While the title of this post sounds a bit like the start to a Dr.Seuss book, this zoo-based event was geared toward the 21 & up crowd. Welcoming “all species of beer lovers” the zoo was packed with over 100 craft breweries, food trucks to satisfy any craving and of course, so many animals. Being in the zoo after-hours sounds like a childhood fantasy come to life and even with the copious amounts of beer samples, it was easy to feel like a kid again!
We arrived at the Nashville Zoo Friday night [June 3, 2016] just as the sky turned black and opened up to a fury of some thunder, a little lightening and a whole lot of rain. We thought for sure we’d see a boat-load (no pun intended) of people rushing to their cars and had a high expectation that the event would be canceled or re-scheduled. Much to our surprise though, we pulled in to the spacious parking lot to see a large line of eager attendees receiving their tasting glasses and entering the park.
Without umbrellas, or even a hood, we decided we were ready to embrace the rain, grabbed our souvenir glasses, and got our media passes from a super helpful zoo employee named Michelle who escorted us through the ticket check and made our experience that much more enjoyable.
When we first entered the zoo, it was clear the zoo’s gift shop was prepared for the impending weather, supplying the mad rush of customers they got with ponchos and Asian sun hats that, contrary to their name, did a great job of shielding the rain as well.
The first brewery we stopped at along the route was Sam Adams and it was a great way to get our palettes ready to try some new brews by reminiscing with one we’ve had a few times before. The breweries were strategically set up in two’s for the most part, so that no one area got too crowded and I can easily say we didn’t wait in line for more than three minutes to try any of the selections that caught our eye.
While walking through the park, it was clear that the rain deterred a few people from making it out, but that made it all the more enjoyable (and a whole lot less crowded) for those who decided to dance in it. Speaking of dancing in the rain, most of the animals were hiding from it, but the flamingos, well, they were not.
A few of our favorite breweries that we hit up along the way to the food truck hub, where more breweries lived along with the Back to the Future car (!!!!) were; Apple Knocker Hard Cider, Starr Hill Brewery and Good People Brewing Co.. Each and every one of these companies had quality beers that they were super knowledgable about and took the time to make every person feel like a friend instead of a customer. We also sampled Music City Brisket’s, brisket sandwich and cajun fries which were both mouth-wateringly-good and should be a must-try-at-least-once for any Nashville native or tourist.
Brew at the Zoo was an incredibly well orchestrated event and the perfect way to spend a Summer night unwinding from the week. I was amazed at the quality of the breweries and food trucks that were in attendance, not to mention the way they handled the storm without missing a beat. Everyone working and volunteering for the event had a smile on their face the entire night and were more than willing to point you in the right direction or answer a question. This is my first year living in Nashville during this event and I have to say I’m ready to make it a tradition! There’s not a more hip, cool, or adventurous way to experience so many new and exciting brews surrounded by good food and great people.