The Knoxville beer scene has literally exploded with new breweries these past few years with double that in the planning phase. Is is possible that we might become the Asheville of Tennessee?? Coming around the bend in the next year or so the beer laws will change to make it much more beneficial and legal for existing breweries to delve into the high gravity beer world and that equals flavor to the extreme for us. For the most part these new brew consuming locations are just that, beer only with the occasional food trucks, which is not a bad thing by far. We do have one new brewpub that is in the works as we speak. Be prepared to balter when you hear what is in store for Knoxville, and if you do not know what to balter means read on.
Snob Rob and I had the pleasure to share a few pints with Blaine, the brains behind the brewpub plans and his father David Wedekind, who is helping make it all happen. The first thing I noticed about this beer family is the excitement they feel in this undertaking. It does my beer belly good. Myself being a home brewer I mostly spoke to Blaine, a fellow home brewer himself, about his concept that has been over a year and a half in the making. The location where this paradise of tastiness is going develop is the old BP gas station on the corner of Jackson and Broadway and easy stroll from Market Square. The concept in its early life started as a simple nano brewery and then Blaine and David made the mistake of visiting Wicked Weed and the nano brewery died there on the designing table and Balter Brewing was born anew.
O.K. now for a little bit about the beer. Blaine is planning to have 10 taps with 6 flagships and 4 rotating brewer specials with barrel aged beer, casks and brews on nitro. I have been sworn to secretly on the head brewers name but I can say he has been home brewing for most of his adult life and has some serious talent. Also a small note; Blaine is a stickler for the beer that you will be enjoying to be as tasty as possible and will be served in the proper glassware. It’s a BeerSnob thing, and you are a beer snob so there you go.
Aaaand now the food. The menu will mostly consist of high class bar food type concoctions with the emphasis being on what Blaine described as “street tacos”. Apparently Blaine has been hanging out alot at Chow Daddy’s and wants to bring that experience here. I checked out the menu here and I say “hell yes”. Apparently his Executive Chef spent a bit of time in SoCal and Mexico so I would say he has the upper hand in the taco making arena. They will be using locally sourced tortillas, meats and veggies as much as possible and you will also find their beer in the ingredient lists as well. Very, very cool. Damn, I’m hungry. Hurry up Blaine!!
So there you go folks. So crank up the music, balter away and get ready for Balter Brewing. Oh yea, “To balter” is a Middle English term for,”To dance without skill but, with enjoyment”. Yep, we all do it, now we have a place to do it nonjudgmental-like in public.