Whether you've been brewing beer at home for years or never have mustered the courage to try, Bernoulli Brew Werks is geared toward providing convenience and customer service to beer enthusiasts.
The shop, located at Chickasaw Crossing in East Memphis, is designed to fill what Brooks Sease saw as gaps in the Memphis market. "Engineering the perfect brew is what we try to do," Sease says. "Just start throwing some stuff together and find out what you like and don't like. Start tweaking it and trying to make a better beer all the time.
"That's what everybody coming in here is trying to do," Sease continues. "They want to make beer, they want to make it cheaper, and they want to make better beer. For $25 to $50, you can probably make five gallons of beer with a little bit of investment in the equipment. It's really not that hard, either."
Nearly 40 different grains in plastic tubs line shelves on the left wall. Custom labels include the price, the flag of the country of origin, and the lovibond, a scale used to measure grain colors.
Bernoulli Brew Werks has a brew station inside the store. The store's five partners have engineering backgrounds, take a precise approach, and are adept at guiding newbies through the process: cleaning equipment, steaming grains, creating wort, adding hops and yeast. They can help you sort out partial-grain mashes, dry malt extracts, the alpha acid levels of hops, and so on.
"We want to be able to actually walk people through it," Sease says. "We've had people in here for an hour, just hanging out, bringing in beers for us to try. They'll say, 'What do you like about this? What do you want to change?' We try to help them out."
The store is holding a barbecue and brew day April 12th in the parking lot, and there are plans to offer plenty of education to new brewers in the future.
Bernoulli Brew Werks is open Monday through Wednesday from 6 to 9 p.m.; Thursday and Friday from 5 to 9 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.
2881 Poplar (256-273-9766)
In a city known as one of the country's barbecue epicenters, Memphians still must frequent multiple stores to collect the necessary supplies for a proper cookout.
But not for long. Jimmy Shotwell, who's head cook for the Memphis in May team P-Funk and the Fatback All-Stars, is set to open Memphis Barbeque Supply in Bartlett on May 2nd.
Shotwell, a district sales manager for 10 years, often traveled to places like Kansas City and St. Louis, where the conversation inevitably turned to barbecue. The like-minded pointed him to shops dedicated to rubs, charcoals, woods, utensils, and grills.
In May 2013, Shotwell decided to turn his long-held idea to duplicate such a shop in Memphis into reality.
There are several big-box stores in Memphis with barbecue-related items, and many independent stores have dedicated barbecue departments, but the new store aims to provide unmatched variety and knowledge.
"We're the one-stop shop for everything you need but the meat," Shotwell says. "When you walk in the front door and you don't have anything in your backyard, you'll walk out of here with everything to put on a first-rate barbecue at your house."
The store will carry about 250 barbecue rubs and sauces, enough to fill 16 five-tier shelving racks. The options will include gluten-free, MSG-free, and kosher rubs and sauces. Patrons can select items focused on Carolina-, Texas-, Kansas City-, and Memphis-style barbecues, including a locally produced, award-winning barbecue rub called Smackers.
"You could come in here, walk out with four or five bottles of rub, go home, and take a barbecue tour of the U.S.," Shotwell says. "But the thing we want to do is focus on Memphis."
Other inventory will include five types of charcoals, 13 different types of wood (dried in a kiln in Missouri), about 200 accessories (tongs, thermometers, etc.), and an array of grills, including charcoal, gas, ceramic, and pellet.
Shotwell attended the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Expo in Salt Lake City last week to shop for inventory and make sure he's up-to-date on industry trends. All the store's employees will have at least two years of competitive cooking experience and be certified to judge Memphis-style or Kansas City barbecue.
Whether you're looking for the basic Weber One-Touch Gold charcoal grill or a $3,000 smoker, Memphis Barbeque Supply will carry it.
"At a big box, there's an 18-year-old kid picking his nose going, 'That's a gas grill and that's a charcoal grill, and that's all I know,'" Shotwell says. "Well, here, we'll be happy to leave you alone and let you shop, but if you have questions, a big part of our store is educating the customers."
7124 Stage, Suite 111, in Bartlett (833-2029)