East Tennessee Veterans Memorial

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It’s a small but striking memorial. The bell tower at the end of the walk has a different freedom emblazoned on each face; I was a little surprised (and pleased) to see “freedom from want” and “freedom from fear” on two of the sides. We don’t emphasize those as much as we could in this country.

Full disclosure: walking through the memorial, it was sometimes hard not to feel that I’d stepped into a VNV Nation album cover.

Brewhibition 2015

It’s really starting to look like we moved down to the Knoxville area at the perfect time. A lot of very cool stuff is getting started right about now. Case in point: we arrived just in time to attend the first-ever Knoxville Brewhibition festival.

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Prepping a kolsch-kiwi infusion.

 

This was a lot of fun, and it was interesting to compare it to similar brew festivals up north.

Some things I really liked about this festival:

  • To my surprise, they took the “prohibition” theme pretty seriously. From the live swing music to the awesome flapper or bootlegger costumes many of the vendors were wearing, they really set the theme nicely.
  • I’m used to the distilled spirits vendors being off in a corner somewhere at beer festivals. In this case, local distillers (mainly moonshiners, naturally) had their own row, and each was showcasing their wares with their own take on a beer/liquor cocktail of some kind. I thought this was a terrific idea, and I had some great drinks along this row.
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A poet was on hand for on-demand poetry.

 

There were also a few areas in which it would be nice to see improvements in future festivals.

  • There was zero shade to be had, and it was a pretty hot day.
  • The lack of readily-available, free water was also kind of lame.
  • It would have been nice to also see some more local food artisans showcasing their wares alongside the beer. Although they would have had to move to a bigger venue to fit more booths.
  • Similarly, it would have been really cool to see some local food trucks instead of just a single burgers-and-fries stand.

All in all I really enjoyed the festival. It was very cool to see how many breweries there were just getting started. Some hadn’t even opened their brick-and-mortar doors yet. Seems like the Knoxville beer scene is really taking off right now. Like I said, we moved down at the perfect time.

And now, on to the beers. I don’t know how to properly taste beer, I just know what I like. So I’m not going to write down any tasting notes here. If it’s on the list, that means I thought it was worth remembering and drinking again.