Near Town 5 years, Honeybee Coffee expands with brewery
The business now includes a brewery and kitchen.
With opening day Saturday, April 23, “we had music throughout the week,” Hill said. “We opened our kitchen April 23 as well, so we have food Thursday through Sunday — a full menu.
“We have smash burgers, pretzels and beer cheese,” he added. “We have charred miso salad, a sauerkraut quesadilla, hot chicken, pimiento cheese, French fries, stuff like that.”
The brewery is a seven-barrel system.
“We brew all different types of beers — I would say a little bit left of center,” Hill said. “It’s not just your typical beers. They’re more complex, more balanced, more flavorful. But not super-crazy.
“Still going to taste like beer,” he added.
Scruffy Little Kitty, an extra pale ale; the Light Not Hoppy; Damn the Torpedos; and Days in the Sunshine, named after a Topal song, are among the beers offered.
Hill initially opened the business in 2017 as a coffee shop, roasting its own beans, at the Kingston Pike location before diversifying this year.
“It’s great (being open five years),” he said. “You know all the stuff they say, that it takes five years to really get a business going, is very true, but the support of this community and our amazing staff made it a really fantastic experience.
“I hope we will continue to improve and grow so this can truly be a company owned by its employees,” Hill added.
The Kingston Pike shop is one of four locations, with the others in South Knoxville, West Town Mall and Sevierville, and one being built in the Old Knoxville Glass building off North Central Street in downtown Knoxville.
“That’s where our (coffee) roastery is (in Old Knoxville Glass building),” he said. “The wholesale business is operated out of that building.
“It used to be here,” Hill added, explaining the brewery replaced the roastery.
“We started (the brewery) back in the fall and just opened it a month ago,” he said. “From the beginning, I wanted to do a brewery, but the resources were not there.”
However, Hill noted Honeybee always has had craft beer on tap since it initially opened — but many people don’t know it.
“I think because people don’t always associate beer with coffee,” he said.
Still, “That’s part of the mission, just another avenue to take care of people by providing ethically sourced and highest-quality products to the community,” Hill said.
“Now it’s great because we have stuff on both sides of the day and hopefully something for everybody,” he added. “For the non-coffee drinkers we have teas; for the non-beer drinkers we have ciders and seltzers.”
Hours are from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. For more information, call 865-392-1005.