What happens when you mix a cider with a beer?
You get a graf. What happens when you mix the award-winning Broad Hammer with a wild cider from Tennessee’s first cidery? Well, you get Graffic Content. We got a sneak sip and it’s fantastic.
Let’s back up a little bit…
When we first met with the guys behind Meddlesome Brewing Company, Richie EsQuivel and Ben Pugh, they told us about their desire to keep a gluten-free or gluten reduced option on tap at all times. Since removing all the gluten from a beverage made from grain is difficult, cider was a natural fit, and having admired Long Road Cider’s delicious product, a local partnership was ideal. One thing led to another and now you can get Meddlesome beer at Long Road Cider and vice versa.
Now, one more thing has led to another thing, as the two announce the first local brewery collaboration in Memphis.
We have seen all sorts of collaborations hit the Memphis market. Wiseacre has collaborated with some notable out-of-staters. Memphis Made has collaborated with local coffee roaster Reverb Coffee, Creative Works, and Goner Records. Ghost River recently did a beer with REI. However, this is the first collaboration between two alcoholic beverage producing entities!
So, about this graf…
Ok, back to the beverage at hand. Scott Patterson, owner of Long Road Cider, has had a very special batch of cider sitting in a very special barrel for over 8 months. As they say, “every barrel has a story” and this story includes 3 previous generations (the cider was the 4th generation to inhabit the barrel), one of which being wild blackberries. The generation at hand was a blend of Melrose and Golden Delicious apples that slumbered in that barrel and developed a nice sourness from the culture of wild yeast and souring bacteria (for the unfamiliar, these are all good and normal things!). Once Scott was happy with it, he hit up Richie and Ben to see what they should all do next.
Then the Broad Hammer came down. Broad Hammer is one of Meddlesome’s year-round offerings, and it took home a silver medal at the US Beer Open this year. What better place to start the blending process than with a beer that’s nationally recognized? Through trial and error of proportions, Scott, Ben, and Richie found the magical mix that gave them goosebumps, in a mystical sign from the heavens that their job was complete, and “Graffic Content” was born.
It’s a deep ruby red with a pillowy head. It’s curiously aromatic with a hint of balsamic vinegar (in a good way, we promise). It’s tart. Not crazy tart like the skin of a green apple, but pleasantly tart like a dark cherry. The oak from the barrel comes through in the dry finish. It is rich with stone fruit flavors. The maltiness of Broad Hammer brings in a slight sweetness with a hint of chocolate, making the beer very reminiscent of a traditional Flander’s Red. It’s super tasty, and it is in very short supply.
Ok, so how do I get some?
Great question. Mark your calendar for October 26th and wait patiently until that day. Then, head out to Meddlesome Brewing, right by Shelby Farms, or head out to Long Road Cider in Barretville. They will both be throwing release parties. Graffic Content will be a tap only release, with no to-go options. That won’t be a problem though because you’ll want to stick around for the festivities.
PS: Did someone say something about Cooper Young?
There’s been rumblings of Long Road Cider making a second home in Cooper Young. Scott said, “We’re grinding everyday.” They have no date set for opening, but no shortage of big plans for when they do. The increased space will allow them to expand their production, focus on some of their flagships, and eventually package their cider. Right now, you can find Long Road Cider on tap all over Memphis including the local growler filling stations, but someday soon it’ll be even easier to keep in stock at home.