Crowd turns out for first ‘Sip of Summerfest’

  • Tara Thacker, co-owner of Knoxville’s Xul Beer Company, chats with some guests during last Friday evening’s Sip of Summerfest beer-tasting event in downtown Clin- ton. - G. Chambers Williams III

  • Shelby Cottrill, right, head bartender at Clinch River Brewing, serves a visitor to the Sip of Summerfest beer-tasting event in downtown Clinton last Friday night (July 29). - G. Chambers Williams III

“Sip of Summerfest,” a beer-tasting event with food and live music, drew a crowd to downtown Clinton last Friday evening, where operators of several area microbreweries were on hand to provide the liquid refreshment.

The event, from 4-8 p.m., was held inside and outside the former Hammer’s Dry Goods store building at 381 Market St.

Breweries participating in the tasting event were Schulz Brau, Clinch River, Orange Hat, Hexagon, Honeybee, and Gypsy Circus.

During the event, sponsored by the Historic Downtown Clinton organization, the breweries offered samples of their specialty beers from taps. All were brewed here in East Tennessee.

“It was great,” said organizer Katherine Birkbeck, program director for Historic Downtown Clinton.

“I think this was probably one of our most profitable fundraisers so far for Historic Downtown Clinton. All of the proceeds go into the revitalization efforts.

“I think it also brought a lot of people into downtown who had never been there before, with the draw of some of the Knoxville breweries. The weather held off, thankfully. I think people had a great time.”

Cullom Street, beside the old Hammer’s, was closed for the event, and there was outside seating under tent coverings, indoor seating on the Market Street level of the building, where the breweries were serving their beers, and live music from Westwend, The Hotshot Freight Train, and Morgan Mills Country Band.

Food vendors included Shirley Boys’ Country Cooking, Apple Blossom Café, and Penne for Your Thoughts.

The Sip of Summerfest was held as a fundraiser for Historic Downtown Clinton, a nonprofit organization that “aims to revitalize the downtown area while preserving Clinton’s unique small-town history.”