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Memphis Made Brewing opens taproom in Cooper-Young to public today

November 21, 2014 By: mike Category: Breweries, Craft beer, Memphis

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Hand-crafted beer from Memphis Made Brewing Co. can be found at more than 100 bars, restaurants and stores in Shelby County. But starting today, you can walk into the brewery, sit down, and enjoy a fresh pint straight from the source.

Memphis Made opens its doors to the public today with the official launch of its new Cooper-Young area taproom at 768 S. Cooper.

With eight beers on tap, Memphis Made will be open on Fridays from 4 to 9 p.m., with food trucks parked outside each night. Memphis Made plans to expand hours and days of operation soon.

For its launch, the taproom will be serving beer starting at noon today. Hot Mess food truck will also be selling burritos in the parking lot near the “I Love Memphis” mural.

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The brewery had a preview event Thursday night for friends and family. The taproom is sparse and industrial, with a dark wood lattice above the bar. It feels like you’re really drinking in a brewery, not a bar, amid the fermentation tanks, kegs and brewing equipment.

Founded by friends and Cooper-Young residents Andy Ashby and Drew Barton, the latter the former head brewer at French Broad Brewery in North Carolina, Memphis Made opened its production brewery last October. Ashby and Barton worked on ramping up production and getting their beers onto local taps before starting on the taproom, but they said they are looking forward to this new chapter for the brewery.

“Both Andy and I are just excited about the direct consumption with the customer, being able to sit down at our place and have a beer. It’s something I’ve really missed from French Broad: getting done with the work day, changing out of my boots … and walking over to the tasting room and having a beer. We’ve been looking forward to making that happen,” Barton said, pictured below.

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Memphis Made will be selling 20-ounce pints for $6 and 10-ounce pints for $3.

“We both really like a good 20-ounce English pint. It’s just always been one of our favorites. … And we’ve always been a fan of just being able to offer a half pint. If you’re sitting at the bar with a friend, and you don’t quite feel like having a full pint, there you go, you can get a half pint easy.”

Meanwhile, 64-ounce and 32-ounce growlers to go will be available, as well.

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A 1,000-square-foot patio facing York is Memphis Made’s new entrance, with a parking lot for customers just across the street.

“I think this is perfect for the neighborhood. It’s going to be very laid back,” Barton said. “I mean you’re drinking beer in a warehouse. It doesn’t get much more easy than that. It’s going to be very casual. It’ll probably be pretty packed in here these first couple of times we’re open, but it will kind of die down and people will be able to just hang out and chill.”

He added: “I’d love to see families in here. We’ve got a young family, and I know it’s tough to get out.”

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Memphis Made has produced more than a dozen beers its first year, from Plaid Attack!!!, a Scottish ale, to Reverberation, a Belgian coffee stout. But the brewery only recently settled on its first year-round beer, Lucid Kolsch.

“We know that it’s a much more approachable beer. And even in the winter time, even if we have the best intentions of making all these great winter beers, there’s some people that want something just like a Kolsch,” Barton said. “It’s a great beer. We love it. We love the style.”

Memphis Made also released a new special IPA this week, Hundo, brewed with Centennial hops, that will remind folks of Bell’s Two Hearted Ale.

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Memphis Made’s converted warehouse space is Memphis’ third brewery taproom, following the recent opening of tasting rooms at Wiseacre Brewing and High Cotton Brewing Co.

For the Memphis beer community, the opening of Memphis Made is just another sign of how far the scene has come in such a short time.

“It’s still very new, but it’s wonderful how much the customers have gravitated towards that,” Barton said.

“We’re all busting at the seems. I can hardly keep up with just draft. We hardly have time to put stuff in bottles right now. … We’d even love to see six packs happen, but we just don’t have the time or capacity to do it now.”

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