About me and this blog

Just ramblings from a guy in Knoxville who likes beer and is more than excited there are so many wonderful, local options now in this town. #knoxbeer #drinklocal

Friday, April 28, 2017

BeerKnox Knews - April 28, 2017

The weather is warming up and the festivals are in full swing.  Here's a quick rundown of beer news and upcoming events in Knoxville:

  • Brewhibition is this Saturday at the Historic Southern Railway Station walking distance from the heart of downtown Knoxville.  The event starts @ 2PM and they will be selling tickets at the gate for those last second folks among us.  Buy you ticket ahead of time or get more information at their Facebook page.  It should be beautiful weather for sampling a ton a local and regional beers.
  • Speaking of the heart of downtown, the annual Dogwood Arts Festival will be in full swing in and around Market Square this weekend as well.  Admission to this is free, but you will have to pay for food and drink on site.  The beer at the festival is provided by Yeehaw this year, so go enjoy some of their fine beers and stroll the many artists and vendor booths.
  • While we are talking festivals, let me go ahead and make you all aware of one of the bogger ones in town.  The 7th annual Knoxville Brewfest will be June 17th this year.  This event usually sells out and has a ton of brewers from all over the region and country to sample.  Get your tickets early and plan ahead for this one!
  • Nothing could be more Knoxville than the return of World's Fair Beer to the town that launched it 35 years ago.  The owners of the brand have relaunched the iconic brew with the help of Fanatic Brewing and have released it to the Knoxville masses this week.  It is available around town right now at several locations on draft and it should be available in what should be a familiar looking can very soon.
  • Last of all a quick mention and link to a story on the cool Knoxville mural that recently got completed off of N. Broadway.  Read about it and definitely go check it out.  

Enjoy your weekend in Knoxville!  Plenty of opportunities to enjoy a fine Knoxville beer this weekend, so take advantage!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

BeerKnox Knews - March 29, 2017

Spring has sprung in east TN and the beer news is coming quick.  Here's a few items to just make an attempt at keeping things fairly current.

  • Hexagon Brewing opened their doors this past weekend during their continuing soft opening. According to their Facebook page the official grand opening is April 21. Visit them at 1002 Dutch Valley Drive in Fountain City.
  • The annual Brewhibition festival is coming back to the Southern Railway Station on April 29.   That's a mightly fine time to drink a few beers outside.  Get info on the festival here and get tickets here.
  • Balter Beerworks is celebrating their 1 year anniversary today.  See their Facebook page for more info and the specials available, and also about the availability of Crowlers there now as well (just like Alliance across the river).  
  • Fanatic is currently in the midst of construction on their taproom, which will be called the "Fan Base". This will be great, follow the news and updates on the progress of this at a special Twitter handle they have setup.
  • Last of all for today, check out this list of 6 new places open in Knoxville now or coming real soon.  Among them is Hexagon Brewing (which I mentioned earlier) and also the Merchants of Beer which will be open in the old Enterprise diner looking building in the Old City.  
  • Late on this, but wanted to mention the coming of Elkmont Exchange to 745 North broadway sometime in the near future. Hit their website up for more info, and also check out this article for news on a few other beer additions we could have coming to our town soon.
  • Even later on this, but I just have to mention the 4th Sunday Funday Brew Bus tours  provided by Knox Brew Tours that started a couple months ago. For $10 you can catch a ride between 6 different spots all day long from 2PM-7PM. Damn my schedule for not allowing me to partake the past couple months, I will be doing this at least once before the summer ends, you should too!
Please hit me up at beerknox@gmail.com or @beerknox1 and let me know anything coming up or anything I may have missed.  Thanks!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Johnson City Brewery Walking Tour

Only about an hour and half northwest of Knoxville is the home of ETSU and one third of the infamous Tri-cities, Johnson City.  JC is also home to 3 downtown breweries all within walking distance of each other making for a fine outing if you happen to be in the area or are just looking for something to do outside of town some weekend day.  I have a friend who works and lives in Johnson City so a few friends from Knoxville loaded up one Saturday afternoon and headed up there to check out the scene.  About 90 minutes to get up there and after a quick stop at my friends to drop off our things for the evening we caught a Lyft ride into JRH Brewing on the south-side of downtown Johnson City.

