Memphis airport adds Wiseacre bar ahead of busy holiday travel season

Wiseacre's Wise Omega Bodega view from airport seating
(Photo courtesy of Wiseacre Brewing Co.)

If you’re traveling this week for Thanksgiving and will spend time at the Memphis airport, there’s a new bar between gates 21 and 23 featuring beers from Memphis’ largest craft brewery.

The Wise Omega Bodega, a Wiseacre Brewing Co. branded bar, opened earlier this month at Memphis International Airport, just ahead of the busy holiday travel season.

The bar features five Wiseacre beers on draft (Tiny Bomb Pilsner, Ananda IPA, Gotta Get Up to Get Down Coffee Milk Stout, Air Bath Session IPA, and a rotating seasonal), plus four canned beers (Bow Echo Hazy IPA, Memphis Sands Lager, Irusu Japanese Rice Lager, and Beach Within Reach Berliner Weisse).

In addition, the bar sells Wiseacre’s “The Set Up” line of canned cocktails and Wiseacre’s Cold Brew coffee, for those in need of rocket fuel, plus it offers a full bar featuring wine and spirits.

There’s a to-go window at the Omega Bodega, so customers can grab a beer or drink to take to their gate. And there are some grab-and-go food items available, like sandwiches, salads and snacks.

Wiseacre co-founder Kellan Bartosch told Memphis Beer Blog that Wiseacre had been looking into the possibility of an airport bar for years, but didn’t have anything in the works by the time COVID hit.

Post-pandemic, Wiseacre, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, was finally in a place to pursue it.

“Memphis is our biggest and best market, but we also sell beer in 20 states — those are both good reasons to pursue this opportunity!” Bartosch said.

“The people in Memphis who enjoy our beer now have a dedicated outlet at our spiffy new Memphis airport terminal, where they can get Wiseacre — and so can folks from out of town. In fact, the first customers at the Omega Bodega were from Charleston, South Carolina. They had been to (Wiseacre’s Downtown) HQ and Little Bettie the day before and sat down for a beer before their flight.”

In naming the new airport bar, Bartosch said Wiseacre wanted something fun.

“It is at the end, or Omega, of the new terminal. We’d also hope it’s an ‘end all, be all’ for beer lovers traveling through the Memphis airport. Bodega is definitely a New York term for a corner store that some folks might not be familiar with, but we knew our spot would have a small footprint, so bodega seemed to fit.”

Bartosch said people waiting for their flights at the airport are a captive audience, and the new Wiseacre bar is an opportunity to reach new people, including those who are not even craft beer drinkers.

“The new airport terminal is so good looking. A lot of the new art and bright colors are simpatico with our brand, so that’s fun,” he said. “We definitely hope it brings awareness to Wiseacre, The Set Up, and our brand in general.”

Wiseacre’s Omega Bodega isn’t the first craft beer-themed bar at the Memphis airport.

Memphis Made Brewing Co.’s airport bar opened in 2022. In October, the bar was named No. 2 among the nation’s best airport bars in the USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards

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