Every city has its “thing.” New Orleans is a world-renowned foodie destination, Denver’s got that whole Mile High thing going on, Las Vegas has its neon, Moab is an off-roading mecca…you get the idea.
Memphis is no different, famous for its incredible BBQ and blues scenes. It’s never been known as a great craft beer city. Until now, that is.
In the past 10 years, a whopping nine Memphis breweries have popped up — all fantastic and many of them award-winning.
Not that anyone’s complaining, but it does beg the question why?
It turns out that Memphis has incredible water quality, and an abundance of it. Thanks to the 2,000-year-old Memphis Sands Aquifer, the city has what experts call the “sweetest, most wonderful tasting water in the world.”
Straight from the tap, Memphis’ water is smooth and has a subtle but distinct sweetness.
The slightly sweet water appears to be the magic ingredient in Memphis beers, and it seems the secret is out. Hence, so many new Memphis breweries in the last decade.
In a city known for its grit and community pride, more breweries — often “mom-and-pop” businesses and hubs for community events — make perfect sense in Memphis.
Let’s take a look at what exactly makes the Memphis beer scene so hoppin’ (sorry, I had to!).
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Hops Stops – The Ultimate Memphis Breweries Passport
Whether you’re a local Memphian or just visiting Bluff City for the weekend, the Memphis Hops Stops pass is a must-have!
Simply download the free pass on your mobile device and start visiting Memphis tap rooms. As you check in at participating businesses, you’ll earn prizes including an “I Heart Memphis Beer” sticker, soft cooler, and (perhaps best of all) exclusive discounts.
If you’ve ever wanted to take a Memphis brewery tour, here’s your opportunity to create your own!
Best Breweries in Memphis
From brand new startups to household names, it’s a super exciting time for the Memphis breweries scene.
Note: with the single exception of Bosco’s, all Memphis breweries are dog friendly. Bosco’s isn’t only because it’s a full-service restaurant and holds a different type of license.
Beale St. Brewing Company
As the very first Black-owned brewery in Memphis, Beale St. Brewing Company is quickly making a name for itself.
Launched in early 2020 in the thick of the coronavirus pandemic, Beale St. Brewing already has more than 10 beers (including a couple of collabs with other local Memphis breweries) and a merch line.
Each of the beers celebrates not just diversity in the craft beer industry, but also the things that make Memphis such a great city. For example, Centsational IPA pays homage to local basketball legend Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway, and King’s Ransom is a peanut butter and banana porter named in honor of The King himself, Elvis Presley.
Owner Kelvin Kolheim is heavily involved in Memphis’ economic development (literally — he’s the former Director of Economic Development for the Greater Memphis Chamber) and also happens to be innovative with his beer flavors.
This winning combo makes Beale St. Brewing one of the best breweries in Memphis and Kolheim an incredible ambassador for Memphis breweries.
Note that Beale St. Brewing doesn’t have a physical taproom at this time. Kolheim brews out of Lazy Magnolia Brewery in Kiln, Mississippi, while he searches for the perfect downtown spot. For now, you’ll find Beale St. beers at over 100 locations around Memphis!
Bosco’s Restaurant & Brewing Company
Bosco’s is particularly unique among Memphis breweries: it’s the city’s only restaurant and brewery. It also brews all beer onsite but doesn’t distribute, even locally — so if you want to drink a Bosco’s beer, you go to Bosco’s.
This Memphis brewery also has another unique claim to fame. Bosco’s is widely known as “Tennessee’s First Brewpub,” because when antiquated state laws finally changed in 1992, it was the first restaurant to legally brew and sell its own beer.
In case you didn’t know, Tennessee (surprisingly) has some of the strictest liquor laws in the country. For example, Moore County, home of the famous Jack Daniels distillery, is “dry.” As in, not a drop of liquor can be bought or consumed in the county.
Naturally, the distillery has found some loopholes in the law. God bless The South.
Back to Bosco’s…not only does this Memphis taproom have excellent beer, but the food is just as good. Order the wood-oven shrimp or pizzas, and don’t miss the Sunday jazz brunch. Reservations are highly recommended.
- Must-try Bosco’s beer: Famous Flaming Stone, a traditional German steinbier that uses wood oven-fired hot stones in the brewing process.
- Bosco’s Restaurant & Brewing Company hours + address: 11am-10pm Mon-Thurs | 11am-11pm Fri and Sat | 10:30am-10pm Sun | 2120 Madison Ave., Memphis, TN 38104
- Food: Full restaurant
- Dog-friendly: No
Crosstown Brewing Co.
It’s almost hard to believe, but just a few years ago, the guys at the helm of one of the most popular Memphis breweries didn’t know the first thing about running one.