JRH isn't much from the outside, but is very nice inside, plenty of seating and a good size bar behind which you can order several different sizes of what they have on tap.  There is a great chandelier in the middle of the space and overall the environment is very cozy and inviting.  I settled in to the bar opted for a flight of several of their award winning selections and enjoyed them all immensely.  Reds aren't normally my favorite, but the Edgework Irish Red was a gold medal winner in the TN Championship of beers, so I had to give it a try.  And it was very good!  Check what they have on tap if and when you go and see what award winners they may be pouring and give them a try, especially if it a style you like.  I seriously doubt you will be disappointed with much you try at JRH.

From JRH we headed northwest to the Johnson City brewer almost everyone has heard of, Yee-Haw Brewing Co.  Yee-Haw has spared no expense on this beautiful place.  The inside has a long bar and huge center table for large groups, which our party was by this time, and huge outdoor space anchored by a big firepit featuring the TN flag 3 star design.  Yee-Haw is a great place to hang out.  Their beers you are most likely familiar with and there really weren't too many surprises or too much different on the menu that evening.  One person in our party from out of town was a bit disappointed there were no IPAs available, but I just don't think that is their lane.  They did have the Big Hoppa double IPA on tap when we were there and I tried it along with their other high gravity selection, the Velvet Charmer.  Both were good selections and there is nothing bad here, but I surely wouldn't say anything at Yee-Haw is better than the beer down the street at JRH.  Yee-Haw's space is awesome though and having the White Duck Taco Shop adjoining the space with delivery to your table makes it even better.  You may not get any great surprises here with the beer, but you will get good, solid beer and a great atmosphere

By the time we left Yee-Haw it was not late at all but some in our group were definitely feeling the effects of a beer tour despite one more stop to get to before closing time at Johnson City Brewing Company in the heart of downtown Johnson City.  To hear locals tell it, the downtown area of Johnson City was a ghost town as soon as about 8 year ago or so.  There are still empty storefronts through the main stretch, but there were people on the streets, quite a few good places to eat and a plenty to do even after the breweries close.  On this Saturday night about an hour before closing, the Johnson City Brewing Company was hopping.  The space here almost looked like an old diner with a bar that wrapped around the back corner half of the building.  There were a few small tables scattered through the front part where you walk in the door leading back to the bar.  Some of our party found seats at the bar and others gathered around one of the small tables and broke into the spot's collection of board games that are available to play while you are there.  The beers here were good and some of the selections most definitely are a bit experimental and different.  Reading the menu board it is quite obvious you are no longer sampling the straight, narrow and tested selections available at Yee-Haw.  The options here were things like Cranberry Wheat, Blackberry Pie ESB, Carrot Cake Ale and Rasberry Mocha Stout.  This place has some medal winners on the menu too, so go through all the selections (there were many when we were there) and find a good one or two in a style you like.  I had a couple samples of a few things the bartender suggested that were not for me and then settled on the Cascadian Dark IPA, which was a 2016 silver medal winner.  It was definitely good, I wish I wasn't so many beers in by the time we got there or I would probably know better just how good, but it was good.   If you are into different flavors, this is definitely the place for you.  

We ended up closing down JCBC and then stumbled down to a local watering hole within walking distance to end our evening.  Overall, the trip up was worth it and I would suggest it to any Knoxville beer lover for a change of pace.  The selections at the 3 places is varied enough to make all 3 worth a stop in.  JRH was my favorite beer, Yee-Haw was my favorite place and Johnson City Brewing is a place you just have to go sometime to experience.  Put a short trip up to Johnson City on your list of things to do, if you haven't been already.  You won't regret it.

Friday, February 17, 2017

BeerKnox Knews - February 17, 2017

Another run through a few happenings as of late around town for Knoxville beer fans.

