Memphis Made Brewing Company launched distribution in Memphis over the weekend, making it the third craft brewery to open for business in the Bluff City in the past year.
Founders Drew Barton and Andy Ashby tapped kegs of their brews at bars and restaurants Friday and Saturday. Those locations — Flying Saucer in Cordova and Downtown, Young Avenue Deli, Aldo’s Pizza Pies, Bardog Tavern and the Slider Inn — are the only places to buy Memphis Made on draft for now. Memphis Made is self-distributing and will slowly expand to other places in the coming weeks and months.
“There were a few hiccups, but overall it went well. People really seemed genuinely excited about trying new local beer,” Ashby said.
“It was great tapping kegs at the Flying Saucer where Drew and I met and where we learned a lot about beer. It was also fun being part of the Slider Inn’s Oktoberfest. The best part, however, was just getting a chance to chat with people about our passion: fresh, local beer.”
Memphis Made’s two inaugural brews are actually one-offs or special beers — offerings that won’t be in the production brewery’s year-round line-up.
South Cooper Saison is a brown saison that head brewer Barton fermented at 85 degrees with Belgian Saison yeast. It’s a complex beer with a hefty amount of spice and hints of banana.The Parkways Pale Ale, a malt-forward pale, was brewed with Nugget and Delta hops. Its name pays homage to Memphis’ parkway system and the streets that formed one of the city’s earliest boundaries.
“There was a great turn-out this weekend at both area Flying Saucer locations to receive a first taste of Memphis Made brew,” said Kirk Caliendo, Flying Saucer district manager.
“Both the saison and pale seemed to be even in popularity. I think the brown saison is my favorite of the two.”
This week, Barton said he is brewing a red ale with Munich malt, roasted malt, flaked oats, flaked barley and English hops. After that, there will be a porter and a Belgian Wit on tap before Memphis Made unveils its IPA, the first of the brewery’s year-round beers. A Kolsch — Memphis Made’s other planned year-round beer — will follow later.
Barton and Ashby are among the organizers of the Cooper-Young Regional Beerfest, which is coming up this Saturday (Oct. 19) at Midtown Autowerks, 795 S. Cooper. The Midtown beer festival, which is in its 4th year, features craft beers from breweries within a day’s drive of Memphis.
This time, Barton and Ashby get to serve their own beer at their neighborhood festival.
“It’ll be strange, but in a good way,” Ashby said. “Drew and I helped start the festival with several friends years ago, so it will be fun to be on the other side of it.”