Big River Grille & Brewing Works
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Ratings: 27 | Reviews: 27
Reviews by Bonhoeffer:
3.65/5 rDev +4.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5
My wife and i really enjoyed our Sunday afternoon lunch here.
By dumb luck, we arrived in downtown Nashville just as a Titans game was starting. Needless to say, we had a bear of a time finding a parking space. As Big River is within spittin' distance of the stadium, there was nothing available nearby. We ended up parking in an Allright Parking lot several blocks away for $5, which would have gotten us through to the next morning if we'd been so wasted that we couldn't drive and had to sleep on the curb. Fortunately, we were able to safely drive away a couple hours later.
Anyway, the food is really great at this place. There were lots of folks there who weren't even drinking beer, so obviously the place draws 'em in for more than just the beer. I had a hickory bacon burger and my wife had the fried chicken. We were both very pleased.
Before the food arrived, i had the Sweet Magnolia Brown Ale. Excellent. Just the right touch of sweetness, plenty of malt, and a subtle hop finish. Well balanced, flavorful, great session beer to go with just about anything on the menu.
Then, with my meal, i had the Iron Horse Stout, which they proudly proclaim has won several awards at various competitions. Also excellent. And also with a touch of sweetness. A bit more aggressive than American Guinness Draught, not quite as aggressive as American Guinness Extra Stout. Just a good, drinkable stout.
It's worth pointing out that the service wasn't too good. I'm sure they have some good servers, but ours didn't appear to know anything about beer, was stone-faced, and didn't get our appetizer order early enough thus didn't bring it out to us until right before our main courses arrived. But i can deal with subpar service if the food and the beer are good enough.
I will gladly visit again the next time i'm in Nashville.
Side note: another reviewer referenced some of their beers at "3.5% ABV" and "4.0% ABV" etc. The numbers he quoted are from the beer list in the brewpub, which actually lists the alcohol content in *ABW*. So, the Iron Horse Stout, which is listed as 4.5% ABW, is of course 5.6% ABV. And the Sweet Magnolia, which i think was listed at 4.13 ABW, is then 5.16% ABV. It took me a minute to notice the listings were by weight, not volume. Easy to miss.
10-20-2004 13:52:51 | More by Bonhoeffer
More User Reviews:
3.61/5 rDev +3.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.25 | $$
Came to Nashville to see Miss St. play in the Music City Bowl with a bunch of college friends. After the game we went to Big River for dinner and some beers. Great location on Broadway. I was surprised by there beer selection. I think they had six regular beers with one or two seasonal beers. I had a Iron Horse Stout and a 16th Avenue Pilsner. The Pilsner was good but nothing out of the ordinary. The Stout was very good. I typically don't drink Stouts but I was very impressed with this one. Would definitely drink it again.
03-30-2013 14:37:35 | More by BlueMoon10
2.4/5 rDev -31.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2 | service: 3 | selection: 2 | $$
Last stop on a beer tour of Nashville that started at Bosco's, then Yazoo, Blackstone, and this place. We definitely saved the worst for last. Even by Gordon Biersch standards, the beer was completely lifeless. A local friend and beer neophyte was able to join us for the last two stops on our tour, so we shared our way through a sampler of everything at Blackstone and Big River. As we walked out, even he remarked that the beer at this place wasn't as good. The stout had no body whatsoever and the "IPA" had the color and clarity of a pilsner.
Our server was polite and attentive enough considering the crowd (above average) but wasn't very familiar with the beers (below average) so service overall ranks average.
Food looked like the standard fare, we didn't try it. Probably average chainpub.
If you're looking for an inoffensive place downtown to take the co-workers for after work happy hour, you won't have a bad experience here. If you're looking for good craft beer, go elsewhere.
07-02-2012 13:19:10 | More by MikeFromMarsPA
4.13/5 rDev +18%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Good location in downtown Nashville right by the river and near the heart of the goings on. An easy walk from our hotel.
Inside there is ample seating - both for drinks at the bar, and sit down meals. And kid friendly, if that matters to you.
The beers were good to very good. I did the sampler - you get handcuffed at the beginning with some relatively uninteristing lighter options - the lager and pilsner are so-so, but then starting with the golden ale, there was a nice run of easy drinking flavorful beers. The IPA, the brown, the stout, and the octoberfest were all good.
The food was good - we just had lunch, but there was a good variety of meals, sandwiches, and salads. I had the chicken fried chicken just because, and it made for a tasty lunch.
Recommend if you are looking for beers in the Nashville area.
11-19-2011 10:38:15 | More by KTCamm
3.63/5 rDev +3.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$$
I happen to live downtown, 3 blocks north of Broadway so I have been here more than a handful of times. This was actually the first place I went when I moved down here last Fall because it said it was a brewery and I had no idea it was a chain at that time. I have had some mixed visits, but overall I am pleased with Big River.
Their beer is mediocre at best, except for a few. I loved the Belgian Blonde and the Winter Seasonal Doppelbock; and think their year round stout is pretty solid as well. Other than that I'm not a fan. I have tried a few beers on cask when they offer them, but overall most of their stuff is lackluster. They definitely appeal to the masses (which is a good thing given their location) with a light adjunct lager, pilsner, and other very tame offerings. Almost everytime I go I just get the stout and if the seasonal is interesting I'll get that as well.
