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Memphis’ Wiseacre Brewing expands distribution to Nashville, will add 4th year-round beer

December 15, 2014 By: mike Category: Breweries, Craft beer, Distribution, Memphis

Memphis’ Wiseacre Brewing Co. is expanding its Tennessee footprint as it launches distribution in Nashville today.

Wiseacre LogoWiseacre, which is also adding a fourth beer to its year-round lineup, is partnering with BountyBev to send beer in cans and on draft to the Music City.

Kellan Bartosch, who founded Wiseacre with brother Davin in 2003, said they “feel great about our decision to work with Bounty.”

“They are small and only carry American craft beer, with a knowledgeable and passionate team working there led by (president) Kurt Strickmaker. As we get farther away from Memphis, it is important that we have people who know how to communicate about our beers and our story. Bounty is growing a lot in Nashville right now and are an important part of the way the beer scene is developing there,” Bartosch said via email.

“I should add that our distributor in town (Eagle Distributing) has done a great job and has been crucial to helping us have such a good start. Having good partners on the distribution tier can be a huge plus in helping breweries like Wiseacre, and we take the selection process very seriously.”

Wiseacre is planning special events this week in Nashville for its rollout. Check out the brewery’s Facebook page and Twitter feed for details.

Meanwhile, Wiseacre is adding a fourth beer to its year-round lineup: Gotta Get Up to Get Down, a coffee milk stout that’s previously been released as a special beer.

Gotta Get Up to Get DownWiseacre hopes to have the beer in cans “by the end of the year or early 2015,” Bartosch said.

Gotta Get Up to Get Down joins a year-round lineup that includes Ananda IPA, Tarasque Saison and Tiny Bomb American Pilsener, which recently won a bronze medal at the 2014 Great American Beer Festival.

“We wanted to offer a more malt forward beer,” Bartosch said of Gotta Get Up to Get Down, which features roasted barley, oats and plenty of coffee flavor.

“We heard more feedback about this beer than perhaps any other one-off we made in Year One. Davin made this beer … while he was a brewer in Chicago and won Best in Show at a festival, with 2nd place being Dreadnaught DIPA from 3 Floyds and Bourbon County from Goose Island getting 3rd. Both of those are in the Top 50 on RateBeer.com, so being awarded Best in Show by the Chicago Beer Society over those two is high praise as well. We feel really good about this beer.”

The label art for Gotta Get Up to Get Down — the words look like milk surrounded by steam from coffee — was designed by Rachel Briggs, the artist behind Wiseacre’s other unique labels.

“Milk Stouts use lactose sugar, which is unfermentable and provides a residual dairy sweetness. Unlike the connotations many people associate with the word ‘stout,’ these beers are medium-bodied ranging from 4-6% ABV with GGU2GD being medium-bodied and sitting right in the middle at 5%. So it’s a coffee milk stout, not a coffee stout,” Bartosch said.

“The oats in GGU2GD provide a silky texture and help provides a tan/brown head. The coffee comes from a specifically selected Ethiopian Natural Process Bean from the Konga region of Yirgacheffe, which is the roasted at Metropolis Coffee in Chicago. We could’ve used Folgers or some other random brand, but we’re getting amazing coffee and working with who we believe is the best coffee roaster in the U.S.

“Making great beer is about recipe formulation, great ingredients, great equipment, great execution and great packaging — they are all very, very important. There is a beautiful clean coffee flavor in this beer that’s not overly roasty acidic or acrid. Be prepared for a slight caffeine bump too, thus the name of the uppers of caffeine and downer of booze.”

Science of Beer returns to Pink Palace Museum on Jan. 16

December 04, 2014 By: mike Category: Beer learnin', Breweries, Craft beer, Events, Memphis

Science of BeerThe Pink Palace Museum is bringing back its popular Science of Beer event on Friday, Jan. 16.

The event, which runs from 6 to 9:30 p.m at 3050 Central Ave., is part beer tasting, part science lesson.

You’ll get to taste beer from professional brewers and local homebrewers, snack on chili courtesy of Tamp & Tap, and drink from glasses provided by Memphis Filling Station.

But you’ll also get to explore the science behind making beer, take a closer look at hops, malt and yeast, and engage your senses more fully to better enjoy your beer.

There will also be fun activities like decorating your own beer koozie and making a pretzel necklace.

Tickets are $30 for museum members, $35 non-members and $15 for designated drivers. All tickets must be purchased in advance. Buy tickets at the museum box office or call the museum’s reservations department at 901-636-2362.

