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VOL. 128 | NO. 169 | Thursday, August 29, 2013

Wiseacre Set to Open City’s First Taproom

By Andy Meek

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The city’s newest craft brewery will be officially open for business at the end of the week.

Wiseacre Brewing Co. held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday, Aug. 28, for its 13,000-square-foot brewery at 2783 Broad Ave., and the fledgling brewery will unveil its taproom and some of its craft beers to the public Friday, Aug. 30, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Brothers Davin and Kellan Bartosch, founders of Wiseacre Brewing Co., flank Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. on Wednesday at the opening of the new brewery on Broad Avenue.

(Daily News/Andrew J. Breig)

The brewery’s taproom, which will be open Fridays and Saturdays, will feature a variety of beers on tap, including two year-round brews, Tiny Bomb American Pilsner and Ananda India Pale Ale.

Wiseacre announced a few months ago it will package Tiny Bomb and Ananda 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.

“Craft breweries are such a big part of the culture of cities,” Kellan Bartosch said as he and his brother took those at the ribbon-cutting on a tour of the plant.

“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 A C 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.

Wharton said the brewery is an example of “economic gardening,” a concept of smaller scale development that can involve more difficulties in finding financing for because it is often in areas that are older. The goal is to bring those areas back in terms of residential development as well as business and retail development.

The coalition of banks first met at City Hall in April 2012, Wharton said.

“The conversation was help us refute the notion that our talent – our best and brightest – have to leave Memphis to pursue their dreams and their vision,” he said.

PROPERTY SALES 38 38 20,670
MORTGAGES 45 45 23,790
BUILDING PERMITS 187 187 42,781
BANKRUPTCIES 57 57 13,237