Memphis Beer Beat: 3rd Annual MS Brew Movement

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There are few things better than enjoying quality craft beer with like-minded drinkers, but the 3rd Annual MS Brew Movement benefiting the Mid South Chapter of the National MS Society allows us such an experience with an extra incentive: the chance to contribute to a great cause.

“This is an event to really bring together to appreciate craft beer and home brew, but mostly to spread awareness about Multiple Sclerosis in one venue,” said Joe Barnes, local homebrewer and organizer of the event.

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Barnes and the Memphis Brewers’ Association hosted their 2nd Annual Midtown 5-PubKrawl last Saturday in preparation for next week’s Brew Movement. Participants visited five Overton Square watering holes— Boscos Squared, Bayou Bar & Grill, Blue Monkey, Molly’s La Casita, and Dublin House— in an effort to raise funds for MS.

“I really wanted to do something that stands apart,” said Barnes, “and with Bluff City Brewers having done Art on Tap for years and other events, I said why not do something like that for MS. It took a couple of years of pestering the local MS Society people to say, ‘well, people do wine events, why not a beer event.”

The evening will have plenty of food catered by Just for Lunch and Ciao Bella, live music provided by Jeffery Jones as well as The Thorny Hops, a guest speaker discussing what life is like with MS, and, of course, beer—heaps of it.

Barnes expects to feature close to 50 beers, including 12-15 different homebrews provided by members of the Bluff City Brewers and the Memphis Brewer's Association.

Breweries featured will include Stone Brewing Co., Yazoo, Sierra Nevada, Red Brick, Saranac, Woodchuck ciders (gluten free and MS friendly), Boscos, and Ghost River, among others, plus mead brewed by Barnes using local honey.

Homebrews from Memphis Brewer’s Association:


-Bell’s Best Brown Ale clone (one batch with American Ale yeast and one with London ESB yeast— a side by side comparison of how various yeast strains can influence the taste and aroma of the same beer)
-Scottish Ale
-Altbier
-Rosemary Pale Ale
-Piggy Porter (bacon porter)

And from the Bluff City Brewers:

-Orange Dreamsicle
-Prohibition Ale
-Black Lager
-Irish Red Ale
-Irish Stout
-Cask-conditioned Bitter

Additionally, a table serving beer floats and Chocolate Truffles using Young’s Double Chocolate Stout and Lindemnans Frambois.

And a few auction items:

-Two sets of the Sierra Nevada 30th anniversary beers
-A six-pack of various stouts that are aren’t sold in TN
-Beer/brewing equipment
-Art and ceramics (including beer mugs)

The first MS Brew Movement was held in 2010, and made about $2,500. Last year’s event raised about $8,000, and Barnes is setting a goal of $10,000 for this year.

“We’ve had a very eclectic mix of people [in previous MS Brew events]. It’s people from every walk of life, and everybody gets along, everybody relates to each other, and everybody has a good time. I like to think that this event is a microcosm of the good things about Memphis: diversity, really nice people, and the fact that we’re getting more interested in better and better beers, and a bigger variety of beers.”

The Brew Movement, which falls on MS Awareness Week will be held on Thursday, March 15th from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at Chickasaw Oaks Village on Poplar. All proceeds will go towards the local chapter of the National MS Society and finding a cure for MS, “a chronic, often disabling, disease that attacks a person’s central nervous system.” Tickets are available here, Mid-South Malts, and will be sold at the door the day of the event for $25/person.

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