Freshness in every mug of microbrewery's offerings

Freshness in every mug of microbrewery's offerings

April 15th, 2011 by Casey Phillips in Business Around the Region

• What: Micro-brewed beer

• Company: Chattanooga Brewing Company

• Address: 109 Frazier Ave.

• Website: www.chattabrew.com

• Telephone: 702-9958.

• Owners: Jonathan Clark and Mark Marcum.

• What's special: By the time it's poured, most CBC beer is just two weeks old, said owner Mark Marcum. "I don't know if there are any dramatic health benefits (to it being fresh), but it dang sure tastes better," Marcum said. "Our aim is to be the beer on the draught faucet when you go into virtually any place downtown or in North Chattanooga."

• The origin story: Marcum and partner Jonathan Clark are veteran home brewers. After Clark was laid off in 2009, both men realized they wanted to try brewing on a commercial level. They leased their Frazier Avenue building last April and were selling beer by July. Production now is six times higher than when they started, Clark said.

• How long does it take to make: Most of CBC's perennial beers require 1-2 weeks to properly ferment before being filtered and stored in kegs. Seasonal specialty beers are conditioned for 1-3 months.

• Where it's sold: CBC beer is on tap at 26 downtown and North Shore bars and restaurants, including Market Street Tavern, Northshore Grill, Good Dog, Lupi's Pizza and O'Heiney's Pub.

• What it costs: A pint is typically $3-$4.50, depending on venue. CBC also sells 32-ounce growlers for $14 at the brewery, which customers can have refilled for $9 during weekly "Growler Hours" 5 to 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays or 2 to 5 p.m. Saturdays.

• Future expansions planned: CBC is committed to its Frazier Avenue building through a five-year lease, but Clark said space is already tight, especially with new fermenters set to arrive later this month. In the future, he said they may consider using that location as a brew pub and moving brewing off-site to a larger facility.

• Lessons of the trade: "There's a lot of paperwork involved," Clark said. "We are regulated from the federal level down to the state, county and city. There's a lot involved with starting a business as far as cash flow and keeping our customers happy."