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Memphis’ Wiseacre Brewing to be first craft brewery in Tennessee to can beer

July 11, 2013 By: mike Category: Breweries, Craft beer, Distribution, Memphis

Memphis will soon have locally-brewed beer available in cans for the first time in the modern craft beer era.

Wiseacre Brewing Company, which is opening a 13,000-square-foot brewery with a tap room and backyard patio later this year on Broad, announced today that it will package two year-round beers, Tiny Bomb American Pilsner and Ananda IPA, into cans that will available for purchase before year’s end.

Not only will it be a first for Memphis, but no other Tennessee craft brewery is canning its beers.

Wiseacre has received federal approval to open its brewery at 2783 Broad, but has not yet announced an opening date.

Wiseacre Brewing cans

Here’s the press release issued this morning by Wiseacre:

WISEACRE TO BE FIRST CRAFT BREWERY IN TENNESSEE TO CAN BEER

Cans for two year-round beers balance form and function.

Memphis, TN (July 8, 2013) – WISEACRE Brewing Company is excited to announce it will be the first craft brewery in Tennessee to can beer. The Memphis-based craft brewery’s two year-round beers, Tiny Bomb American Pilsner and Ananda IPA (India Pale Ale), will be packaged into cans and available for purchase before year’s end.

WISEACRE commissioned artist and Memphis native Rachel Briggs to design the artwork for both Tiny Bomb’s and Ananda’s packaging. Briggs’ work, which includes illustration and photography, has been featured on album covers and in magazines. Most recently, she provided art direction for a music video on Jack White’s Third Man Records. WISEACRE’s Kellan Bartosch has long been a fan of her work in all practices, but Briggs’ concert posters in particular made it clear to Bartosch that she was the best choice to create WISEACRE’s beer art and packaging.

“I’m very excited to be working with WISEACRE on the artwork. It’s been an exciting challenge to translate the details and illustrations we’ve schemed up onto the cans themselves, watching them come to life all the while giving each brew its own personality,” said Briggs, whose work for WISEACRE represents her first for a brewery. “The stories of beers and breweries conjure up special little identities in my mind which I get to process out onto paper and eventually on a can. It’s very rewarding to be part of such a collaborative and distinctive effort.”

“Cans make sense to us for a whole lot of reasons,” adds Kellan. “Cans are more portable, are completely recyclable, and more durable than glass. Most importantly, cans are the best method for delivering the best tasting beer to the consumer. Recent breakthroughs in canning liners have eliminated the oxidation of aluminum into beer (which is very acidic). Cans protect completely from light and oxygen making them basically miniature kegs. This is why you’ve seen industry leaders like Sierra Nevada and New Belgium switching to cans in recent years. Rachel worked hard with us to capture the ethos of these beers, their history and persona, to develop texture and detail which speaks of that. We love these cans!”

WISEACRE brewmaster Davin Bartosch says the debate over their year-round beer styles has been happening for years with much thought and preparation.

“While brewing at Rock Bottom Chicago, I’ve been developing beers considering this moment. We knew we wanted to put two beers forward as year-round offerings and they needed to be beers that we loved, but also beers that we thought others would enjoy,” Davin explains. “Making beer at Rock Bottom Brewery in Chicago allowed me to gauge the response of the general public on a large scale and also get feedback from my brewing peers. Pilsner is absolutely one of my favorite styles of beer – it’s approachable to most yet the balance of making a great lager is absolutely one of the toughest challenges for a brewer. Not every beer needs to be heavy or intense to be great and that’s what Tiny Bomb is – a session beer (hence “tiny) with a complex malt character, balancing bitterness, and big flavor (like a bomb).”

Ananda is an India Pale Ale or IPA, a style that is the fastest growing category in craft beer. As Davin further explains, “The style gets its name from the British shipping beer to India during colonial times. Higher alcohol and hops were added to the beer as a means of preservation and a style was born, yet the real identity of this style has been formed in the United States, particularly by West Coast breweries. I was able to work on IPAs extensively over the years from concept to finished product – recipe formulation, dry hop methods, etc – over hundreds of recipes and this IPA is the honing of all those efforts. Ananda means bliss in Sanskrit, which we think is appropriate for the style’s origins and our sentiments on this citrusy, juicy, hop explosion!”

For more information, patrons are invited to subscribe to email updates from WISEACRE by emailing SUBSCRIBE to info@wiseacrebrew.com.

3 Comments to “Memphis’ Wiseacre Brewing to be first craft brewery in Tennessee to can beer”


  1. Great artwork. Those will really stand out on the shelves.

    And I couldn’t help but notice the ABV of the IPA is 6.2 … the cutoff to be sold in grocery stores. I’m sure that was no accident!

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  2. Big River in Chatanooga cans their pilsner and IPA as well.

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