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Craft beer events reflect growing trend

11:06 PM, Jun 21, 2013   |    comments
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At least a quarter-million ounces of brew are expected at Knoxville Craft Beer Week this year.

(WBIR, Knoxville) Knoxville Craft Beer Week kicks off Saturday morning and it's expected to be the largest one yet.

Within the past three years, craft beer enthusiasts have watched the product take off in East Tennessee.

Harris Googe enjoyed her time at Bearden Beer Market on Friday night; it's her first time home since moving to Denver, Colo.

"I mean this place didn't even exist a few years ago and now you can come here and see all the same beers that I can get in Denver. It's taken off. It's one of my favorite things out here now," Googe said.

Christopher Morton, owner of Bearden Beer Market, saw the opportunities craft beer could bring to the city.

"More and more restaurants and bars are carrying craft beer and it's at a fever pitch right now," Morton said.

Knoxville Craft Beer Week will come to a close with Knoxville BrewFest, put on by Morton.

It will showcase more than 60 breweries.

"We started in 2011, this is our third year. So we're getting a little better at it. More breweries are coming in, year after year, and everything kind of changes and evolves," Morton said.

The Casual Pint will take part in this year's festivities. The company has two locations and is franchising another.

"I'm from Michigan so we have a lot more breweries and stuff up there, a lot of craft brews. So it's kind of getting bigger here," said Nena Johnson, who works at The Casual Pint on Union Ave.

Morton went on to say, "Once the pipeline opened it created a brand new tax base, and I think it's $250,000 or more the first year in sales across the city and now it's probably over a million just with this one product."

Knoxville Craft Beer Week starts on Saturday at 9 a.m. with the Flying Pints 5K.

Find a full list of events at Knoxville Craft Beer Week and more information on Knoxville BrewFest.

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