The vendor list, subject to change, includes:

  • A.S. Barboro
  • Abita Brewing Company
  • Bernoulli Brew Werks
  • Bluff City Brewers and Connoisseurs
  • Boscos
  • Chattanooga Brewing Co.
  • Eagle Distributing (formerly Budweiser of Memphis)
  • Ghost River Brewing Co.
  • High Cotton Brewing Co.
  • Memphis Brewer’s Association
  • Memphis Made Brewing Co.
  • Schlafly Beer
  • Southern Prohibition Brewing
  • Yazoo Brewing Co.
  • Wiseacre Brewing Co.

Memphis Made Brewing opens taproom in Cooper-Young to public today

November 21, 2014 By: mike Category: Breweries, Craft beer, Memphis

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Hand-crafted beer from Memphis Made Brewing Co. can be found at more than 100 bars, restaurants and stores in Shelby County. But starting today, you can walk into the brewery, sit down, and enjoy a fresh pint straight from the source.

Memphis Made opens its doors to the public today with the official launch of its new Cooper-Young area taproom at 768 S. Cooper.

With eight beers on tap, Memphis Made will be open on Fridays from 4 to 9 p.m., with food trucks parked outside each night. Memphis Made plans to expand hours and days of operation soon.

For its launch, the taproom will be serving beer starting at noon today. Hot Mess food truck will also be selling burritos in the parking lot near the “I Love Memphis” mural.

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The brewery had a preview event Thursday night for friends and family. The taproom is sparse and industrial, with a dark wood lattice above the bar. It feels like you’re really drinking in a brewery, not a bar, amid the fermentation tanks, kegs and brewing equipment.

Founded by friends and Cooper-Young residents Andy Ashby and Drew Barton, the latter the former head brewer at French Broad Brewery in North Carolina, Memphis Made opened its production brewery last October. Ashby and Barton worked on ramping up production and getting their beers onto local taps before starting on the taproom, but they said they are looking forward to this new chapter for the brewery.

“Both Andy and I are just excited about the direct consumption with the customer, being able to sit down at our place and have a beer. It’s something I’ve really missed from French Broad: getting done with the work day, changing out of my boots … and walking over to the tasting room and having a beer. We’ve been looking forward to making that happen,” Barton said, pictured below.

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Memphis Made will be selling 20-ounce pints for $6 and 10-ounce pints for $3.

“We both really like a good 20-ounce English pint. It’s just always been one of our favorites. … And we’ve always been a fan of just being able to offer a half pint. If you’re sitting at the bar with a friend, and you don’t quite feel like having a full pint, there you go, you can get a half pint easy.”

Meanwhile, 64-ounce and 32-ounce growlers to go will be available, as well.

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A 1,000-square-foot patio facing York is Memphis Made’s new entrance, with a parking lot for customers just across the street.

“I think this is perfect for the neighborhood. It’s going to be very laid back,” Barton said. “I mean you’re drinking beer in a warehouse. It doesn’t get much more easy than that. It’s going to be very casual. It’ll probably be pretty packed in here these first couple of times we’re open, but it will kind of die down and people will be able to just hang out and chill.”

He added: “I’d love to see families in here. We’ve got a young family, and I know it’s tough to get out.”

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Memphis Made has produced more than a dozen beers its first year, from Plaid Attack!!!, a Scottish ale, to Reverberation, a Belgian coffee stout. But the brewery only recently settled on its first year-round beer, Lucid Kolsch.

“We know that it’s a much more approachable beer. And even in the winter time, even if we have the best intentions of making all these great winter beers, there’s some people that want something just like a Kolsch,” Barton said. “It’s a great beer. We love it. We love the style.”

Memphis Made also released a new special IPA this week, Hundo, brewed with Centennial hops, that will remind folks of Bell’s Two Hearted Ale.

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Memphis Made’s converted warehouse space is Memphis’ third brewery taproom, following the recent opening of tasting rooms at Wiseacre Brewing and High Cotton Brewing Co.

For the Memphis beer community, the opening of Memphis Made is just another sign of how far the scene has come in such a short time.

“It’s still very new, but it’s wonderful how much the customers have gravitated towards that,” Barton said.

“We’re all busting at the seems. I can hardly keep up with just draft. We hardly have time to put stuff in bottles right now. … We’d even love to see six packs happen, but we just don’t have the time or capacity to do it now.”

Nashville’s Yazoo Brewing releases new winter seasonal Scotch Ale

November 14, 2014 By: mike Category: Breweries, Craft beer

Yazoo Brewing CompanyNashville’s Yazoo Brewing Company has released a new winter seasonal beer, the Yazoo Winter Scotch Ale.

Yazoo describes the beer as “a very malt forward beer made with a good bit of Maris Otter malts, boasting a deep copper color that matches the full bodied flavor.”

The beer will be available in stores in Tennessee and Mississippi, and is on tap now in Yazoo’s taproom.

Tried it yet? Let me know how it is in the comments below.

What a great week to welcome Yazoo Winter Scotch Ale.

A photo posted by Neil Mccormick (@yazoobrew) on