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

Hops in the Hills: Come Drink Beer in East Tennessee

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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 on June 23 and 24 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


 

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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
COMMENTS
  • June 13, 2017
    Laura

    My go-to beer is from Dothan, Alabama’s local brewery – the Snipe Hunt IPA – Folklore Brewery and Meadery. I’d love to win this giveaway!

  • June 13, 2017
    Jim

    Wow, that looks awesome! My girlfriend is a big brewer, I’ll show her when she gets home tonight.
    Jim recently posted..Best Wakeboard Boats for the MoneyMy Profile

  • June 13, 2017

    Being from Atlanta, I love some classics from Monday Night Brewery!
    David Hoskyn recently posted..World Ocean’s Day 2017My Profile

  • June 13, 2017
    Andrea

    We like to mix it up with a good variety of craft brews, but currently, I’m all about Bell’s Oberon!

  • June 13, 2017

    All those awesome breweries! I always like the labels on the beers the most – they are usually so beautifully artsy!
    Dominique recently posted..Falkirk – A Day TripMy Profile

  • June 13, 2017

    Ooooo that is tough!! I’ve always been a porter girl so I’ll go with a classic, Founders Porter.

    • June 21, 2017

      I’m SO a porter girl, too! We need to do a beer tour together someday. I’m so intrigued by that Bend festival!

      • June 21, 2017

        We should! Maybe we can shoot for a meetup next year?

  • June 13, 2017
    Erin Schneider

    We are a hop loving house, but the usual go-to is yuengling.

    • June 21, 2017

      Yunegling is our go-to of big beers, as well (particularly at concerts, etc.). P.S. If you still want to go to Hops in the Hills, there’s one more giveaway going on via Instagram (ending today):

      https://www.instagram.com/p/BVmto2_D9Wm/

  • June 13, 2017

    Wiseacre!

  • June 13, 2017
    Josh

    Bearwalker from Jackalope hands down!

  • June 14, 2017
    Michelle

    My go-to craft beer is Spartanburg SC’s RJ Rockers Son of a Peach,

  • June 14, 2017
    SVV

    Sour beers and saisons all day long

  • June 14, 2017
    Marion Corum

    Go to beer is Yee Haw Eighty! Local 😊

  • June 14, 2017
    Kelly Corum

    New Belgium La Folie! On those sour beers right now

  • June 15, 2017
    Jeanne Baach

    Thank you for the opportunity to win!!!

  • June 15, 2017
    Casey Cochran

    Blackhorse Vanilla Cream Ale is my go-to!

  • June 15, 2017
    Jeanne Baach

    Go to craft beer anything from Crafty Bastard!

  • June 15, 2017
    Marcie

    Nothing better than drinking a good craft beer while enjoying the East TN outdoors.

  • June 15, 2017

    It varies, but usually something from one of the 3 (!!!) microbreweries within 1/2 mile of our condo (I always tell people we live in the middle of the Beermuda triangle. 🙂 ) Motor Row, Vice District, or Batterbrau are our local go-tos!
    Molly Olson recently posted..photo friday: in the futureMy Profile

    • June 16, 2017
      Alesia hundley

      Would love to win thanks for the offer.

  • June 16, 2017
    Gregg Butler

    Wow, in Maryville! Thank you for posting this, seems tough to find out about events like this.

    Oh, and I sure hope I win those passes. Thanks for that as well.

  • June 17, 2017
    Rodger

    Yee Haw Eighty, and my Honey loves Radlers, and Son Of A Peach.

  • June 17, 2017
    Gray Barrett

    Bell’s Two Hearted!

  • June 17, 2017
    Elizabeth Banks

    Chicken Scratch…. yum!

  • June 17, 2017

    My go to beer is Laugunitas IPA, although I am always up for a good double IPA! Thanks for the contest!

  • June 17, 2017
    Nicholas Dycus

    I’m an eclectic soul so my go to beer is one I haven’t tried yet.

  • June 17, 2017

    Either an Irish beer called Smithwick’s or something new from a local craft brewery.

  • June 18, 2017
    Chelsie Hall

    Wise Acre’s Gotta Get Up to Get Down

  • June 18, 2017
    Audrey Arthaud

    We live in Knoxville and our go to beer is schulz brau brewery! Can’t take it home yet, but an evening in their beer garden with a cold one is a go-to plan for my husband and I!

  • June 19, 2017
    Sarah Harder

    Loving the craft beer scene in our Scruffy City of Knoxville!!! My go to spots are Crafty Bastard and Alliance. Hops in the Hills sounds like an awesome event.
    At home, I currently have Elysian Spacedust IPA on tap… it’s a new fav😊
    Thanks for the great read, as always Kristin!!!

  • June 19, 2017
    Melissa Goldberg

    We’re hop heads and our go-to is always the Sweetwater IPA! We live in Maryville and would love to go the festival but can’t afford it because we just adopted a dog!

  • July 11, 2017

    Definitely would add this to my bucket list. I haven’t been to any festivals outside of my country only Octoberfest and I’m so jealous right now of your photos. Hoping to see more of your adventures!
    Tristan Chua recently posted..The Golden Elixir: Why You Should Drink BeerMy Profile

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