Jul 7, 2018
You may be surprised to find out that a brewpub in Tennessee was founded by a team whose first brewing venture was in Saigon (or is that Ho Chi Minh City?) Vietnam. Alex Violette started his boozy career at Upslope Brewing in Boulder, CO where he met Bethany Lovato, a craft beer industry veteran. After falling head over heels for each other they had the opportunity to move to Vietnam and open an American craft brewery, Pasteur Street. Elkmont Exchange's third founder, Ryan Davenport, had grown up in Knoxville with Violette and after honing his culinary skills in Southern restaurants joined the team at Pasteur Street. The brewery thrived and continues to thrive, but the team was ready for their next challenge. They returned to Knoxville and Elkmont Exchange was born.
The trio selected Chris Meadows as Head Brewer at their new brewpub. Meadows got his start at Atlanta's SweetWater Brewing where he worked for 8 1/2 years eventually becoming Lead Brewer and helping to launch SweetWater's Woodlands. Like Elkmont's founders, Meadows was ready for a new challenge and packed his bags for Tennessee.
Meadows took some time off from brewing a multitude of beers to chat with us this week. We talk about Elkmont's unique brewhouse, some of the crazy beers they've brewed, heavy metal collaborations, their sour beer program, and of course, we had to get the scoop on that charcuterie program.
Hop Soul Brewery isn't open yet, but we've been in touch with founder Justin Crandall since the idea was fresh. Crandall and his wife Elizabeth were in the Atlanta area this week and joined us in the studio to share some beers with us and chat about their plans to be Brunswick, GA's first brewery.
In the news this week Brian fills us in on the craft beer industry growth through the first half of 2018, the continued drama surrounding Beavertown Brewing and their festival, 1,600-year-old Swedish beer (that's pre-Viking era), and the brewing habits of Hittites in Turkey 4,000 years ago.
As we're known to do, we sampled several beers this week including Dead Beach Brewing's I Could Teach You But I'd Have to Charge (a Milkshake IPA, duh.), The Southern Brewing Company's Southern Woodpile Raspberry (Raspberry Sour Ale), Southern Prohibition Paradise Lost (DIPA), Bell's Whiskey Barrel-aged Cherry Stout (it is what it is), Southbound Mountain Jam (a delicious Southern Lager), and Three Taverns Crave (IPA).