The Beer Lovers Guide To Memphis
April 7 is National Beer Day! Here’s a handy guide to drinking beer in Memphis.
(Ed. Note: just for kicks…take a look at the original I Love Memphis Beer Guide from 2010 and see how far we’ve come in six years. Wow.)
1. Memphis Happy Hours And Beer Specials
If you want more happy hour specials, read the Guide To Cheap Drinking post. Very important: Subject to change. Call ahead to confirm.
– $3 drafts starting at 7 p.m. at Aldo’s Pizza Pies
– $2.50 pints at Brookhaven Pub
– $3 drafts at Celtic Crossing
– Pint Night at Flying Saucer
– $10 buckets of PBR and Miller High Life at Next Door
– $3 drafts at Tug’s
There are a lot daily happy hours. Like, a ton. Check out a list here. Let me know if you know of any really great beer deals I should add.
2. The Breweries
Here are the folks making Memphis’ local beer.
– Boscos Squared (2120 Madison)
You can only get Boscos’ beer at Boscos (they do fill growlers). They have a popular bar area with about eight beers on tap, plus a Cellarman Contest at 5:30 p.m. every Monday through Friday. The pub/restaurant is open every day.
People like: Flaming Stone
Holly’s go-to: Midtown Brown or Bombay IPA
– Ghost River Brewing (827 S. Main St.)
Ghost River is a separate venture from the same folks who brought you Boscos. You can find their beer at most stores, bars, and restaurants. Their taproom downtown is open Wednesday and Thursday from 4 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday from noon to 11 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 9 p.m. They have weekly trivia, local vendors on Saturdays, brunch on Sundays and live music regularly. See all their programming here.
People like: Ghost River Golden
Holly’s go-to: I’m with the people on this one.
– Wiseacre Brewing Co. (2783 Broad Ave.)
Wiseacre Brewing has four year-round brews, plus plenty of seasonal and special edition beers, and the taproom has about a dozen beers on tap. The taproom is open Wednesday – Friday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. and from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays. Where to find Wiseacre beer. Read the post (which was, incidentally, my second post ever).
People like: Tiny Bomb Pilsner and Gotta Get Up To Get Down
Holly’s go-to: Ananda IPA
– High Cotton Brewing Co. (598 Monroe)
High Cotton usually has about ten beers on tap. Their breezy taproom in the Edge district is open 6 days a week starting April 19, 2016: Tuesday – Friday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Where to find High Cotton Beer. Read the post.
People like: Scottish Ale
Holly’s go-to: Ctzar
– Memphis Made Brewing Co. (768 Cooper St.)
Memphis Made offers three year-round beers and plenty of seasonal and special edition beers. Their taproom (right next to the big red I Love Memphis mural) is open Fridays 4 p.m. – 10:30 p.m., Saturdays 1 p.m. – 10:30 p.m., and Sundays 1 p.m. – 9 p.m starting . They offer public tours at 4 on Saturday and Sunday. Where to get Memphis Made beer. Read the post.
People like: Fireside Amber
Holly’s go-to: RockBone IPA
– Crosstown Brewing Company
This one’s still in the works!
3. More Beer Fun: Events and Places To Go
The local breweries host regular special events, tappings, and tastings. I’m not going to include all of those here, just the biggest ones. Check out their social media and websites for more info.
– Some good crafty-ish/local-focused beer bars: Aldo’s (both locations), Boscos, Flying Saucer (both locations), High Point Pub, Raffe’s Beer Garden, Schweinehaus, Sweet Grass Next Door, Young Avenue Deli…the list goes on. What are your favorites? (Let me know in the comments.)
– Read more about several of those in this Thrillist article on the best beer bars in Memphis.
– The Pink Palace hosts an annual Science of Beer event in January with tons of local and regional breweries offering tastings, plus food pairings and seminars.
– The Brew Movement Against Multiple Sclerosis is held at the Pink Place each February and features home brews, craft beer, food, music, and more.
– High Cotton hosts Cookies on Tap, usually in late March. It’s a beer and Girl Scout cookie pairing event that benefits Girls Scouts Heart of the South Troop 901.
– Memphis Made hosts a hoppy/IPA beer event featuring their limited/special edition hop-tastic brews in the spring called Hopped. This year (Hopped II) is on April 9.
– Memphis Brewfest is in April at AutoZone Park each year, and features a whole bunch of beers, both domestic and international. This year (2016) it’s on April 16.
– Wiseacre hosts an invitational beer event each year called Taste The Rarity, with local and national breweries. This year’s event is on May 21, 2016 and features the release of their Unicornicopia beer.
– The Memphis Zoo hosts a Zoo Brew beer festival each year. This year (2016) it’s on May 27.
– Good People Good Beer is an event on July 23, 2016 at Playhouse on the Square featuring five high-gravity beer samples, bbq, and Wiseacre on tap. It benefits Operation Broken Silence.
– The Dixon Gallery and Gardens hosts a beer sampling and dining event every fall called Art on Tap. This year (2016) it’s on September 9.
– Most all the breweries do something for Oktoberfest in late September or early October.
– Schweinehaus hosts Oktoberfest every year in late September, usually with pretzel-eating competitions, stein hoisting competitions, live music, and lots and lots and lots of beer. Leiderhosen optional.
– The Cooper Young Beer Fest is an annual regional craft-beer-only festival that happens every October with a limited number of attendees for maximum brewer interaction and beer enjoyment. This year (2016) it’s on October 22.
– The Memphis Flyer hosted the inaugural Crafts & Drafts beer-and-craft-fair event in Crosstown last November. They’re doing it again in 2016 – date TBD.
4. More Stuff
– If you’re into home brewing, check out Bernoulli Brew Werks beer supply store. Those guys know everything about beer and they nearly sent me into liver failure when I judged a home brew competition one time.
– If you’re looking for places to get your growler filled, check out this post. There are a ton of filling stations and some of them might have experienced some changes. Call before you go somewhere to double check on hours and availability.
– Memphis has a Brewers Association Homebrew Club with meetings, events,a and competitions.
– The Memphis chapter of Girls Pint Out has monthly Sunday meetups.
– Memphis Craft Beer – Memphis Craft Beer’s website, blog, and weekly radio show is all about the local beer scene, including events, beer reviews, interviews with brewers, and more. Twitter:@901craftbeer
Did I leave something off? Share your additions in the comments.
Drink responsibly, please. With Uber and Lyft so easy to use (and cab numbers easy to remember – 577-7777) there’s really no excuse for driving if you’ve been imbibing.