Best New Breweries, No. 4: Quaff On Brewing Company

The decor of Big Woods Village in Nashville merges every Brown County hillbilly-chic trope: hickory chairs and timber-frame porch; slatted-pine ceiling and Gatlinburg vibe. There’s even a shack with a rusted tin roof across the alley from the original brewpub’s hostess stand. But this compound doesn’t rest on its touristy laurels when it comes to producing fantastic small-batch brews.
Although it opened in 2009, Big Woods didn’t add Quaff On Brewing Company for bottling and restaurant distribution until 2012. And that’s when both the beers and the business took off. The site now includes a family-friendly Big Woods Pizza Company steps from the original spot (offering crusts made from the brewery’s spent grain), as well as a Saturday-morning beer school, a merchandise shop, and brewery tours.
That’s a lot to take in, and it’s best to do so while seated at the original Big Woods handcrafted bar, sipping one of the half-dozen or so Quaff On beers offered daily on tap. The signature Busted Knuckle Ale, a light porter hybrid with a smooth, sweet finish, is an excellent entry point. Even the bitterest pull in the house, the Hare Trigger IPA, tempers its hoppiness with an earthy caramel roundness—a great drink choice if you want to accentuate the spiciness of your pulled-pork nachos, made with house-smoked meat and topped with tangy barbecue sauce. (To dull the bite of fresh jalapeño slices on the vegetarian version, go with the malty Hoosier Red Ale; the sweet and creamy Six Foot Blonde Ale with its grassy notes; or the mellow, well-balanced Moral Compass Pale Ale.) And if you decide to finish your meal with a foam-topped pour of Tim’s Big Woods Stout, with its essences of coffee and chocolate, you’ll probably forgo dessert. You won’t even need to visit the fudge shop down the street.
60 Molly Ln., Nashville. 812-988-6000.