Downtown Grill & Brewery

Downtown Grill & BreweryDowntown Grill & Brewery

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

424 S Gay St
Knoxville, Tennessee, 37902-1103
United States

(865) 633-8111 | map

In the Woodruff Building.

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Reviews: 32 | Ratings: 49
Photo of JJanisse
3.18/5  rDev -14.7%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 2.75 | service: 4 | selection: 2.5 | food: 4

Decent place to grab a pint. Not very much beer selection. Love the upstairs balcony and kettles in the middle of the restaurant but overall a little plain for my liking.

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Photo of HamdenHector
3.35/5  rDev -10.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3.25 | selection: 3.25 | food: 3.25

Stout was really good. The other beers were OK, but not memorable. My Smothered Burger, which was supposed to have so much bacon you could almost call it a bacon burger, had 2 slices of bacon.

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Photo of jbridge127
4.18/5  rDev +12.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

The atmosphere is amazing. Especially during Tennessee football games and March Madness. The bar is beautiful. I had their Beer Sampler ($9 for 7 3oz glasses of their own beers). The food isnt the best I've ever had but still a great place to go and watch a game. My waitress was very friendly and did not push me at all to leave before the game was over! (she got an extra tip for that). One of my favourite places in Knoxville to dine.

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Photo of Volsdawg10
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.75

Went to the Grille & Brewery when I was in town for a UT Football game. I really enjoyed the place. The have a selection of 7 different beers that cover a pretty wide range of style. There beers ranged from decent to good. I'd say the White Mule Ale, the Woodruff IPA, and the Alt were the best. I had the Philly Cheese Steak and fries for dinner. It was really good. I would definitely go back.

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Photo of Pabetism
3.18/5  rDev -14.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3.75 | selection: 2.75 | food: 3

I joined the mug club on my 21st birthday. I love this place, and as a Knoxville native I find myself here often on Sundays. The two pretzel & ale cheese appetizer is my favorite bar food of any place, and I'm torn between the porter and the IPA as my favorite beer.

Be warned, it's usually jam packed and loud as hell, as the entire restaurant is open. I usually find myself looking to see if the very back table in the back of the top bar is open.

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Photo of jayhawk73
3.3/5  rDev -11.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3

Went to the Downtown Grill and Brewery w/ some co-workers for some late dinner/beer on a Saturday night. The place was jam packed- mostly w/ college age kids, but the atmosphere was pretty good. That is, until the band started to play. Even though we were on the second floor halfway back- it was almost impossible to carry on a conversation it was so loud. That was a major drag. I tried 3 of their beers, the nut brown, the stout and the IPA. All were decent, but not great. I imagine the average person who just wanted a beer would have no problem w/ these beers. The stout was probably my favorite of the 3. Service was good, as was the food. It was a very reasonable priced place as well, which was nice. Overall this was an average place that would've been much nicer if the band had turned down from 11. I've also tried to not let the noise influence my ratings.

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Photo of KYBrewgrass
4.2/5  rDev +12.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5

My wife and I stopped here back in October 2010 for a quick drink as we were passing through town that evening. The place was packed!! We were lucky to find a corner at the bar (not a stool available anywhere!). It was a Friday night with pleasant weather so I see why people were out.

The bartender that served us was really friendly and helpful. He made his recommendations and we followed. I enjoyed their nut brown so much that we actually decided to get a growler filled with it to take with us on our way out of town. He offered to put it in their fridge behind the bar for us until we left, which he didn't have to do. My wife enjoyed a pint of the White Mule pale ale and I remember it being quite refreshing.

This place was popping for a reason that night. I'd like to go back for a meal sometime if I'm ever in Knoxville again.

