The fourth annual Cooper-Young Regional Beer Fest is next Saturday. I met up with Andy Ashby (Memphis Made Brewing Co.) and Mark Morrison (Chairman of the Fest) and asked them: aside from the great beer, why should people go? They had a lot to say, so…
Here are six reasons you should go to this year's CY Beer Fest.
The Fest is a fundraiser for the CYCA. One hundred percent of the money made at the Fest goes to the Cooper-Young Community Association, which is entirely volunteer run. The CYCA helps organize Cooper-Young Fest, publishes the Lamplighter, and works to improve the residential and commercial locations in the neighborhood.
There will be twenty-four regional and local breweries. The craft breweries represented at the Fest are all from places within about a day's drive of Memphis. (There will be no Budweiser. Sierra Nevada doesn't count, either.) You'll be able to taste unique brews that you can't get here, along with some of the new local beers that you can get around town.
Every brewery sends an ambassador. Think of the CY Beer Fest as more of an intimate gathering of beer enthusiasts and experts than a mass of pourers at booths. You'll be able to talk to the brewery owners, the beer makers, and experts as they give you a taste.
Limited number of tickets means shorter lines. A lot of beer festivals have long lines. It's not so bad, you get a pour, and you drink it while you're in line for the next one. On the other hand, CY Beer Fest has a limited number of tickets (it sells out every year, buy your tickets now) so the lines should be shorter with more time to mingle in between pours.
Beer people will be giving talks and answering questions. If you want to sit down and have a break, you can go to the Beer Tent Revival and listen to the experts answer questions, share ideas, and talk about their work, all for your education and enjoyment.
Anything can happen at the CY Beer Fest. Anytime you have a gathering of people who share a passion, something spontaneous and creative is bound to happen. A few years back, Chuck Skypeck of Ghost River Brewing brought out the very first bottle of Ghost River Golden and invited folks in the Beer Tent to "come down to the altar" to try it first – a real Beer Tent Revival. Another time, the folks from Vino's Brewpub in Little Rock found a recipe for an old Tennessee Brewing Company beer and made just one keg that folks got to taste. There's sure to be some magical beer moments this year.
Thanks to Andy and Mark for sharing all this behind the scenes info. Tickets will be $35 per person in advance, and $40 at the gate if there are any left. Leave the kids and dogs at home for this one, everybody needs to be 21 and up in order to get in. The Cooper-Young Regional Beer Fest is ADA accessible.
Cooper Young Regional Beer Fest
Sunday, October 19
1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
765 Cooper (next to the Trestle Art)
Tickets are $35 ahead of time. Buy them here.