paulryburn

Aug 302014
 

Yesterday on my vacation day, I left my apartment as a man on a mission. A mission to drink beer. Well, I suppose that’s my mission every day, but yesterday I had a particular mission: To drink the three featured beers brought to the Memphis market by Hattiesburg, Mississippi brewing company Southern Prohibition. I wanted to learn as much as possible about the beers, so the best place to go was the Flying Saucer. As a member of their UFO club, I can print off tickets on the computer recording that I have purchased the beers. When I get to 200 different beers, I get a plate on the wall. I have 8 plates on the wall (actually one plate, colored white to signify that I’ve been around the Ring of Honor 8 times) and had been stuck at 48 beers toward plate 9 for quite some time. Yesterday I got unstuck. The great thing about the ticket system is that the tickets have really good descriptions of each beer, so you can learn about what you’re drinking.

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Devil’s Harvest is the brewery’s American Pale Ale. It’s full of flavor and quite hoppy, but the hops aren’t overwhelming.

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Jack the Sipper is SoPro’s ESB, Extra Special Bitter. It uses English ingredients to produce a UK experience when drinking this beer.

 

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The bartender told me that Suzy B has been SoPro’s most popular beer sold at the Saucer. It’s a blonde ale that is easy to drink.

Look at the artwork on the cans! This is clearly a brewery that takes pride not only in its beer, but in the medium in which the beer is packaged as well. The bartender told me that on her Thursday night shift, she sold about 10 cans of Southern Prohibition beer. That may not seem like a lot, but it is. Patrons at the Saucer have 125 bottled and can beers and 75 draft beers to choose from, and a disproportionately high number have been choosing SoPro.

I walked out the door at 51 beers toward my ninth plate. Along the way on the quest for 200, the Saucer gives interim awards to its UFO Club members. Because I crossed the threshold of 50, the next time I swipe my membership card on the computer, it will print out a ticket good for $5 off my next tab.

Later in the day yesterday, I decided I wanted to go to the Zoo Brew event at the Memphis Zoo. So I posted on Facebook that I was looking for a date to the beer tasting. “You: Single, female, hot, extra ticket to Zoo Brew, willing to pay for my cab to Midtown,” I typed. However, there were no takers, so no Zoo Brew for me this time around.

The big event Downtown today and tomorrow is the Memphis Music & Heritage Festival. You can view the schedule here.  My top pick for today is, oddly enough, not live music. If you want to hear the story of a true Memphis music legend, go to the Center’s Folklore Hall at 4:45 this afternoon. Bluesman Bobby Rush will be interviewed on the Folklore Hall stage. The Folklore Hall is in Pembroke Square, and you enter through the doors to the left of the Blind Bear. PRO TIP: The Folklore Hall has a kitchen. Try some of their greens and hot-water cornbread for a real Southern experience.

Bobby Rush, by the way, will headline the Peabody Place stage at the festival tonight at 9.

It’s time to CALL THOSE HOGS!!! Arkansas takes the field at 3 PM today against #6 Auburn on the SEC Network. I don’t expect the Razorbacks to win, but if they can at least keep it competitive it will be a positive sign for coach Bret Bielema and his team.

Plans for today: With awesome music and food three blocks from my front door, why would I be anywhere but the Memphis Music & Heritage Festival? I plan to be down there all day, with frequent stops at Brad’s bar at the Blind Bear throughout, so if you don’t see me at the festival, check the Bear. I will still lead off at Panda’s bar at Bardog as usual (I want to see her new blue hair) but it will be an abbreviated stay this week. I want to hit the festival no later than 12:30 this afternoon. Come join me!

Friday update

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Aug 292014
 

It’s a vacation day and I have a couple of hours to kill, so this is going to be a rather long post.

