Green Drinks Garden coming to botanical garden

Sandra ClarkOn the Grow

Knoxville’s breweries and distilleries are partnering with the Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum to create a Green Drinks Garden that will educate visitors about the agriculture of alcohol. Groundbreaking is set for Saturday, March 23.


The Green Drinks Garden will showcase plants that have been grown around the world to brew, distill and infuse our favorite beverages, according to a press release. Attractive interpretive plant labels will provide information about the culture and history of each specimen.

Green Drinks leader Ariel Allen said the garden was inspired by a staff presentation in May 2017. Amanda Spangler, director of horticulture at the botanical garden, spoke about the history of agriculture used in alcohol. “This inspired several more conversations about building an educational garden to share that history with other visitors.”

Knoxville distillery PostModern Spirits, breweries Blackhorse Brewery, Crafty Bastard Brewery, Elkmont Exchange, Geezers Brewery, Last Days of Autumn and Schulz Brau Brewing and related sponsors Eagle Distributing, SoKno Taco Cantina, West Hills Flats and Taps, and Grayson Subaru partnered with the KBGA to raise funds to purchase plants and materials for the Green Drinks Garden.

Fundraising for the Green Drinks Garden is ongoing. Crafty Bastard Brewing has created a Groundbreaking Brew for a fundraiser for KBGA at the brewery on March 23. The KBGA will host its inaugural Knoxville Botanical Brewbilee festival on Saturday, April 27. The Brewbilee will be a botanical beer festival that will showcase Knoxville’s breweries and distilleries. To learn more about upcoming Green Drinks fundraisers, click here.

The Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 2001 with the mission of “growing gardens, honoring history and cultivating community.” The 47-acre grounds, site of the old Howell Nursery, are free and open to the public every day from sunrise to sunset. The gardens are supported by memberships, donations and sponsorships. Features include:

  • Nearly two miles of historic limestone walls and structures
  • Approximately 1.5 miles of walking trails
  • Several beautiful ornamental gardens including our Secret Garden based on the book “The Secret Garden”
  • A 10-acre Center for Urban Agriculture that provides community garden plots for neighbors
  • A Dogwood Nature Trail that features 16 species and more than 20 cultivars and varieties of dogwoods

In 2018, the KBGA:

  • Educated 1,444 children, teachers and parents through youth programs, including 18 field trips for area schools, 31 sessions of Story Thyme in the Garden, and four days of Summer Garden Camp
  • Reached nearly 400 community members through gardening, art, and environmental workshops and seminars
  • Worked with more than 230 volunteers for 1,284 volunteer hours to maintain the gardens
  • Was visited by approximately 30,000 Knoxville residents and tourists.

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