In the bright, modern new concourse at Memphis International Airport, there’s a taste of the local craft beer scene awaiting visitors to the Bluff City.
A Memphis Made Brewing Co. bar and restaurant is hard to miss amid the natural light, high ceilings and wide, clean corridors of Terminal B, which opened last year.
Visitors to Memphis, or those just passing through, can stop in for a Memphis Made Cat Nap, Fireside, GonerBrau, or Fruit Snacks, along with seasonals and special releases.
“We love it,” said Andy Ashby, who co-founded Memphis Made Brewing in 2013 with Drew Barton.
“Drew and I named our brewery Memphis Made because we’re proud of our city. We hope our beer gives visitors a good impression and introduces them to its beer scene.”
Memphis Made’s brewery and taproom in Midtown is located at 768 S. Cooper St.
Airport bar’s backstory
Ashby said discussions about the Memphis Made airport location started several years ago when the brewery was still self-distributing. He would make sales calls on HMSHost, the company which runs most of the food and beverage operations at the airport, and struck up a good relationship with their management team.
“They mentioned their corporate office was looking for a local partner for a Memphis-focused beer concept, and it took off from there. We worked with them on the look of the restaurant and menu.
“It was really great working with them. They’re a large company, but they really took the time to make sure they got everything right.
Glen Thomas, director of Strategic Marketing and Communications for the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority, said having a local brewery in the new concourse was an important addition.
“When we opened the new concourse, it was critical for MEM to reflect our community. You see it in the artwork, the live music performances on the stage, and of course through our food and beverage vendors,” Thomas said.
“Having a popular and well-known institution like Memphis Made was a huge win for us.”
Raising Memphis Made’s profile
The exposure has been great for Memphis Made, as well.
Ashby often gets photos texted to him from friends enjoying one of his brewery’s beers at the airport.
“It has definitely helped with our profile,” Ashby said. “Lots of people tag us on social media to let us know they’re enjoying one of our beers at the airport.”