Hi-Wire Brewing Tasting Room, 906 Sevier Avenue, Knoxville, July 2019
Last month, when I talked to Ben Bishop, the Tap Room Manager at Hi-Wire Brewing‘s new tasting room, he told me the Grand Opening would be in August, but he felt the group could make the beer start flowing before then. He was correct: Two consecutive nights of soft openings to friends and family and other service and beer professionals have now yielded to opening the doors to the public today at noon.
The entrance is to the rear of the building which gives it a secluded feel as you pass between buildings to gain the entrance. A food truck will (at least frequently, if not always) be parked near the back entrance and the tone is set for the interior by the Frisbee golf course out back. There’s a lot to do in this tasting room.
The back deck has lots of seating and tables and faces a green space just a few yards away, once again giving the place a more remote feel than reality would support. It’s a laid back atmosphere where dogs were mingling with the people gathered there.
Inside the door is the mural by Asheville artist Ian Wilkinson setting a cool tone. Half the large room (10,000 square feet and 450+ capacity) is taken with fun activities for anyone interested. The nights I was there found couples, friends, families and children at the various games. The human-scale pool “tables” with colored volleyballs as pool balls appeared to be a big hit and more challenging than people anticipated.
Also available is foosball, ping pong and shuffleboard, all free for customer use. It sets an active and family vibe which is consistent with the whole craft-beer ethos. People seemed to be having a great time and, I would assume, the fun and the funniness of it all has to increase as the evening passes and the imbibing escalates.
The other half of the room is taken with tables, benches and chair and the bar. The bar is particularly beautiful and the taps are filled with Hi-Wire beer in a wide range of styles. In all, twenty different beers were posted on the screens above the bar. I had been told three taps would be reserved for wine, but I didn’t get a chance to confirm that the idea made it through to opening.
It was particularly nice to see Knoxville’s wine, beer and culinary industry out supporting our new neighbor from Asheville. It was also great seeing such a large, previously empty, space filled with so much life, and in fact Sevier Avenue was rocking from Landing House, to Hi-Wire, with Alliance, South Coast Pizza and South Side Garage all hopping. I’d encourage you to check it out this weekend if it’s your thing. Rooftop will open soon, full hours start today and are Sunday from Noon to 10 PM, Monday through Thursday from 3 PM to 11 PM and Friday and Saturday from Noon to 1 AM.