Brewers say a new state law will bring a major boost to Knoxville's craft beer industry.

As of January 1st, breweries throughout Tennessee can now serve beers up to 10.1 percent alcohol by volume, or 8 percent by weight, without seeking a license through the Alcoholic Beverage Commission. The old alcohol by volume limit was 6.3 percent, or 5 percent by weight.

The law allows brewers to serve high gravity beer with less paperwork and lower tax costs, encouraging new Knoxville craft breweries to open and older ones to bring new options to their menu.

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"It’s great opportunity to taste what beer's supposed to taste like,” said David Deibler, a regular at the Alliance Brewing Company in South Knoxville.

Deibler has grown familiar with Alliance's beer menu, until now. Over the last few weeks, owner Christopher Morton said the company has been experimenting with several higher alcohol content recipes. On January 1st, he debuted four new high gravity beers.

"We're excited with all the new ones coming out!" said Deiber.

Morton said a slew of new breweries are slated to open throughout Knoxville in 2017, at least partially thanks to diminished taxes the new law brings. Previously, beers higher than the 6.3 percent limit were taxed at the same rates as alcoholic beverages.

Stephen Apking is the co-owner of the Hexagon Brewing Company. Until now, he has been a home brewer, but says this year an explosion of Knoxville breweries will open -- along with his own.

"I'd say at least a half dozen more, and I would say that's in 2017. And I would say we'll see another half dozen more in 2018," Apking said.

Morton, who also owns the Bearden Beer Market, said the new law also allows craft breweries to more easily compete with nearby restaurants and liquor stores, where high gravity beers have been available.

“The Bearden Beer Market has not been able to play on a level playing field. For over a year now, we’ve been surrounded by liquor stores that have been able to sell the beverages we can now sell. Now that we’re on a level playing field, it makes a huge difference,” he said.

Stephen Apking is the co-owner of the Hexagon Brewing Company. Until now, he has been a home brewer, but hopes to open his craft brewery by the end of March. He estimates several other breweries opening this year.

"I'd say at least a half dozen more, and I would say that's in 2017. And I would say we'll see another half dozen more in 2018," Apking said.

It's welcome news for David Deibler. "We're going to have more growth because of something as simple as beer! Who would’ve thought."

Grocery stores and convenience stores will also be able to sell high gravity beer.