FuzzyBrew

beer is awesome
Subscribe Twitter

‘Abandoned Memphis’ series spotlights the Tennessee Brewery

August 29, 2011 By: mike Category: Beer in the news, Breweries, Memphis

Abandoned Memphis -- Tennessee BreweryaAt the height of its success in the early 20th century, the Tennessee Brewery produced more than 200,000 barrels of beer annually, including the flagship Goldcrest 51.

It was once one of the biggest breweries in the South before shutting its doors in 1954.

Now the massive brewery in Downtown Memphis sits empty and awaiting possible redevelopment, though such an endeavor would be costly.

The brewery is the subject of a recent story in The Commercial Appeal, part of the publication’s “Abandoned Memphis” series that examines once-thriving properties in the Memphis area. Reporter Sara Patterson wrote the story, while photographer Alan Spearman took the photos.

Patterson gave FuzzyBrew the story behind her story.

FuzzyBrew: Why did you decide to highlight the Tennessee Brewery as part of your Abandoned Memphis series?

Patterson: The old brewery kind of has everything we look for in this series. It’s interesting historically and architecturally, and it’s been sitting mostly empty for 60 years. A scrap metal company stayed on the first floor until 1981.

FuzzyBrew: After spending time there, what are your thoughts about the place?

Patterson: I really enjoyed spending some time in there. The facade makes it seem like one massive structure, but it’s actually separate buildings woven together. The inside is a maze – the floors are mismatched and there were more winding stairwells, with intricate wrought-iron detail, than I could count. It was fun to try and imagine what it was like in 1903, when things were really “hoppin’.” While there’s not any beer making equipment left, there is a cotton baler.

Read Patterson’s story on commercialappeal.com: “Tennessee Brewery has intoxicating beauty, sobering challenges for developers”

Leave a Reply