The last Friday of the month means that South Main Trolley Night is back tonight (minus the trolley). The shops and galleries along Main Street from Vance to St. Paul will stay open late (6 to 9 PM or later), many offering hors d’oeuvres, beverages, and specials and discounts. It’s a chance to not only shop but to get out and mingle with your neighbors. There will be live music up and down the street, including

  • Short in the Sleeve
  • History 901
  • Tim Plunk
  • Evan Farris
  • Mara Danielle
  • Shufflegrit
  • Eric Crays
  • Sing for Glenn
  • Melinda Milligan

Also for Trolley Night, you can stop by Art Lounge on the Dock for free refreshments while you make your own art. Mama D’s Italian Ice and Frozen Pops will be vending at Trolley Night. Brittany Vega, 2013 Memphis College of Art graduate, will have a show at Leadership Memphis Gallery 363, at 363 S. Main. The gallery is curated by Jay Etkin and wine and appetizers will be served. Folks representing RiverArtsFest will be working the street, handing out info about the 8th annual arts celebration and recruiting volunteers.

There’s a Kill the Keg party today at Tamp & Tap beginning at 4 PM. $2.50 pints of local beers by Ghost River, Wiseacre, and High Cotton until they run out.

Tonight’s Memphis Jams on Beale concert is a Radio Ambiente Festival. The concert is at Handy Park, Third and Beale, beginning at 6:30 PM. It is free to attend.

MEAT-Loaf is the theme at Memphis Farmers Market tomorrow. It’s a celebration of the quality meats sold at the Farmers Market, including Black Angus beef, pork, chicken, catfish, and seafood. When you buy meat from MFM, you can be confident you are eating animals that were well-raised, and you’re also supporting the local economy. This week children can make back-to-school lunch sacks at a special workshop from 9 to 11 AM. Live music includes Bill Stanek at 7, Three Degrees at 8:30, Rick Williams at 10, and Michael Joyner at 11. Front at G.E. Patterson, 7 AM-1 PM tomorrow. There are not many farmers markets in the country that can claim to be better than this one.

Got a question for my readership. Is there a word for someone who friends you on Facebook not so much because they like you and consider you a friend, but because they want to keep tabs on what you’re up to? And you know this at the time they make the request, and they know that you know this… but it would be impolitic to ignore/refuse the request because of mutual friends. Yeah, I think I had one of those this summer. Can anyone out there relate? Is there a word in Urban Dictionary for this?

I went to the Southern Prohibition Brewery launch party last night at Blind Bear, but I didn’t get to try any of the featured beers. About 10 I was starving, so I figured I’d get some food, go home and eat, and come back. What really happened? I got food, went home to eat, fell asleep, and woke up at 2:54. I do want to try those beers, because I remembered Southern Prohibition’s beers being among the favorites I sampled at Cooper-Young Regional Beerfest last year. By the way, for new readers who haven’t heard me get on my soapbox about this… Cooper-Young Regional Beerfest is THE BEST BEER FESTIVAL IN MEMPHIS by a mile. It’s the only beer festival in Midtown that I like enough to pay for a cab ride out there and back. It happens October 11. Save the date. Yes I know there’s football that day… get some kind of mobile package where you can watch on your phone at the beerfest if you have to. If you like beer, you are missing out if you are not there.

Speaking of football, the annual tradition begins tomorrow… the annual tradition of me looking up whatever team is playing Arkansas to make sure I don’t accidentally wear that team’s colors.

Also in football news: A pink locker room awaits visiting teams that play Iowa.

Want to take a bike tour of urban chicken coops? Go here to learn how.

The In the South, It’s a Religion blog has coverage of Start Co. startup GemPhones for Fashion Find Friday.

LOLing at something I saw on Facebook today. One of my Downtown bartenders/servers took a “How many children should you have?” quiz on Buzzfeed or one of those sites. The result? It told her she should get a cat. If you know who I’m talking about, it’s totally true. Hint: Some of the beers she has served me have been served at a table covered in red or black felt. Second hint: Next time she sees me, she’s going to go, “I saw what you wrote on your blog about me. RUDE!”

