Beers and Steers, Century Harvest Farms and Saw Works Brewing Company

Saw Works and the Hoof Food Truck, Knoxville, May 2013

Saw Works and the Hoof Food Truck, Knoxville, May 2013

In a sense, it’s an odd event for me to attend. On the one hand, I don’t like beer. While I have it on very good authority from many sources that Saw Works beer will stand with any craft beer, that eliminates half of the point of the evening. Second, my wife and I haven’t eaten very much red meat since we began our final battle with middle-aged bulge. So, in the absence of a connection to either part of this event, why would we find ourselves at Saw Works Brewing Company on a Friday night? Well, as they say, it’s complicated.

First, why do we go to any event? For the most part, it’s about the people and many people at this event are neighbors from around downtown or nearby. Saw Works Brewing Company’s tasting room The Mill is about as comfortable a neighborhood gathering spot as you’ll find. Located just outside the Old City, I would tend to walk there, but ample parking is available if you decide to drive. On this night the ample parking struggled to accommodate the large crowds.

The Mill at Saw Works Brewing Company, Depot Street, Knoxville, May 2013

The Mill at Saw Works Brewing Company, Depot Street, Knoxville, May 2013

As we approached, Corn Hole players, including co-owner Adam Palmer, threw bean bags at customized Saw Works targets, their soft landings obscured by the laughter and conversation from the large crowd gathered for the evening. The Hoof Food Truck provided the centerpiece for the patrons lined up to order or waiting for their requests to be filled.

In one respect, the scene resembled the old Saturday Night Live skit about cheeseburgers and Pepsi. You could have a burger, fries and a beer or a burger, fries and a beer – unless you wanted – well, you get the idea.  To be fair, there were three different kinds of burgers: the classic, the ramp and the bacon mushroom burger. Also offered was a “Cattleman Pie” which, I believe, was beef and vegetables. A side of fries alone or “Poutine” which Co-owner Johnathan Borsodi said was a southern twist on a French-Canadian dish, if I got it straight, involving french fries with red eye gravy with Benton’s bacon and Sweetwater Valley White Cheddar (which I dearly love.) Strawberry Rhubarb Pie flew out of the truck at $5 a slice until it was all gone.

Friends at The Mill, Knoxville, May 2013

Friends at The Mill, Knoxville, May 2013

I had it on good authority that a  bottle of wine would be welcomed, so I took a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon carefully selected from my collection for its most excellent screw top, thereby reducing what I needed to carry with me. It turns out quite a few of the beer drinkers didn’t mind sharing a little grape at the event. We shared a table with friends Katie, Johnathan, Shaft, Jerry and Millie and made new friends Al and Heather. Al could talk Dylanese, so we got along wonderfully, while Heather could talk all-natural make-up and such which delighted Urban Woman.

It was a great evening and I’d encourage you to give it a try. It is about the friends, but there’s more going on here. Saw Works and Century Harvest Farms are onto something. They are attempting a synergy between the brewing, the farming, the feeding of the animals and a cycle of product and waste that is a model of sustainability. Century Harvest Farms raise all organic grains and grass-fed beef. These burgers are serious business and they are excellent.

Menu for Hoof Food Truck, Knoxville, May 2013

Menu for Hoof Food Truck, Knoxville, May 2013

For twelve dollars each, Urban Woman had a Classic Burger with fries and I had the Bacon Mushroom with fries. Given that we try to eat relatively low-fat, this meal should’ve killed us. It didn’t. The beef is so lean and so devoid of chemicals, hormones and GMOs that we enjoyed our food, didn’t feel bloated and lived to tell about it. Oh, and the taste just happened to be immaculate.

Also offered through Saw Works and Century Harvest is a subscription for meats. You’ll find details on the Century Harvest Site. Thanks to the generosity of someone present that night, I’ve also enjoyed a roast and steaks since last Friday (yes, I know, that’s a lot of red meat) and they are all excellent and have an amazingly small portion of fat. Any orders are delivered to Saw Works for convenient pick-up downtown. For a steady supply of the most healthy, high quality beef, it’s a very good deal.

Hoof at the Market Square Farmers' Market, Knoxville, May 2013

Hoof at the Market Square Farmers’ Market, Knoxville, May 2013

Saturday morning we saw the truck at the Market Square Farmers’ Market where a long line snaked its way through the street. Some items had sold out and were crossed off the board. When you see the Hoof truck, give them a try. I think you will very much like what you get. And you might want to think about that subscription. It’s as close to an organic, GMO-free butcher as we’re likely to get downtown for some time.

As always, include friends. I’ll even offer to share mine. Join us for the next Beers and Steers the last Friday in June and we’ll make room at the table. I’ll even look for another bottle of fine wine with a screw top.


  1. tthurman says:

    So is this going to be a regular occurrence, or is this one and the last Friday in June it?

    This is similar to what they do at the bearden beer market with one large exception, you can actually park at Saw Works. I’d really like to try some of those steaks, but hate to get a “red meat” subscription in order to purchase them. I’ve pretty much given up on steaks at the super markets, they just don’t have good flavor anymore.

    • KnoxvilleUrbanGuy says:

      It’s a regular event on the last Friday night each month, but I think they also do it at other random times. We eat so little read meat I’m struggling about the commitment, as well. I will say this is not like eating red meat as we’ve come to know it. It is very lean and it has not bothered my stomach at all. I’ve even lost a couple of pounds in the last few days while I’ve been eating it. It really makes you think about how far red meat (and all meats) have strayed from what they used to be before we started manipulating our food supply in so many ways.

  2. If I’m not mistaken, Saw Works has a good deal on growler fills the night you can pick up your beef. I’m not certain on that, though.

  3. And they had a vegetarian burger on their menu! I thought that was pretty darn awesome 🙂

  4. tthurman says:

    Yep, no secret you don’t like beer, but this story is a beer story, so it’s sure to be a big draw.

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