Beer and Spirits in Knoxville

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Knoxville and the surrounding area has a burgeoning craft beer scene. Today there are ten craft breweries operating with several more planned. Please check out the website for the Knoxville Ale Trail when planning your trip for info on tastings and tours. A good way to visit a number of breweries is to book a tour through Knox Brew Tours. You visit four locations during your tour, where you are transported by small bus. I enjoyed visiting the following:

Pretentious Beer Co./Pretentious Glass Co.: This is a combination glass blowing company and microbrewery. They make handmade beer, wine and whiskey glasses on the glass blowing side. They have a microbrewery and a tasting room next door where they feature their brews and other beers from craft brewers around the US. They feature glass blowing demos and classes along with beer education talks, beer dinners and live music. They have a great outdoor patio as well. 131/133 S. Central.

Last Days of Autumn Brewing: At 808 E. Magnolia, this is a local microbrewery and taproom. They produce a number of IPAs, ales, porters and stouts.

Balter Beerworks: At 100 S. Broadway, this is a microbrewery with a large tap room featuring ales, lagers and a coffee oatmeal porter. My favorite was the coffee oatmeal porter. They also feature a menu of Mexican and Southern inspired food including tacos, sandwiches and burgers.

Schulz Brau Brewing Co.: With a German theme, this local brewery features a number of their traditional German ales and lagers. They also have a large outside biergarten. 126 Bernard Ave.

Crafty Bastard Brewery: At 6 Emory Pl., they are known for their IPAs, porter, English style beers and barrel-aged specialty batches, casks and infusions.

My favorite find was the Knox Whiskey Works at 516 W. Jackson, as I prefer spirits more than beer. This is a small batch craft distillery using locally sourced products with a mission to create “unique spirits representative of East Tennessee.” Old City Heirloom Corn Whiskey, a Jackson Ave. Gin, a Tennessee Valley Vodka, a Cold City Old Brew Coffee Liqueur, and a Silver Release Bourbon Whiskey. The Old Brew Coffee Liqueur is made in conjunction with Old City Java and coffee beans from Counter Culture. It was really excellent. Tours are available from Thursday to Saturday, so contact them to reserve your spot.

Boyd’s Jig and Reel: With live music and a large number of scotches and bourbons, this is a great spot in the Old City for a drink. 101 S. Central St.

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