Cooper-Young Regional Beerfest returns Oct. 13

By David Royer

It’s beer from around here.

Cooper-Young’s newest festival tradition, the Regional Beer Fest, is back for its third year, Oct. 13, behind LifeLink Church at Cooper and Walker.

Photo 1: Cooper-Young Regional Beerfest organizers (from left) Trevor Kearney, Drew Barton, mark Morrison and Andy Ashby, discuss the festivities over pints at Young Avenue Deli. Photo by Toby Sells.

More than just a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon with neighbors while benefiting the Cooper-Young Community Association, Cooper-Young Regional Beerfest was born from a thirst for knowledge and a quest to bring home new brew experiences from across the Southeast. Thirteen craft breweries and three home brew clubs, all found within a day’s drive of Memphis, will converge on the festival this year.

Don’t expect to find any Bud, Miller or Coors on tap.

“It’s kinda my idea but it was born through a lot of drinking with these guys,” said festival committee chairman Andy Ashby, a former bartender, home brewer and beer connoisseur, at a recent gathering of committee members at Young Avenue Deli.

“We’ve all been to beer festivals in the Pacific Northwest and in other parts of the country and just thought, you know, Memphis deserves a really good beer festival that’s kinda like the craft brew industry itself,” Ashby said. “More intimate, as opposed to just getting as many people in the door for long lines and short pours and no beer knowledge.”

Admission includes four hours of unlimited pours and the chance to talk to the brewmasters or their representatives, as well as fellow beer lovers. The Beer Tent Revival will return this year, giving brewers a chance to talk about their craft and answer questions.

“We assign an ambassador to each brewery,” said committee member and former French Broad brewer Drew Barton, explaining what sets this festival apart from some others. “It’s their job to learn as much as they can about the brewer … they’re there to make sure the brewer is having as good time and also, if the brewer is not there, there’s someone there making sure that people are having a good time.”

From Goldcrest 51, a long-lost recipe from Memphis’s own historic Tennessee Brewery, to High Cotton Brewing, which will open soon near downtown, Memphians can taste their city’s own creations, past and future. Two of this year’s offerings from Kentucky, Lore Brewing and Country Boy, just opened this year.

Nashville’s Yazoo Brewing will bring perhaps the festival’s most challenging beer, a smoky porter called Sue, but organizers said several less intense, “entry-level” craft beers also will be available.

Tickets are $35 in advance ($5 off for CYCA members) and are available at the CYCA office, 2298 Young Ave., or online at beerfest.cooperyoung.org. Tickets are $40 at the gate, but that’s if there are any left — the festival sold out in its first two years.

All profits go to the CYCA. The festival raked in $12,000 last year and organizers are aiming for $18,000 this year.

If there’s any place in Memphis, Tennessee for a craft brew festival, it’s Cooper-Young,” committee member Toby Sells said. “People, their minds are a lot more open to drink new and different beers and a little more open to trying something new.”

When: 1-5 p.m. Oct. 13

Where: LifeLink Church, Cooper and Walker

Cost: $35 ($5 off for CYCA members) or $40 at gate

Tickets and info: beerfest.cooperyoung.org

Author: LampLighter

The voice of Cooper-Young, a vibrant, diverse neighborhood to live, work and play, in the heart of Midtown Memphis, Tennessee.

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