The votes are in: college students love beer.
Across UT's campus and the city of Knoxville, beer culture is not only alive, but growing rapidly.
Saw Works Brewing Company, a newly-founded local microbrewery, embodies this trend. Or, rather, a renewed commitment "both to making great handcrafted beers and to working in a local, sustainable manner." The brewery was founded in 2010, but adopted its current name in 2012.
In an effort to "stay true to our Knoxville roots," Saw Works Brewing Company produces beer that is not only locally and environmentally sustainable, but also tasty.
Ryan Buckner, sophomore in geology, said the opportunity to buy quality, local beer is a privilege.
"Anytime I can get a local beer, it's usually what I try to order," Buckner said as he enjoyed a glass of Saw Works Beer at the local Sunspot bar on the Strip. "Generally, I think it's better than Bud Light or Coors Light."
The enthusiasm for beer doesn't stop at the local breweries. Tennessee students are also eager to participate.
For Cory Smith, senior in physics, the love of beer extends beyond the occasional run to Pilot. He frequently concocts a personal home brew in his kitchen. Smith described the intricate, biochemical brewing, involving a cooling process, hops and flavoring addition then an aging period lasting up to four weeks.
Hunter Todd, junior in architecture, garners similar certain satisfaction from producing his own alcohol.
"I love hands on stuff," Todd admitted, whose affinity for personal projects drives his brewing hobby. "I've always had a project my entire life. There's always something you can grow from."
While Todd admitted a home-brew may "never beat the price of a Bud Light," beating the price of "better beer" is a real possibility.
For those hesitant to attempt home-brewing process, Todd offered a bit of encouragement.
"The commitment level isn't extraordinary," Todd said. "If you have any sort of interest in it, you should go for it."
While Smith enjoys participating in this "counterculture" movement, he admitted the craft is also a point of pride.
"There's something cool about drinking a beer you made yourself," Smith said.