Great Southern Brewing

[KY flag]

A welcome source of activity in an otherwise comatose downtown, Great Southern Brewing really stands out. Formerly known as Great Smokey, the current operation has been in existence since August, 1996. The open, two-story layout features a center red wood bar surrounded by tall tables to the front, padded booths along the wall and an open copper and brass brewhouse toward the rear. Red wood dominates the interior, with wooden floors below and illuminated black & white prints overhead. The 20 foot ceiling is tastefully painted in dark red while the attached ducting is a dark gray. The full bar offers five 3-tap brass towers with smoking commonplace except for the dining area. The sports orientation is apparent from the prevalence of TVs; nearly a half dozen blanket the bar area. Upstairs is more seating, fusbol, and pooltables.

The ESB is a clear amber color with a creamy head and mouthfeel, medium body, nice malt/hop flavor balance, and clean finish. The Amber is a clear amber color, well carbonated, offering a full body, creamy mouthfeel, and nice hop over malt flavor. The Irish Mild Ale is amber in color with hops throughout the aroma and flavor where an underlying malt tries to poke through the medium-bodied brew. The English Mountain IPA is more of a dark gold with hops leading in the aroma, malt carrying the flavor and then hops rising in the finish. The Brown Ale is a clear ruby red color with a nutty/malty flavor, accompanying hops, all combined in a creamy body. The Gay Strasse Alt is a dark amber color, topped by a creamy white head; the flavor starts very dry then the hops build before finishing abruptly. The Schwarzbier is opaque, with a medium body, very smooth mouthfeel, and nice light roasted flavor. A great combination!

Joining the great beers are the tasty food dishes. The menu boasts Soups, Salads, Starters, Sandwiches, Fajitas, and Chef's Selections (steak and shrimp). House Favorites run $8 to $13 with offerings covering chicken, steak, pork, and shrimp. "Great Starters" range from $3 to $9 and include Chips & Salsa, Ribs, Tacos, Quesadillas, Wings, and Skins. "Great Finishes" round out the offerings and a kids menu is also available. Take a break from BBQ and enjoy the food, brews and friendly but smoky environment at the heart of Knoxville inside Great Southern Brewing.

Great Southern Brewing Company
424 S. Gay Street
Knoxville, TN

Reviewed by Tom Ciccateri - May, 1997
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