Look for me if you go to the Memphis Music & Heritage Festival tomorrow. If I’m not out wandering around or at one of the stages, I’ll be inside the Blind Bear cooling off at Brad’s bar. I intend to get down there by 12:30, so my lead-off stint at Bardog will be an abbreviated one tomorrow morning.

All right, time to get the day started. I had two items on my agenda today: 1) Throw away the half eaten box of Easter candy that has been on my coffee table since April, and 2) Day drinking. However, a wise Facebook friend pointed out that I should hold on to the candy to hand out to trick-or-treaters on Halloween. So I’m down to one agenda item. Better get started on it.

Aug 282014
 

Tonight is the Southern Prohibition beer launch party at the Blind Bear Speakeasy at 8 PM. You’re invited to dress as a gangster, flapper, or your favorite Southern Prohibition beer. I decided to do a little research on the three featured beers at tonight’s party:

- Devil’s Harvest is a 5.8% alcohol by volume (ABV) American Pale Ale. This beer is brewed with a Munich Malt and four hop additions. Untappd describes it as “a real hop bomb.”

- Suzy B is a 5.3% ABV American Blonde Ale. She’s a dirty blonde, unfiltered, but said to be an easy drinker.

- Jack the Sipper is the brewery’s tribute to England. This 5% ABV Extra Special/Strong Bitter uses 100% English hops and English malts. Flavor is said to be toasty and fruity and ratebeer.com describes the beer as “a true UK experience down South.”

You can learn more about the beers (and see the labels if you want to dress like one of the beers) at SoPro’s website.

There will be a prize for best costume, blackjack tables, live music by Jen and Levin Band, and beer, drink, and food specials. If you’ve seen the photos on the dining room wall (look for me in gangster attire holding cards) and want to get on there, Joey Miller will be there taking photos.

There’s a currently-running Groupon to attend one of three Ole Miss home games at a discount price.

At this point you’re probably thinking, Wait a minute, am I reading the right blog? You HATE Ole Piss, Paul! You think it’s the douchiest football school, with the douchiest football fans, in the entire SEC! In the entire nation, even! Why are you encouraging people to support them?

I’m not.

You see, one of the three options is the game against Memphis, on Saturday, September 27. Memphians who want to travel down to that shithole and support the Tigers amidst all the argyle-wearing d-bags and sundress-wearing d-baguettes can do so at a discount price ($42 for a $55 value ticket).

The Redbirds have announced an exhibition game for April 3, 2015. They will play the St. Louis Cardinals at AutoZone Park. It will be the final warm-up game before the Cards begin their 2015 regular season.

I’ve got a few more hours of work, then it will be time for another four-day weekend. I will be at the Southern Prohibition party tonight and I do not have to leave early to rest up for Friday at work, so I’m going to try to push it late night a bit. Back tomorrow with another post, although perhaps not a sober post or one at the regularly scheduled time.

Aug 272014
 

Days away from the start of SEC football season, this notification popped up on my phone:

If you want me to give up my love for the Arkansas Razorbacks and start cheering for LSU, this is the way to do it.

Tonight is the final regular season home game for the Redbirds, and they have several activities planned. A magnet listing the 2015 season schedule will be given to all attendees, and all attendees will also receive a voucher good for any 2015 regular season home game, excluding fireworks dates. Also, the date of the 2015 exhibition game against the St. Louis Cardinals will be announced. It will also be Fan Appreciation Night with giveaways every inning. First pitch is at 7:05.

(Edit: I had info here about the Beale Street cover charge here, but people from other bars are telling me it’s inaccurate, so I have removed it.)

If you plan to be outdoors at the Tiger football game or the Memphis Music & Heritage Festival this weekend, you might want to bring a rain jacket or disposable poncho. The MemphisWeather.net blog says this weekend may bring the best chances of widespread rain to the area in over a month, as tropical moisture that could become a short-lived tropical depression flows north from the Gulf of Mexico.

