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Hear from the Owners: New Craft Brewery Coming to Crosstown

New Brewers Hope to Open in Crosstown

crosstown Brewing Company

Memphis appears to be close to getting its fifth craft brewery. The location could generate as much interest as the flavors the new brewery makes. A Facebook page popped up recently with the name Crosstown Brewing Company and a picture of the Crosstown building currently under renovations.

The owners are Will Goodwin and Clark Ortkiese, both from Germantown. Goodwin now lives in East Memphis and Ortkiese lives just down the road in the Crosstown area; close enough to actually see the construction happening. They’re also the president and vice-president of the Memphis Brewers Association. They tell us they have had preliminary discussions with the developers at the Crosstown building, but a spot there has not yet been finalized. They do say they’ll be in the area one way or another. The brewery could open as late as Fall of 2016 (when the Crosstown building opens) or if they decide on a location outside the building as early as this time next year. Regardless, they hope to be open in 12-18 months. There are definite plans for a taproom and potentially a beer garden as well. They also plan to source some urban farm ingredients when producing their brews. Both are ready to make this a reality, but also emphasized this is definitely in the planning phase; nothing is 100% set in stone just yet.

Update: We had a chance to chat with one of the new owners  as he told us about their hopes, dreams and vision for the potential new brewery.

Q & A with co-owner Clark Ortkiese:

Choose901: Why are you opening a brewery in Crosstown?

Clark Ortkiese: Ever since we first got into homebrewing, we’ve immersed ourselves in beer culture.  We’ve bought increasingly sophisticated equipment (my wife lives in fear that I’ll bring home another chest freezer).  We’ve read brewing texts voraciously to learn as much as we can about beer.  We’ve been to the last two National Homebrewers Conferences in Philadelphia and Grand Rapids.  We are President and Vice President of our local homebrew club, the Memphis Brewers Association.  Our passion for beer continues to grow and grow as we get more in more involved in the community of beer.  This leads us to the next question, why Crosstown?  Besides our passion for beer, we also have a passion for this city.  We were raised here, we both graduated from Christian Brothers High School, and we both chose to return here to raise our families after college.  We believe in the potential of this city.  No one can deny that Memphis has seen it’s share of trouble, but we feel like it is a city on the rise.  Crosstown is a fantastic symbol of this revival and it is our hope that our company can help that community, and the city as a whole, realize its full potential. 

We believe in the potential of this city… we feel like it is a city on the rise.  Crosstown is a fantastic symbol of this revival and it is our hope that our company can help that community, and the city as a whole, realize its full potential. 

C901: What is your brewing background?

CO: I feel like a lot of this was covered in the previous question, but to reiterate, we are homebrewers with about 11 years of combined experience.

C901: How much appetite does Memphis have for Beer? How does it compare to other cities? How many more breweries can we sustain?

CO: We feel like Memphis is absolutely ready for more local beer.  We’re a little behind some other cities of similar size as far as the number of breweries that we have.  It’s hard to say how many breweries the city can sustain because that’s a moving target.  As more breweries come along and expose even more consumers to a high quality product, the total pool of potential customers for local breweries grows.  In this way, the local breweries in Memphis are more brothers in arms than competitors in a traditional sense.  We will certainly want to distinguish ourselves but a victory for any local brewery in particular is a victory for the group.

In this way, the local breweries in Memphis are more brothers in arms than competitors in a traditional sense.  We will certainly want to distinguish ourselves but a victory for any local brewery in particular is a victory for the group.

C901: Why has beer taken off in Memphis? What does the future look like for the beer scene?

CO: I think that beer has taken off for the same reason that the food scene in Memphis has taken off.  People are tired of the same old, mass produced, lifeless products that are marketed to the lowest common denominator.  People want to be proud of this city.  Beer gives them a way to get together, have a drink, and remember that we are a great community.  As long as all of the local brewers continue to focus on quality and community, the future couldn’t be brighter for beer in Memphis.

People want to be proud of this city.  Beer gives them a way to get together, have a drink, and remember that we are a great community.  As long as all of the local brewers continue to focus on quality and community, the future couldn’t be brighter for beer in Memphis.

C901: What’s your favorite local craft brew?

CO: That’s a trick question!  I’ll give you my stock answer.  My favorite beer is always the next one.  As long as I get to have one more, I’m never disappointed!

Come out for the Crosstown Groundbreaking event this Sat, Feb 21st.

Follow Crosstown Brewing Company on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

New to the Memphis beer scene? Check out all of our beer videos.