Elizabethton's first brewery to open by end of year

Elizabethton's first brewery is set to open by the end of the year in a building that used to house shipping and receiving for the old Bemberg plant. (WCYB/Caleb Perhne)

Elizabethton will soon be getting its first brewery. Jamie Kerr's dream has been to open his own ever since he stepped foot in a brewery several years ago.

"They had just finished brewing a batch of beer. The aroma in there just fascinated me, and I decided I think I want to try this," Kerr said.

He' has made small batches from his home for several years. Now, he's picked out a building, an old shipping and receiving area part of the old Bemberg plan.

Kerr has cleaned it up for months, preparing to open Appalachian Sun Brewery.

"I really like this old brick and how it’s got the calcium coming out of the brick and the mortar,” Kerr said pointing out the walls inside.

The building has a garage door that Kerr thinks will add to the atmosphere. He wants to open it up and let the night air in.

He plans to build a bar and high-top tables and even host local music groups.

The brewery will be open Friday and Saturday nights at first, but the beer will be available in other local restaurants.

City leaders see the success of breweries in other parts of our area and expect it to benefit Elizabethton.

"If you're looking for a younger couple looking to move to a community, a brewery is going to be a nice amenity for a lot of people,” said Jon Hartman, Director of Planning and Economic Development.

The primary beer offering will be Bonnie Kate kölsch, named for Elizabethton's historic theater. A portion of sales will go to its restoration.

"I don't think some people believed me,” Kerr said about opening the brewery. “but I've just been chipping away at it year by year. I'm finally ready."

Kerr still needs to get licenses from the local, state and federal governments to open. He expects that to be finished by November or December.

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