Beale Street Landing is launching Free Friday Flicks, a free movie series at the landing every Friday from August 29 to October 17. Riverfront Bar & Grill and Parker’s Concessions food truck will sell food and beverages. No outside coolers or picnic baskets will be allowed. This Friday’s film is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

Cheap flight alert: If anyone in Memphis needs to fly to Washington DC, Frontier has a flight for $14 on Monday, September 8. (Credit @JosephMiner for tweeting this)

Fun Twitter account I discovered yesterday: I am a bear

I’ll start off at Jessica’s bar at the Silly Goose after work for happy hour today. Perhaps later I will engage in Facebook banter with someone who consistently bests me puts her superiority complex on display for all to see. Right now, time to hit Publish, grab a quick bite of lunch, and get back to work.

Aug 262014
 

The Downtown Local location is doing a SweetWater beer dinner next Tuesday, September 2. It will be a four-course dinner, each course paired with beer. It begins at 7 PM. Tickets are $35. Check the Facebook event listing for more information about the dinner and how to purchase tickets.

Ten Feet off Beale has a recap of last Sunday’s Downtown-Midtown sandlot baseball game.

Bands for Best Memphis Burger Fest have been announced: Seeing Red and Raymond’s Last Day. There are still a few competition spots left, so fill out an application if interested. The event is Sunday, September 21 on the Minglewood Hall parking lot.

The Peabody is holding a 145th anniversary dinner Thursday, September 4 at 6 PM. To salute the past, they are bringing back three former Chez Philippe executive chefs for the dinner: Jose Gutierrez (1982-2005), Reinaldo Alfonso (2005-2011), and Jason Dallas (2011-2012). These three men will work alongside current Executive Chef Andreas Kisler and Executive Pastry Chef Konrad Spitzbart. Tickets are $85 and there is an optional wine pairing. 901-529-4188 to make reservations. Here’s a link to the menu for the dinner.

CBSSports.com put together a fun list. It ranked all 128 FBS head coaches by their playing career, rather than their coaching career. Two Mid-South coaches ranked high on the list: Memphis’ Justin Fuente at 18, and Arkansas’ Bret Bielema at 14. Number 1 was Steve Spurrier of South Carolina, the only Heisman winner on the list.

Pro wrestling fans: Legendary manager Jim Cornette appeared on local radio show MemphiSport Live last weekend.

That’s all, going out for beer, back tomorrow.

Aug 262014
 

The Center for Southern Folklore has posted the schedule for this weekend’s Memphis Music & Heritage Festival on the center’s home page. This Saturday-Sunday festival features nearly 100 acts on five stages, as well as cooking demos and more. It happens on the Main Street Mall between Union and Peabody Place, as well as in the Center’s Folklore Store and Folklore Hall. It’s free to attend. This is one of my favorite festivals of the year.

The Orpheum has announced Cirque Dreams Holidaze for December 26, 27, and 28. It’s a cirque-style event, Broadway musical, holiday spectacular and family show all in one, with over 300 costumes, 20 acts, and 30 performers. Tickets go on sale September 5.

Hattiesburg, Mississippi’s Southern Prohibition Brewery is launching its products in Memphis Thursday, and what better place to do it than Blind Bear Speakeasy? There will be a launch party that night with blackjack, a gangster/flapper costume contest, and more. Here are the details:

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The MBJ has more information on Southern Prohibition’s debut in Memphis. The brewery’s beers will be available at Central BBQ and Flying Saucer as well, and the brewery will be at the Cooper-Young Regional Beerfest in October.

The Flying Saucer’s “Pigskin Pickin’” event for its UFO members is this Saturday at 1. Celebrate the beginning of college football with a whole pig and complimentary beer. Here are the details:

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If you’re not a UFO Club member, you can join before or at the event. I think the fee is $18 and you get a T-shirt.