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Photo of beersensei305
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4

The atmosphere here is pretty amazing. This is a huge two leve establishment with pool tables in the back, and old english style bar in the middle, which huge coper tanks to 'brew beer in.' There was a band playing the night I was there. The quality of everything was great even the service, except the bartenders- all the beer was sold out they had a couple brews available but the were pretty nasty. Jack Daniels is what I had that night. The server we had, was also a veggietraian so it made it tough to order things from him. Other than that the food was good and prcied reasonably. If your ever in downtown Knoxsville, check it out.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.26/5  rDev -12.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3

Convenient in downtown Knoxville, in the Market Square area. We went on a Tuesday night, and all drafts were $1.50(!). Too bad the beer wasn't more to my liking, but the price was right.

This is a huge establishment, 2 floors with a bar on each one, seating for hundreds, mostly tables but also plenty of bar stools. Several copper tanks provide ambiance, otherwise a little wood and just generally huge rooms. Pool tables upstairs but the place was packed so no dice on using them.

I didn't order food so I can't rate that, but the beer itself was mediocre. I tried the IPA but it was a bitter mess with no redeeming flavors, then went to the alt which was better but nothing to write home about. Oh well, it was cheap.

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Photo of Schwarzwald
3.33/5  rDev -10.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Downtown Grill & Brewery is a great place to stop for food and drink. They have a lot of their own beers on tap and many are quite good; however, every time I drink one of their beers, I get a killer headache. Not sure if it something in their process or their beer lines, but it is not good! They have a lot of bottle import and domestic options so maybe stick with one of those. Not sure what the issue is, maybe it's just me. Anyway, well worth the trip and visit. The food has always been very good!

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Photo of frazbri
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I came across Downtown Grill and Brewery as I wandered through Knoxville. I really liked the exterior of the brewpub, it was like taking a step into the past.

The centerpiece of the interior is the large boxed bar in the middle of the room. Tables circled the lower level, and a balcony surrounded the bar from above. Very cool.

Downtown featured about seven beers on tap. They were the brewpub essentials; a good range of beer, but nothing too wild. I liked the stout very well.

The food menu featured pub classics. Sandwiches, salads, and pizza were served along with pasta, burritos and fajitas. I ordered chicken tenders, and I got a lot of tasty food for a very reasonable price.

Service was mixed. The place was hammered, so I can't be too critical. One bartender was super, and the other was super with the couple next to me.

Really cool place, and I got a super good deal.

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Photo of Rchap1
4/5  rDev +7.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Came in with 9 other folks, and the awesome staff gave us $1.50 pints for the night! Baddass. The restaurant is nice and open, two full levels with an upstairs bar and a downstairs bar. We never made it upstairs, but stayed in the restaurant portion downstairs. Food-wise, the offerings were pretty standard and what you'd expect from a brewery/restaurant, burgers, pastas, some salads, etc. I had some kind of pasta with diced fried chicken in it, which was pretty tasty. Their beers are nothing spectacular, but for $1.50 pints I wasn't complaining. Had mostly stout for the night, pretty straightforward, and their alt was good as well. Overall, not a bad choice if you have a night in downtown Knoxville.

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Photo of soupermirl
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

Cool place, great open air in front, under awning. Inside was cool also. Upstairs, downstairs, wrap around bar, brewing equipment for all to see. Nice. Service was good, selection was decent, food was average, beer was decent. I had the sampler. Very good portions in the sampler glasses. The Blond was more tasty than most brewpub blonds I've had, but the other beers were nothing special. Good, but not great. The IPA was good, but more like a regular Pale Ale. The stout was a solid stout but was missing that usual stout, stout. The flavor was lacking a bit. The porter was good, solid and tasty. The bits of coffee and somewhere in there I could just taste a bit of chocolate. The brown was just decent. Very drinkable, but nothing special. The Alt was o.k. and a white ale I think... You can check the site or here at beer advocate for the selection, but it wasn't memorable. It would be a good place to hang and have a few pints, lots of people, lots of beers. Decent food. Great atmosphere. I'd go again when in Knoxville. It's worth a visit.

