The growing #KnoxBeer and @KnoxBeerCrew scene

January 12, 2012

Over the last several years beer culture has exploded in the United States. Market share of the big 2 beer companies (AB InBev & MillerCoors) has taken a hit because consumers are becoming saavy about craft beer. In the “Scruffy Little City” of Knoxville things have changed big time in just the last 5 years. We’ve gone from having 2 breweries to 3. Bearden Beer Market opened the first completely beer focused store (sorry Leaf and Ale, you’ve always been mostly cigar focused in my mind) and others followed. Don and Rob of The Knox Beer Snobs started their website which gave me inspiration to start mine. We’ve had a small but dedicated homebrewing group here for a long time, but just in the last year or so I’ve become aware of others like Legit Brew and Underground Brewing Company. Social media and apps like Facebook, Twitter and Untappd have made it incredibly easy to connect with and share craft beer experiences with others. So yes, the Knoxville beer scene has grown considerably.
This growth has lead to the creation of a new local club, The Knox Beer Crew. We’re a group of fellow beer connoisseurs who have bonded over our love of this tasty fermented malt based beverage. Some of us knew each other in real life, some of us met through twitter and untappd check ins. I see it as a natural outgrowth of use of the #KnoxBeer hashtag on twitter. I’d remember spreading this idea around to some of the guys at the Brewer’s Jam. I’d use the hashtag whenever I was going out to have a beer, or if there was any events or news about the local beer scene I wanted to share. Others were using it to and pretty soon it morphed into #KnoxBeerCrew. This was used to announce beer runs and get togethers amongst us twitter friends. Local web developer, fellow beer geek and all around cool guy Matt Crowell put together a website for Knox Beer Crew. Matt designed it to help organize and expand our small but growing scene. On this site members can post a profile that includes their favorite beer and beerstyle, a wish list of beers they’d like to try and a link to their untappd page. Members may also post their craft beer related pictures and can post beer related events to the calendar.

So what’s the point in having a beer club and a website like this in Knoxville? Well, primarily it’s a way for us to share our love and appreciate of craft beer. It’s also a way to help each other experience new beer. Many of us have gone out of town and brought back hard to find beers. We also often get together for tastings. The other night we were invited to a last minute tasting of beers from Brooklyn Brewery, Sweetwater and Yazoo at Bearden Beer Market. So check out the website, add us on untappd and twitter, join the crew. You’ll be glad you did.

Like I said above, I did get to try some offerings from Brooklyn Brewery. A few of their tasty brews will soon be on the shelves in Knoxville. On January 23rd we’ll be able to get their Brown Ale and their Lager. Both are really tasty, but I found that I loved the Lager. It’s an all malt lager, no corn and rice adjucts that I’ve come to associate with American Lagers. The brewery rep, Jeff also brought along a keg of their wheat wine, The Companion. It blew my mind on how good it was, but unfortunatly he said it won’t be available around here. If you go somewhere they have it, grab me a bottle! One of the coolest thing about Brooklyn Brewery is that the Brewmaster is none other than the world famous Garrett Oliver. Since he helped write The Oxford Companion to Beer, to say he knows what he’s doing would be a understatement. This man is a genuine beer genious. After seeing a copy of the aforementioned book, I knew I had to have it. It’s 900+ pages, but expect a post with a review when I’m done reading it.

Well I won’t write post until a week from Saturday. That’s when I’ll be attending Asheville’s WINTER WARMER BEER FESTIVAL!!!! Another great beer fest in my favorite city. I’m so excited about. The 21st can not get here soon enough. I think I will try to live update this website from the event. Remember those post of my live updates of my brew days? Think of that but with a lot more drinking. Should be informative, entertaining and funny! Let’s see if I can actually pull it off. Until then…

Cheers,

Ratchet


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