FuzzyBrew

beer is awesome
Subscribe Twitter

Archive for the ‘Distribution’

Guest post | Blake Marcum: Giving thanks for pumpkin beer in the 901

November 24, 2014 By: mike Category: Craft beer, Distribution, Memphis

The following is a guest post from Memphis craft beer drinker and pumpkin beer connoisseur Blake Marcum.

•••

As Memphians huddle beside the propane heaters, enjoying the last few moments of patio time in fall before the dark cold winter casts it gloom and frost into our hearts and we find ourselves amid the dizzying display of winter beer, we can all take comfort in knowing that pumpkin beer can still be found on the store shelves in the 901.

Blake Marcum

Blake Marcum

The popularity of pumpkin beers has grown at an astronomical rate in America. What is more surprising is the enjoyment of this wonderful liquid is shared among the craft beer and macro beer crowd alike.

The greatest of all achievements of pumpkin beer may be how equally received it is by both men and women.

New pumpkin styles have also arrived, with pumpkin porters, imperial stouts, saisons and even IPAs as brewers continue their journey to tempt us with their creations. While not all of those can be found in the Mid-South, there are several that you can still bring to the Thanksgiving table to make that family time a lot more enjoyable (tolerable). We wanted to share our top list of pumpkin beers in the 901 that you should still be looking for.

Most beer rating systems are based on appearance, aroma, mouth feel, flavor and just an overall impression of the beer. With pumpkin beer we have to add a different dynamic as the beers have an unusual flavor pattern, which for this list we’ll call the Pumpkind Scale, a rating of what kind of pumpkin flavor the beer has. Some are like drinking pumpkin pie with the high spice load and some have a more gourd-like taste truer to the actual pumpkin. Which is better is up to you to decide.

Blackstone’s Pumpkin Ale:

Blackstone’s Pumpkin Ale

1.Blackstone Brewing Co.’s Pumpkin Ale: Our Nashville neighbor’s co-founder Kent Taylor told me that he did not even want to make this beer. He got talked into it and the popularity has skyrocketed in the state. I buy eight cases of this beer to enjoy and to share. It’s like drinking pumpkin pie that is not overwhelming after you’ve had a few.
Pumpkind Scale: Pumpkin pie, heavy spice

2. Schlafly Beer’s Pumpkin Ale: At 8% ABV, this pumpkin not only possesses incredible flavor, but also carries an alcohol level that will have you feeling extremely cozy by the fire.
Pumpkind Scale: Pumpkin pie, heavy spice

3. New Belgium Brewing’s Pumpkick: Our good friends at New Belgium proved that just because they are the 3rd largest independent brewery in the country, didn’t mean that they couldn’t learn a few new tricks. The 2013 Pumpkick had only a faint hint of gourd in it and almost no recognizable spice. While some liked it, I hated its innocence and lack of complexity that New Belgium brings to so many other styles. I decided to try the 2014 and was blown away by the spice load and complexity of flavors in it. They added cranberries and a touch of lemongrass to the recipe, because they’re New Belgium and well… why not? A very enjoyable beer.
Pumpkind Scale: Pumpkin pie, medium spice

4. The Traveler Beer Company’s Jack-O Traveler: Traveler really impressed me with this one, considering it is so far outside of its normal shandy lineup. Drinking this beer is like enjoying your grandma’s pumpkin pie, but your crazy uncle got a hold of it first and added some alcohol.
Pumpkind Scale: Pumpkin pie, heavy spice

Pumpkin beer haul

Pumpkin beer haul

5. Shipyard Brewing Co.’s Pumpkinhead: This is a great pumpkin for those who want some pumpkin, but not with the overwhelming nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon load that accompanies so many others. Pumpkin fans from both sides of the spice scale can enjoy this one, but those who want pumpkin pie will only get a faint taste of what they truly want.
Pumpkind Scale: Pumpkin gourd, low spice

