It’s hard to believe that this is the 5th Tennessee Winter Beer Festival (TNWBF)! Wow, how time flies. We’ve had the privileged of being involved with the TNWBF since it’s inception, which, oddly enough, started with Mike Adams, formally of The Market in Maryville, simply stating that he wanted to do a beer festival. So we gathered some of our closest beer friends; Nathan Robinette of The Casual Pint, Todd White of the South College Brewing Science Program, Mayor Mike Talley of The Talley Ho Inn, Steve and Janice Fillmore of Miss Lily’s Cafe, Adam Palmer of Saw Works Brewing Company and of course my fellow Knox Beer Snob Don Kline, and we got started. We also later added Andy Atkinson and Johnny Miller to the bunch. Shiona Christensen and Dave Ohmer also assisted in past years but have since moved out of the state.
We even incorporated the fest in the state of Tennessee and went after our 501c3 so that we could maximize our donation.
Our mission: To promote the regional craft beer culture within East Tennessee through intimate events and gatherings while supporting local charities.
We’ve stuck with one charity these 5 years – one that’s definitely close to this snob’s heart; New Hope Blount County Children’s Advocacy Center. New Hope exists to serve children who have been physically, sexually or emotionally abused. Unfortunately the demand for their services continues to increase – so every dollar counts. Last year, even with the crazy weather, we wrote them a big silly check for $16,000! This year we’re at it again an we’d love to hit $16K or greater!
Now, let’s check out the stats for this year’s fest:
Location: We’ve moved locations as to minimize a winter weather impact. The Carriage House, which happens to be right next door to the Talley Ho Inn, offered to let us take over their space at no charge. How cool are those cats?! Between that and a tent out front, we should be set. Parking is covered too with a big old field out back. Further, if you stay at the Talley Ho that night, you are literally right next to your bed. Talk about a contained event! Further, the Talley Ho, Highland Manor Imn and Townsend Gateway Inn have all agreed to kick back 10% to the cause from the rooms booked related to the fest. Very, very cool.
Food: Food is being handled again by Miss Lily’s Cafe. If you’ve joined us before, they bring it each year – you won’t leave hungry!
Music: We’ve got three awesome bands lined up; Mark McHenry, Dirty Dougs and the Appalachian Surf Team. Bring your dancing shoes!
Beer: Alright, now the really important stuff; brewers. We have Saw Works Brewing Company, Depot Street Brewery, Yee Haw Brewing Company, Balter Beerworks, Crafty Bastard Brewery, Bluetick Brewery, Holston River Brewing Company, Calfkiller Brewing Company, Johnson City Brewing Company, Blackhorse Brewing, and Fanatic Brewing Company. Also, the South College Brewing Science students will be bringing some of their classwork along with them to get feedback – pretty cool.
Silent Auction: Bring your checkbooks as the silent auction is already shaping up to be awesome! Don and I have raided our cellars for a wicked beer basket and I have already heard about a sweet reclaimed barn wood bar that is being donated AND a coffee table made out of a barrel. Yep, it’s going to be sweet!
What else do you need to know? Ticket are going FAST and there is ONLY 300 of them. You can pick ’em up online at tennesseewinterbeerfest.com, The Casual Pint in Bearden, The Casual Pint in Maryville, Saw Works Brewing Company or Miss Lily’s Cafe. $60 gets you dinner, all the beer you’d like, a slick glass and the awesome feeling that you’re helping out the kiddos that go through the doors of New Hope. Don’t wait though, we’ve sold out each year since we began!
Hope to see you there. Cheers!