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VOL. 128 | NO. 172 | Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Beer Fest Taps Creativity of Local Brewers

By Michael Waddell

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Dixon Gallery and Gardens will host its annual Art on Tap event for the 18th consecutive year on Friday, Sept. 6. The beer-tasting extravaganza will feature offerings from local breweries and eateries, as well as live music and other entertainment.

The Dixon Gallery and Gardens will feature a number of beers at the 18th annual Art on Tap, scheduled for Friday, Sept. 6. 

(Dixon Gallery and Gardens)

“Art on Tap has consistently been a great draw for the community, and it keeps growing each year with new vendors and more great beer and food,” said Carolyn Fly, Dixon event coordinator.

Beers showcased this year will come from Wiseacre Brewing Co., Goose Island, Boscos, Sam Adams, High Cotton Brewing Co., Abita, Brooklyn Brewery, Blue Moon, Woodchuck Hard Cider, Innis & Gunn, Bluff City Brewers and Connoisseurs, Dos Equis, New Belgium Brewing, Ghost River, Yazoo Brewing Co. and the Memphis Brewers Association.

“We’re really excited to be one of the first to help introduce Wiseacre, which just had its grand opening, to the community,” Fly said.

Wiseacre and co-founders Kellan and Davin Bartosch will be on hand to debut two of their new beers – Tiny Bomb, an American pilsner, and Ananda, an India pale ale.

“We love Memphis and the Dixon Gallery and Gardens, and we’re excited to meet some new people, tell them our story and hopefully gain some new fans,” said Kellan Bartosch.

Wiseacre officially opened late last week on Broad Avenue, becoming the first brewery in the city to utilize the tasting room permit. On Thursday through Saturdays, patrons will be able to enjoy food from local food trucks (or bring their own food along) while sampling Wiseacre’s various drafts, including its new brown ale made with brown sugar, chocolate malt and rolled oats.

“Brewing beer is about inspiration and creativity, the same way it is for an artist or a chef,” said Bartosch, whose brewery later this month will become the first craft brewery in Tennessee to can its own beers.

The Memphis Brewers Association will return to Art on Tap for the second straight year, and this year’s MBA creations will include ingredients such as lemongrass, ginger and hops pulled from the Dixon’s own gardens.

“Art on Tap is one of my favorites events in Tennessee, as far beer festivals,” said Richie Esquivel, event coordinator and malt mentor of the association, a group of 30-plus home brewers that will bring nine beers to the event this year. “It’s going to be a good turnout on our end. People really look forward to the variety of beers.”

The brewers will have two beer engines on hand to serve classic English styles of beer.

“It’s an old-school way of serving beer that pumps it out, as opposed to using forced CO2. They are pretty rare, so you don’t see them often in this part of the country,” said Esquivel, who is looking forward to educating people about beer and how fun and rewarding home brewing can be.

An anticipated crowd of approximately 800 to 1,000 people will enjoy live music from artist Ryan Peel and food provided by local restaurants including Bar Louie, One & Only BBQ, Gus’s Fried Chicken, Rock ‘n’ Dough, Boscos, Las Delicias and Frost Bake Shop.

Libations will also include a new Art on Tap feature, “Hops-icles,” adult popsicles made by CFY Catering.

Admission to Art on Tap is included as part of the Dixon’s Young at Art social program, designed for young professionals ages 25 to 40. The program offers art, culture and social experiences, and members receive general membership benefits plus free admission to exclusive Young at Art events and parties, four free admission passes, and reciprocal privileges at more than 200 museums, gardens, arboreta, and conservatories in the U.S. and Canada.

Memberships are $100 for individuals or $150 for a dual membership for two.

Single-day event tickets, which include unlimited tastings of beer and food, can also be purchased at www.dixon.org for $30 for Dixon members, $40 for nonmembers Event-day tickets are $40. Wine-tasting tickets will be available for an additional $10.

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