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Photo of bluegrassbrew
3.43/5  rDev -8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4.5

Stopped in to this place for some lunch and brews with three friends. The place itself is cool. Old building with a purposefully historic feel to it. Brewing equiptment was visible in the back but did not seem to be in use, more for show. My friends and I decided to get the beer sampler and try everything they had. Great value. I think is was like $8 for 7 generous sample glasses. The beers themselves were not impressive overall. The IPA was decent, the porter was solid and the alt was pretty tasty. The others though, not so much. As for the food, I ordered the lunch special which was bratwurst cooked with their ipa with saurkraut and german mashed potatoes. Very tasty. Everyone at my table seemed to enjoy what they ordered as well. This place is worth a visit if you are in the area. Atmosphere and location are really good. Food is tasty and beer is average but not bad.

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Photo of Yetiman420
3.6/5  rDev -3.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

I was in town on business and took my colleague on a good beer tour of The Sunspot, Downtown Grill & Brewery, and The Knoxville Cigar Company.

This was stop #268 on my quest to visit every quality brewpub and brewery in North America.

It housed in an old building in an attractive area of downtown Knoxville. I really enjoyed the environment and the two copper brewing vessels located behind the communal table past the bar area.

It's unfortunate that the single beer I had, an IPA, was as nondescript as they come. No aroma or bitterness one would expect from an American IPA.

The selections were all pretty standard, Pale Ale, Alt, Porter, Stout, and IPA, with no beer engine.

The place was really hopping on a Tuesday evening in early summer. We didn't order any food.

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Photo of Shaon94
3.55/5  rDev -4.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 4.5

This was a pretty good place to go while walking around Knoxville. Service was adequate though considering it was not horribly busy I expected better. The beer was only mediocre considering they brew the beer on site. The food though once we got it was really good! The one truly great part about this place was the food and the fact that the prices were not that bad.

One interesting tid bit is that the place seems to be haunted and cursed! One a white donkey died on the site and gypsy wanders cursed the site. (not sure why they cursed it since according to the legend it was not the fault of anyone, but there is also a brew named after it that is one of their decent beers.) Two, a few of the bartenders had some stories to tell about bumps in the night that could not be explained doors opening or closing with no one near by etc. Very cool talking to a few of the people about that.

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Photo of Likeburning
4.28/5  rDev +14.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

The Brewmaster Al used to be the guy behind New Knoxville when it was good. It had two owners/brewers and the second one was...nevermind. His IPA is fantastic, and My friend that works there thinks about his Stout shift beer all night. Sometimes he even talks about that shift beer before he goes into work. The atmosphere is interesting because during the day it's a regular restaurant with great beer, but at night they have live entertainment and it becomes an actual bar. 2 actual bars really one upstairs and one down, with servers still taking tables and the kitchen staying open to about midnight. The food is reasonable and good and the portions are also pretty big. All in all Ir reccomend.

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Photo of Photekut
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 3 | food: 4.5

This used to be the place I hung out on Friday nights before the kid was born.

Looks like some things have changed since then.

The porter used to be my favorite beer, it seems to have lost a lot of its bite. Now I like the IPA, but it is nothing special. ( I hear a newer brewer too? )

I joined the mug club about 2 years ago which was really cool. You got a large mug fill for $2 during happy hour. That is still a good deal.

Last time I was there, however, the service was pretty crappy. The bartender was too good to get my mug and took forever to get my beer. After that the mug went empty a few time and had to flag people down.

I recommend not sitting at or near the bar if you want any service at all because they are too good for you.

Not sure how often I will be going back.

The food is very good though here. I would come here to eat and have a beer anymore instead of just to kick back and have a few.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.15/5  rDev +11.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Now this place was really cool My sister in law took us here our first night in town and I was very glad they did. First off Gay street just looks awesome, all the old archture and this place just blends right in. You walk in and there is a split layer with the main restaurant downstairs and the balcony level upstairs with some more seating and a gameroom. Really great gameroom with pool tables and video games I might add. Food was great, I had some pretzels with thier own special beer cheese and some pizza that was great. The beers were pretty average for a local brew pub, though the brown ale was really awesome. Overall though the atmosphere was great and the prices were not bad at all. I would have to say you must check out this place if you can you will not regret it.

