Happy Thanksgiving! Wow, what a year. I know we’re all feeling it as I’m sure holiday plans are different than years past. However, I hope everyone can raise a glass and reflect on what you are thankful for.
Speaking of thankful, a few weeks back the Brewer’s Association announced this year’s Small Brewery Sunday. I’ve been thinking about this on and off since then. Recently I ran over to Asheville for a quick beer pickup with a buddy of mine. As we were driving back I noted that while I still love Asheville, I feel less drawn to visit with frequency. I believe this is due to the fact that we have so many great places to visit right here in Knoxville. There are so many, in fact, that I don’t feel like I get to them all frequently enough! Ten years ago, we beer snobs were lamenting that we didn’t have the level and number of breweries that Asheville had. Now we do. While I’m thankful for all this great beer, I’m more thankful for all the fine folks behind the beer.
I’ve been fortunate to make some great friends through this blog, the Knoxville Brewer’s Association and the Tennessee Winter Beer Fest – to name a few. What has struck me about this community is just how incredibly awesome everyone is. They not only want their peers to succeed but they want our community to succeed. Look at how often a charity or local artist is featured in the taprooms. They care about this community and they care about the causes we all care about.
So, Small Brewery Sunday approaches and what I’d like to ask our community is to embrace our breweries the same way they’ve embraced us. What does this mean? It means to visit. You don’t have to stay and have a pint but get some beer to go – many will even bring it out to your car. Buy a gift card, fill a growler, get that t-shirt you’ve been wanting but haven’t pulled the trigger on yet. Buy a 4 pack and give two beers away to neighbors and friends – what a great way to introduce others to what we have right here! Tip, and if you can, tip generously. I’d also ask that you make it a point to drink as much local as you can over the holidays. It’s been a weird year – a tough year for many – let’s do everything we can to finish this year on a high note.
Let’s raise a glass, to our local breweries and to everyone in this awesome community that makes Knoxville and East Tennessee so rad!