Memphis is home of the best barbeque in the country. It's got the best toe tapping blue's music in the world. And it may soon be the best place to quench your thirst.
A native son is back in town, ready to open the first brewery in Cooper-Young.
In a nondescript warehouse on the corner of Cooper and York, you may not know about the new brewing company, but by this summer, you'll know it's Memphis Made.
"We're trying to open a brewery over here," said Drew Barton. "We're working on it. We're in the middle of getting construction going, getting equipment in here and opening up a micro-brewery in Cooper-Young."
Barton, a self-proclaimed beer enthusiast, is a graduate of White Station High School. He started home-brewing while in college, quickly learning he had not only skill, but passion for brewing.
"We'll have Kolsh, which is a German style, golden ale, very clean, crisp, very easy to drink, goes great with the Memphis market, and an IPA Indian pale ale, which is a hoppier, more intense flavor pale ale."
Barton is leasing the 6,000-square-foot space. Eventually it will be furnished with fermenters, kettles, liquid tanks and kegs. His business is still a work in progress.
"Local, state and federal permits to get through, a lot of equipment to bring in. It's pretty capital intensive," he explains.
Within the coming months, the brewery will be up and running. The plan is to produce about a thousand barrels in the first year. It seems like a tough undertaking for this one man band.
"It's going to be me to start out with. We have plans to hire people along the way. It'll be me opening the doors, making the beer, cleaning the tanks and delivering the beer."
Barton says for now the focus is simply creating a high quality micro-brew.
"That doesn't mean people have to go out and drink a lot of beer, it's just quality of beer, needs to improve," Baton said. "You've got Bosco's, Ghost River that have really started something here and we're looking to build on that."
So, the next time you go to a bar or restaurant, know that frosty micro-brew could be Memphis Made.
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