We had another tremendously successful Cooper-Young Beerfest, and we couldn’t have done it without the support of all of the brewers, our volunteers, and many local businesses. This year, we hosted 31 breweries and three home-brew clubs. All of the breweries donated their beer for the event, and their employees took time away from their small businesses to come to Cooper-Young to support our community. The home-brew clubs are like the minor leagues for brewers, and we had many local brewers that spent weeks working on their particular beers so that they could serve them at our event. We had about 45 tremendous volunteers who worked hard on an unusually warm October day to help us set-up the site, work the front gate, pour beer, and help us take everything back down again. Adam Shellabarger donated many hours of work in designing all of our artwork, including the logo, posters, t-shirts, and mugs.
We also benefited from the generosity of many local businesses. Shane Herbers at Midtown Autowerks graciously hosted us for the fifth year despite the disruption to his business around that weekend. Ryan Trimm and his team at Sweet Grass hosted all of us for a delicious brewers’ dinner on Friday night that served as a terrific welcome to all of the brewers. Craig Blondis and his team at Central BBQ donated an amazing spread of food for the after party, which was hosted by Memphis Made Brewing Company. Memphis Made also kindly loaned their cooler space for the brewers bringing beer in from out of town and supported the event in too many ways to count. Cash Saver returned again this year as a cash sponsor of the event and assisted us with marketing to all of their beer-loving customers. Goner donated their time to provide the music for the festivities, both at the event and at the after party. Stone Soup provided discounts to the brewers, and Aldo’s donated pizza to feed the volunteers on festival day. Shoup’s Midtown BP donated gift cards for the out-of-town brewers to help with a portion of their gas bills. Many other local businesses like Huey’s, Stax, Sun Studio, Goner, Hammer & Ale, Nikki’s Products, Central BBQ, and others donated items to go in gift bags for the brewers.
Last but not least, members of the organizing committee spent about six months planning and then producing this event for Cooper-Young. Andy Ashby and Drew Barton have been on the committee since we started back in 2010. Doug Carriker and Kate Frank both joined the committee in 2014. Most recently, Stephanie Gonzalez joined this year and quickly demonstrated that she was a valuable addition to the team. This event would definitely not exist without their help and all of the time they gave to our community.
Please help us support the local businesses that support Cooper-Young. If you see one of these volunteers out in CY, please tell them “thank you” and buy them a beer for their hard work. Most importantly, we will see you again next October for the ninth annual Cooper-Young Beerfest. Cheers. — Mark Morrison