Crosstown Brewing Co. owners and Memphis natives Will Goodwin and Clark Ortkiese are passionate about great beer, though (they’re both homebrewing hobbyists and even headed up the Memphis Brewers Association a few years ago), so everything eventually fell into place.
The huge, ultra-modern Memphis tap room has plenty of seating indoors and out. There’s always something going on at Crosstown, whether it’s live music or trivia night, and in between, there’s a great selection of board games.
Crosstown’s patio is dog-friendly and you’ll find local Memphis food trucks outside most nights.
- Must-try Crosstown Brewing Co. beer: Siren Blonde Ale and Traffic IPA. Don’t sleep on special releases from this Memphis brewery, though — like Spacebird Pastry Stout, which has a cult-like following.
- Crosstown Brewing Co. Memphis hours + address: 2-10pm Mon and Tues | 12-10pm Wed-Sat | 12-8pm Sun | 1264 Concourse Ave., Memphis, TN 38104 (Crosstown Concourse)
- Food: Food trucks and BYO
Ghost River Brewing Co.
The oldest of all craft breweries in Memphis, Ghost River Brewing Co. opened in 2007. The aptly-named brewery sources its water from the Ghost River, hidden beneath the Wolf River and running into the Memphis Sands Aquifer.
Ghost River’s beers are super smooth and slightly sweet, a result of the soft, mineral-free water. You’ll find a selection of 12 craft beers: 4 core ales, 6 rotating seasonal selections, and 2 limited-edition “brewer’s series.”
Choose from two Memphis taproom locations, both of them family- and dog-friendly and with indoor and outdoor seating.
The Beale Street taproom, one of the newest additions to Memphis breweries opened in 2021, features a few exclusive beer styles and “beertails,” cocktails that incorporate beer.
Community is a central theme to Ghost River Brewing, so regardless of which location you visit, you’ll find plenty of yard games, local food trucks, and frequent events including live music and trivia nights. Beale Street also features gourmet sandwiches from local favorite Flying Sobie’s.
- Must-try Ghost River Brewing Co. beer: Grindhouse Cream Ale, in honor of the nickname used for the Grizzlies’ notoriously tough home court.
- Ghost River Brewing Co. South Main Street taphouse hours + address: 4-9pm Wed and Thurs | 4-10pm Fri | 1-10pm Sat | 1-8pm Sun | 827 S. Main St., Memphis, TN 38106
- Ghost River Brewing Co. Beale Street taphouse hours + address: 4-9pm Mon and Tues *ONLY during Grizzlies games and special events | 4-10pm Wed and Thurs | 12pm-12am Fri and Sat | 1-8pm Sun | 341 Beale St., Memphis, TN 38103
- Food: Rotating food trucks at South Main Street and Flying Sobie’s sandwiches at Beale Street
Grind City Brewing Company
Sitting on a 2-acre bluff in Uptown, Grind City Brewing Company is quickly establishing itself as one of the best breweries in Memphis — for its river and skyline views alone.
Indeed, it’s hard to beat overlooking the Mississippi and Bass Pro Shops Pyramid, but fortunately, Grind City’s beers are damn good too.
This 2020 addition to the Memphis breweries scene was founded by father-son duo Bill and Hopper Seely, both native Memphians. Hopper has frequently stated in interviews that he “loves the process over the outcome,” so Grind City’s beers are very literally made with extra TLC.
While Grind City doesn’t necessarily specialize in any one beer style, all of its brews are easy and highly drinkable. There’s even a sugar-free honey hard seltzer, so Grind City Brewing truly has something for every taste.
Grind City’s physical space is a celebration of all things Memphis, incorporating local artwork and frequently hosting local musicians. Even cooler, the Seely’s repurposed most of the wood fixtures left behind by the previous building tenants, a furniture factory that had been in the space for nearly a century.
- Must-try Grind City Brewing Company beer: Poppy’s Pils, a super smooth and crushable pilsner.
- Grind City Brewing Company Memphis hours + address: Closed Mon and Tues | 5-10pm Wed and Thurs | 12-10pm Fri and Sat | 12-7pm Sun | 76 Waterworks Avenue, Memphis, TN 38107
- Food: Rotating food trucks
Hampline Brewing Company
A newcomer among Memphis breweries, Hampline Brewing Company is the definition of small but mighty.
The Memphis tap room is located in a former loading dock (i.e., it’s tiny) in a repurposed industrial building. Seating inside is limited, but there’s plenty in the partially-covered grassy space outside.
Who cares where you sit, though, when the brews are this good?! Brewmaster Wes Osier honed his craft at the likes of Abita and Coors, plus spent a couple of years living in Germany — the guy knows beer.
