Brewery Review of Hutton & Smith Brewing Co. in Chattanooga, TN.
I had heard that there was a pretty cool beer scene developing in Chattanooga, TN, but I had never had the chance to find out for myself, as my travels rarely take me to Tennessee. However, on a recent trip I was fortunate enough to be able to spend one night in Chattanooga, giving me the opportunity to get a taste (no pun intended) of what they have to offer. Considering the short amount of time I had available, I wanted to go to an actually brewery tasting room, and see what was truly brewin’ (pun intended) in Chattanooga. I chose Hutton & Smith.
Hutton & Smith is located in what looks like a old mom & pop auto body garage, in a fairly non-descript neighborhood. I actually thought this was pretty cool in an understated way. Plus, having the garage door allowed them to open it up during nice weather and give an open-air feel to the tasting room. This is a true on-site brewery tap room, where the beer is brewed just feet from where you’re sitting and there is only enough room for people that want to try Hutton & Smith beer, which is how it should be. It’s a place where they jammed a bar and some some small tables into a brewery rather than built a brewery around a bar or restaurant.
The bartenders we had were the brewers, therefore they had total insight and knowledge when it came to explaining the beer. How can you beat that? Well, the beer has to be good also, and it was. The selection was better than I expected, with over a dozen of their own beers on draught. I tried 10 of them in total (utilizing flights, as I needed to be able to walk out under my own power), and I was truly impressed with the quality across the many varied styles. I was able to try beers ranging from a German-style Alt to a Cranberry Gose to a Dry Stout, and there wasn’t a bad one in the group.
I’d say my one-night mission in Chattanooga was a success, and wish I’d had more time to flesh out the rest of the beer scene there, especially if Hutton & Smith is any indication of things to come. I also learned some history, as Hutton & Smith was named after two guys that are considered the fathers of modern geology. What does that have to do with beer? I’m not sure, but the rumor is those guys liked to drink a lot of beer back in the day, so I guess that works. It’s a good thing Cagney & Lacey weren’t known for polishing off some pints or this brewery could have had a very different name.