Billy Orgel’s developers are staying quiet on the subject of what will be done with the Tennessee Brewery during the 90-day due diligence period prior to the sale’s closing. However, one thing is for sure: There will not be another Brewery Untapped event in the building.

Tom Shelton’s Pink Pig Apparel brand is back online. You can purchase polos, T-shirts, and hats.

There is easily enough news for a second post today, so check back this evening for more.

Aug 252014
 

Monday is certainly living up to its reputation. After a fine weekend Downtown, I walked out to the parking garage this morning to find my left front tire almost flat. I had put air in the tire Friday and had suspected it may have had a leak. I was right. The tire still had enough air in it for me to get the car to Firestone at 1055 Madison, right before I-240. They were fast! I was in and out in thirty minutes. They open at 6:30 on weekdays, so if I had known the tire was flat I could have got in there and got it fixed and made it to work on time. I would recommend them for sure.

Saturday was a better day. I was sitting at the bar at the Blind Bear mid-afternoon, and not one, not two, but three people told me they moved Downtown because of my blog. I love hearing that. It means that my blog has served its purpose and has made people aware of what a fun neighborhood I live in. You know, sometime I’d like to sit down and interview people who moved Downtown because of this blog – figure out who they are, what they do, and what specifically I said in this blog that influenced their decision. If anyone would be interested shoot me an email. paul@paulryburn,com

Pretty cool event happening at Kudzu’s tonight: Paint Nite. Here’s the description from the website: “Join Kudzu’s in their 2nd Paint Nite Event! Experience what drinking creatively is all about. Grab a drink. Grab a brush and get paint wasted we us! Paint Nite provides all materials. We take you step-by-step on how to create your very own masterpiece.This is not your average ‘Night-Out’;. Paint Nite is the New Night Out! Don’t be the one hearing about it, be the talking about it.” For those who have never been to Kudzu’s before, it’s on Monroe Avenue a couple of blocks east of the ballpark.

As of this morning 295 more pre-orders were needed to make the Memphis Grizzlies license plate a reality.

Wrestling fans: The legendary announcing team of Lance Russell and Dave Brown will reunite for the September 18 Memphis Wildfire Wrestling show at Minglewood Hall.

For my fellow Arkansas Razorback fans: Here’s a great article about head football coach Bret Bielema and the challenges he faces given the history of Arkansas football the past 10 years.

Speaking of Arkansas: Quarterback Brandon Allen’s truck was set on fire early this morning and arson is suspected.

That’s it for now. I’ll be out at Bardog for happy hour with Melissa after work.

Aug 232014
 

We now know who has the contract to purchase the Tennessee Brewery, saving it from demolition this summer. The CA reports that cell tower developer Billy Orgel has the contract. As of yet it is not known what Mr. Orgel plans to do with the building.

Huge night at the Redbirds tonight for their 6:05 game against the Sacramento River Cats (gates at AutoZone Park open at 5). It will be a fireworks night, the last of the season. The fireworks will be set to superhero-themed music, because it is also Superhero & Comic Night. The Redbirds invite fans to come to the game dressed as their favorite superhero or comic character. Select players will sign autographs in the plaza from 5 to 5:30 – remember, these guys are only one step away from the big leagues, so you might very well be getting your merchandise signed by the All-Stars of tomorrow. There will be baby races as well.

The first concert in the River Series at Harbor Town Amphitheater is tonight.  Doors will open at 6 PM with the Memphis Dawls taking the stage at 7 and Robby Grant at 8. This is the first of three fall concerts at the amphitheater. A minimum $5 donation for the Maria Montessori School is requested. There will be food by Miss Cordelia’s and you are welcome to bring a cooler as well. The amphitheater is across from Miss Cordelia’s and behind the Montessori school.

