A new brewery is headed to Cooper-Young.
Memphis native and craft beer enthusiast Drew Barton plans to open Memphis Made Brewing Co. LLC at 768 S. Cooper St. near York Avenue along with two other silent partners by mid 2013. The 6,000-square-foot space is adjacent to Signworks and owned by Richard Sullivan.
Barton is a founding member of the Cooper-Young Regional Beerfest committee and part-time bartender at the Flying Saucer. He spent five years working his way from delivery driver to head brewer at Asheville, N.C.-based French Broad Brewery and recently moved back to Memphis.
“I started home brewing when I was in college, and as soon as I made that first batch, I knew that that’s what I wanted to do with the rest of my life,” Barton said. “Since then, I just have made it a goal to get into the brewing industry.”
Barton and his wife live in Cooper-Young, so finding a spot in the neighborhood was ideal. That means he can walk to work, plus the facility’s configurations are laid out to Memphis Made Brewing’s advantage.
“It’s got the height requirements we need and it’s wide open, so that was a benefit of being able to put larger equipment in there,” Barton said. “There’s quite a few bars in the neighborhood and we’re not far from Downtown and other bars in Midtown.”
Memphis Made Brewing will distribute locally to begin with and will then “see where this thing takes us,” Barton said.
The group projects to brew around 1,000 barrels for the first year and ramp up operations from there. Memphis Made Brewing will produce beer using a 10-barrel brewing system; a barrel is 31 U.S. gallons.
The brewery will open its doors with an IPA and a Kolsch to begin with and add seasonal beers over time as more capital is pumped into production capacity. Kolsch is a German golden ale that Barton describes as a pilsner meets a cream ale.
“It’s got that clean, crisp bite of a pilsner, but it’s also a little smoother, so it’s got that smoothness of a cream ale,” Barton said. “It’s a very approachable beer, but it’s a style that has a little bit more flavor than your traditional American light lagers.”
Barton will be Memphis Made Brewing’s sole brewer to start out. New and used equipment is being sourced from “all over.” The architect for the project is Arthur Nave.
Memphis Made Brewing joins other Memphis-based breweries Boscos Brewing Co., Ghost River Brewing Co. and High Cotton Brewing Co., which is under development in the Edge District but has been sampling around town at events like MemFix. Still, Barton said there’s plenty of room in the local market for craft beers.
“Coming from Ashville where the population in the city is roughly 75,000 people and there are now over 12 breweries in town,” Barton said. “Obviously, their beer culture is a little different than Memphis, but I think that someday we can get to that level.”
While Memphis Made Brewing will initially only be a production brewery, Barton has future plans to open the doors for brewery tours and a small tasting room. Memphis Made also plans to host beer dinners at local restaurants to help educate consumers about the history of brewing and the brewing process.
• In other commercial leasing news, ATC Fitness has expanded by 3,000 square feet at Cordova Station, 8130 Macon Station. This adds onto the gym’s existing 8,500 square feet.
Jennifer Stewart and Patty Lycan of Gill Properties Inc.’s sales and leasing handled the deal on the landlord side and also for ATC owner Keith Patterson. Stewart said ATC Fitness is “blowing and going,” and has inked new leases in Jackson, Tenn., and Tupelo, Miss., in recent months.
Also, Infocus Eyecare signed a 1,400-square-foot lease at Gill Properties’ new Germantown Station development, 750 Germantown Parkway.
The new practice, led by Dr. Erika Cox and Dr. Lindsay Flemp, is being built out and will open shortly after the first of the year.
Stewart and Lycan brokered the deal.
• Meanwhile, Binh D. Vo, owner of Vo’s Nails, has inked 1,400 square feet at Sanderlin Place, 5040 Sanderlin Ave.
Vo’s took the last remaining bay in between Pinot’s Palette and Garden District, bringing the upscale retail center to full occupancy.
Aaron Petree, vice president brokerage with Loeb Properties Inc., represented the landlord.