Winter 2015: As Adam Ingle of Alliance Brewing Company walked to his car to go home one evening, he could clearly see a note on his car. On a double sided Knox Brew Tours brochure the words, “Brew more beer asshole,” were left in big, black ink. “I knew who wrote it immediately,”(for the record it wasn’t Zack Roskop) recalls Adam. The author was both joking and a little serious at the same time. Alliance was doing everything they could to keep their taps full. Demand continued to outpace supply and since that day, early in Alliance’s history, that reminder has hung in the brewery office where Adam could see it every day.
If you’ve been a part of the Knox beer community for even a minute, you’ve been to Alliance Brewing Company (ABC). What you may not know is that Alliance chose their location at a time when Sevier Avenue wasn’t as inviting as it is now. Some would even go as far to say that ABC was the beginning of a renaissance on the south side of the Tennessee River. Since they opened their doors in August of 2015 it isn’t uncommon to find a heavy crowd and a few tap handles empty.
ABC has been well known for their solid beers. Adam is known to regularly reference style guides, seek feedback and make small changes to batches to get as close as he can to a style. The beer community has certainly responded by regularly showing up at the taproom to enjoy ABC’s beer. The demand has been so great that not much ABC beer can be found outside of the taproom. The biggest constraint has been the 3 barrel brewhouse. In order to keep up, the team at ABC has been brewing 5 times a week. It was time for a change.
Since August you may have noticed a change at Alliance – guest taps. That was because the team had to deconstruct and remove the 3bbl brewhouse and demo the large fermentation room in order to make way for the brand new 10 barrel, 4 vessel brewhouse from Alpha Brewing Operations in Lincoln, Nebraska. Along with this came two 10 barrel fermenters, two 20 barrel fermenters as well as one matching brite tank for each set. There’s also space for future expansion another three 10 barrel fermenters, two more 20 barrel fermenters and, when the time comes, two 20 barrel horizontal lager tanks.
While new equipment is great, this means a couple of critical things for ABC. First, they’ll go from brewing 5 times a week to 2 to 3 times per week which amounts to greater time efficiency. Further, given the new system they are much more efficient with their grain and water. This ultimately translates to more beer for ABC, you and me. It also means we’ll start seeing a few ABC tap handles pop up around town with more frequency.
As I type a Kolsch, Centennial IPA, Cubano Coffee Brown and CMS IPA are all sitting in the tanks while yeast does what it does best – consume sugar and kick out alcohol and CO2. It won’t be long before the beer board at Alliance Brewing Company will soon contain a lot more of the solid ABC beer we all know and love.
We’re excited for our friends at Alliance Brewing Company and for what they’ll be able to create with this new system. Plan on stopping by soon – I know I’ll be.