As a country girl of German heritage born and raised in Wisconsin, I feel I have an inbred appreciation for well brewed on-tap beer. This past year Cookeville, TN opened three new microbreweries much to the local community and my personal delight. Each provides their own unique offerings, and together they make up a mini-brewski sipping tour Cookeville can be proud of. It is my pleasure to introduce these noble establishments, and wish them continued brewing success.
First up, Red Silo Brewing Company (118 W 1st Street). Red Silo was one of the featured stops on the 2017 Tennessee Beer Run originating in Knoxville last January (https://www.thetnbeerrun.com). Having a mom-and-pop’s atmosphere, twenty or more hand crafted beers are on tap, all locally made. And although it has no food menu, the popcorn is free, and it is a simple matter to order in from nearby local restaurants. Buy yourself a “flight” and enjoy a sample of any four beers served on a wooden holder. There are many to choose from, and for just seven bucks, you can discover your favorite. They also make an excellent root beer and a variety of flavored crème sodas, for the non-sippers in your party.
Next stop, and just around the corner is Hix Farm Brewery (54 South Cedar Ave), Cookeville’s third microbrewery opened on May 26th, 2017 (https://www.facebook.com/hixfarmbrewery). The rustic farmhouse décor provides a welcoming atmosphere, but of course it’s all about the beer. Fresh farm-to-table ingredients come from the family farm located in Jackson County, or from other partnered local farms. The brewery teamed up with Tennessee coffee roasters to produce Papa’s Peculiar Percolation, a delicious coffee stout. But the taps are constantly changing with a lot of good things in store for practiced brewki sippers. Close-by eateries like World Foods will deliver a tasty pizza, and famous Ralph’s Donut shop is just across the street.
Third stop, Jig Head Brewing (310 Newman Drive) opened for business on May 5, 2017 (http://jigheadbrewing.com). Jig Head has 16 taps, brews refreshing lagers and dark strong ales, but also offers non -alcoholic selections, including cold brew coffee, sparking tea, and caffeine-free soda; all of which are made in house. Specializing in Belgian style beer, the place has a nautical feel, and many of the brews have names seamen would recognize. Belgian Saisons, a staple, is “ fruity, spicy, slighty tart, and very refreshing” states owner Manny Edwards. The food menu is limited and features chips and house salsa, pretzels with dipping sauce, and a snack plate of cheese, meat, and ham products. The upcoming Octoberfest should be a fun time in the Beer Garden.
The beer brewing community is a friendly and collaborative business community, and although this post showcases craft breweries founded in Cookeville, honorable mention must also be given to the Calfkiller Brewing Company, the first brewery to open in the surrounding area back in 2001 (http://www.calfkillerbeer.com). It is located 23 miles south of Cookeville, in Sparta, TN, and I discovered it shortly after I retired here. Of course I immediately adopted the place since it too is just the kind of brewski-sipping establishment that is near and dear to a young at heart country girl from Wisconsin.