Hampline Brewing is right on the Hampline bike and pedestrian trail, and just down the street from Wiseacre, another one of the best breweries in Memphis.
If you’re looking for some of the best things to do in Memphis, a bike ride through Overton Park (home of the Memphis Zoo) followed by a mini brewery crawl is a great place to start!
- Must-try Hampline Brewing Company beer: Handlebar Haze, a New England-style IPA; and Memphis Natch lager. *Fun fact: Memphis Natch is named after Natch the Bear, the “reason why the Memphis Zoo exists today.” You’ll also see Natch in Hampline’s logo.
- Hampline Brewing Company Memphis hours + address: Closed Mon and Tues | 4-8pm Wed | 4-10pm Thurs and Fri | 1-10pm Sat | 1-8pm Sun | 584 Tillman Street, Suite 1, Memphis, TN 38112
- Food: BYO
High Cotton Brewing Company
Located in the historic Edge District on the outskirts of downtown, High Cotton Brewing Co. is one of the best breweries in Memphis.
High Cotton’s meticulous onsite brewing process pays homage to old-school Southern ways. The result? 10 ultra-drinkable beers on tap including 2 rotators, with an offering for every taste.
You’ll find tons of seating indoors and out at High Cotton Brewing, including a dog-friendly patio on the sidewalk and a large enclosed patio off the side of the taproom. This Memphis brewery also hosts regular live music and trivia nights.
Insider tip: High Cotton Brewing is just a few doors down from the famous Sun Studio, where Elvis Presley, B.B. King, and Johnny Cash all got their starts! Book a quick tour there, then head to High Cotton for a drink.
- Must-try High Cotton Brewing Company beer: Scottish Ale, sweet, malty, and caramel-y.
- High Cotton Brewing Company Memphis hours + address: Closed Mon | 4-9pm Tues – Fri | 12-10pm Sat | 12-8pm Sun | 598 Monroe Avenue, Memphis, TN 38103
- Food: Rotating food trucks and you can order from the adjacent Edge Alley cafe
Meddlesome Brewing Company
Meddlesome Brewing Company‘s motto is “Never settle, always meddle.”
It should come as no surprise, then, that owners Richie Esquivel and Ben Pugh, who together have a combined 25 years of beer-making experience in Memphis breweries, describe themselves as creative and curious.
Inspired by Memphis’ diverse culinary scene and tenacious spirit, the duo behind Meddlesome Brewing enjoys creating “strong, unforgettable” American-style beers that just so happen to pair well with food.
Speaking of food, Meddlesome frequently hosts food trucks, live music, and other special events. This Memphis brewery is technically in Cordova, right next to the enormous Shelby Farms Park.
Side note: did you know Shelby Farms Park is home to Memphis’ very own bison herd?!
- Must-try Meddlesome Brewing Company Memphis beer: Brass Bellows, a blonde ale; and 201 Hoplar, a piney, citrusy IPA.
- Meddlesome Brewing Company Memphis hours + address: Closed Mon | 4-10pm Tues – Fri | 12-10pm Sat | 12-7pm Sun | 7750 Trinity Road, Suite #114,
Cordova, TN 38018
- Food: Rotating Memphis food trucks
Memphis Made Brewing Co.
Fitting perfectly into its surroundings, Memphis Made Brewing Co. sits in a breezy converted warehouse in the hip, artsy Cooper-Young neighborhood.
Widely considered one of the best breweries in Memphis, Memphis Made Brewing is known for its solid IPAs and inviting, kid- and dog-friendly taproom. There’s also ample outdoor seating and a covered patio, where you’ll find giant yard games.
Aside from its four core on-tap selections, Memphis Made has a reputation for putting out excellent, highly sought-after limited releases. Recent examples include Lick Everything, a heavy-hitting blackberry strong ale; and Memphis as Truck, a cold-brew coffee stout made in collaboration with French Truck Coffee.
- Must-try Memphis Made Brewing Company beer: Tropical IPA Cat Nap and Junt, an easy-drinking cream ale
- Memphis Made Brewing Company hours + address: Closed Mon and Tues | 4-7pm Wed | 4-10pm Thurs and Fri | 1-10pm Sat | 1-7pm Sun | 768 S. Cooper Street, Memphis, TN 38104
- Food: Rotating food trucks, plus you can order from Aldo’s Pizza Pies next door and eat in the brewery
Soul & Spirits Brewery
If you’re looking for a unique downtown Memphis tap room, you may have just found your new favorite spot: Soul & Spirits Brewery, run by husband and wife duo Blair Perry and Ryan Allen.
Occupying a huge, open-air industrial space on Main Street, Soul & Spirits sets itself apart from other Memphis breweries the moment you walk in. The owners have managed to cohesively incorporate four distinct beer cultures under one roof.