The food is bar centric for the most part- except for a few offerings. I actually really like their blue cheese burger, but the hazelnut crusted chicken is where its at. My girlfriend has gotten a meal or two there and said it was just ok, but sticking with either of my 2 meals each time I go- I'm set to keep eating here over and over. I'm not hard to please when it comes to food and this place is pretty on par with other chain restaurants/brew pubs I've been to.
Decor is light during the lunch hours and darker for dinner. A lot of brass and wood. The bar area is a bit too small for a brew pub I feel, but the restaurant as a whole seats quite a lot. It can get kinda loud; but watching a football game there is always fun when everyone is rooting for a certain game. I do think it tries to be more fancy than it is at times, but overall I can't complain. Lastly, the service is also hit or miss. I have had 1 really good server, 1 really bad server, and the rest were alright.
Overall, I feel like this place is hit or miss. They have some great beers and some not so great beers. They have a couple great dishes to eat; and others that I have heard and just ok. They have great servers and not so great servers. It all depends on when you go and what you get to ultimately determine your content with Big River. I will end my review with this main takeaway- I think the most important factor into me going here quite a bit is the location. If it were not 3 blocks from my apartment; then I would NOT go here often... definitely not something to drive to when Blackstone and Boscos or some foodie restaurant are available in Nashville.
07-28-2011 15:54:16 | More by TheGordianKnot
3.83/5 rDev +9.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3 | $$
We had a business meeting here one night with a group of about 70 or so. We all piled into one of the back rooms to enjoy some beer and food. The atmosphere was okay. This was a large, vacuous place with tall, exposed steel cielings with lots of wood around the place as well. There is zero intimacy but most brewpubs dont offer that anyway.
I was surprised with the selection of beers they had. They had 7 regular beers and two seasonals: The seasonals were a Belgian Blonde and an Irish Red. They also offered a light lager, IPA, brown ale, stout, porter and a pilsner. I thought the Pilsner was the standout beer of the crowd. The IPA was very pedestrian, the stout was a bit boring but had some roasty notes. The light lager was, well, a light lager.
The service was kind of spotty. We found one server who was awesome so we stuck with her most of the night. There were about 5 catering to our party and the other 4 were pretty crappy; long waits for beer, missed orders, etc.
The food was very bar-like and just okay. We had a buffett. The meatloaf was HORRIBLE but everything else was edible.
Not a bad brewpub all things told.
04-02-2011 15:23:01 | More by SaCkErZ9
2.93/5 rDev -16.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5 | $$$
Located in the dowtown touristy area of town this chain seems to cater to tourist and business clientle.
A large brewpub with brass and wood, the beers are okay but nothing to write home about. I would put the food in that category as well.
At this establishment the server let me glass go empty for quite sometime. At the bar on a Wednesday, that seems odd. I also went without silverwear for about 5 minutes AFTER my food arrived.
What it does well is cater to the folks that don't want honkey talk in the convention area. The beers and food are good, and you can play pool and watch the game. However, if you are looking for GREAT beer, I would head 10 blocks down Broadway to the Flying Saucer.
09-03-2010 18:12:48 | More by ndolover
3.3/5 rDev -5.7%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4 | $$
Started off here on a Saturday night. Chain restaurant type of atmosphere. Service was very good, the waitress was good about recommending beers. She was also nice and friendly. I, of course, had the sampler to start. The Red ale was good, nice and hoppy, the brown was good as well. Overall the beers were typical brewpub beers. Nothing special but drinkable. I thought the food was really good though. I had the cajun shrimp tacos, I think it was a summer offering. Not a bad stop if you are in the area.
07-17-2009 03:25:42 | More by mtstatebeer
4.14/5 rDev +18.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
Stopped in after having a meal downtown... so I didn't try their food. My wife did order some variation of a bannana split that looked and she said was very good. Nice place with lots of seating. Our waitress was pretty well informed about the beer they had on tap which was pretty impressive to me since most waitresses don't have a clue. I got the sampler for $5.50 which was a good deal and included all of their on tap beers. Their summer wheat was good, they were all solid but nothing that stands out significantly. I would make a point to go back here if I was ever back in Nashville.
06-12-2009 00:22:57 | More by gmfessen
3.61/5 rDev +3.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
First stop of my brew tour to Nashville. Asked to take a tour of the brewery facility, but the brewer was off that day (Saturday). The manager walked me through the facility and answered some basic questions (volume, styles, clientele, etc.). The manager was helpful and courteous.
Sat at the bar and ordered the sample tray. Tried all of the house beers on tap. Their Rocket Red Ale was the best of the beers I tried.
The location is just across the river from the NFL Titans Stadium. The beers reflect the obvious demands of the clientele; lighter beers with limited appeal. They offer a Light Lager, Pisner and Golden Ale, Brown Ale, Irish Red and Stout. The Irish Red and the Stout were good and the Brown Ale (a GABF Gold in 1998) was okay. Given the location, it would be a good place to stop and eat and have a few pints.
04-26-2009 18:15:35 | More by beerhobo22
Big River Grille & Brewing Works in Nashville, TN
83 out of 100 based on 27 ratings.