  • The TN Beer Run I discussed last time out came to a close on February 13.  21 days of TN beer loving fun rolled back into Knoxville and celebrated with a victory party that night as well.  I am a few days past giving you fair warning to get over and celebrate with them, but I wanted to acknowledge their journey and beer ambassadorship across all of Tennessee.  Congrats to Zack and crew on the successful outing!  Here's an Instagram message from Zack after returning to Knoxville.
  • If you missed it, here is yet another article featuring Marty Velas of Fanatic Brewing.  You can find their beer all over town, still hoping we get a tasting room on site sooner rather than later.
  • I caught a post from our mayor recently on the city receiving help from national non-profit on their planned improvements in the Magnolia Avenue Warehouse District.  Why is this beer related?  Because 2 of Knoxville's breweries happen to sit right in the middle of the area of focus.  Last Days of August and Saw Works are right smack in the middle of the area, and would definitely benefit from improved business and community growth in that area.  They are also already great anchors to help drive the growth as well, since they are already established and thriving.  I think we all should support these efforts from our local brewers and the City of Knoxville.
I am sure I am missing a lot of news since my last time, but I am going to leave this here for now and hope to be back soon with more.  I am taking a trip to Johnson City to hit up Yeehaw, JRH and Johnson City brewing very soon.  Look for a report from that trip right here in the next week or so.

Monday, January 30, 2017

BeerKnox Knews - January 30, 2017

Had a bit of an unplanned hiatus from posts here, but will be trying to keep up a bit better and at least post things semi-regularly from here on out.

For a little catching up....

  • While I was away the TN law changed to allow higher gravity beer to be sold everywhere beer is sold in our great state.  Great news for beer lovers like ourselves.  This also means local brewers are coming out with newer options to take advantage.  I hope to be posting more about those options in the coming weeks and months.
  • Our local Knox Brew Tours favorite, Zack Roscop, and friends are currently in the midst of "the TN Beer Run".  Hitting 76 Tennessee brewers across the whole state in 21 days.  To say I am jealous is a huge understatement.  Keep up with their progress on Facebook here.
  • Since I am getting back up to speed here I won't drone on forever.  I will end with a very recent piece of Knews.  The website ratebeer.com released a "best of" list for 2016 and best brewer in TN went to Blackberry Farms and best new brewer to Alliance Brewing Company.  Congrats to both and way to represent East TN!
Stay tuned for more Knews and an upcoming trip report from myself as I hit Yeehaw and other spots in Johnson City in a few weeks.

Until then...

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Schulz Brau

Not too long ago I finally got the opportunity to visit Schulz Brau take a look around, hangout and have a few beers.  Schulz Brau sits on Bernard Ave. just off a Central a little ways up from downtown, but not quite to Happy Holler.  It's kind of between Magpies and Hops and Hollers.  The outside looks like a cinder block castle and frankly looks pretty odd.  But don't ever let the outside scare you away, inside is where it starts to impress.  The place is gorgeous inside.  Nice tables, beautiful bar and video board menus hanging above the bar.  No expense looks to have been spared inside and just out the back door is a quite roomy biergarten for enjoying beverages and hanging with friends.  The beers are good too.  I was partial to their Schwartzbier myself, but also enjoyed their dunkel.  They rotate a good selection of their own beers mixed with a lot of regional craft brews and some national ones as well.  When I was in all were served in various sizes, so choose a smaller size and sample a few if you like....or if you know what you like get the big stein.

 Ala in all this place is worth a visit and could see them getting busy as the Vols football schedule gets ramped up to bigger games this fall.  Their outdoor area could be a huge draw once the temperature outside dips just a little and fall is here.  Spots at one of their many outdoor tables shipped over from Germany could be rare, so get there early and enjoy what they have to offer.

Friday, August 26, 2016

BeerKnox Knews - August 26, 2016

The latest in Knoxville Beer Knews....

  • Just in time for football time in Tennessee comes news that Saw Works will have 16 oz cans available very soon.  I thought I couldn't love fall in Knoxville any more than I already did.
  • Speaking of fall Yee-Haw has an Oktoberfest out.  Can't wait to try it and other Oktoberfest and other fall beers coming out soon.  There should be plenty, keep your eye out.  I prefer the non-pumpkin flavored ones myself.  
  • Tennessee football kicks off in less than a week and this town is going to be cranking here very soon.  Look for a lot more Knews out soon.