An interested person would need a score card to follow the openings in and around downtown. Last week I declared something of a watershed with the opening of three new businesses in one week: K Brew, Balter Brewing and Old City Wine Bar. I missed a significant one as Last Days of Autumn opened on Thursday. Our long-talked-about breweries are becoming a reality and this one holds significance in that it spills development onto Magnolia Avenue – east of Hall of Fame.
Owners Mike and Tracy Frede are justifiably proud to have made it past all the hurdles involved in opening a brewery in Tennessee. They’re joined by head brewer Daniel Delph who will work with Mike on the brewing while Tracy works more front-of-house. With Mike continuing his full-time job and Tracy working elsewhere part-time, bringing on a third person made sense and Daniel has eight years brewing experience.
The new space is stunning relative to what I witnessed when I first joined Mike to announce the coming brewery. The shell of an industrial space has been transformed into a warm and inviting tasting room while retaining some of the cool industrial feel. The architectural plans were drawn by Brett Honeycutt and the buildout completed by Sam Singletary.
There are numerous highlights to the decor from the bottle cap table top used as an accent to the metal-cut logo on the wall and the unique wooden-handled taps. The feature certain to garner the most attention, however, is the bar and accompanying wall tables. Each cut from the same pecan tree and brought in from Asheville, the wood, while finished, remains rough cut with a beautiful grain and color. It’s hard to capture adequately in a photograph.
The design of the space shifted a bit since my previous article and it’s much better, moving the bar to the other side of the space which both saved money and allowed more natural light to filter throughout.
They brewed their first batch of beer yesterday (a Pale Ale), which may seem strange for people who aren’t familiar with breweries and their permitting and regulation in Tennessee. It’s basically impossible to brew before opening a tasting room, which means breweries are open for a while before they are able to offer their own beer. Mike, Tracy and Daniel hope to have their own brew on tap by March 11, but that requires that “the beer gods smile on us,” which wasn’t happening on day one as their fancy new burner didn’t want to cooperate.
Once they are running full steam, they hope to have ten different Last Days of Autumn beers on tap at any given time. Daniel is more prone toward experimentation, so while Mike focuses on traditional beers, Daniel will offer some more adventurous versions (they mentioned a Salted Caramel Porter). They will also generally have some other local and regional beer on tap – which is what they are doing in the interim. Flights will be available if you’d like to sample several at one sitting.
They will be doing some other cool things like shipping most of their spent grain to two regional farms for use as feed. A portion of the spent grain will be used to make dog treats (they’ve got a recipe they say dogs can’t get enough of) which will be available to interested patrons. They will also take donations toward animal clinics which will be offered in their enclosed, gated space beside the brewery.
They’ve got other plans for that side of the building, as well. A patio area is planned for this spring and it will be dog friendly. The area may also be used for periodic outdoor concerts, though that’s to be determined. It will definitely be the site of a Gypsy Festival scheduled for April 29 complete with belly dancers and fire eaters.
They’re already offering a range of food trucks including a current run (on separate nights) of Japanese food, Mexican food, Barbecue and Sliders. Friday and Saturday nights are pretty nailed down for Jamaican and Forks on the Road respectively. You can find the latest schedule on their website.
They are still feeling their way a bit, but mostly plan to make excellent beer and stand on that. Prices are $4 for most beers. Hours still appear to be up for discussion, but the current arrangement calls for the brewery to be open 4:00 PM – 10:00 PM Wednesday and Thursday, 4:00 PM – 11:00 PM Friday, 1:00 PM – 11:00 PM Saturday and 1:00 PM – 10:00 PM on Sunday, while closing on Monday and Tuesday.
They look forward to getting their beers out and hopefully becoming a neighborhood gathering spot. You’ll continue to see improvements and finishing touches in the coming months, but they are open now and would love to meet you and they will have their own beer in about three weeks. Give them a “like” on Facebook and stop in and tell them you read about it here.