Think Globally, Drink Locally at Ghost River Brewing
Memphis has a lot of great locally produced food, but you should also be aware that the city is home to some excellent locally made beverages. Ghost River brewing makes all of their varieties of craft beer in a converted meat packing plant downtown. Before the Tigers game on Saturday, I went to Ghost River Brewery downtown to take their free, weekly public tour.
Ghost River knows how to treat their guests. From the minute the tour begins, the friendly brewery guys pass samples of different beers in 6 oz. cups for you to sample while you learn about the brewing process. While Chuck (the brewery’s founder) talked about the Ghost section of the Wolf River and the delicious Memphis water that makes great beer possible, I sipped some of their tasty Golden ale.
The tour moves from the dock into the main brewing room, where we stood among giant vats of beer-in-progress and got a quick lesson on how beer is made from Chuck. He passed around cups of various malts and hops and shared some little-known beer facts (for example, if you wanted to make beer out of Grape Nuts, you totally could).
By then, another sample tray had been passed around, and I had a cup of Galacial Pale Ale in my hand. I didn’t like it as much as I liked the Golden Ale, but it wasn’t bad at all.
According to Chuck, Ghost River has been open for about 17 months, making three constant beers, the Galacial Pale Ale, the Golden, and the Brown Ale and a rotating seasonal beer (right now, it’s the super potent Wee Heavy). A portion of all of their sales is donated to the Wolf River Conservancy in order to help protect the brewery’s namesake river.
To get your hands on some Memphis-made beer, belly up to one of more than 50 local bars and restaurantsthat serve Ghost River on tap. You can also buy full kegs, five gallon kegs, and half-gallon growlers from the dock. Sadly, Ghost River isn’t available in bottles or at grocery stores yet.
Public tours of the brewery are free and given every Saturday at 1 p.m. Reservations are required for the tour. Be sure to eat before you go, because you’ll be sampling quite a bit of beer.