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Memphis brewery preview: a look inside Wiseacre Brewing Company, opening this week

August 27, 2013 By: mike Category: Breweries, Craft beer, Distribution, Events, Memphis

Wiseacre - outside
Wiseacre Brewing Company will cut the ribbon on its new brewery Wednesday at 2783 Broad Avenue in the heart of Memphis’ Broad Avenue Arts District, with a ceremony featuring Mayor A C Wharton.

The brewery, founded by brothers Davin and Kellan Bartosch, will then open its tap room and patio on Friday, marking the debut of Wiseacre beer in the Memphis market.

The Bartosch brothers are putting the finishing touches on the tap room and brewery, but gave FuzzyBrew a sneak peek inside on Tuesday.

The brewery features a 20-barrel brewhouse, with 200 barrels of fermentation space.

Wiseacre brewhouseWiseacre’s 20-barrel brewing system.

Wiseacre-fermentersFermenters at Wiseacre.

The brothers have been brewing on the system since August 10 and have a limited amount of beer — 40 barrels, or 80 kegs — to start with for the next week and a half.

They’ve been brewing their first two year-round beers — Tiny Bomb American Pilsner and Ananda IPA — as well as a brown ale that will be a special release.

“We’ll alternate through styles,” said Kellan, adding that the special releases will include Oktoberfests, Belgians, IPAs, porters and stouts, often depending on the season or what its brewmaster, Davin, might be craving.

“It’s stuff I want to drink,” Davin added.

Wiseacre's Kellan and Davin BartoschKellan, left, and Davin Bartosch, inside the Wiseacre brewery.

Wiseacre - Davin BartoschDavin Bartosch is Wiseacre’s brewmaster.

The taproom will be open this week on Friday, from 4 to 8 p.m., and Saturday, 1 to 8 p.m. After this weekend, the regular tap room schedule will be Thursdays and Fridays, 4 to 8 p.m., and Saturdays from 1 to 8 p.m.

There will be food trucks with food for sale outside, and beer inside, including tasters, pints and growlers. The tasting room is less a bar and more a place to get to know the beers and the brewery, Kellan said.

“We don’t view it as a huge business opportunity but as a place for people to learn about beer.”

Wiseacre taproomThe tap room, still under construction.

Wiseacre tapsWiseacre taps, with an acorn on top.

Wiseacre will start distributing its draft beers locally through Budweiser of Memphis in the next few weeks, but don’t expect to see it everywhere, all at once.

They’ll be starting small and growing as they go. “We’re being safe because we don’t want people to run out and get frustrated,” Kellan explained.

And, yes, Wiseacre’s canning line will be installed soon, and Tiny Bomb American Pilsner and Ananda IPA will be available for purchase before year’s end.

But the brothers are taking things one step at a time.

“Quality,” Davin said, “is the most important thing to me.

Wiseacre patioWiseacre’s patio, opening Friday.

Colorado’s Oskar Blues launching distribution in Memphis on Sept. 9

August 27, 2013 By: mike Category: Breweries, Craft beer, Distribution, Events, Memphis

Oskar BluesColorado’s Oskar Blues Brewing Company, a pioneer in craft beer cans, is coming to Memphis.

The brewery will launch sales in the Bluff City on Sept. 9 through distributor Budweiser of Memphis.

Mama’s Little Yella Pils — which clocks in at 5.3% ABV — will be the only beer available in grocery stores. Meanwhile, in liquor stores, bar and restaurants, you’ll be able to get the higher gravity Dale’s Pale Ale, Deviant Dale’s, Old Chub and Ten FIDY, according to Budweiser of Memphis’ Austin Sawyer.

At launch, Memphis will only be getting cans of Oskar Blues, but draft sales will start about 60 days later, Sawyer said.

There will be samplings, tastings and more on the week of Sept. 9 to promote the start of Oskar Blues distribution here.

“We’ll be all over the city that week,” Sawyer said.

Memphis homebrewer launches Kickstarter for Eclectic Ales, hits goal in 3 days

August 13, 2013 By: mike Category: Breweries, Craft beer, Memphis

Ben Pugh with Charlie Papazian, author of The Complete Joy of Homebrewing

Ben Pugh with Charlie Papazian, author of The Complete Joy of Homebrewing

Memphis homebrewer Ben Pugh has launched a Kickstarter project to help fund Eclectic Ales, an in-house, contract brewing company that will help turn restaurants into brew pubs, starting with Rock ‘N’ Dough Pizza Co. in Jackson, Tenn.

The Kickstarter launched Saturday and hit its $5,000 goal after just three days. As of tonight, the project had received donations in excess of $5,275.

Pugh posted this on Facebook: “We broke our $5000 goal in 3 days! Thank you everybody who helped! We are going to continue to run it for the full 30 days and hopefully we can raise some more money for it. If anybody is familiar with brewing equipment you know it’s by no means cheap. The $5000 we raised is enough money to start having some of the equipment installed. It will cost $5000 to install our boiler alone which is only a small piece of the puzzle. Please continue to help us out and see how much we can raise!”

Here’s more about the Kickstarter project:

“We have paired up with Rock ‘N’ Dough Pizza Co. to bring the best and freshest beers and pizzas to Jackson, Tennessee. We will be operating on a custom made, 5 barrel brewing system and will have 6 different beers on tap (with draft root beer and cream soda for your little brew monkeys) all made in-house. Rock ‘N’ Dough will have pizzas with some of the freshest local ingredients you can get along with burgers, salads, grinders, and much much more! Eclectic Ales will provide the freshest and best tasting beer available to Jackson, TN!

Our initial goal of $5,000 will be used towards installation of our beautiful new equipment and purchase of ingredients to start making some amazing beer for you to enjoy. As a self funded project, this $5,000.00 is just a small percentage of the amount of money it’s actually taken to get this dream out of the clouds and into reality. Any additional money raised will go towards additional specialized ingredients and sourcing of local ingredients that will be used to bring you some very special, unique brews you can’t find anywhere else! With our focus always on fresh and local, the more money raised, the better we can obtain for you!”

The 4,100-square-foot brewpub will be part of a new walkable community, developed in part by Henry Turley, near the University of Memphis Lambuth campus.

If you haven’t made a donation, check out the Kickstarter page. 26 days to go!

Date for 2014 Memphis Craft Beer Week announced

August 09, 2013 By: mike Category: Breweries, Craft beer, Events, Memphis

The week-long celebration of craft beer in Memphis has a date for 2014, a new name a special Untappd badge coming.

April 20-26, 2014, will be the second-annual Memphis Craft Beer Week, which is organized by Budweiser of Memphis.

The celebration of beer was known this year as Memphis Beer Week, but it’s being changed to Memphis Craft Beer Week.

Also, organizers announced today there will be a special Untappd badge for the 2014 event that will get you in to special VIP events. More coming on that.

The 2013 Beer Week featured beer tastings, beer dinners, firkin nights and pint nights all across town, culminating in the 4th annual Memphis Brewfest at AutoZone Park.

2013 Memphis Brewfest