By Kate Hedstrom
A total of 28 craft breweries and two homebrew clubs, all from within a days drive from Memphis, will be on hand to fill your mugs and chat with you about the nectar of the gods.
“There will be more beer options this year than ever before.” said committee chairman Mark Morrison, “Along with many returning breweries from past years, we’re really excited to welcome 10 new breweries to the Cooper-Young Beerfest.”
What began as an idea among friends and neighbors has become a showcase for the region’s best craft beer.
Six of the 28 breweries are from Tennessee, including all five of the Memphis breweries, and 22 will travel in from surrounding states. This year, the CY Beerfest will have an unprecedented 15 breweries that don’t distribute in the Memphis market and 8 breweries that have never brought their beers to Memphis. As a result, this is a great way (and in many cases, the only way!) to taste their beer in our own backyard.
Each brewery will bring two or more beers, and the homebrew clubs will have 10 beers each, which means you will have well over 76 options to fill your 12-ounce mug with. Of the various ales and lagers, Morrison says we are sure to see hoppy IPAs, ambers, stouts, porters and hopefully even a few Oktoberfest brews.
As the breweries finalize which beers they will be pouring, the committee will be updating the festival Facebook page, so be sure to follow along and note your must-trys.
Located at Midtown Autoworks (795 S. Cooper) for the second year, this completely volunteer-run festival is one of the largest fundraisers for the Cooper-Young Community Association, with 100 percent of the proceeds going right back into the neighborhood. The festival website states that their mission is to “keep our beloved neighborhood clean, friendly and safe.” A total of over $50,000 has been raised at the Beerfest in the past four years, and the committee is expecting the largest amount raised this year, aiming for about $17,000.
“We want to continue to grow while still maintaining a community feel. Long lines and an over-crowded lot is not what we are looking for,” said Andy Ashby, founding committee member and owner of Memphis Made Brewing, located right here in Cooper-Young, “Now that the Memphis beer scene is expanding, however, and people are more educated on local beer, we are able to bring in more breweries to give festival-goers tons of interesting options.”
In order to help create this community feel, ticket sales will be capped at about 900. The committee recommends purchasing your ticket as soon as possible since they have sold out every single year. Tickets are available online at cybeerfest.org or at the CYCA office at 2298 Young Ave. Tickets are currently $35 with a $5 discount for current CYCA members, but the ticket price will increase to $40 on October 1.
Since you will need some grub to go with all that delicious beer, neighborhood favorites and festival sponsors Central BBQ, Sweet Grass, and Stone Soup will have food available for purchase. Goner Records, another festival sponsor, will be providing music during the four-hour fest. Additional sponsors include Madison Growler, Southwind Wine & Spirits, Cash Saver, Midtown Autoworks, Ballingers, WEVL, and the CYCA.
“Is there a better way to enjoy a day of beer and friends while supporting our neighborhood?” Ashby wonders, “I think not. See you there, Cooper-Young.”