May 18, 2022

Made In Bristol: Craft Beer & Spirits

The Spirit of Bristol

Straddling the Tennessee and Virginia border, Bristol is made by the people who call this slice of the mountains home. Whether you spend your days fly fishing for trout on the South Holston River, toe-tapping along to the sounds of the Birthplace of Country Music, or joining in with the roar of the crowd at Bristol Motor Speedway, memories are made in Bristol. So help us pour one out to the hardworking folks who make the good times possible.

Appalachia has a long and storied history of homemade brews and spirits, and Bristol is no exception. Today, local brewers and distillers are leading the way by bringing innovative flavors to traditional drinks, infusing the spirit of Bristol into every batch they brew.

There is no better way to end the evening than with a good drink made by someone you might pass walking down the street. Discover what it means to be Made in Bristol at one of these local gathering spots.

A Champion’s Brew

NASCAR great Michael Waltrip brings his winning attitude and appreciation of quality craftsmanship to Michael Waltrip Brewing Company. Started one night by three friends who enjoyed hanging out and drinking good beers together, the brewing has grown to include a starting line of three flagship beers. You might even catch a glimpse of the racer himself enjoying a cold one in the taproom.

For the newest flavors in the works, try one of the rotating small batch or experimental brews on tap. Any of your options will pair nicely with the delicious flavors coming out of the kitchen, like a pretzel wheel, sizzling burger, or fried chicken sandwich. You might even treat yourself to a Victory Lane Finish—a house-made Oreo blondie topped with white chocolate ganache and a tasty cookie crumble.

Plus, you know there will be something special in the air during race week.

Whether you are sipping on a glass at the brewery or in your backyard, these brews were made by the hands of those who enjoy better beer just as much as you.

Michael Waltrip Brewing Website

Find Your Flavor

The brewers at State Street Brewing Company are constantly experimenting with fun flavors to create their distinctive brews. Try a wide variety of craft beers and see if you can catch a whiff of the aromas of peppermint, chocolate, maple bacon, toasted marshmallow, or even habanero peppers. Grab a pint of a State Street signature, see what is on tap for the season, or stop by for a taste of whatever small batch the brewers are cooking up that month.

After an afternoon exploring the shops, restaurants, and entertainment options of Downtown Bristol, the taproom is the perfect place to gather with friends near and far.

Join Thursday nights for a round of trivia, fun prizes, and good drinks. If live music is more your style, keep an eye out for a variety of local musicians jamming out on the patio.

This is where the heart of State Street comes alive.

State Street Brewing Website

Attention to Detail

As Bristol’s reigning nano brewery, it is all about quality and creativity at Elderbrew. Brewing just one barrel, or 31 gallons, at a time, allows these brewers to focus on consistency and flavor in each small batch they produce.

With a selection that changes by the week, this is a stop you could visit time and time again and never drink the same thing twice. Whether you prefer a fruity finish, bitter notes, or a pale ale, there is a brew for everyone.

These makers know how to put on a good time. Keep an eye out for a variety of events at the tasting room, from dollar off pints every Tuesday and Bring Your Own Vinyl every Wednesday to fun celebrations like Twin Peaks Day and hot sauce tastings at The Fire Market.

Here, you can experience a unique vibe, honest conversations, and craft brewing at its finest.

Elderbrew Website

This is Handcrafted

Just across the street from the iconic Bristol Sign marking the dividing state line, Lost State Distilling is making a name for itself as a family-owned and run distillery.

Voted a 2020 Readers’ Choice Best New Craft Distillery by USA Today and the easternmost stop on the Tennessee Whiskey Trail, they specialize in small batches of gin, rum, and Tennessee whiskey.

This is a place where you know that handcrafted means serious business. Distillers pour the regionally-sourced grains into the cooker by hand, and staff hand fills and labels every bottle that goes out.

The distillery takes its name from the short-lived State of Franklin, an area in northeast Tennessee that saw a brief run as the 14th state in the country from 1784 until it was reclaimed in 1788. That same spirit of forging a new path runs deep at Lost State Distilling.

Whether you drink it straight, invent a new cocktail, or pour it in your coffee, these spirits go down smooth. Get up close and personal with the distilling process when you stop at the downtown tasting room. Try one of their refreshing canned cocktails, like vodka lemonade, and sip a unique selection of spirits available only on-site.

Lost State Distilling Website

All located within a few blocks of each other in Downtown Bristol, it is easy to post up at one location or try them all as you search for your new go-to drink. Using only the best ingredients brewed by passionate people, these craft brews and spirits are proof that Made in Bristol means made by the best.

Are you feeling the itch to discover more? To learn more about the Made In Bristol program and all the fun and exciting things to do in our city, visit DiscoverBristol.org. Happy travels!

CLICK HERE to request a FREE Discover Bristol Visitor Guide, and plan your trip to Bristol!

Featured Event

Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion

08 Sep, 2023 17:00 - 10 Sep, 2023 19:00
08 Sep, 2023 17:00
5:00 pm - 3:22 pm
Birthplace of Country Music Museum

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