By 2:30 in the afternoon this past Saturday, the line for Wiseacre’s 3rd annual Taste the Rarity event was out the door and around the block. When the doors did finally open, the line had doubled and several hundred early birds rushed through the small bridge that connects Wiseacre’s additional parking area to their grounds.
Beer, at least at first, ran as freely as if it were Valhalla in Asgard. Over 25 breweries from across the country had gathered at Wiseacre’s taproom and brewery, some from as far as California and Colorado, to give Memphis a taste of some of the country’s best craft beer.
The event opened with The Grizz Line, the Grizzlies’ drum squad, performing, which added to the Asgardian motif.
Several tents housed the brewers’ tap booths, each one booth containing about two or three beers on tap, and were packed like the front rows of a concert, everyone waiting in line to try something new.
The crowd quickly turned into a mid-day party, with 600 attendees throughout the day discussing beer and comparing each other’s finds. The brewers weren’t the only ones who travelled for the event, throughout the day I met amateur cicerones who had traveled from the hills of the Ozarks, the fields of Kentucky, and the far stretches of the Delta, to attend the 4-hour event.
India Pale Ales, Imperial Stouts, Saisons, and countless varieties made up the spotlight of the event, and music from Big Barton, The Mighty Souls Brass Band, and the Grizzline filled the air.
Memphis still has a shortage of craft brews available to us when compared to up north or out west. However, Wiseacre and the other Memphis breweries are quickly accommodating the constantly growing demand for craft beer in the Bluff City.
See a list of all the breweries represented at Taste the Rarity festival here and plan on attending next year!