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Photo of wcdoyle
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Haven’t been to DG&B since (literally) I first came to Knoxville. I was actually turned off not by the beer or the atmosphere, but by my choice of food. When I first went (more than 4 year ago), I ordered a chicken barbeque, which came not shredded or pulled but finely cubed. Okay, I know I’m being picky, but BBQ should not be cubed! As a result I didn’t return until last week. What a difference four years makes.

They have a decent menu with many of the standard pub/bar/chain restaurant appetizers. I don’t know what other appetizers look like but someone next to me ordered the nachos. Yikes! It was a huge portion! I was there for dinner but not super hungry, so I ordered the fish and chips. Goof choice b/c the bater was crispy and the fish tender and flaky and they served proper chips (not French—ahem “freedom”—fries masquerading as chips). I tried the Nut Brown that night, which was solid and they had 4-5 other beers on draft.

The atmosphere is awesome. This place is huge. The downstairs “main” bar has a British/Irish pub feel, but there’s also another bar upstairs and to the back. Lots of seating for lunch/dinner, and they have a patio. This is a better alternative to the other local brewpub (which I won’t name here). The beer here clearly wins out over the other place (locals will know which one I mean).

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Photo of FightingEntropy
3.93/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

Hit downtown for lunch, and found the Downtown Grill full of locals for noon meal on a Monday. Very lively and full at midday. Sat at the bar and got really good service, and a rack of samples.

My lunch was good. Some veggie options, and I ordered the Cheese Quesadilla with Portabella mushroom. Very good. Sad I didn't return for another one after eating at La Costa, a supposedly upscale restaurant, the next day.

An odd bar with a large uncomfortable lip, but the drinking made up for it. All where solid to drink, including the lightest, the Downtown Blonde Ale which was a kolsch. The Downtown Nut Brown and teh New World Porter were the strongest of the group. Woodruff Brewing Co seems to be the name of the brewery, which serves some beers locally in other bars under the Woodruff name. At La Costa, I had the Oro--which was so bad I nearly didn't finish it, and was glad when the second Woodruff beer there was out. I don't think it was the brewer on this one--I don't think La Costa is a wine beer that doesn't clean its line nor move enough beer--very poorly handled beer, I think, especially when the Downtown brews were all clear and consistent in their quality.

Brew kettle is smack dab in the middle of the two story restaurant, but was unfortunately not up and running yet at noon on Monday. Really puts the beer dead center in the bar, and emphasizes the brew pub difference. I like places that do this and make it front and center for beer education. Sounds like they may be at capacity since they don't really have many seasonals, just the regualars plus contract. The Alt was the seasonal and the bartender said it was well liked locally (I thought it was ok) that it was a sorta all the time seasonal.

Good stop in Knoxville, and if I find myself in Kville again, it'll be the first place I hit.

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Photo of Hollenbeck2
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

great spot, I was on business in knoxville and before my trip I found this spot on BA, what a great site, you have made my life worth living, I can find these jewels before I go now.

Anyway cool place great selection of beer, great bartender very friendly, I tried the IPA and white mule pale ale.

The plce evn has a curse asociated with the woodruff building and they named the white mule pale ale after the white mule curse. ask the bartneder for the story. knoxville is pretty cool but this spot is way better than Calhouns which is right down the street.

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Photo of TheBierBand
3.98/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I was travelling on business in Knoxville this week. So, I logged on to BA and searched for a brewpub in the area and I found this place! Ya gotta love BA!

The place is decorated in a very nostalgic manner.... lots of memorabilia displayed eluding to a by-gone era but it also has modern furnishings. The Downtown Grill & Brewery is in a very old building in central Knoxville. It's very close to the Tennesee River.

I bellied up to the bar and ordered up their STOUT and just relaxed and watched the basketball game on one of the many TV's situated around the bar. I decided to order from their late night menu (it was 10:30PM). I had the "Tater Skins". By then, My stout was gone, so I tried their Porter. The Skins arrived and they were HUGE! Biggest Skins I've ever seen... good value for the $6.95 they charged. I finished the porter and went for their IPA to finish off the night. All the beers were good and the bartenders (James & Jessica) were knowledgable and pleasant and attentive.

