July 16, 2012
It keeps getting better and better to be a craft beer lover here in Knoxville. Yes, we’re no Asheville, Denver, Grand Rapids or even Atlanta when it comes to what we have available, but things are changing in our “scruffy little city“. Helping to lead this change are the local brewers, bloggers, shops, bars, and craft beer lovers. It is also changing because consumers are becoming more and more savy about craft beer. The turn out and support of the recent Brewers Summit is proof positive of this. This event sold out with over 150 people in attendance enjoying great beer, an excellent presentation and world class cheese. I served 5 gallons of my Mulberry Stout on Nitrogen, and got some great feedback. Many members of both the Knox Beer Crew and the TN Valley Homebrewers were in attendance. Panel members included Aaron Carson of Kingsport Oktoberfest who emceed the event, Linus Hall from Yazoo Brewing Company, Chris Hunt from Moccasin Bend Brewing, Erich Allen from Studio Brew, Marty Vellas from Smoky Mountain Brewery, Dave Ohmer from Saw Works Brewing and Danielle Elks, Executive Director of the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission. The panel was very informative and Danielle spoke at some length about the laws and tax issues surround beer in this state. The good news is that according to her, the state legislature is open to changing the laws. During the panel, we were treated to some great food by both Nama Sushi and The Pizza Kitchen. After the panel we were treated to amazing beer and cheese pairing by Michael Landis, cheese master for ANCO fine cheese.
What a great event! Gallons of beer were drank, tons of food consumed, cheese savored, new friendships formed and money raised for the Tennessee Craft Brewers Guild. Thank you everyone who came and supported this event, here’s hoping that we do it again next year. I took some video of this and will post it here for your viewing pleasure. I didn’t get the whole panel or any of Danielle’s talk, but I did get a few highlights. Sorry the video is so grainy.
Hopefully everyone is already aware that The Casual Pint
is opening a new location, downtown. As I speak with friends, they are all pleasantly surprized to find out that it opens THIS FRIDAY!!! Yes, that’s right, Friday the 20th will see the newest edition to Downtown’s beer scene open it’s doors. Guess who will be beertending there? That’s right, ME. I am honored to join The Casual Pint
team. I have been a customer, friend and supporter for awhile and couldn’t be happier to be behind the bar. The new location is on Union Avenue which is the street between Market Square and Krutch Park
. It’s right around the corner right next to the new Tree and Vine.
For the opening event
, there will be a cask of Saw Work’s Brown Ale with vanilla bean pods soaking in it. Should be quite tasty and I hope to see you all there. Also a note for the Knox Beer Crew
, our monthly meeting will be at this new location, same date and time. I hope everyone can make it.
A few friends have asked me why I am leaving Suttree’s
, like there is some expectation of drama. Sorry to disappoint, but there simply isn’t any. I still have much love, respect and admiration for Suttree’s
. Everything about the High Gravity Tavern
is great. The owners, employees and customers are and will continue to be some of my favorite people. I am doing an event this Wednesday at 6 pm there. The rep from New Belgium
is coming in and we are going to infuse the Ranger IPA with hops and the Trippel with mystery ingredients. I am also told that there will be free NB
swag and glasses given away during the event. This is something I sincerely hope you do not miss.
My last regular shift there will be on Saturday during the day. My hope is that they will let me continue doing mid-week special events. I will miss working there and am glad I could help them get going. As far as beertending, the crew there is fantastic and will have no problems going along without me. I plan on still being there quite a bit, but this time on the customer side of the bar. I will no doubt be supporting them while tasting delicious high gravity beers every chance I get.
Ok, so here is a sneak peak of the new Casual Pint location. Keep in mind that these photos are from an unfinished store. I was there yesterday helping to stock shelves. When viewing these photos keep in mind that there is still a lot of installation, cleaning, detailing and rearranging that will occur before Friday.
The Casual Pint downtown preopening
The new Casual Pint location, looking towards the bar
Shelving at Casual Pint
Damian stocking the shelves
another view of the bar
from behind the bar
Looking out towards Union Ave.
One last thing before I sign off. I just got word that tickets to the Kingsport Oktoberfest went on sale today. This was arguably my favorite event I attended last year. This year promises to be bigger and better. Don’t get left out and wait until last minute, get your tickets now. The event is anticipated to sell out a lot sooner then last year’s did.
As always your comments are welcome. If we met at the Brewers Summit, I’d like to hear from you.