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Sold-out 5th annual Cooper-Young Regional Beerfest showcases best beers from South

October 13, 2014 By: mike Category: Breweries, Craft beer, Events, Homebrew, Memphis

Cooper-Young Regional Beerfest

The best beers in the South were on tap at the 5th annual Cooper-Young Regional Beerfest on Saturday.

The sold-out craft beer festival, which is a fundraising event for the Cooper-Young Community Association, showcases breweries within a day’s drive from Memphis, plus beer from Memphis-area homebrewers.

Rain had threatened the festival, but it stayed pretty dry, and the festival might have been the best yet. I felt the beers were particularly strong this year, featuring an impressive variety of styles, and the vibe was as laid-back as ever.

My goal this year was to sample beers from breweries that were largely unfamiliar to me. I had some really great beers  — so picking my favorites was tough — but here’s my Top 5 beers from the festival :

1. “Bourbon Barrel Cocoa Porter,” Country Boy Brewing, Lexington KY — This decadent beer was my favorite of Country Boy’s strong slate of offerings, delivering a rich cocoa flavor with a bourbon finish.

2. “Peanut Butter AstroNut Brown,” Rocket Republic Brewing Company, Madison, AL — People looked at me with raised eyebrows when I suggested they try the “peanut butter beer” from Rocket Republic, but I think a lot of folks were won over by this American Brown Ale. The peanut butter was surprisingly subtle, adding just enough sweetness to make this a beer a winner.

3. “Breakfast Stout,” Bluff City Brewers & Connoisseurs, Memphis, TN — Brewed by homebrewer Adam Steele, the recipe is essentially the “Brewing Classic Styles” oatmeal stout, using a Randall to infuse the beer with Ugly Mug coffee beans. Adam also cold-steeped the roasted grains, pasteurized them at 180 degrees for 10 minutes and added directly to the fermenter. The result was a delicious coffee stout.

4. “Brother Joseph’s Belgian Dubbel,” Straight to Ale, Huntsville, AL — At 8% ABV, this was a surprising smooth abbey-stye ale with enough flavor that I could still taste the rich malt and fruit character after sampling beers for 3.5 hours.

5. “Masked Bandit India Pale Ale,” Piney River Brewing Co., Bucyrus, MO — There were plenty of hoppy beers on tap at the festival, but I particularly liked this well-balanced black rye IPA., hopped with Amarillo, Citra and Centennial.

What were the best beers you tried? Leave a comment below.

Here are some more photos from the event:

Cooper-Young Regional Beerfest - crowdThe festival drew nearly 1,000 people and sold out in record time.

Cooper-Young Regional Beerfest - YazooNashville’s Yazoo Brewing Company is always a festival favorite. Yazoo’s Ivan Chester (not pictured) brought some special brews for the occasion.

Cooper-Young Regional BeerfestMemphis Made Brewing’s Andy Ashby poured beers at the festival that he helped found five years ago.

Cooper-Young Regional Beerfest - Bluff City BrewersBeers from the Bluff City Brewers & Connoisseurs and Memphis Brewers Association — Memphis’ two homebrew clubs — were popular as always!

2 Comments to “Sold-out 5th annual Cooper-Young Regional Beerfest showcases best beers from South”


  1. And of course there is a picture of Joe Barnes who is never more then 3 feet from a beer at any given time.

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  2. My favorite beer was Yazoo’s limited edition sour stout, and I finished the day with it. I also liked Tennessee Brew Work’s stuff, and the Charleville flemish. We had a great time too. Already looking forward to next year. Do you want to come visit Cigar and Brew Fest on 10/25?

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