Brewing in the shadows of Crosstown

A new brewery is set to open next year.

Local beer fans have been consistently celebrating the brewery explosion in our city in recent years -- from Memphis Made on Cooper to Wiseacre on Broad to High Cotton on Monroe to Ghost River on South Front, they're raising a glass all over town over local brews. It’s hard to imagine there was a time when buying Fat Tire at Kroger was such a big deal. Beer lovers now enjoy an embarrassment of riches as of late when it comes to this delicious sudsy drink we call beer.

And yet our hoppy dreams continue to be answered -- more good news is in store for local beer enthusiasts. A new craft brewery is picking up steam in the revitalized Crosstown neighborhood.

Crosstown Brewery is the brain child of two childhood friends, Will Goodwin and Clark Ortkiese, who share a love for craft beer. They began this journey several years ago when they started brewing at home.

While their Crosstown space isn’t quite ready yet, these two haven’t wasted anytime being a part of the beer conversation. I’ve tasted several of their beers at different events around town, and they are delicious. I can’t wait until I can enjoy them in their taproom. The cool thing about Will and Clark is that while they love beer, they also love how beer can enhance community and bring people together.

I had a chance to visit with Will and Clark and ask them a few questions about Crosstown Brewery.

What's the latest on your move to Crosstown?

Clark: We are so excited that our move to Crosstown is closer than ever to becoming a reality. Setting up shop in a complex environment like this "vertical urban village" is interesting to say the least, but the Crosstown Development team made it a very positive experience.
 
Why Crosstown?

Clark: That one's easy. We are excited about the possibilities that exist in Memphis. We were both raised here and watching the positive changes that are blossoming here is exhilarating. Crosstown Concourse is a visceral reminder of how great the resilient spirit of this city really is. We consider being a part of the development as an honor and a privilege.  

Where exactly will the brewery be located?
 
Clark: The new building will be built on the far northwest side of the Crosstown Concourse grounds. We're still in the very early stages of designing our space but we're sure that our architect, Hunter Fleming, will deliver a concept that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. We hope to enhance the existing industrial feel with our brand of production oriented design. The building will be roughly 10,000 square feet with an ample taproom that will feature significant outdoor areas. We really hope that our taproom will be the kind of place that the doctors, teachers, artists, employees, and visitors of the Crosstown Concourse would want to stop and spend a whole afternoon or evening in.

Will: We want you to stay and hang out and leave with a positive feeling. The tap room will be like going to your favorite neighbor’s house. It’s also going to be family friendly.

Can you give me some back story on the Kickstarter campaign and its success? What will the Kickstarter money do?
 
Clark: The Kickstarter was an awesome example of the kind of excitement and generosity this city is capable of generating. We shattered our goal of $20,000 by raising more than $28,000!!! The support from our friends, neighbors, and fellow Memphians is humbling and we intend to use that money to bring our donors the best beer in the city. That money is already being used to pay the artist that designed our logo and marketing materials, the lawyers who keep us legal, and pay the preliminary expenses to get this brewery off the ground. The value of the Kickstarter donations is immeasurable to us and the kindness, faith, and generosity of our donors will never be forgotten.

Besides beer, of course, how else do you plan on being involved in the neighborhood?

Will: Community service will be a huge part of what we do. Addressing blight, sponsoring artists to make murals – we want to be intimately involved in Crosstown.

For more updates on Crosstown Brewery, visit Crosstownbeer.com.

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