TailGate Brewery to open in former Terminal Brewhouse in Chattanooga

A Nashville-based brewery will soon expand to Chattanooga in the former Terminal Brewhouse near the Chattanooga Choo Choo on Market Street.

TailGate Brewery, one of Tennessee's largest breweries which is opening its fourth brewery and taproom in the Nashville suburb of Germantown this spring, will use the historic three-story Terminal building in Chattanooga to exclusively brew farmhouse and Belgian-style beer.

"A brewery/taproom in Chattanooga has been a dream for a long time," TailGate Brewery Founder and Owner Wesley Keegan said in an announcement of the new Chattanooga brewery at 1464 Market Street. "We knew that if we ever did venture outside of Nashville, it had to be authentic. The opportunity to keep one of Chattanooga's most iconic buildings a brewery is really special."

The Terminal Brewhouse closed April 21 after nearly 14 years of operation following the sale last year of the 122-year-old building that houses the Terminal Brewhouse. Matt Lewis and the other owners of the Terminal Brewhouse said in a statement this spring that there were "irreconcilable lease issues" with the buyer of the building, the Chaudhari Family Limited Partnership. The Terminal Brewhouse sold the historic structure in March 2021, according to Hamilton County property records.

In an announcement of the new downtown brewery and taproom, TailGate Brewery said it has purchased the Terminal building and begun renovation to open later this spring with 15 to 20 employees.

The new owners plan to use the taproom's existing production space in the Terminal and make other upgrades to the building, Keegan said.

"Not only are we putting our business in this location, but we now own the real estate," Keegan said in a statement. "Opening and operating is just the beginning. We have many improvements and plans in place that will develop as we grow. It's the beginning of many long-term investments in the community that we're grateful to make."

In addition to the farmhouse and Belgian styles brewed exclusively in Chattanooga, TailGate will offer a diverse tap list featuring 30 constantly rotating craft beers from their extensive portfolio, and a full food menu of hand-tossed pizza, loaded waffle fries, and more. TailGate Brewery taprooms also feature a variety of specialty pizzas, sandwiches, salads, chicken wings, appetizers and desserts.

TailGate, which began in 2014, distributes its four core beers and rotating seasonals throughout Tennessee, including Chattanooga.

"We've been visiting Chattanooga with our team for nearly eight years, making friends with tons of great retail partners and breweries in the area," Tailgate Brand Manager Ryan Bruchey said in a statement. "Folks have been asking for a taproom presence here for a long time, and we're excited to grow in a town with an excellent hospitality industry and tons of craft beer fans!"

In the Nashville area, TailGate operates taprooms on Music Row, in East Nashville, at the Nashville airport and soon in Germantown.

"We may be based in Nashville, but with fans across the state we consider ourselves a Tennessee brewery, and we're excited to expand in a city that's driving so much growth in the state," TailGate Marketing Manager Liz Tarry said in a statement. "We do a lot of work to keep the focus on people, and make TailGate a great place to work."

The Terminal Building was built shortly after the opening of the nearby Terminal Railroad Station, which is now known as the Chattanooga Choo Choo. Originally called The Stong Building, it featured steam-heated rooms and meals were served at all hours in a cafe. In the early 1940s, Chester Davis, a porter in Terminal Station, bought the 5,365-square-foot building and became one of Chattanooga's first Black business owners.

Contact Dave Flessner at dflessner@timesfreepress.com or at 423-757-6340. Follow him on Twitter @dflessner1.

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