There’s the English-style pub, the Belgium-esque Low Tones Room (a quiet room ideal for reading or working), Germany-inspired communal seating, and an all-American game room with favorites including skee ball, basketball, and life-sized chess and checkers.
Everything Soul & Spirits Brewery does is inspired by the Delta region’s soulful music scene, from the taproom itself to the beer’s flavors and names (Hound Dog, anyone?).
Speaking of beer, Soul & Spirits Brewery has another surprise in store — the ability to customize your Memphis beer! Choose one of the many housemade syrups to give your beer a new flavor profile, such as making it sweeter or less acidic.
- Must-try Soul & Spirits Brewery Memphis beer: Wang Dang Doodle DIPA, a unique imperial oat cream IPA
- Soul & Spirits Brewery hours + address: Closed Sun and Mon | 4-10pm Tues – Thurs | 12-10pm Fri and Sat | 845 N. Main Street, Memphis, TN 38107
- Food: Snacks for sale onsite, rotating food trucks, and outside food is okay
Wiseacre Brewing Co
Owned by brothers Davin and Kellan Bartosch, Wiseacre Brewing Co. was in the making for almost a decade before it actually became a Memphis brewery.
The Bartosch brothers spent that time visiting and working in breweries throughout the U.S. and Europe, studying how to “start the best brewery ever.”
The results of all that hard work are two Memphis breweries and an innovative, expertly-curated selection of beers, both year-round and seasonal.
Wiseacre’s original Memphis taproom on Broad, affectionately known as “OG,” sits in a lofty warehouse space. There’s also a secondary tent out back for extra seating and live music.
The newer Wiseacre Brewing downtown Memphis taproom has become the company’s sleek headquarters. Little Bettie Pizza, the brainchild of local celebrity chefs Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman, also has a stand inside.
If you’re looking for a Memphis brewery tour, Wiseacre offers tours and tastings every Saturday at its OG Broad location. For $20, you get a tour and four 7-ounce Memphis beer tasters, plus a souvenir glass.
- Must-try Wiseacre Brewing Memphis beer: Tiny Bomb, a Great American Beer Festival award-winning pilsner spiked with local wildflower honey
- Wiseacre Brewing Co. Broad “OG” hours + address: 4-10pm Mon – Thurs | 1-10pm Fri and Sat | 1-6pm Sun | 2783 Broad Ave., Memphis, TN 38112
- Wiseacre Brewing Co. downtown taphouse hours + address: 1-9pm Mon – Wed | 1-10pm Thurs | 11am-10pm Fri and Sat | 11am-9pm Sun | 398 S. B.B. King Blvd., Memphis, TN 38126
- Food: Little Bettie (pizza and elevated pub fare) operates out of Wiseacre’s downtown Memphis tap room; the OG location regularly has food trucks
Interested in sampling multiple Memphis breweries? Check out this awesome Memphis brewery tour with three stops!
Honorable Mention — Memphis Distilleries
While they’re not Memphis breweries, I would be remiss to not include the two fantastic distilleries in Memphis. Both participate in the Memphis Hops Stops brewery passport.
- B.R. Distilling Company – Best known for being the oldest licensed distillery in Memphis, B.R. Distilling produces award-winning local favorites Blue Note bourbon and Riverset Rye whiskey.
- Old Dominick Distillery – Not only does Old Dominick have a rich, fascinating 150-plus-years history, but it’s also run by fifth-generation family members and housed in a historic 100-year-old building.
Book a Memphis distillery tour at Old Dominick Wednesday-Sunday to learn about it all, plus taste the legacy spirits.
Fun fact: Old Dominick Distillery is the only Memphis distillery on the official Tennessee Whiskey Trail!
Memphis Breweries & Distilleries Map
Want More Memphis Beer?
Check out these Memphis beer events throughout the year, including some hosted by local Memphis breweries.
- Memphis Brewfest – Typically held in October, this festival features more than 50 beers from some of the best breweries in Memphis, plus local food trucks, live music, and more.
- Cooper-Young Beerfest – This long-running October event is more than just a festival celebrating Memphis beers. It serves as a major fundraiser for the Cooper-Young Community Association and to that end, 100% of the festival’s proceeds go to the CYCA.
- Taste the Rarity – Wiseacre says about its fan-favorite Memphis beer festival, “Taste the Rarity is a specially curated festival dedicated to the things we love most: beer, fun & weirdness.” Extending well beyond Memphis breweries, you’ll find brewers from as far as Oregon and California.
Alright, who’s thirsty after reading about all the best breweries in Memphis?!
Leave a comment and let me know which ones are your faves, and save this post on Pinterest to plan your customized Memphis brewery tour later!