Knox Beer Snobs

A Tale of Two Casks | The Casual Pint Downtown location is open!

Howdy Beer Fans,

As I mentioned to you guys a few days ago, Friday, July 20th was a big night for Knoxville Craft Beer. First off, The Casual Pint opened their downtown store on Union Avenue right next door to The Oliver Hotel. Very cool place. It has the same feel you’d expect from The Casual Pint – polished and clean with an ample draft selection to go along with a nice bottle/can selection.  The Grand Opening featured a pretty cool jazz band, a PACKED house and a vanilla infused brown ale from our very own Saw Works Brewing Company. We are very excited and proud of Nathan and his team at The Casual Pint – this is nothing short of awesome!

Brewer Dave Ohmer worked the beer engine hard and within an hour and a half of the first pint, the cask was gone. Overall I thought it was a great beer. I was expecting a little more vanilla but I think that’s also because the last few brews I’ve had with “vanilla” in the name have smacked me in the face. This brew, instead of coming on strong with vanilla flavors, added a nice sweetness to an already great brown ale – thoroughly enjoyed it. Great job Dave! If you’re going to be downtown in the near future, be sure to stop by The Casual Pint and check it out.

After checking out The Casual Pint and hanging out for a bit, we ran over to Smoky Mountain Brewery in Turkey Creek for Firkin Friday. As I mentioned previously, they had prepared an ESB dry hopped with Challenger and boy was it tasty. While Saw Works used a cask and a beer engine to pump the beer into pint glasses, Smoky Mountain took a different approach. I’ve enjoyed many cask conditioned brews over the years but I hadn’t experienced a true “tapping” until last night.

As you buy “tickets” for one of the 72 pints each ticket contains a number. When they are ready to tap the firkin, they draw a number. If your ticket is drawn then you get the privileged of tapping the firkin which, while messy, is pretty cool. The picture on the right shows the lucky winner tapping the firkin. After this is done a tube is connected and the beer is gravity fed into the pints – pretty neat. Now, if you’re wondering how the beer was – it was pretty good too. I don’t drink a lot of ESBs but I really enjoyed this one as did the others I was with. It is also great to see Smoky Mountain Brewery doing something like this and having some fun. I’m looking forward to the next one.