6. (TIE) Blue Moon Brewing Co.’s Harvest Pumpkin Ale and Shock Top’s Pumpkin Wheat: Both of these are enjoyable pumpkin offerings that you could drink daily, but don’t possess the strong distinction that the others on the list do.
Pumpkind Scale: Pumpkin pie, medium spice

7. Magic Hat Brewing Company’s Wilhelm Scream: I couldn’t believe Magic Hat attempted a pumpkin beer when I first saw this. I also couldn’t believe I actually enjoyed a Magic Hat beer after I tasted it. This one tasted like the Magic Hat team just threw whatever ingredients in that were supposed to make a pumpkin beer, but somehow it worked out. I look forward to how it turns out next year.
Pumpkind Scale: Pumpkin pie, heavy spice

8. Redhook Ale Brewery’s Out of Your Gourd Pumpkin Porter: The one dark pumpkin you can find in the 901 is a nice porter with low deep hanging pumpkin flavors that are quite enjoyable for the dark beer drinkers out there.
Pumpkind Scale: Pumpkin gourd, low spice, porter

9. O’Fallon Brewery’s Pumpkin Beer: This beer blew me away in 2013, but changed the recipe to lower the spice load in 2014. It is still a very enjoyable pumpkin, but I hope the 2015 version will need a fork to enjoy.
Pumpkind Scale: Pumpkin pie, medium spice

Dogfish Head Punkin Ale

Dogfish Head Punkin Ale

10. Dogfish Head Craft Brewery’s Punkin Ale: Most craft beer fans in the 901 will not be pleased to see Dogfish Head down at the bottom of the list, because we’re all so happy to see them back in the Bluff City. The reason the Punkin Ale goes to the bottom is because it’s not a true pumpkin beer. Dogfish describes the beer as “a full-bodied brown ale with smooth hints of pumpkin and brown sugar.” As far as a brown ale with hints of pumpkin goes, it’s enjoyable. As far as a pumpkin beer goes, it has a long way to go and I don’t think Dogfish Head is truly embracing the concept, although their bottle art suggests differently.
Pumpkind Scale: Pumpkin gourd, low spice, brown ale

Either way you prefer to land on the scale, there are still plenty of enjoyable pumpkin beers available for your table. And while no local brewery makes a pumpkin beer currently, I believe it only to be a matter of time before we’re discussing which brewery in Memphis does pumpkin best. So go forth and make those pilgrims jealous with a great pumpkin beer.

Cheers!

Memphis’ Wiseacre Brewing expands Mid-South distribution, adds brewery tours

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

Wiseacre - outside
Press release:

WISEACRE EXPANDS MID-SOUTH DISTRIBUTION, ADDS BREWERY TOURS
Hometown brewery brings Memphis beer to North Mississippi and West Tennessee

Memphis, TN (November 2, 2014) — Memphis-based WISEACRE Brewing Company is sharing the love throughout the Mid-South by introducing its three year-round beers, along with a limited supply of specialty brews, into neighboring markets. Cans and kegs of WISEACRE’s Ananda India Pale Ale, Tarasque Saison, and Tiny Bomb American Pilsner, which was awarded a Bronze medal at the Great American Beer Festival in October, will be distributed in North Mississippi (Desoto County, Oxford, Tupelo, Starkville, Clarksdale) via Clark Beverage and in West Tennessee through Jackson, Tennessee-based Central Distributing. Both distributors will also supply these markets with WISEACRE’s seasonal and limited-edition beers as they are produced periodically throughout the year.

“Since Day One, we’ve had a better start to business than we could have ever imagined,” said WISEACRE’s brewmaster Davin Bartosch. “Whether it’s selling kegs to bars, cans at the retail level, or just across the bar in our Broad Avenue Tap Room, everything has exceeded expectations. The support of the Memphis community and the enthusiasm of WISEACRE fans made the expansion of equipment and staff possible earlier this year, and now they are enabling us to send beer into surrounding markets that have a great connection to Memphis already.”

