Craft brewery taps Cordova for first draft

Ben Pugh and Richie EsQuivel aren’t afraid to meddle with the beer-making process in search of that perfect pint. The pair of friends formed the Meddlesome Brewing Co. and are planning to open a new brewery and taproom in Cordova later this year, hopefully by the spring.
“Memphis is still a very untapped market when it comes to beer, especially when you compare it to places like Portland, Ore., or Asheville, N.C., so we decided to do something right here in our own backyard,” said Pugh, who lives not far from the new location.
He and EsQuivel have been avid home brewers for many years.
“We actually met at a local home brewers club in which I was president, and we just hit it off as friends,” said Pugh.
The Meddlesome brewery and taproom will be located in an industrial strip center on Trinity Blvd. near Germantown Road. LRK Architects handled the interior layout and design of the 5,000-square-foot space, and Walker & Associates is the general contractor.  
The taproom will measure approximately 1,500 square feet, with the remainder of the space being used for the production area.
“We’ll be housing a 20-barrel brew house in there, so we’ll be able to easily produce 3,000 to 4,000 barrels of beer per year out of this location,” said Pugh.
A blond ale will be one the company’s flagship beers, along with an American IPA and an American brown ale. Meddlesome will sign on with a distributor and will produce only draft beer to be sold in bars and restaurants around town in the beginning.
“Eventually we will also be doing cans,” said Pugh. “That will be further down the road but within our first two years of operation.”
The overall cost to get the brewery up and running is expected to top $200,000.
Pugh expects to have a small staff of four or five to start out, with more possibly needed to help with the taproom.
Eclectic Ales, his brewery equipment company, will continue to operate independently of the new brewery.

Read more articles by Michael Waddell.

Michael Waddell is a native Memphian who returned to Memphis several years ago after working for nearly a decade in San Diego and St. Petersburg, Fla., as a writer, editor and graphic designer. His work over the past few years has been featured in The Memphis Daily News, Memphis Bioworks Magazine, Memphis Crossroads, the New York Daily News and the New York Post. Contact Michael.
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