Tennessee’s ‘Farm to Tap’ Craft Beer Festival Brings Farmers and Brewers Together

by Quentin Blount
Photo by Ying Tang/NurPhoto

Who could possibly say no to a Tennessee craft beer festival in the middle of March? From refreshing pale ales to the fruity goodness of IPAs, the Farm to Tap Craft Beer Festival was sure to offer a little something for everyone.

That’s right, Outsiders. The Farm to Tap Craft Beer Festival took place on Saturday, March 12, at Tailgate Brewery. The event showcased craft beer from 30 breweries across Tennessee. Not only that, but it also highlighted beers that are brewed using local agricultural products.

Wesley Keegan is the owner and brewmaster of Tailgate Brewery. He told News Channel 5 in Nashville that he was a little surprised when hundreds of people showed up.

“We woke up and it was, what? Five, ten degrees,” Keegan said. “We couldn’t believe that actually anybody showed up.”

This entire event was part of the initiative between Tennessee’s Department of Agriculture and the Tennessee Craft Brewers Guild. Speaking of which, Sharon Creek is the executive director of the Tennessee Craft Brewers Guild. She said the whole point of the festival is to promote bringing farmers and brewers together.

“Quite simply, it’s bringing farmers and brewers together,” Creek said. “We want to promote the use of homegrown ingredients in Tennessee craft beer, but we also want to promote homegrown ingredients to craft beer enthusiasts.”

Full List of Breweries at Tennessee Craft Beer Festival

In addition to the host brewery, Tailgate Brewery, some other establishments on the lineup included:

  • Alliance Brewing Company
  • Asgard Brewing Company
  • Bad Idea Brewing
  • Bearded Iris
  • Brewing & Distilling Center
  • BS Brew Works
  • Common John Brewing Co
  • Copperhill Brewery
  • Crosstown Brewing Company
  • East Nashville Beer Works
  • Evill Nash Brewing Co.
  • Half Batch Brewing
  • Harding House Brewing Co.
  • Jackalope Brewing Company
  • Johnson City Brewing Company
  • Kings Bluff Brewery
  • Living Waters Brewing
  • Mayday Brewery
  • Memphis Made Brewing Co.
  • New Heights
  • Next Level Brewing Company
  • Soul and Spirits Brewery
  • Souther Grist Brewing
  • Tennessee Brew Works
  • Tennessee Valley Brewing COmpany
  • The Black Abbey Brewing Company
  • Wanderlinger Brewing Company
  • WISEACRE Brewery
  • Yazoo Brewing Company
  • Yee-Haw Brewing Company

With the COVID-19 pandemic looking to be in the rearview mirror, small businesses are happy to be out promoting their products once again. But there’s no denying they were hit pretty hard.

“I mean a couple of months ago we were dealing with the latest Omicron surge,” Keegan said. “You look around at something like this and things feel pretty normal, but we’re still feeling the effects of the last couple of years.”

However, despite the last couple of years being rough, the craft beer industry is still booming. As a matter of fact, there are more than 100 breweries in Tennessee right now. That’s more than twice what there was a decade ago.

“So it’s a fast-growing industry. It’s one that’s young, it’s one that’s educated, it’s one that’s diverse and growing and it’s an exciting industry.”