Gypsy Circus Cider announces big plans for Knoxville this fall

The Circus is coming to town.

Kingsport-based Gypsy Circus Cider Company will open a permanent taproom in Knoxville this fall.

The Barrelhouse by Gypsy Circus will also feature a production facility, restaurant and event space in Old North Knox at 621 Lamar St.

Cidery owners Aaron and Stephanie Carson hope it's the first step in putting the Southeast on the national cider map.

“Three years ago when we opened, we were the state’s first craft cidery, and found ourselves educating consumers about cider," Aaron Carson, a Tennessee native, said. "Now, those same Gypsy Circus fans are looking for the next level of craft cider, and we are exploring production methods to take them on a wild new journey."

Taproom will feature new wild ciders

The 4,000-square-foot taproom will feature 20 Gypsy Circus taps and 20 taps for local craft beers.

The new production facility will allow for experimentation with new wild yeast ciders and barrel aging, Stephanie said.

Wild yeast requires a specialized facility separate from traditional yeast. It produces a lambic, or sour-style, cider, so new products will be coming out of the Knoxville facility. They said this will be one of the first wild cideries in the Southeast.

"We're craft lovers ourselves, and initially three years ago when we opened it was about just making good craft cider," Stephanie said. "As we've grown, so have the tastes of our fans. We started experimenting and realized (wild yeast) created a flavor profile people really like."

Gypsy Circus will continue to have a Knoxville "outpost" at Hexagon Brewing in North Knoxville.

International restaurant planned

The building will also include The Bohemian, a restaurant featuring international cuisine, featuring sauces and dressings made with Gypsy Circus ciders. The menu is being developed now.

“Gypsy Circus ciders offer a colorful palate of flavors that meld well with international foods," said Stephanie, a Maryville native. "We are travel junkies ourselves, and love bringing the tastes we’ve experienced in places from Greece to Thailand into our food and cider."

In addition, TAPestry, a 2,500-square-foot event space, will host weddings and other private events.

Gypsy Circus is Tennessee-made

The Carsons founded Gypsy Circus in 2016, which uses fresh pressed apple juice in its ciders, including its Raindancer and Queen of Swords ciders and many more seasonal offerings.

Since opening, the cidery has quadrupled its production capacity.

Gypsy Circus is supplied by Tennessee-based orchards and was named the 2018 Tennessee Cider Producer of the Year by the Tennessee Championship of Beers.

Source: Knoxville News Sentinel, by Breanna McDermott

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Published June 14, 2019