Craft Beer Lovers Have Plenty Of Brews In K-Town
By Kevin Wilkerson, PubClub.com Beer Blogger
Just west and over the Smoky Mountains from Asheville, N.C. – the Southeastern USA’s equivalent of Portland, Oregon – sits my hometown of Knoxville, TN.
While Knoxville has the University of Tennessee, TVA and the Great Smoky Mountains just over its shoulder, Asheville has edged ahead of it in the Millennials’ coolness factor because of the latter’s emergence as an outdoor recreational and craft beer destination.
Well, K-town knows how to tap the kegs, too. It has an exploding craft beer scene of its own and has even created an “Ale Trail” that features 19 breweries. Follow the map and win a prize if you manage to make it to all of them.
• Visit any KABA brewery on the Ale Trail and get a passport.
• Have a pint brewed by the brewery.
• Have the bartender stamp your passport to document your visit.
Once you have a stamp for all the breweries on the Ale Trail, take your map to Nothing Too Fancy and present your map to the staff in exchange for your secret reward.
You can find Nothing Too Fancy at 435 Union Ave by Market Square in downtown Knoxville. In addition to the breweries on the tour you can also get the passport at these businesses: Bearden Beer Market, Crafter’s Brew Market & Social, Hop & Hollers, Merchants of Beer, Pour Taproom and The Casual Pint.
Here is the Ale Trail Passport website.
Yes, the breweries are scattered all over town and Knoxville is a bit like Los Angeles in that it is a very spread-out city. So it takes some planning – as well as a very good designated driver friend or a lot of Uber/Lyft rides – to earn that prize.
An alternative is to sit back, sip and let someone else do all the work, for the city has Knox Beer Tours which conducts loops around various parts of the city, as well as providing guided tours to specific breweries.
So take that Asheville! Or better yet, raise your glass in a big “cheers” to the fact that craft beer and local breweries are now part of the Southern culture.
Knoxville Ale Trail Breweries List & Map
• Abridged Beer Company
• Alliance Brewing Company
• Balter Beerworks
• Blackberry Farm Brewery
• Blackhorse Brewery
• Clinch River Brewing
• Crafty Bastard Brewing
• Downtown Grill & Brewery
• Elkmont Exchange Brewery & Eating House
• Gypsy Circus Cider Co.
• Hexagon Brewing Co.
• Last Days Of Autumn Brewing
• Next Level Brewing Company
• The Pretentious Beer Co.
• Printshop Beer Co.
• Round 6 Brewing
• Schultz Brau Beer Co.
• Smoky Mountain Brewery
• Yee-Yee Brewing Co.