Beer nerd/Young Avenue Deli assistant manager Tessa Pascover describes the Deli's Holiday Craft Bottle Swap: "I'm gonna bring my collectibles. You're going to bring your collectibles. And if you've got something I want, and I've got something you want, then we swap them out." It's a social thing.
"We're trying to get the collectors and the connoisseurs to come out for this," Pascover says. "People who have been traveling and trying different things."
In addition to beer trading, the Deli will offer five-ounce pours of several limited-supply craft beers. "It's a once-in-a-lifetime event that all of these beers will be on the draft wall next to each other," Pascover says. "Some of the specialty beers come around once a year. Others will never come in this market again."
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The holiday bottle swap idea grew out of an event planned around the arrival of Bell's Black Note Stout, a highly prized brew aged in whiskey barrels. Memphis was originally only getting one case of the oaky stuff, and from that case the Deli was getting only 12 bottles. "So we thought we'd invite beer connoisseurs to enjoy the stout," Pascover says. As the Bell's-sponsored event has grown, so has the available quantity of Black Note. In addition to the original 12 bottles, there will also be a small keg.
"These are all high-alcohol beers," Pascover says, explaining the five-ounce pours. "Black Note is 11.4 percent. We'll also have Dogfish Head's 120 Minute IPA, which is somewhere around 17, but they won't even give you an exact percentage on that because it's different every time they brew it."
Other beers available at the Holiday Craft Bottle Swap include Bell's Traverse City 355 E Stout with Vanilla Beans, Bell's 30th Anniversary Double Ale, Stone Wootstout, Dogfish Head Burton Baton, and Founders Backwoods Bastard.