Davin and Kellan Bartosch
Owners, Wiseacre Brewing Company
photography by Larry Kuzniewski
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Staying true to their Memphis roots, the Bartosch brothers followed their decade-long passion for opening a brewery a few months ago when Wiseacre Brewing Co. opened its doors on Broad Avenue, complete with its very own “grindhouse.” While Davin and Kellan’s quest for the perfect beer took them all over the U.S. (and overseas — can you say Oktoberfest?), earning each numerous accolades along the way, they found they were pulled back to their hometown to try their hand at brewing beer.
The caliber of water in the Bluff City was definitely a draw, but mostly these two just enjoy working together and creating great beer. “This work is kind of my dream,” Davin Bartosch says. “Just being in a brewery. Even if this turned into some enormous company, my head would still be right there [in the factory]. I’ll never get my head out of building recipes and conditioning beer and what the best way is to make a beer do what you want it to do. It’s my love.”
Kellan Bartosch says, “I like to work with my brother. We have fun most of the time. We work pretty hard, but to work together 12 to 14 hours a day and still laugh a lot and get along is pretty rare.”
As far as who handles what for the business, they have a system that works perfectly for them. “We have pretty different personalities,” says Kellan. “Davin’s whole life he’s been really, really good at things he can do by himself — like origami, chess, racquetball. When he can be alone he’s so thorough and detailed and has perfected things his whole life. It totally makes sense that he’s an incredible brewer, and that he can kind of zone out and be at his best.”
Davin continues, “Kellan and I defer to each other on behalf of everything that’s important to the business. Most everything that has to do with making beer, Kellan’s like, ‘Whatever, you know best.’ And whatever has to do with the business side is what he’s good at.” With Wiseacre now sold in more than 20 bars and restaurants as well as a handful of grocery stores after only a few months, their business model is clearly hopping.