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The historic three-story Terminal building sits next to the Chattanooga Choo Choo on Market Street. / Staff photo by Dave Flessner

TailGate Brewery will open its first taproom outside of Nashville on Thursday in the former Terminal Brewhouse site near the Chattanooga Choo-Choo.

The newest downtown brewery will open its doors for the first time at 3 p.m. Thursday at 1464 Market St.

The Terminal Brewhouse closed April 21 after nearly 14 years of operation following the sale of the 122-year-old building that housed 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.

TailGate Brewery, one of Tennessee's largest breweries that 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. "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."

Photo Gallery

TailGate Brewery's new mural

TailGate Brewery has quickly converted the brewery site into its own brand and production facility for Thursday's opening, which will feature 30 taps from TailGate's diverse list of beers, ciders and seltzers.

"We're known for moving quickly," TailGate Marketing Director Liz Tarry said Wednesday in an announcement. "We have one owner and no investors, so that's something we're able to do. In this case, folks have been asking us to open a taproom in Chattanooga for years, so we're going to get open as soon as possible to serve our friends."

Tarry acknowledged that the opening Thursday "may not be perfect, but it will be fun."

The taproom itself will serve as the brewer's farmhouse and Belgian-style ale production facility with a seven-barrel brewhouse on site, Tarry said. Six beers are in the works to be rolled out at different stages of the opening weekend over the next four days.

TailGate Brewery is the latest among more than a half-dozen local brewery pubs and whisky distilleries that have opened in and around downtown Chattanooga, including Wanderlinger Brewing co., Hutton & Smith Brewing Co., Chattanooga Brewing Co., Chattanooga Whiskey Co., Heaven and Ale Brewing Co. and Cherry Street Brewing.

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

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