Crosstown’s plan is to continue to work their distribution footprint, grow the markets and invest in the communities where they’re currently selling beer. Ortkiese is straightforward about the requirements to get distribution. “Our cans are good-looking, that helps, and our liquid tastes good,” he says. “Plus we’ve got sales to crow about.”
He says their flagship beers are also a little different. Siren is their blonde ale with “real character” because of their reliance on German hops. Their IPA, called Traffic, “pulls way back on bitterness” and offers tropical fruit flavors. “It’s dry and drinkable,” he says.
LuahMemphis, however, remains their ace in the hole. Their Crosstown location represents revitalization in the city, and drinking a beer from Crosstown Brewery is a “celebration” of that renaissance.
“I left Memphis in the ’90s, swearing I was never coming back. But something kind of changed,” Ortkiese said. “There's some civic pride here that there wasn't before. There's this belief (about Memphis) that we can do it, that we can make it better, that we are cool, that we do have things to offer. Being a part of that has been great.”
That sort of success is something folks in cities and small towns all over the country can celebrate along with them.
Crosstown Brewery is located in the Crosstown Concourse at 1264 Concourse Ave in Memphis. The taproom is open seven days a week. (See hours.)