Kellan Bartosch, Davin’s brother and business partner adds, “Memphis has a natural connection to our region from the history of the Delta Blues to the North Mississippi college student. That culture helps WISEACRE connect to the region as well. As we surveyed the beer and food scenes in Memphis’ surrounding communities, there were already a lot of folks who’d come all the way to our Tap Room to buy our beer and who were excited about getting our beer in their communities. It was just a matter of making sure that we could produce enough to supply those markets without jeopardizing our relationship with our loyal fans here at home. Those supporters, along with the unique tie WISEACRE has to the culture in Memphis, will always be the most important thing to us.”

In addition to expanding markets, WISEACRE will finally open up its doors for tours on to the public for weekly tours. Every Saturday at noon, starting on November 15th; the WISEACRE staff will give up to 40 guests a behind-the-scenes look at how WISEACRE brews its award-winning beer. Reservations can be made at wiseacrebrew.com. Additionally, starting November 13th, WISEACRE’s taproom has expanded hours, staying open until 9PM Thursday through Saturday.

WISEACRE opened in August of 2013 after the brothers gained experience working in the brewing industry around the country. Their brewery and taproom are located at 2783 Broad Ave where they made 27 beers in year one ranging from German lagers, to hoppy American styles, complex and boozy Belgian beers, and barrel aging to boot. For more information visit www.wiseacrebrew.com.

New beer update: Tennessee Brew Works continues Memphis rollout

October 08, 2014 By: mike Category: Breweries, Craft beer, Distribution, Events, Memphis

Tennessee Brew Works taps

Nashville’s Tennessee Brew Works is continuing its launch into the Memphis market.

Tonight, there’s a “Meet the Brewer” event at the Young Avenue Deli. Head brewer/co-founder Garr Schwartz be there talking beer and sharing swag from 7 to 9 p.m.

Saturday, the brewery will make its Cooper-Young Regional Beerfest debut.

Tennessee Brew Works, which recently celebrated its first anniversary, is expanding into Memphis through distribution partner A.S. Barboro. All five year-round, or “headliner” beers, will be available in Memphis at various times, including the Southern WitExtra EasyCutaway IPABasil Ryeman and Country Roots.

Tennessee Brew Works held a tasting last week at Cash Saver’s Madison Growler & Bottle Shop, and I stopped by to meet co-founder Christian Spears and try out the brews.

All the beers I tried were really solid, but my favorites were Country Roots — the best sweet potato stout I’ve ever tasted — and Basil Ryeman — a smooth farmhouse ale brewed with Thai basil. The Cutaway IPA is also excellent.

Look for these beers on tap around Memphis soon and, of course, at Saturday’s sold-out Cooper Young beerfest, if you’re lucky enough to have a ticket.

Nashville’s Tennessee Brew Works to begin distribution in Memphis

September 29, 2014 By: mike Category: Breweries, Craft beer, Distribution, Events, Memphis

Tennessee Brew WorksNashville’s Tennessee Brew Works is bringing its “finely tuned craft beer” to Memphis.

The microbrewery, which just celebrated its first anniversary, has selected A.S. Barboro as its Memphis distribution partner and will start sending kegs of beer to Bluff City bars, restaurants and growler shops this week.

“This is a big moment for us,” said Tennessee Brew Works co-founder Christian Spears, who added the brewery was thrilled to expand west into Memphis. The beer has been available so far in Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga and other Middle and East Tennessee locations.

Tennessee Brew Works’ five year-round, or “headliner” beers, will all be available in Memphis at various times. They are Southern WitExtra EasyCutaway IPABasil Ryeman and Country Roots, all low-gravity beers that will be available only on draft for now.

Spears said Southern Wit, which is available at the Tennessee Titans’ LP Field, has become the brewery’s best seller.

He described the brewery’s approach to making beer like that of a homebrewer, and “food is always in mind.”

“We want (the beer) to be unique and interesting … but we also try to make it approachable,” Spears said.

Tennessee Brew Works is planning sampling events at bars and restaurants over the next two weeks — most of them next week — as part of the brewery’s Memphis roll-out. Tennessee Brew Works will also serve its beer at the 5th annual Cooper-Young Regional Beerfest, coming up Oct. 11.