The beginning of Day 4 was a great start as we woke up to the smell of bacon and eggs. We crashed the night before at a friends house and she felt it would be a nice gesture to make us breakfast before our departure. She was right. With full bellies we hit the road and headed towards Maryville, TN.
367 miles, 12 breweries: Our first stop of the day contained a familiar face, Jason from SMB Pigeon Forge. What does he have to do with Smoky Mountain Brewery Maryville, our first location of the day? Technically SMB Maryville doesn't produce beer on site. Jason, is responsible for transporting beer from Pigeon Forge to Maryville in a very unique way, that to my knowledge as well as him, no one else is doing. They have taken a box truck and converted it to be able to carry several barrels of beer from one location to another. This tasks falls on Jason, hence why we got the pleasure of seeing him twice on the trip.
SMB Maryville is located right next door to one of my favorite watering holes in Blount County, the Casual Pint Maryville. Tim is an great dude and we specifically made our schedule so that we would have time to stop in. Their tap wall has a great selection of beers to choose from and I've used their back room for business meetings in the past. If you are hungry, every night that have a different food truck to keep it interesting. It was a nice and much needed change of pace for the day.
370 miles, 13 breweries: After a pint at The Casual Pint we set sail for our next brewery. If you have never been to Blackberry Farm before you need to stop what you are doing and run towards the mountains. Blackberry Farm Brewery has spared no expense and their passion for connecting with people is unparalleled. Andrew showed us around and shared several of their beers with us. He talked about how they specifically package in bomber bottles to encourage people to consume their beer paired with food and over a dinner table with others. What stuck out the most is their commitment to people. Their barrel room is a craft beer lovers fantasy so make sure you check out our post trip YouTube series for a glimpse.
371 miles, 14 breweries: Just down the road we found Bluetick Brewery. Bluetick is named after a rescue Bluetick Hound named "Blue" that the owner Chris saved after the dog was attacked by a bear. He felt the life of a Bluetick Hound really symbolized the vibe of a craft brewery in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Just as we were finishing up our interview, the Dirty Dougs (a music duo) set up and began filling the tasting room with live music. The Blount County Homebrewers Club showed up to share a few pints with us and it was nice to connect with some familiar faces. Bluetick Brewery is an excellent place to kick your feet up and throw a few pints back. A huge thank you to Chris for having us.
Again, because we were so close to Knoxville we headed back to crash. Jessica emphasized resisting the urge to go out as we all knew that Day 5 would be the longest day of the trip. We found beds, set our alarms for 7:15 AM and hit the pillow. The next day the trip would really begin as we knew we wouldn't be back in Knoxville for over two weeks. Thanks for reading friends.
Zack, The Brew Bus Guy