Charcuterie boards and unique pours

By Jill Thompson

Photos Courtesy of Elkmont Exchange

Elkmont Exchange Brewery and Eating House is something new, something adventurous. Whether it is through their charcuterie program or their sour beer lineup, they have made it clear that there are no rules when it comes to creating a memorable and flavorful experience for their guests.

Elkmont is the only place in Knoxville where charcuterie is offered. In fact, it is the reason Sous Chef Jon Newman was hired. He is self-taught in his craft and his dedication to butchery is marked by the words “clean cuts” tattooed across his knuckles.

Jon sources his hogs from Bear Creek Farm in Franklin, Tennessee. The hogs are grass-fed, have access to a water source on the farm, and are free to roam around the expansive 200 acres. Bear Creek takes special care of the hogs and keeps their output small, processing only 10 to 15 every week.

After he prepares the hogs, they are hung in the drying room at the restaurant where he keeps it a cool, between 45 and 55 degrees. “I kind of want to stall everything,” Jon says. “Because the longer it sits, the depth in flavor is really going to be louder at the end of the product.”

You can taste the exact depth in flavor he talks about with his Spanish chorizo cured with ancho chile, garlic, paprika, and chile morita; the soppressata with white wine, chili flakes, and black pepper; the capicola cured with coriander, chili flakes, and fen- nel; and the cold-smoked landjager that Jon jokingly calls “classy beef jerky.”

Also featured on the board are creamy raclette and manchego cheeses, juicy olives, homemade pickles, crispy hushpuppies, savory tomato jam, and beer mustard aioli. The 24 taps Elkmont offers go hand-in-hand with the charcuterie.

Elkmont is not afraid to experiment with big, bold flavors, but Jon says, “We don’t go too crazy. We like to keep things approachable.”

Although the craft beer industry is growing, it’s not about competition for Elkmont Exchange. It’s about bringing people together to create new recipes — whether on tap or on a plate — and enjoying the fruits of their labor