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Sellout crowd packs AutoZone Park for 2013 Memphis Brewfest

April 28, 2013 By: mike Category: Breweries, Craft beer, Events, Homebrew, Memphis

2013 Memphis Brewfest

A crowd of 2,000 beer lovers converged Saturday on AutoZone Park for the 4th Annual Memphis Brewfest, a celebration of American craft beers and international brews.

The 2013 festival, with more than 165 different beers sampled, was a big success. It rained, and the Grizzlies were playing the Clippers in Game 3 of the playoffs a few blocks away at FedExForum, and the festival still sold out on Saturday morning. Thankfully, there was covered space for all the booths in the concourse area of AutoZone Park, so everyone could stay dry.

There was beer from local and regional breweries, including Ghost River Brewing, Boscos, High Cotton Brewing, Yazoo Brewing Company and Blackstone Brewing Company. Two homebrew clubs were there: the Bluff City Brewers & Connoisseurs and Memphis Brewer’s Association. Craft and international beers were provided by distributors A.S. Barboro and Budweiser of Memphis, and for the first time, Joe’s Wines & Liquors even had a booth, pouring high-ABV selections from its Beer Nutz Beer Club.

The festival capped off the inaugural Memphis Beer Week, with beer tastings, beer dinners, firkin nights and pint nights all across town.

High Cotton at Memphis BrewfestMemphis’ High Cotton Brewing, which has just started brewing at its new facility on Monroe, had samples of its Saison and Scottish Ale at Memphis Brewfest.

Bluf City Brewers at Memphis BrewfestThe Bluff City Brewers & Connoisseurs served up some great homebrew, including the “High C’s” IPA, Extracurricular Hoptivity IPA, Rauch Me Like a Hurricane and Strange Fruit Watermelon Wheat, just to name a few.

Yazoo at Memphis BrewfestIn addition to its year-round beers, Nashville’s Yazoo Brewing Company had two special beers on tap — a barrel-aged version of its Sly Rye Porter, as well as the New Belgium sour collaboration “Rufus.”

Yazoo Big WheelYazoo also gave away this awesome custom big wheel to this lucky guy.

Tasters at Memphis BrewfestThe mission of Memphis Brewfest is to raise awareness of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. All net proceeds from the festival benefit Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy and the Memphis Redbirds Foundation.

“Rufus,” Yazoo and New Belgium’s sour collaboration, debuts at Memphis Beer Week

April 22, 2013 By: mike Category: Breweries, Craft beer, Events, Memphis


Memphis Beer Week kicked off Sunday with the debut of “Rufus,” a collaborative beer blend by Yazoo Brewing Company and New Belgium Brewing.

Rufus is a sour red ale fermented with two different strains of Brettanomyces yeasts and puree of blackberry and currants. It’s a mix of “Oscar,” the dark sour base beer New Belgium uses for its LaFolie blends, and a white wheat and pale malt base beer brewed by Yazoo in Nashville.

There were samplings of Rufus Sunday at the Young Avenue Deli and both Flying Saucer locations, with even more opportunities to try it this week.

Yazoo Brewing CompanyI got a taste of it at the Deli and was pleasantly surprised. I’m not a huge sour beer fan, but I found Rufus to be fairly sour with nice fruit notes on the nose. It was served a bit too cold.

I defer to my friend and FuzzyBrew contributor Nate, who’s much more savvy with sour beers. I asked him for some tasting notes as we sipped on a couple of pints of this Bloody Mary red beer.

“I don’t feel like the enamel is coming off my teeth or the back of my throat is closing up,” he said. He described it as “moderately sour,” but not very malty.

He continued that it smelled like a New Belgium sour, though “not as intense.” He could taste the Brett yeast, “a little barnyard funk on top. … The fruit is there, but I really don’t know that I’d pick it out.”

As it warmed up, Rufus was more funky, more sour and more fruity. My jaw started to tense up, but I stuck with it and was happy to have tried this ambitious collaboration from Yazoo and New Belgium.

For a ton more details on the beer, Brandon from Embrace the Funk, who worked with Yazoo on Rufus, has a great post on his blog about the beer. He describes Rufus as “dry, wild, tart, dark fruit forward with a solid sour backbone and slight caramel malt finish.”

Try it this week, Memphis. You won’t get to taste it again.

Who else has tried it? Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Tickets available for Central BBQ beer dinner with Yazoo, New Belgium brews

April 19, 2013 By: mike Category: Breweries, Craft beer, Events, Memphis

Central BBQA five-course beer dinner at Central BBQ’s downtown Memphis location on Monday, April 22, is one of the many great events that will be part of next week’s Memphis Beer Week.

The dinner will feature beers from Yazoo Brewing Company and New Belgium Brewing, including “Rufus,” a sour collaboration from the two breweries.

Light appetizers, snacks and pints will be served from 6:30 to 7 p.m. Each of the five courses will then be paired with a beer from Yazoo or New Belgium. Some menu items will also be prepared with beers from the breweries.

Tickets are $40 and are still available. For tickets, call (901) 672-7760 or email jc@cbqmemphis.com. The Downtown location of Central BBQ is at 147 E. Butler.