Big River Grille & Brewing Works

BA SCORE
30.6%
Liked Their Beers
3.53 w/ 252 ratings
PLACE INFO

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

222 Broad St
Chattanooga, Tennessee, 37402-1009
United States

(423) 267-2739 | map
bigrivergrille.com

Notes:
Owned by Gordon Biersch. Some of the recipes are identical to those found at the Gordon Biersch restaurant chain, but have merely been renamed.

Added by BeerAdvocate

BEER STATS
Beers:
24
Reviews:
76
Ratings:
252
Liked:
77
Average:
3.53/5
PLACE STATS
BA Score:
45.2%
Reviews:
23
Ratings:
42
Liked:
19
Avg:
3.75/5
pDev:
10.93%
 
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 42 |  Reviews: 23
Reviews by FormatKid:
Photo of FormatKid
4.45/5  rDev +18.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I actually managed to get a sitter and drag the wife out to a BREW-PUB. That's a rarity, but she's heard the food here is good as well so she decided to humor me.

First off, I love the atmosphere, very laid back and beer-centric (of course, it’s a brewery). Super-high unfinished ceilings and plenty of room between tables. Not as crowded as expected for a Friday night judging by some of the other reviews I've read.

The menu was good, a lot of unique things to try, including lamb, aged beef, a nut-crusted chicken dish, etc. Unfortunately budget dictated burgers tonight, but they were satisfying none-the-less.

The staff was super-friendly, and again more knowledgeable about the product then you would expect. The waitress immediately suggested the sampler and upon bringing it gave a brief description of each one, (although the descriptions were broken down simpler than even someone as newbish as me would need).

Now to the most important part..the beer. Seven beers are offered including one seasonal that varies, tonight it was an Irish Red. I will break them all down briefly.

Light Lager - not my bag, but definitely good for the style.

Vienna Lager - this was the most surprising of the night, I found it quite good with a nice hop profile and smoothness I wasn't expecting.

Brown Ale - a bit disappointing, because everyone I know who's been there raves about it. A little thin, and just not as rich and smooth as I'd like.

"Imperial" Pale Ale - my favorite out of the line up, a delicious floral hop presence very reminiscent of SNPA with dare I say a bit more hop bite.

IPA – I was looking forward to this one, especially after tasting the Pale, but I have to say I was a little let down, bitter, but lacking character. They tout this as their most “aggressive” beer but it ranks in at only 4.75% ABV.

Stout – A cream stout I believe, highly drinkable, sweet and lightly roasty. Another one I enjoyed highly.

Irish Red – Best I’ve had of the style, a bit more defined in its character than a Killian's, etc.

The other seasonals they rotate according to the waitress are:

Fall – Oktoberfest
Winter – Coffee Stout
Summer – Hefeweizen (wish they were serving this already instead of spring’s Irish Red)

Needless to say, all these beers are fresh tasting, which bumps them up another notch in my book. A solid line-up, low ABV’s across the board are somewhat disappointing, but understandable. The line-up makes you crave at least one BIG or experimental brew, I mean..even if it flops you only have to brew a small batch. Ah well.

Growlers are available. The first one will cost around $15 I believe with a fill being around $8. Again, the budget didn’t allow for one on this trip, but I would definitely like to stop by for a growler of their Pale Ale, or Stout.

Overall I give the place a healthy thumbs up.

 2,885 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of einman
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

Photo of Satorn
4/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of Boto
3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

Back here for the first time in many years. Large, repurposed old building in Downtown Chattanooga. I think it may have been a trolley barn at one time. With the high ceilings, it tends to be a bit echoey, but not really any louder than similar places. Beers are decent, but nothing special. The food is pretty much what you’d expect: pub type fare with some steaks and other entrees. The Cajun Pasta is pretty decent. It’s a good stop if you are in the area.

 471 characters

Photo of SlightlyGrey
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.5

Photo of Krod03
4.16/5  rDev +10.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

Photo of schiltron
4.16/5  rDev +10.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

Photo of mwar
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4.5

Kind of a "chain restaurant" feel. Good appetizers at a good price. Limited beer selection, but it is brewed on site. Worth a try!

130 characters

Photo of misternebbie
4.26/5  rDev +13.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Photo of KMitch
3/5  rDev -20%

Photo of Sanmn420
3.64/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of reaganrvltn
3.75/5  rDev 0%

Photo of lingermeister
3.52/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of rajreddy
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of pecokid
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of Justinbshelton
3/5  rDev -20%

Photo of benloho
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%

Photo of PhillyStyle
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of seanlanefuller
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of mecmd
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of ZinFanDave
3/5  rDev -20%

Photo of NewGlarusFan
3.61/5  rDev -3.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.5

Went to the one in Nashville

Food is basic nothing to rave about and the same goes with the beer. I had a burger with sweet potato fries and my women had shrimp pasta which was very good. We did the beer flight and brews were simple and basic. I do not think i would go back unless it was for a work party. It was very crowded and service was outstanding for how packed it was.

 378 characters

Photo of bamadog
3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4

Stopped by here to meet up with some friends while at a conference. Not bad by any stretch, but certainly not an "OMG I need to get back here" moment.

Atmosphere: About what I've come to expect from restaurants that have the brew pub identity (whether or not they actually brew on premises is always a matter of debate); nice, big and open dining areas with plenty of booths, separate bar areas on both ends of the building, one complete with pool tables.

Quality: Not bad, the beer was "so-so" and nothing too mind blowing (I managed to get the IPA and Scotch Ale while in town), but the food was pretty solid.

Service: I enjoyed the waitress -- she was really cool and found time to joke around with us and make recommendations on the food. She knew the menu very well and worked to be sure people were taken care of.

Food: As mentioned, it was quite solid -- I had the jambalaya and was pleased.

Value: Definitely a bit pricey -- I only had one beer and dinner and my tab was about $22... Like I said, not an "OMG I need to get back here" moment.

 1,056 characters

Photo of jadpsu
4.18/5  rDev +11.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Did a lot of business in Chattanooga over the years and went to the Big River at least a half dozen times. I used to stay out at Shallowford road so more often ate at the restuarants near Hamilton Place (read Bonefish).
Went back to Chattanooga last weekend to attend a retirement party. Party was held at the Big River.
Big River is my kind of place. Informal, has option of games (pool), their own Micro-brewery and food that I am familiar with (not high end fancy) that is prepared well and served timely.
A little too noisy for stories at a retirement party, but otherwise an atmosphere I am comfortable in.
Service on this night was good, and friendly.
There were 14 in the party and we ordered a half dozen appetizers, and an equal # of desserts to go along with everyone oredering their own entree. I myself had 5 Irish Reds, and I would say only 3-4 [people abstained from anything with alcohol)
Bill was still around $550.00 or about $40.00 per.
Don't think that as being pricey.

 988 characters

Photo of ectomorph
3.75/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I enjoy Big River's food probably more than I do the beer, but that isn't to say the beer is bad. To me the house IPA is quite nice, and I'm actually surprised it isn't bottled and sold in stores like the Vienna Lager (meh) and the Red (double meh).

Nice atmosphere (downtown), but the prices are little high IMO. Good place for appetizers and brews before a show at Rhythm Brews built in behind it.

Some of my favorites are the cajun chicken pasta, with the IPA or any sandwich and the Irish Red Ale. With a very limited selection of "brewpubs" around Chattanooga, this is an easy choice.

 591 characters

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Big River Grille & Brewing Works in Chattanooga, TN
Brewery rating: 30.6% out of 100 with 252 ratings
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