The Knoxville beer scene has seen tremendous growth over the last 5 years with new breweries popping up at regular intervals. This trend seems set to continue and the growth along with the increased tourism has Knoxville gaining national attention. That attention caught the eye of Hi-Wire Brewery out of Asheville with the announcement of their Sevier Ave. taproom which will be opening in early summer. We got an inside look at the progress from taproom manager, Ben Bishop. Ben is one of those guys that lives and breathes great beer. When he heard rumors of Hi-Wire coming to town, he jumped at the chance to be involved. Details like taproom hours are still being worked out, but build-out work is going at lightning speed.
Construction is being done by building owner Jason Stouffer, and when we visited, the main walls were almost finished and artist Ian Wilkinson was working on what will be a giant surreal mural surrounding the interior of the taproom along with outside artwork. From the outside, the building, a large industrial building which had easy access to the rail system, was dotted with the beginnings of the gallery quality artwork.
The taproom is … spacious… to say the least. The space is likely the largest taproom in town and will feature 24 taps including a selection of wines on tap to accompany Hi-Wire’s own creations. The bar top is constructed from original wood from the structure by Smoky Mountain Vintage Lumber. Guests will see an assortment of games to keep everyone entertained, a spacious rooftop area with clear view of Neyland Stadium, a food truck area and large glass window opening in the back with views of the wooded area near the railroad tracks.
Bishop is in the process of hiring for positions and putting together last minute details (including assembling an endless number of seats). Grand opening is expected in July which is remarkable considering the amount of work that was needed when the project began. For the opening, Ben is pulling out all the stops including a ferris wheel! Once open, Hi-Wire will occupy the upper level of the building and tenants are being sought for the lower level. If you have a great business idea and are looking for a space, check it out.