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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.”

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

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.

TN at GABF: Wiseacre, Yazoo, McHale’s win medals at 2014 Great American Beer Festival

October 04, 2014 By: mike Category: Breweries, Competition, Craft beer, Events, Memphis

Three Tennessee craft breweries — Memphis’ Wiseacre Brewing Company, Nashville’s Yazoo Brewing Company  and Chattanooga’s McHale’s Brewhouse — won medals today at the 2014 Great American Beer Festival in Denver.

Wiseacre Tiny BombThe festival, in its 28th year, is the largest commercial beer competition in the world. A total of 234 different breweries won either gold, silver or bronze medals in 90 beer categories covering 145 different beer styles.

Wiseacre won a bronze medal for its Tiny Bomb in the German-Style Pilsener category (75 entries). This was Wiseacre’s first year to compete at GABF.

Brothers Davin and Kellan Bartosch opened Wiseacre on Broad Avenue in 2013. Tiny Bomb, available on draft and in cans in the Memphis area, is one of the brewery’s two year-round beers, along with Ananda IPA.

“It’s great to be recognized for something that you have worked so hard on for so long, especially by my peers, the greatest beer judges in the world. Pilsner is among the most difficult styles of beer to produce and we are glad to be honored in this way. I almost cried,” brewmaster Davin Bartosch said in a press release.

Added Kellan Bartosch: “With Firestone and Russian River being the other medalist in the category as two of the most highly acclaimed breweries in the country, it says a lot about the internal admiration for Pilsner among brewers. Craft beer drinkers often stick to mega hoppy IPAs or big stouts, but external appreciation for tasty lower ABV beers is on the rise and Tiny Bomb made here in Memphis can now be considered a leader of the pack on a national scale.”

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Bronze medal for Tiny Bomb #gabf

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Meanwhile, Yazoo captured the bronze medal in the Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer category (65 entries) for its Cherry Deux Rouges, part of the Nashville brewery’s Embrace the Funk series. The medal is Yazoo’s fourth overall, having won twice for its Hefeweizen and once for Sue.

The final Tennessee winner was Chattanooga’s McHale’s Brewhouse, which won a gold medal for its Scottish Pride beer in the Scottish-Style Ale category (51 entries). It’s the first GABF win for McHale’s Brewhouse.

A huge congrats to all the Tennessee winners!