VOL. 133 | NO. 41 | Monday, February 26, 2018
Next Undercurrent Event Set for Crosstown Brewing
By Andy Meek
A new addition to the craft brewery scene in Memphis will host a gathering of young professionals and creatives who gather monthly at different hotspots around the city to meet each other and network.
The event is Undercurrent, a networking gathering launched in 2013 by a group of local creatives where the purpose is pretty straightforward. There’s no agenda, as such. You just show up – Undercurrent is always somewhere new or buzzy around the city – and interact with other attendees. And that’s basically it.
The setting for this meeting, Undercurrent 043, is Crosstown Brewing Co. at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 26. Co-founders Will Goodwin and Clark Ortkiese launched the new craft beer brewery a few weeks ago at 1264 Concourse Ave., in the Crosstown neighborhood.
The Undercurrent gatherings tend to draw several hundred people, a far cry from the first event in the summer of 2013 when barely 100 people turned up after co-founders like Dan Price worried if they’d even get that many.
“The only goal of this event series is to connect Memphians with the most interesting people and places in the city,” Price said. “When (Crosstown Brewing) announced they were opening in February, I knew we had to do an Undercurrent there as close to the opening as possible.
“It's a great way to introduce people to new spaces in town and drives foot traffic to local businesses. RSVPs are strong. We're expecting a few hundred attendees. It will be a great to start 2018 as we lead up to the five-year anniversary of Undercurrent in July.”
There’s no cost and no cover to attend. The first 50 beers also are on the house.
The organization chose “Undercurrent” as its name since the idea is to expose attendees to new people and new ideas – to give them a look at the “undercurrent” of the city, as it were.
There’s also a reason these are held on Monday nights after work. The founders figured there would be less pressure then, as the week’s just getting underway, which could be an ideal time for young Memphians looking to meet each and learn something new about the city.
Undercurrent is a complementary event of sorts to another event series the same organization helps co-produce – Ignite Memphis.
Like the Undercurrent meetings, Ignite Memphis events also are hosted at hotspots and interesting new places around the city. During these, however, a group of participants are chosen beforehand to make quick-hit presentations on a variety of topics.
For Ignite Memphis Vol. 11, topics ranged from quitting local TV news to mental illness in the field of technology. All speakers are required to restrict themselves to making five-minute presentations, sticking to a total of 20 slides that each advance every 15 seconds.
The next Ignite Memphis event hasn’t been announced yet. But both it and Undercurrent take different approaches to similar missions – introducing as many Memphians as possible to the city around them, via meeting at new and distinctive places. And introducing as many Memphians as possible to each other, new people and new ideas.