Wiseacre Brewery Cuts Ribbon Wednesday

By Andy Meek

A ribbon-cutting ceremony set for Wednesday morning at Wiseacre Brewing Co. is about a business vision coming to fruition – but also something more.

Wiseacre, at 2783 Broad Ave., will be officially open for business at its taproom at the end of the week. Wiseacre is opening a 13,000-square-foot brewery with a taproom and patio, and it announced a few months ago it will package its two year-round beers, Tiny Bomb American Pilsner and Ananda India Pale Ale, in a can, making it the first craft brewery in Tennessee to can beer.

The ribbon-cutting at Wiseacre, meanwhile, also represents the kickoff of a new loan fund from River City Capital, which contributed funding to Wiseacre.

The new loan fund is a result of the city of Memphis working with the Memphis-area banking community as well as national foundations. River City Capital has made its first loan to Wiseacre, which is owned by brothers Kellan and Davin Bartosch.

“Our core, inner city neighborhoods are some of our most under-utilized assets,” said River City Capital board chair Josh Poag. “By bringing more private investment to the urban core such as Wiseacre’s $1.7 million and eight new jobs projected over the next year, we can help to increase property values and support neighborhood businesses.”

Memphis Mayor AC Wharton Jr. about two years ago started meeting with area banks to enlist their support in the creation of an inner-city redevelopment loan fund. Banks including First Tennessee Bank, Paragon National Bank, Metropolitan Bank, Independent Bank, Iberiabank and Regions Bank all participated and committed $550,000.

The New York-based Surdna Foundation also provided a three-year $400,000 grant to allow River City Capital to set up a loan loss reserve fund, market its loan products and hire a new loan officer.