A couple weekends ago was our first 4th of July in Nashville and we had 4 whole days off work to explore Music City! We went to several new places, a couple repeat favorites and saw an incredible fireworks show. Here is our holiday weekend in a nutshell.
We got off work a little bit early and went to check out one of the few breweries in town we hadn’t been to visit yet. Tennessee Brew Works is located in The Gulch but is pretty tucked away, so you likely won’t stumble across it unless you go looking. They are one of the more popular breweries in town with a couple beers that you can find frequently on draft or at the grocery store. Their most popular brew is definitely the Cutaway Rye IPA which is quite good if you like hoppy beer. A new law passed in TN a few months ago made it possible for breweries to begin producing “high gravity” beer, which means that it has an alcohol content over 6.2%. Immediately following this new law, TN Brew Works released the 1927 IPA (7.5%) which seems to have done really well. It is a juicy, citrusy IPA perfect for drinking during the summer.
TN Brew Works has a really nice, two-story taproom with a lot of both indoor and outdoor seating. They also have a pretty decent food menu and live music Wed-Sat. We weren’t planning on staying long but we wanted to try a variety of their beers so we ordered a sampler flight to share. I wasn’t blown away by any of their non-IPA brews but that isn’t unusual for me. All in all it is a great spot to go after work or on a nice weekend afternoon for a beer or two and some live music.
Early afternoon on Saturday was one of the only times all weekend that it wasn’t forecast to rain. With that in mind, we knew we had to do something outdoors to take advantage of the nice weather while we could. We love taking walks but we wanted to explore somewhere new so we decided to check out the trails at Fontanel. For those of you who don’t know, Fontanel is located near Whites Creek, TN and was once the home and grounds of country superstar Barbara Mandrell. These days the mansion itself is open for tours and several attractions and music venues have been built on the surrounding land. One of these attractions is the Trails and Greenway at Fontanel.
Truth be told we probably should have done more research before heading out there because there was a big motorcycle rally going on which meant the cute little venue was covered in vendors, cyclists and loud rock music. The second reason we should have researched more is because we had a heck of a time finding the trail head! In our defense, the trails could have been more clearly marked, but it actually ended up working out because it added more time and distance to our walk which would have felt pretty short otherwise. The trails were very wooded and shaded which was good because it was quite hot. I don’t think we would drive the 15-20 minutes out there again just to walk the rather short trail, but it would be a great place to bring a picnic, check out some live music, visit the shops and take a little stroll.
Weather-wise, this was probably the worst day of the weekend. We mostly just took shelter at home and did some house keeping. However, by late afternoon we were going a bit stir-crazy so we decided to get out and do something active and new. We took my brother along and went to a place in Brentwood called Above All Extreme Air Sports. Above All is basically a large gym with trampolines everywhere and different obstacle course activities to test your strength and balance. I used to be a whiz on a trampoline when I was a kid, but I learned very quickly that those days are over! Unfortunately, most of the activities were a little more child-friendly than we would have liked but it was a good way to spend an active hour on a rainy day.
After a pretty slow day on Sunday we wanted to get out for a bit on Monday. We headed to a part of town called Edgehill for lunch and drinks. Edgehill Village is a cute little neighborhood with some great restaurants, bars and shopping. We started at Taco Mamacita which is a very popular Mexican restaurant that we have been to a few other times before. It has one of the best patios in Nashville which goes well with the yummy margaritas and sangria. After a quick bite and one drink there, we wandered over to another bar in the shopping center called Old Glory. We had been there once before, right after we moved to town, and had been planning to go back for awhile. Old Glory is located in a renovated 1920’s boiler room with exposed brick and extremely high ceilings. The unique design and atmosphere of the bar is like nowhere else we have found in Nashville. The coolest thing about Old Glory is that they purposefully stay under the radar and basically the only way to hear about them is word of mouth. They have one unmarked entrance off a back alleyway behind Taco Mamacita, so unless you really know where to look, you would never find them. Their cocktails are fancy and yummy, but also pretty pricey and potent.
For our 4th of July activities we wanted to find some low-budget fun and also check out some new places. One of Evan’s coworkers is married to the co-owner of Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery, which is one of two distilleries based here in Nashville. She told us that they would be having a free release party for one of their new products starting around noon so we decided to check it out.
Green Brier is located in Marathon Village which is a large renovated factory originally built in the late 1800’s where they used to manufacture automobiles. They are just one of the many commercial tenants located within Marathon Village, which also houses a music venue, a small winery, the other distillery (Corsair), a comedy club, a coffee shop and many others.
The release party was located in their Oak Room event space and included a tasting of their new product, grilled food (hotdogs, chicken wings, etc), games and distillery tours all for free. Their new product is called Nelson’s First 108 and the story behind it is actually pretty cool. Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery was actually founded in the late 1800’s by Charles Nelson and was at one time, one of the top distilleries in the world. Unfortunately, they had to close their doors in 1909 due to Prohibition (108 years ago). Charles Nelson’s fifth generation grandsons, who started the distillery back up in 2009, decided to release this new product, which is made with the original recipe, on July 4th because that was Charles’ birthday. I’m not really a whiskey fan but I will say that the sample I had was very smooth, sweet and easy to sip. If you prefer rye, spicy whisky then it may not be what you are looking for, but if you want something that wont burn on the way down, this would be a great option.
Later that evening we had to decide where to go to watch fireworks and if it was even worth all the trouble of fighting the crowds. There had been a lot of hype about how incredible the fireworks show downtown was going to be and we hated to miss out. Evan and I aren’t big fans of large raucous crowds though, so we knew we didn’t just want to wander down Broadway, but we also didn’t want to pay the crazy high ticket prices to go to one of the rooftop parties. After a bit of searching we came across an event that seemed like the perfect happy medium. It was a $30 ticket, including beer, to watch the fireworks from the opposite side of the river at Little Harpeth Brewing.
Little Harpeth Brewing is another local brewery here in Nashville and just like TN Brew Works, we hadn’t had a chance to check it out yet. Their Chicken Scratch Pilsner is pretty good and seems to be on tap pretty much everywhere in Nashville. They are situated in a warehouse right next to the river and just a couple blocks down from Nissan Stadium. They have a large outdoor space behind their taproom where everyone could set up chairs or blankets to sit and wait for the fireworks to begin. They also had cornhole, food trucks, and live music to keep everyone entertained and happy. We got there around 7:15pm and had a nice time drinking some beer and listening to music until the fireworks show started at 9:30pm. The view from where we were was excellent and the fireworks show definitely lived up to its hype. I wouldn’t be surprised if this becomes an annual 4th of July tradition for us, and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to avoid the crowds but still have a nice night out.
Sorry this post was so long, but I appreciate you taking the time to check it out! Next time I’ll fill you in on our first visit to Chattanooga last weekend. We had a blast spending time with family, visiting the TN Aquarium, trying out some yummy restaurants and more! I even made a new friend (pictured below).