyard beer-garden space is an outstanding hang, especially at night when the lights are twinkling overhead, and, see photo, even in the winter. The restaurant’s web presence is pretty stripped at the moment, but check out more on The Pharmacy’s Instagram feed.
1416 4th Ave N.
Nashville, TN 37208
On the opposite end of the kitsch scale from the Bierhaus is high-style/high-end Butchertown Hall, billed as “Germantown’s first beer hall since 1909.” Their beer garden is top-notch, as is their beer list, which is broad and unique and stocked with a bunch of custom/exclusive European pours. But German vibes aren’t as present as Texan/Mexican ones, with a menu that features an array of smoked meats and items like lamb shank tacos with mango crema and fresh shrimp ceviche. Learn more at butchertownhall.com.
1200 Forrest Park Dr.
Nashville, TN 37205
Leave it to a renowned botanical garden to do a job creating a beer garden. This isn’t a year-round thing for Cheekwood in Belle Meade, but during their fall Cheekwood Harvest season, they open up an onsite beer garden with seasonal beers, cocktails, wine and champagne, plus local food trucks and live music, out in the open air with picnic tables and friends and families. It’s open Thursday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Cheekwood Harvest runs until October 29. More at cheekwood.org.
1004 4th Ave. N.
Nashville, TN 37219
So we’re not quite here yet, but this place is threatening to become a top choice for anyone who loves a beer garden. Set to open in early October 2017, the Germantown restaurant’s intent — "sharing the pure joy of beer and sausage with our community” — bodes well, as does the early looks at their garden space (see the above photo). Once they get going, along with 36 on-tap beers, Von Elrod’s will be serving 20 different hand-cranked, hardwood-grilled sausages, plus fresh-baked pretzels, Belgian fries and more. Hard not to get excited about this one if you’re a beer garden fanatic. Learn more at vonelrods.com, and keep up with the latest opening news on the Von Elrod’s Instagram feed.
Hope these picks inspire some Oktoberfest-in-Nashville vibes now, and for the rest of the year.
If any of these restaurants’ neighborhoods make you fall so in love that you’re determined to move there, let me know — I’d love to help you find your dream home in Nashville. Call or email TJ Anderson Homes here.
TJ Anderson is a Nashville Realtor with Benchmark Realty who's helped countless clients both buy a home and sell a home in Nashville, Tennessee. He blogs about Nashville regularly, from Nashville-area....
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