Hit downtown for lunch and found the Downtown Grill & Brewery full of locals for a noon meal on a Monday. Very lively and full at midday. Sat at the bar and got really good service, and a rack of samples. My lunch was good. Some veggie options, and I ordered the Cheese Quesadilla with Portabella mushroom. Sad I didn't return for another one after eating at La Costa, a supposedly upscale restaurant, the next day.
An odd bar with a large uncomfortable lip, but the drinking made up for it. All where solid to drink, including the lightest, the Downtown Blonde Ale which was a kolsch. The Downtown Nut Brown and the New World Porter were the strongest of the group. Woodruff Brewing Co seems to be the name of the brewery, which serves some beers locally in other bars under the Woodruff name. At La Costa, I had the Oro--which was so bad I nearly didn't finish it and was glad when the second Woodruff beer there was out. I don't think it was the brewer on this one--I think La Costa is a wine beer that doesn't clean its lines and doesn't move enough beer--very poorly handled beer, especially considering that the Downtown brews were all clear and consistent in their quality.
Brew kettle is smack dab in the middle of the two story restaurant, but was unfortunately not up and running yet at noon on Monday. Really puts the beer dead center in the bar, and emphasizes the brew pub difference. I like places that do this and make it front and center for beer education. Sounds like they may be at capacity since they don't really have many seasonals, just the regulars plus contract. The Alt was the seasonal and the bartender said it was well liked locally (I thought it was ok).
Good stop in Knoxville, and if I find myself in Kville again, it'll be the first place I hit.