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.
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…