Ten years after its founding, Memphis Made Brewing Co. has added a new Downtown location that will greatly expand the brewery’s capacity to make beer.
The new brewery will also include a large taproom, which borders a sprawling outdoor space called The Ravine in Downtown’s Edge neighborhood.
“This expansion really lets us grow our brewery and add new markets. Once we get it rolling, we’ll be able to do more beers than ever,” said Andy Ashby, sales manager at Memphis Made, who co-founded the brewery with Drew Barton in 2013.
While the taproom remains under construction, Memphis Made is ready to start giving the public a sneak peek.
Starting this Saturday, July 22, Memphis Made will host a series of pop-up events in The Ravine to sell beer and give patrons a glimpse of its new Downtown spot. This Saturday’s event will feature live music from Kitty Dearing & the Dagnabbits, plus food from Hot-N-Heavy Dogs.
The pop-up events will be held every Saturday, from 4 to 10 pm., until the taproom is officially unveiled. The opening date has not been announced.
For the pop-up events, The Ravine can be accessed at 16 Lauderdale Street or 607 Monroe Avenue.
The new Downtown brewery location, 435 Madison, was once a glass manufacturing company but had been vacant for years. It’s a stone’s throw from High Cotton Brewing Co., which also was founded 10 years ago.
Memphis Made’s original Midtown location at 768 Cooper will remain open and will feature smaller-batch experimental beers, along with Memphis Made favorites like Fireside Amber Ale and Cat Nap IPA.
More space, more beer
Since April, Memphis Made has been shifting most of its brewing operations from Midtown to Downtown. In fact, Memphis Made has only brewed in Midtown a handful of times in the last few months, said Barton, Memphis Made’s president and head brewer.
The second location will greatly increase Memphis Made’s capacity to make beer.
The new production brewing space is right around 7,000 square feet, which is plenty of room for Memphis Made’s new brewing system, additional fermentation tanks, and new canning line.
Memphis Made has stepped up from a 15-barrel system in Midtown to a new 30-barrel system, which can brew 930 gallons of beer at a time and makes brew days much more efficient.
The brewery has added five new 30-barrel fermentation tanks, as well as a 60-barrel Brite tank, which holds beer before it’s packaged.
The Brite tank is almost always filled with Fireside, by far the brewery’s top seller, Barton said.
Memphis Made produced about 3,000 barrels of beer last year. It’s on pace to get close to 5,000 this year. Next year, Barton said, it should be around 7,500.
Memphis Made actually signed the lease for its new brewery in August 2019.
“We were getting architect drawings done, and we were getting contractors lined up, and COVID happened,” Barton said, “Everything just screeched to a halt.”
While the delays and slow pace of progress were disappointing, it did give Barton and Ashby time to re-think things and make adjustments. That included trading some space in the building for a neighboring building, which the brewery will use for storage.
The brewery’s build-out was completed last November, followed by a series of inspections required before Memphis Made could start making beer.
“It’s been a long journey,” said Ashby, “and we’re really looking forward to opening the new space.”
The Downtown taproom, around 5,000 square feet, will include a long bar, stage for concerts and a garage door that will open to the outdoor area. Part of the taproom can be closed off for private events.
Inside, there will be at least two ski ball machines, seven pinball machines and two multi-game arcade terminals.
Outside in The Ravine, plans are still developing, but the space could feature cornhole, pickle ball, bike polo, bocce ball and more. Plus, there will be lots of outdoor seating and space to spread out.
“It’s going to give us a lot of opportunity to showcase our brand, obviously, but also to work with a lot of people,” Barton said.
“I think we’re going to have some really awesome events, parties, concerts. The potential out there is just amazing.”