Geezers Brewing Company offers unique craft beers straight from Knoxville

By George Talley

Geezers Brewing has a message for you: “Shut up, and drink.” Printed boldly on the side of each of their kegs, it reflects an unembellished approach to beer.

Geezers has three offerings: a milk stout, blonde ale, and an English-influenced American pale. The styles were chosen in- tentionally to appeal to non-craft drinkers, which owner, Tom Fitzmaurice, notes make up a large part of the Knoxville market.

In a very real sense, Geezers is a monetized homebrew proj- ect. The owners work full-time and squeeze in two brew days a month on their 15-bbl system. Located at the south end of the Fourth and Gill neighborhood, the 7000-square-feet brew- house and basement workshop houses Geezers.

The owners originally came together over a shared love of mountain biking and beer drinking. Brewing was an expression of wanting to make something that was really their own.

As one would expect, a brewery run by engineers has a few toys. Tom is particularly proud of their high-speed inline water heater which, “could launch the space shuttle.” There is a re-

verse-osmosis water purification system in the basement that gives them access to the purest water possible before blending in their brewing salts as needed for style. They are also building the furniture here for their planned taproom, which is slated to open next year.

Tom talks more about their plans for the future. He plans to expand into the parking lot to create a beer garden and repur- pose a Vietnam-era M35 into a monstrous tap-truck. While laying out his visions of expansion, he does acknowledge that these goals will not create themselves. “Vision and reality are at two ends of the spectrum…All we see in our vision is all the good stuff and Easy Street and the cash revenue and being the guys that make great beer. Over here, it’s just hard work.”

Hard work is a concept these guys are prepared for. They’re the ones swinging the hammers, managing their social media, developing recipes, making sales calls, negotiating permitting, building their facility, and brewing the beer all while holding down full-time jobs. “It’s been a real learning process,” says Tom.