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Go Ale Out at Knoxville’s Oldest Beer Festival

Often referred to as Tennessee’s hidden gem, Knoxville’s blend of outdoor adventures and cutting-edge cultural attractions make it a great destination. Outdoor enthusiasts will find ample activities ranging from fishing to hiking at Panther Creek State Park, and Baker Creek Preserve offers 42 miles of multi-purpose trails. The city’s Market Square District is a must for any visitor; it features great restaurants, unique shops, and a spectrum of community events.


The Knoxville Brewers Jam is the city’s oldest beer festival, and it will take place October 7 at World’s Fair Park. Attendees can sample beers from a variety of beer makers from around the world, as well as some great local microbreweries. Some popular beermakers represented at the event include Ballast Point, Sierra Nevada, and Founders. Local bands Mama Louise (Allman Brothers tribute band) and Teen Spirit (90’s tribute band) will perform live throughout the event. Restaurants such as Savory and Sweet, Jimmy's Catering, and Sweet P's BBQ will have food-lovers jumping for joy. The event donates all of its proceeds to Community Shares, a nonprofit that supports local economic and social justice causes. We interviewed Florence Paquet, a representative for the event, to learn more about this beer-themed gathering.


RAL: How long has the event been running?

FP: This is our 21st year!


RAL: How many annual participants do you draw?

FP: We usually have about 3,000 attendees.


RAL: What demographic does your event attract?

FP: As a drinking event, our demographic is usually 21 and up, so it's not exactly child-friendly, but it's the perfect event for couples and groups of friends to enjoy. We get all kinds of folks of all ages 21+.  


RAL: What makes this event unique?

FP: I love that this event is a Knoxville standard; it's the largest and oldest beer festival here. The sprawling lawn at World's Fair Park offers the perfect setting for the event. Folks can spread out on the lawn enjoying their beverages and great music.


RAL: Take me through the activities of a day at the event.

FP: We have live music, delicious local foods, a spectrum of beer samples, and more.


RAL: What dining options will attendees encounter?

FP: We have a great spread of local spots such as Sweet and Savory, Sweet P's, Hawg Dawg, and Kichi.


RAL: Tell us about the atmosphere.

FP: Our event has a fun and vibrant feel. People love dancing the afternoon away while sampling great beers and meeting new people.


RAL: What can an attendee expect to find for local lodging?

FP: We recommend the Hilton, it's filling up fast so get your tickets and shoot us an email to get the discount code!


RAL: Does this drive business to your local economy?

FP: Absolutely! People pour out of Brewers Jam at 6:00 p.m. ready to eat and continue the festivities. Most of us get a little more generous after we have had a few drinks, so I think the local bars, restaurants, and cab drivers get some good business.


RAL: Does the event support a particular cause in the community?

FP: Every single dollar earned goes to Community Shares, a nonprofit which supports local grassroots social and economic justice organizations.


RAL: Why should people come to your event?

FP: There is nothing quite like our beer festival. The location and season provide a comfortable and relaxed environment. I think the ability to picnic, dance, and spread out creates an exceptional environment that rivals Oktoberfest events in Germany.

For more information about the Knoxville Brewers Jam, please visit the event website.