Our Approach

At Clinch River Brewing you can count on exceptional craft beer and two unique locations. CRB Norris is laid back, comfortable and a great destination to get away for a few hours. It’s like a mini vacation only 20 minutes from Knoxville. Whether you just hiked five miles, mountain biked all morning, spent the day trying to woo the prettiest rainbow trout in the world, or you just want to relax by our trout pond and take in nature and some great craft beer, you will love our Norris location.

Coming soon (late April 2018) at our downtown Knoxville location we will offer the most authentic, fresh and delicious low country and Southern Creole style food in East Tennessee. But more than amazing food and beer, our goal is to provide you with the most comfortable, welcoming, happy table in town. Whether you stop by for just a beer and to catch up with an old friend, or to schedule an event in one of our two event areas for a larger gathering, we want you to feel at home. Our table is your table.

We will be located in the historic Holston Building at the corner of Clinch and Gay on the South End of Market Square, with our entrance and 80′ patio on Krutch Park. Sit back and enjoy a craft beer, cocktail or a bite to eat right on the park. If the weather isn’t cooperating, join us in the brewery, or for an underground Knoxville experience, try the intimacy of the “Vault”.

From our executive chef, Brandon Cruze, to our Head Brewer, Jordan Skeen, we have sought the best in the area who share our passion for gathering folks in community to enjoy, share and indulge in not only traditional and authentic, but also unique and creative brews and food.

In addition to our own flagship and creative seasonal beers on tap at both locations, we will host guest taps from local Knoxville and East Tennessee breweries. For those who prefer wine or liquor CRB Knoxville will feature a full bar. We invite you to share our table and welcome you back again and again.

 

Our Story

Sometimes like a great craft brew, it takes a long time for a dream to become a reality. Year by year, experiences build and can lead us on a journey whose destination simply feels right. As if our true north remained a mystery until one day we finally realize this is what we were meant to do all along; each seemingly unrelated step to this point, unwittingly ordered and set.

It all began with a tall stack of newspapers and the sound of beer bottles bursting in the basement. Two separate events set years apart. Such are the small happenings that are the foundation of dreams. The newspaper it turned out was to layer atop a broad wooden table at Brien’s parents’ Louisiana home in preparation for heaps of steaming Gulf Coast shrimp to be piled upon. The bursting beer bottles were the musical notes of Lisa’s grandmother’s passion for home brewing. The steps spanned across the globe, from Maine to Louisiana, Florida to Kentucky, and finally to beautiful East Tennessee. Years of gatherings, events, entertaining, volunteer activities, businesses, and food and community writing, marked the path, until finally, the opportunity for sharing our love of community, craft beer and authentic Low Country and New Orleans style food, was born.

Meet the Team

 Someone not so famous said to me long ago, “you can’t make a good sandwich for someone  you don’t love”. It takes more than an idea to create something great; it takes heart, soul, energy and a little love. Our team loves what they do and that translates to that love shining through to you in the form of their creative gift.

Brien & Lisa Shirey

Founders

Brien & Lisa met over thirty years ago in Maine when he was a Navy Pilot and she worked for a defense contractor. From the first dinner Brien ever cooked for Lisa; steamed clams, turnip greens and burned biscuits served with cold beer, life has been a crazy ride. Though the meals would only get better through much trial and error, the love for bringing folks together over the common table, sharing laughter, bellying up to Louisiana style hospitality, and  embracing this big fat wonderful world we live in, has only deepened.

Food, drink, entertaining and bringing folks together has been the focus of their lives whether in the middle of a Kentucky tobacco field, a church community dinner, a neighborhood Easter dinner table set along the bank of a creek, a New Years Eve Volks Marche through the woods, or simply breaking bread with new friends. So when the opportunity to share that passion and bring people together near their home in East Tennessee came along, they jumped to share their dream.

Alex Shirey

Assistant Manager & Assistant Brewer

Alex is a spirited beer and food enthusiast with a thirst for knowledge. She came to Knoxville from Memphis to study Industrial Engineering at the University of Tennessee. Her love of food started as she exited the womb, but was cultivated working at Cherokee Country Club begging for coveted scraps at the high end wine and beer paired dinners. The many relationships made in back of the house at Cherokee inspired  many experimental home kitchen messes.

Bartending gave her the background to step in the craft beer scene which evolved into learning how to brew as the idea of CRB was introduced. Her immediate involvement with Pink Boots Society escalated her relationships with local brewers and the rest of the craft beer industry.

Barbecue shrimp is her comfort food if she’s feeling down and beer is her forever friend, aside from Ditzy Mae, her sweet natured black lab mutt. She’s excited to do great things at CRB and is ready to welcome our neighbors to the CRB family.

Pet peeves: grammar errors, when someone asks for her last bite, when someone speaks over her, and particularly when someone messes up her chip to dip ratio.

Jordan Skeen

Head Brewer

Jordan has been brewing for several years and loves every aspect of the job. Brewing gives her the ability to combine two of her loves: science and art. Jordan has a background in biochemistry and loves a good adventure. When not brewing up a tasty beer, Jordan finds herself outside gardening, swimming or hiking. Jordan loves to push the envelope with her beers whether that is a new ingredient or a new method and she can’t wait for you to try them!

Brandon Cruze

Executive Chef

A Knoxville native, Brandon Cruze, found his calling early when his grandfather had a fish fry he attended when he was eight. he later worked at a restaurant called the Shrimp Shack and soon thereafter attended Walters State Community College where he studied Culinary Arts. In 2001 he started working the line at the late Kenny Siao’s place, Cha Cha, a Spanish tapas bar. He eventually became Executive Chef a few years later. Upon graduating culinary arts from Walters State, he went back to be a culinary instructor for several semesters, teaching students regional and classic French cookery.

In late 2005 he opened La Costa, where he was able to develop bold flavors and southern inspired Latin cuisine. Later he went on to work at Sunspot where he created a following with his cuisine and beer pairing dinners, earning the Knoxville Top Chef award and competing in it for several years after. His extensive knowledge and love for food and beer pairing has finally landed him at CRB creating authentic low country, creole, southern and New Orleans cuisine.

He loves to spend time with his lovely wife and amazing children. He also enjoys playing with his two dogs and the wonderful Himalayan Persian cat, Mr. Jeffrey Tibbles. Who by the way, has his own Instagram…that’s how amazing Mr Tibbles is!