Let the good times flow at Cooper-Young Beerfest


Photo by Amanda Hill/AM Photography

Go get your Cooper-Young party hat back out of the closet because Beerfest is back and it’s better than ever.

The Cooper-Young Regional Beerfest gets tapped on Saturday, Oct. 19 from 1 to 5 p.m. at a new location with a ton of new breweries, a bunch of your old-time favorites and fewer tickets sold (pro tip: that means more beer for you).

The fourth-annual festival will be at Midtown Autowërks at 795 S Cooper. That’s just south of the Trestle Art and the I Love Memphis Mural.

Tickets are $35 in advance ($30 for Cooper-Young Community Association members) at www.cybeerfest.org, and will be $40 at the gate, based on availability.

The all-volunteer Beerfest committee has been working and drinking for months to make this year’s festival not bigger but better. The festival ran short on beer last year (but we rallied with a beer run that made frat parties look like Temperance rallies) and making sure that didn’t happen again was job one for the Beerfest organizing committee this year.

“There’s a delicate dance between how much beer these brewers tell us they’re going to bring and how many tickets we sell — getting those two numbers just right,” said Beerfest committee chairman Mark Morrison.

So, the committee asked brewers this year to commit to bringing a set amount of beer and agreed to sell fewer tickets than last year. With these forces guiding our planning, “there will definitely be more beer per person,” Morrison said, which also mean shorter lines.

But not only more beer, but beers from breweries that have never been in the Memphis market and some you may only ever be able to get here at Beerfest.

Missouri will be represented at the festival for the first time with St. Louis brewers Exit 6 and Urban Chestnut. Some Mississippi breweries will make their Memphis debuts with Southern Prohibition coming up from Hattiesburg and Crooked Letter coming from Ocean Springs.

The new Memphis breweries will be represented, too, with Wiseacre, High Cotton and Memphis Made all on our roster. Memphis stalwarts Ghost River and Boscos will be with us, too.

And, yes, 2012 favorite Country Boy Brewing, the rural rascals of Lexington, Ky., will be back with us, too.

Check our website (www.cybeerfest.org) for the latest lineup of brewers. It won’t disappoint.

Brewers always come to our festival and that’s mainly because the Beerfest committee asks them to be there. Folks at the festival should be able to talk to the brewer (or at least someone with intimate knowledge of the beer) and get real answers to questions or just get to know the person who made their beer.

Brewers also want to be represented at Beerfest because they get exposure in the Memphis market to the very select group of beer fans that come to what really is the city’s only true craft beer festival.

But if you’re walking around tasting all these fine beers and the spirit just don’t take hold like you think it ought to, take a closer walk with the brewers at our always-great Beer Tent Revival where brewers will talk beer, of course, and answer any questions you may have.

The Cooper-Young Regional Beerfest is, of course, about regional beers (or beers from around here) but it’s also about helping the neighborhood.

The festival was the second-highest revenue generator for the Cooper-Young Community Association last year, second only to the huge and amazing Cooper-Young Friday 4-Miler.

Since 2010, the festival has made a total of nearly $38,000 for the CYCA. Beerfest chairman and CYCA board member Mark Morrison says that total will easily be above $45,000 after this year’s festival.

Beerfest made about $16,000 last year after expenses with about 800 total tickets sold. The 2013 figure won’t be that high as festival organizers reduced the amount of tickets sold this year. But every single dollar the festival makes goes straight to the CYCA.

That money goes to help the community association pay for big-ticket items like paying off the CYCA office building and smaller projects like installing solar panels on the Trestle Art and paying for the mural being painted under the McClean train trestle.

It also helped the CYCA make the executive director position a full-time job.

By Toby Sells

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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