Overall, I would come here again if I ever get back to Knoxville. I believe it is head and shoulders above the other Brewpub in Knoxville (Calhoun's - affiliated with Smoky Mountain Brewery in Gatlinburg and Pidgeon Forge).

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.91/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

This was my last stop on my travels through the Knoxville area. Was about 4pm on a Tuesday. Place looked pretty busy. I had a seat in the least smoky area but as soon as I sit down, three dudes from UT sat at the table adjacent to mine and started smoking. I can never get too far away from that. The funny part was that two of the guys were talking about how they have to go to court in a couple of weeks for DUI. One guy was on his second and he looked maybe 25 years of age yet he was in the bar drinking. Amazes me how dumb some people are. I digress.

Beer was good. I had the porter and it was decent and was to style. They had an alt which is an unusual choice but I really dont like alts so I didnt have that. They also had an IPA, a pale ale, a stout, a winter beer of some sort. Beers were $2; must have been happy hour or something.

Certainly worth a go in the downtown area. Service was almost too good as the server bartender was too attentive. But I will never complain about that.

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Photo of slander
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

What's all the shouting about? Clearly there's some dispute between these two although it appears to be very one sided, the one guy following behind the other, paced some 50 feet back, yelling crap at him, he's drunk. No, I'm sure, I can tell. Guy being yelled at wants to come into the same bar on the corner that I'm walking up on, we both converging at once, but keeper of the door won't let him in, he doesn't want this scrap in his place, don't blame him. He's yelling at the door guy to just call the police for him, but he won't budge. Whoop, police car just went by and now he's off running down the street after it, and cursing, shouting guy is running after him (I don't think it'll bode well for him if he catches up). I watch them as far as I can see and then look back at the bar. I was kind of curious as to the tap selection here, but the drama, and going to a place called Manhattan's when you're not in Manhattan, I think I'm just going to move on to the brewpub and see what's going on there...

The joint is hopping, but I still know how to wrangle a seat at the bar; a big squarish copper topped one in the middle of the room, seating a dozen and a half. Mug club mugs hanging, stored and suspended above from the large unit overhead with perched potted plants. A center bar island with glassware & tiered booze, the kind stuff displayed. Towers of 10 taps at both ends of the bar, plus random twosies and threesies. Some dozen and a half tables grouped about on 2 sides, large copper fermenters set in the middle of the floor beyond the bar, and an open kitchen on an angle to the rear. A thick paneled glass wall to one side up front, and old black & white Knoxville prints on the walls. Catwalk perches with seating on both walls running front to back and a back bar up there with pretty people.

7 house taps but only 6 beers on the sampler, and they made like there wasn't a 7th beer but I was pretty sure there was from the get go. The Woodruff IPA was not terribly hoppy; the Downtown Blonde Ale, a Kolsch, clean, with a good malt character; the White Mule Pale Ale, slightly hoppy; The New World Porter, some malty roastiness, not much though; the Downtown Nut Brown, slight nuttiness, light hop bitterness; the State Street Stout, oaty, creamy, a slight roastiness, wait, wait, there it is, that's a nice beer. And then I made them let me try the 7th beer, an Alt, some maltiness there. Beers were just okay, the State Street Stout the best of the lot.

What the? I... I think, yeah, that guy's drinking a... no, I'm sure it's not a... Enquiring as to bottled beers, I'm given the scotch/bourbon/tequila menu listing a handful of bottled beers; Orval, Chimay Red & Blue, and Westmalle Dubbel & Tripel.

Kitchen's still open for another couple of let me get an order of the Jumbo BBQ Wings please. They weren't as good as three days ago's in Harrisburg, but much better than yesterday's in Columbus.

All right, I'm out. Long days ahead still. Decent house on the Gay but the beers need some work.

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Downtown Grill & Brewery in Knoxville, TN
3.66 out of 5 based on 147 ratings.
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