Flytes Brewhouse threw open its doors on Feb. 8 to welcome more than 200 customers to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Pleasant View Village craft beer brewery.
“The biggest surprise was how many people showed up,” said Trish Nelson, who owns Flytes with her husband, John Nelson.
“We knew we were going to be busy, but we didn’t expect that and the number of people that ordered only our beers,” she said. “We were hoping to get to the point in the evening, where we could walk around and talk to people and enjoy the party and that never happened. We were busy up to closing.”
Customers arrived at 4:15 p.m. for the two-hour celebration beginning at 6:30 p.m. Trish Nelson estimated there were approximately 225 customers that night. John Nelson brewed 30 kegs of their craft beer for the event.
Trish Nelson said that the most popular beers in the first year are Kilt Lifter — Irish Red, Summertime Blue — Blueberry Ale and the Jalapeno Haze IPA.
“One of our best memories is last year, Memorial Day, when customers asked us if we could have a potluck at the brewery,” she said. “The word got out, and there was so much food. We also had a ‘Friendsgiving’ (held the day before Thanksgiving). We provided the turkeys and everyone brought a side dish or dessert. We were packed and had three tables of food.”
George Dunn, a frequent customer, provided the live music.
The business is known in the community for its generosity.
“We believe to giving back to community and giving back to charity organizations,” Trish Nelson said. “We picked a different charity each month with cash donations totaling $2,255.”
John Nelson thanked the customers.
“Everyone look around and look at each other, this is a community,” he said. “So, we just want to thank you for welcoming us into the community.”
Pleasant View resident Amanda Pence Melton offered up her gratitude for the kindness extended by the Nelsons in allowing her to hold a memorial for her well-known dog, who was a frequent visitor to Flytes and its outdoors patio.
“This place is the breath of fresh air that Pleasant View needed,” Melton said. “Honest and kind, John and Trish are a treasure. The atmosphere here is chill and relaxed. The beer is as local as they can get. They have beers on tap from Clarksville and Knoxville as well as their own brews. What’s more, they’re dog friendly.”
Even Pleasant View Mayor Perry Keenan said he has been impressed by the Nelsons’ commitment to helping make the town a place of welcome, community and celebration. He said that the town worked with them to put legislation in place to help out small businesses.
“Small businesses are the backbone of Pleasant View, and we love having businesses like Flytes in our community,” Keenan said. “But what’s even more important to me as mayor is when people are willing to take a chance on your community, invest their life savings to open a business, and seeing them thrive. It’s humbling really when you think about it. When I first met John and Trish, they told me what their dream was and their vision for opening a business in Pleasant View. They could have chosen anywhere to chase their dreams, but they came here.
“It’s a proud moment when you see how far they’ve come and the success that they have had. Pleasant View and the surrounding area have really embraced Flytes, and we are looking forward to great things from them in the future.”