Opening a craft brewery in Knoxville, Crafty Bastard founders talk about their progress

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Crafty Bastard is a newcomer to the Knoxville craft beer scene, but it's already got a tremendous amount of community backing.

Local 8 News met with Jen Parker and Aaron McClain, the founders of Crafty Bastard. They told us Knoxvillians are really excited for a new brewery to open in town and haven't been shy about showing their support.

"Being young, being idealistic, having this pipe dream so to speak, it can be a feeling of isolation and loneliness. And it is great having so many people cheering us on and supporting us and getting involved in our social media. That just gives us so much encouragement so much motivation to keep going," said Parker.

"We have had everyone from friends to other people in the beer community to strangers to neighbors to everyone stopping by every day," said McClain.

The brewery has its roots in homebrewing and isn't going to stray too far from those ideas and attitudes.

"If you want a beer, you're going to have to come here to drink it. Just like you'd come to my house and drink my beer. It's going to very much be a homebrewer spirit, a lot of innovation, a lot of experimentation," said McClain.

If most of the other brewers in town are sticking to tradition, Crafty Bastard isn't afraid to stray from the pack. Some of its beers mentioned on its website include a Hawaiian BBQ Smoked Pale Ale and a Salted Caramel Coffee Porter.

There will be several taps available, including main and rotational beers, soda and kombucha.

One aspect of the layout will include an open brewing area where customers can watch the entire brewing process. McClain said it will be the only thing like it in Knoxville and it will be great for homebrewers to see how Crafty Bastard makes its products.

Another idea for the brewery is community style seating. There won't be individual tables, instead expect long rows of benches that will promote conversation among beer enthusiasts visiting Crafty Bastard. At least one of those benches is from an Oktoberfest in Germany.

While the brewery is headed in a very exciting direction, it hasn't been without its frustrations and challenges.

"You never can foresee what's going to happen and when you're a 20-something millennial, you're not really savvy about lots of these things. This is our first attempt doing something like this, so there's been a lot of unexpected obstacles that just kind of happen. And you have to roll with it and you never know what's going to come," said Parker.

Expect an announcement about Crafty Bastard's opening in the coming months. Visit its Facebook page and website for the latest updates.