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Five facts for National Lager Day

December 10, 2014 By: mike Category: Beer learnin', Craft beer, History of beer

Fourth of July beer

Today is National Lager Day, a day for craft beer drinkers to celebrate this often under-appreciated category of beers.

Think lagers are boring? Wiseacre Brewing Co.’s Kellan Bartosch refuted that notion last year in this piece for craftbeer.com.

Bartosch, who would “take a well done lager over a poorly made IPA any day,” suggested that beers don’t need to be extreme to be good.

“The best beer drinkers I know enjoy every style and can pick out good and bad versions of each, including lagers,” Bartosch wrote.

So skip the IPA today and pick up a lager. There are many styles to choose from that don’t include American macrobrews. I’m particularly fond of Schwarzbiers and Märzens, but even a good old Samuel Adams Boston Lager (style: Vienna Lager) will do.

Speaking of, the brewers at Samuel Adams shared with us these facts for National Lager Day. Cheers!

1.) The word “lager” is derived from the German “lager” which means “to store.”

2.) Lagers are relatively new to the beer scene, first appearing in Bavaria during the 16th century; before that, ales were brewed for over 7,000 years because ales are easier to ferment.

3.) Lager yeast, as opposed to ale yeast, ferments (eats sugar to produce carbonation and alcohol) at cooler temperatures and, when done fermenting, settles to the bottom of the fermentation tank. Lager yeast also takes a longer time to condition the beer than ale yeast.

4.) Due in part to their clean, crisp character, lagers are sometimes incorrectly labeled plain and boring. That couldn’t be farther from the truth! Craft lagers are flavorful and complex, and a number of different styles fall under the lager category and include Märzen/Oktoberfest beers, Bock beers like Maibock/Helles Bocks, Pilsners, Dunkelweizens, Rauchbiers, and Schwarzbiers, to name a few.

5.) Before modern refrigeration, brewers needed a way to keep their lagers cool during the brewing process. In lieu of today’s larger cooling tanks, German lager brewers of old sometimes cooled their beer in Alpine caves or in cellars dug deeply into hillsides.

Choose901 highlights Memphis’ Wiseacre Brewing Co. [VIDEO]

October 18, 2013 By: mike Category: Breweries, Craft beer, Memphis, Video

Choose901 highlights Wiseacre Brewing Company’s Davin and Kellan Bartosch in its latest “Choose901 TV” web video series. Wiseacre will be one of the many breweries at Saturday’s sold-out Cooper-Young Regional Beerfest.

Check it out:

Wiseacre Logo

Wiseacre Brewing news: Ananda IPA cans for sale at Superlo, Oktoberfest party Saturday

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

Ananda display

The first cans of Wiseacre Brewing Company beer are hitting Memphis store shelves, albeit slowly.

Wiseacre’s Ananda IPA (6.2% ABV) is now available in six-packs for $7.59 at the Superlo Foods, 4744 Spottswood Avenue, in East Memphis. You can also buy the cans at Wiseacre’s brewery at 2783 Broad Avenue.

Quantities are extremely limited for now as brothers Davin and Kellan Bartosch, founders of Wiseacre, get the new canning line running smoothly and continue to provide beer to the establishments that serve Wiseacre on draft.

“We don’t want anyone who has our beer to run out,” Kellan said.

The brewery has been open for just over a month, and growing to meet the rising demand is a challenge, he added.

So far, Ananda is the only beer that’s been canned, but there are plans to can Wiseacre’s other year-round beer — Tiny Bomb American Pilsner — soon.

In other Wiseacre news, there will be an Oktoberfest celebration at the brewery Saturday from 1 to 8 p.m., featuring the Mighty Souls Brass Band. Wiseacre will be tapping its Oktoberfest beer (5.9% ABV) and there will be German food from Grawmeyer’s. Oktoberfest pints are $1 off if you’re wearing German garb, so wear your lederhosen. Also, if you have a stein with a clearly marked liter line, you can get it filled for $8.

Memphis brewery preview: a look inside Wiseacre Brewing Company, opening this week

August 27, 2013 By: mike Category: Breweries, Craft beer, Distribution, Events, Memphis

Wiseacre - outside
Wiseacre Brewing Company will cut the ribbon on its new brewery Wednesday at 2783 Broad Avenue in the heart of Memphis’ Broad Avenue Arts District, with a ceremony featuring Mayor A C Wharton.

The brewery, founded by brothers Davin and Kellan Bartosch, will then open its tap room and patio on Friday, marking the debut of Wiseacre beer in the Memphis market.

The Bartosch brothers are putting the finishing touches on the tap room and brewery, but gave FuzzyBrew a sneak peek inside on Tuesday.

The brewery features a 20-barrel brewhouse, with 200 barrels of fermentation space.

Wiseacre brewhouseWiseacre’s 20-barrel brewing system.

Wiseacre-fermentersFermenters at Wiseacre.

The brothers have been brewing on the system since August 10 and have a limited amount of beer — 40 barrels, or 80 kegs — to start with for the next week and a half.

They’ve been brewing their first two year-round beers — Tiny Bomb American Pilsner and Ananda IPA — as well as a brown ale that will be a special release.

“We’ll alternate through styles,” said Kellan, adding that the special releases will include Oktoberfests, Belgians, IPAs, porters and stouts, often depending on the season or what its brewmaster, Davin, might be craving.

“It’s stuff I want to drink,” Davin added.

Wiseacre's Kellan and Davin BartoschKellan, left, and Davin Bartosch, inside the Wiseacre brewery.

Wiseacre - Davin BartoschDavin Bartosch is Wiseacre’s brewmaster.

The taproom will be open this week on Friday, from 4 to 8 p.m., and Saturday, 1 to 8 p.m. After this weekend, the regular tap room schedule will be Thursdays and Fridays, 4 to 8 p.m., and Saturdays from 1 to 8 p.m.

There will be food trucks with food for sale outside, and beer inside, including tasters, pints and growlers. The tasting room is less a bar and more a place to get to know the beers and the brewery, Kellan said.

“We don’t view it as a huge business opportunity but as a place for people to learn about beer.”

Wiseacre taproomThe tap room, still under construction.

Wiseacre tapsWiseacre taps, with an acorn on top.

Wiseacre will start distributing its draft beers locally through Budweiser of Memphis in the next few weeks, but don’t expect to see it everywhere, all at once.

They’ll be starting small and growing as they go. “We’re being safe because we don’t want people to run out and get frustrated,” Kellan explained.

And, yes, Wiseacre’s canning line will be installed soon, and Tiny Bomb American Pilsner and Ananda IPA will be available for purchase before year’s end.

But the brothers are taking things one step at a time.

“Quality,” Davin said, “is the most important thing to me.

Wiseacre patioWiseacre’s patio, opening Friday.