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Mr. Beeson, our famous coffee and beer guru, wants to know:
Who has the best beer selection in Knoxville?
Photo by: photo credit: johnpaulgoguen
That’s a tough one. World Market typically has an interesting selection but you never know what they’ll have. I’ve been impressed that Food City and Kroger seem to be branching out a bit on selection but that probably has something to do with the distributor.
As far as bars; Preservation Pub, obviously. Mellow Mushroom and Barley’s both have a good tap selection. Also, The Pizza Kitchen has been adding taps with some regularity. They’ve got Duck Rabbit now!
I have to agree with Rob, Kroger seems to regularly have a nice selection available.
MMMMM beer. Let’s see on tap, I’d say Barley’s & the Half Barrel, bottle selection hands down Union Jack’s. At the store, I’d say World Market and Earth Fare.
Oooh this reminds me, I’ve meant to do a little write up on this place and it keeps slipping my mind. There’s is a new shop that opened up in Maryville this past summer that the wife and I just discovered a few days ago. http://www.themarkettn.com/ although not a huge selection they have some very interesting beer selections, several of which I don’t think I’ve seen anywhere else. They also have regular beer tasting to sample new products. The place is in a historical old building, it’s actually five local vendors under one roof selling fresh, local goods. They have an amazing butcher shop and fresh fish market, produce, and even hot meals to go. It’s a short drive down Alcoa Hwy to our Blount County neighbors, and I highly recommend checking them out.
I too have been impressed with my local Kroger selection, though they’re missing the higher ABV beers obviously (thanks Tennessee beer laws). They stock most of the usual brands, such as Sam Adams, Sierra Nevada, Rogue, Avery, Harpoon, Yazoo, Cottonwood, and others. Leaf and Ale in West Knoxville maintains a pretty good selection as well.
For anything more than 6 percent ABV, I recommend Downtown Wine and Spirits or Harvest Town Wine and Spirits in Fountain City, though I can’t comment on how either treats their beer since their priority is wine and liquor.
Otherwise, you’re best bet is to make the two-hour drive to either the Lexington, KY Liquor Barn, or Brusin’ Ales in Asheville. You could even get away with just visiting a grocery store in Asheville since their state laws accomodate a fantastic selection anywhere.
For bars, I’ve found great selections at Barley’s, Preservation Pub (smoking), Sunspot and Union Jacks (smoking). You will do best to get fresh beer from the source at Downtown Brewery and Smokey Mountain Brewery/Calhouns.
But again, I highly recommend saving your pennies for a trip out-of-state for beer. The selection is simply amazing in most of the surrounding states, even Alabama!
McScrooge’s now has a great selection of high alcohol beers and a few selections of mead to boot.
The new Earth Fare has an impressive collection;
While Earthfare, Kroger and World Market have a decent selection of micro and imports, each location is missing at least several dozen beers that we carry at Leaf & Ale. If it is under 6% and available from a local distributor in our area, we carry it at Leaf & Ale. The exceptions are Bud, Miller, Coors and their associated light beer brands. No retail store in Knoxville has a wider selection of under 6% beer in Knoxville… period.
I visited McScrooge’s this weekend for the first time. They had an impressive array of higher ABV beers, though very few American craft beers. Most were European, which makes me question the freshness.
@Leaf And Ale
Why don’t y’all get a liquor license and carry all beers?
There’s an easy answer to that. TN law does not allow under 6% abv beer to be sold in the same retail location where liquor is sold. That’s why you have to go to different stores. That’s why Kroger doesn’t sell liquor.
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CP – As (co)Founder of Knoxify.com, CP currently sits as the Publisher of the site. He has called Knoxville home for over 11 years and enjoys highlighting the good things that his scruffy little city has to offer.