Twenty years ago, Knoxville adored a University of Tennessee quarterback named Peyton Manning and a new local brewery opened inside Calhoun’s on Bearden Hill. Today, East Tennessee still loves both Peyton Manning and Smoky Mountain Brewery, which celebrates its 20th Anniversary this month with the launch of a new beer: Barrel Aged Imperial Stout.
The new Barrel Aged Imperial Stout is an extremely dark beer that is aged after fermentation in oak bourbon barrels until it absorbs the barrel’s characteristics of vanilla, spices and dark fruit. The beer is deeply roasted, creamy and intensely malty .
Smoky Mountain Brewery is the oldest continuously operating brewery in East Tennessee. When it opened 20 years ago inside Calhoun’s on Bearden Hill, the new brewery quickly established a loyal following of beer enthusiasts. After quickly outgrowing the constraints of the area’s best-known rib restaurant, the Copper Cellar Family of Restaurants (which owns and operates both Calhoun’s and Smoky Mountain Brewery) decided to establish Smoky Mountain Brewery as a stand-alone entity. Today, there are four Smoky Mountain Brewery locations serving “the taste of Tennessee” in a bottle.
Smoky Mountain Brewery serves six “mainstay” beers and a dark ale that are always on the menu (Mountain Light, Helles, Cherokee Red Ale, Black Bear Ale, Appalachian Pale Ale and Smoky Mountain Brewery IPA). Four seasonal brews are offered at different times throughout the year and a “Brewmaster Special” that changes regularly is served at all times.
“We recognized how special it was to be the oldest continually-operating brewery in East Tennessee,” said Bart Fricks, chief operating officer for Copper Cellar Family of Restaurants. “We wanted to do something equally special for the loyal customers and beer enthusiasts who have supported us for two decades ̶ and the Barrel Aged Imperial Stout was our way of thanking them.
“We have four master brewers at Smoky Mountain Brewery and a number of assistants who give us a combined 75 years experience in craft brewing. We made a commitment to local brewing long before it became popular, and the success of Smoky Mountain Brewery is a testimony to how seriously we take this craft.”
For the past 40 years, the Copper Cellar Family of Restaurants have been known as “the taste of Tennessee”. The Knoxville Chamber of Commerce awarded the Copper Cellar Family of Restaurants its prestigious Pinnacle Award for the positive impact the company has on East Tennessee through programs like its free Veterans Day meals and Making Strides For More Birthdays.
The Copper Cellar Family of Restaurants includes Copper Cellar, Calhoun’s, Smoky Mountain Brewery, Cherokee Grill, and Chesapeake’s. With locations in Knoxville, Maryville, Oak Ridge, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Lenoir City, the company and its 1,200 employees are proud to be the must-visit place locals take their out-of-town family and friends to truly experience the taste of Tennessee.
Smoky Mountain Brewery beers are available at all Copper Cellar Family of Restaurants locations and is available in bottles for take-out purchases. For more information, visit www.smoky-mtn-brewery.com.