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Brewery opens in Turkey Creek

Pending unforeseen circumstances, Smoky Mountain Brewery hoped to open Wednesday, Jan. 9 at 11308 Parkside Drive in Turkey Creek next to sister restaurant Calhoun’s.

This is the third Smoky Mountain Brewery that the Copper Cellar Corp. has opened; the others are located in Gatlinburg and in Pigeon Forge.

Smoky Mountain Brewery has a more casual atmosphere than Copper Cellar-owned Chesapeake’s or Cappucino’s. “The menu is much different from many of our other restaurants. We do a lot of pizza and sandwiches; we do a lot of wings and appetizer-like specials. It’s a much more relaxed atmosphere than some of our other restaurants,” said Don Pierce, general manager.

The restaurant has around 30 flat screen televisions to accommodate crowds for sporting events and also provides a private glass-enclosed dining area.

The brewery offers live entertainment seven nights a week from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. As of press time, Tall Paul was set to kick off the festivities Wednesday night as the restaurant’s first live entertainer.

But, of course, Smoky Mountain Brewery is most famous for its hand-crafted beers. “These are all beers that we brew; we don’t sell anybody else’s beer,” said Curt Gibson, vice president of Copper Cellar Corp. The Brewery has 10 beers on tap and is one of the largest micro-breweries in the southeast.

The micro-brewery housed within the new restaurant can produce 5,000 barrels, or roughly 150,000 gallons. “This brewery will produce almost as much as the other two combined,” Pierce said.

The restaurant offers seven different styles of beer plus seasonal specialties. The beers are made in 500 gallon batches, taking two to six weeks to produce each batch.

Brewmaster Marty Velas has won several awards for his beers: the World Beer Cup for the Tuckaleechee Porter and won at the Great American Beer Festival for his Velas Helles.

Velas’s passion sets his beers apart. “We don’t use any pasteurizers or preservatives in our beer, as opposed to most of the mass-produced beers. We also do a national carbonation process, which is kind of old-fashioned and results in a very smooth beer,” Velas said.

“I’ve had a lot of people who claim not to be beer people that try it and like it,” Velas added.

Copper Cellar Corp. may use this brewery to create beer to be sold outside its restaurant chain. “All the beer that we are making at the present time we are using up internally within our restaurants, so we don’t really have any extra to give anybody. Hopefully with the addition of this brewery, we will generate some beer that we can sell at other venues,” said Pierce.

Curt Gibson is excited about opening in Turkey Creek. “We just thought that it was where Knoxville was growing and saw it as a good business opportunity. It’s where the customers are, as well as all the other restaurants and hotels and other stores,” he said.

Smoky Mountain Brewery’s operating hours will be from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. For more information, call 865-288-5500 or visit


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