Hops in the Hills: Come Drink Beer in East Tennessee

Hops in the Hills: A Tennessee Beer Festival in the Foothills of the Smoky Mountains

A few years back, I was visiting my cousin in Tennessee while still living in California. His roommate was on the cusp of moving out; he’d gotten a job with a major beer distributor in Vegas to learn more about the industry. “The ultimate goal,” he told me, “is to move back to Tennessee in a few years and open my own brewery.”

What lofty aspirations, I thought, assuming he’d never make it back to the South and see his dream realized. After all, this is a whiskey state. What place did beer have?

Hops in the Hills: A Tennessee Beer Festival in the Foothills of the Smoky Mountains

Well, he made good on his promise, and in 2013, Kellan along with his brother Davin Bartosch debuted Wiseacre Brewing Co. in Memphis to a state-full of thirsty beer drinkers. It took no time for the colorful, graphic art-decorated cans to be staples in every bar across Tennessee—and even beyond. You won’t visit our house without finding an Ananda or a Tiny Bomb in the fridge, and I hear bartenders all over suggesting it to patrons when asked for a beer recommendation.

Hops in the Hills: A Tennessee Beer Festival in the Foothills of the Smoky Mountains

But the Bartosches aren’t the only ones putting this state on the beer map. A decade before, Yazoo was already making a name for itself, and a slew of Nashville breweries like the female-owned Jackalope followed; today, Middle Tennessee alone boasts more than a dozen breweries in its grand division alone—Tennessee Brew Works, Bearded Iris and New Heights are newer favorites of mine, just to single out a few.

Hops in the Hills: A Tennessee Beer Festival in the Foothills of the Smoky Mountains

Similarly in the eastern part of the state, Saw Works became Knoxville’s first brewery in 2010; now, in Big Orange Country alone, there are a handful in the space—Crafty Bastard, Balter Beerworks, Alliance—that have cropped up in the years since I moved away, tantalizing my tastebuds each time I’m back in town.

Hops in the Hills: A Tennessee Beer Festival in the Foothills of the Smoky Mountains

Yes, Tennessee may be known for its whiskey, but its beer scene is quickly gaining steam.

You may recall me talking about a little whiskey event, Grains & Grits, back last fall. Well, the event was such a success that the same organizing body is producing a similar beer festival—Hops in the Hills, returning for its third year—right at the gateway to the Smoky Mountains in Maryville. And if there’s anything I love as much as craft beer, it’s drinking craft beer while outdoors, the Smokies towering in the distance.

Hops in the Hills: A Tennessee Beer Festival in the Foothills of the Smoky Mountains

Hops in the Hills will be the anchor event for Summer on Broadway in Maryville, a weeklong celebration which will include The Big BBQ Bash (a Kansas City Barbecue Society competition), Maryville Farmers Market, Smoky Mountain Dock Dogs, Napa Know How Auto Fest and many other activities. A full schedule is available here.

Those of you attending Hops in the Hills are in for a true treat. There are so many delicious beers represented—some big dogs, the others small fries you haven’t heard of (yet)—from all over Tennessee, but also Alabama, Kentucky, North Carolina and even a couple California companies on hand, and it promises to be a most excellent, boozy event.

Hops in the Hills: A Tennessee Beer Festival in the Foothills of the Smoky Mountains

More than 40 breweries, bottle shops and taprooms are participating, including:

You guys, it’s like my dream event! Craft beer, summertime and Smoky Mountain magic—who wouldn’t want to go to Hops in the Hills?

Hops in the Hills: A Tennessee Beer Festival in the Foothills of the Smoky Mountains

And I’m about to make your dreams come true as I’m giving away TWO pairs of Hops in the Hills passes, as well as swag bags to all winners. All you have to do is answer this in the comment below (and check the correct Rafflecopter box): What’s the go-to beer in your household?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Contest ends at midnight on Sunday, June 18. Good luck, and drink responsibly!

Hops in the Hills: A Tennessee Beer Festival in the Foothills of the Smoky Mountains

This post was sponsored by Blount County Chamber and the Peaceful Side of the Smokies

 

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Hops in the Hills: A Tennessee Beer Festival in the Foothills of the Smoky Mountains
Hops in the Hills: A Tennessee Beer Festival in the Foothills of the Smoky Mountains
Hops in the Hills: A Tennessee Beer Festival in the Foothills of the Smoky Mountains

Source: Camels and Chocolate