The organizers of Food Truck Fridays at Emerge Memphis wanted to express their apologies to anyone who came by yesterday. There was a miscommunication with the food truck and it never made it down. Food Truck Friday will be back this coming Friday with the Mark’s Grill food truck at Emerge Memphis, Tennessee Street at G.E. Patterson, for lunch from 11 to 2.

The Orpheum Art Sale happens today at 1.  Your $10 ticket gets you the chance to buy art by the Memphis area’s top artists, heavy hors d’oeuvres, and live music. Artists receive 75% of sales with the remaining 25% going toward the Orpheum’s new Centre for Performing Arts and Education.

I need to write a blog post on how to motivate me to do something. Some people get it, some people don’t.

Time to head to Panda’s bar at Bardog for Saturday day drinking. Plans for later TBD.

Aug 222014
 

I’d like to start off today’s post by apologizing to Start Co. and their startup founders for leaving the Demo Day after-party so early. I had planned to hang out and network with the entrepreneurs until at least midnight. That didn’t happen and I was out before 10 with an upset stomach.

Here’s what happened: Between Demo Day and the after-party, there was a cocktail hour at the Silly Goose. That’s normally where I’d be anyway on a Thursday evening, so I attended the cocktail hour. People from Start Co. came over and handed me three green tickets. “What are these for?” I asked.

“Each one will get you any drink you want here,” they replied.

“Anything?” I asked.

“Anything.”

Now, the Silly Goose is one of my neighborhood spots where I spend time with friends and drink cans of PBR. However, the Goose is also one of the best cocktail bars in the city, with a menu of hand-crafted cocktails. If I could trade a green ticket for anything I wanted, I damn sure wasn’t going to waste it on a domestic beer. “Make me your favorite drink from the cocktail menu,” I asked Jessica. “… that isn’t too girly, and that you think I would like.” She brought me a mojito. It was absolutely delicious, so I cashed in my remaining two tickets on mojitos as well.

Well, here’s the thing. I drink beer. I do shots, mainly Fireball. However, I almost never drink mixed drinks. It had probably been more than a year since I had more than one mixed drink back-to-back. My stomach couldn’t handle three successive mojitos. By the time I walked over to the after-party at 9, I wasn’t feeling well. By 9:45 I had to give up and go home.

The after-party venue, The Bradford at the Deluxe Arcade, was a beautiful space. I had never even heard of this venue until recently. It’s at 10 North Second, a block north of Paula & Raiford’s Disco. It was big enough for Start Co. to have two bars and two DJs. It can hold 300+ people and has 3000 square feet of space. It is a classy, elegant setting that I would recommend for parties and wedding receptions.

While at the Silly Goose I got to talk to one of the founders of Boosterville, a new mobile payment platform. It saves retailers 50-80% of fees that would go to credit card merchant services, charging a fee of only 1%. In addition, Boosterville allows merchants to offer a loyalty program, and Boosterville is cause-driven, donating a percentage of fees to local charities. I once worked in credit card merchant services, and I can tell you the status quo in that industry is a dinosaur. Nice to see a Start Co. startup working to make the dinosaur extinct.

The Daily News has a complete list of businesses that graduated from Start Co.’s accelerators.

Tonight is the weekly free Memphis Jams series at Handy Park at Third and Beale, kicking off at 6:30. This week’s live music will be Neosoulville presents an Isaac Hayes celebration,

Casablanca will be shown on the big screen at the Orpheum tonight at 7 PM. Come early for themed cocktails and movie-related activities.

Double J Smokehouse and Saloon will host an SEC kickoff party tomorrow from noon until 6. There will be drink specials and game day food specials. Wear your game day attire and look for your team’s tent station. Tickets are $10 plus an 89 cent fee, $5 of which goes to local charities. Your ticket gets you a wristband and two drink tickets.

That’s all for now. The last weekend before college football and fall festival season begins is almost here. I still have no definite plans, but I’m sure I will be out and about Downtown.