People are pouring in to local bars and breweries to celebrate the growth of craft beer in town. Beer enthusiasts are raising their glasses to Knoxville Craft Beer Week. The weeklong event is meant to celebrate East Tennessee’s beer scene and how it has become a booming business.
The craft beer scene has been on the rise in Knoxville over the last decade.
“Asheville has several breweries. Nashville’s got a big scene too. Knoxville was just hot for it,” said Johnny Miller, the director of operations at Elkmont Exchange.
Elkmont Exchange is one of the newest additions to the craft beer scene. The brewery opened seven months ago.
“Craft beer is definitely growing and more people are becoming aware that local is often times better. They’re stepping away from what they’re used to and they’re trying something new,” said Miller.
Miller is also on the board of Knoxville Area Brewers Association. The organization created Craft Beer Week to celebrate all the different spots in town.
“Every individual brewery has it’s own culture, it’s own theme. Also, it’s own following,” said Miller.
The following has been evident over the last few years, with more more people steering toward craft beer.
“It’s just the right time to get into this business. All these guys are doing what they love and it’s adding to the economy, it’s bringing more jobs, tourism.”
Miller says his favorite part of the business is the teamwork between everyone in town.
“Incredibly unique. I can’t think of another industry where people work together like that. Collaboration is key,” said Miller.
Breweries like Elkmont Exchange hope to continue building Knoxville as a beer city.
There are several events planned throughout the week for craft beer lovers.