By Aarron Fleming
Hook Point Brewing Co. made history in January when it became Collierville’s first brewery.
Now, the company is making a second attempt at breaking another record by expanding their brewery operation to include the town’s first full-service taproom.
Hook Point, which sits in an unassuming corner of the suburb just minutes from the Historic Town Square, was founded by Navy-veteran, Mike Sadler in 2014.
Seeking to create a brand targeted at people with active lifestyles, Sadler started out with just Flat Hat American Ale, the name being a nod to the showboat
flying technique by pilots where they fly low to the ground at high speeds. Flat Hat, which was originally brewed in Atlanta, became Hook Point, with the company offering more beers and expanding its reach across Tennessee.
Sadler also enlisted the help of two other veterans, Jay Marchmon and Stephan Emswiler, who were also pilots during their time in the military.
He also brought on board Maggie Emerson, a homebrewer and software industry veteran who moved to Collierville with her family in 2019, to head the company’s marketing operations. Sadler said that the team’s collective military experience them has helped them in the beer business because it taught them to be innovative and solve problems on the fly and helped them develop an eye for detail.
“Brewing is an art but it’s also a science,” he said.
Hook Point currently offers eight beers that include IPAs, a Scottish stout and even an Irish red ale. Most can be found at more than 20 locations in Memphis alone except for the ale and its Dry Dock Brut IPA which are only available at the brewery.
Although successfully opening the taproom would be quite a feat, this isn’t the first time the company has pursued the idea. The company previously had plans to build the taproom but abandoned them last year because of a town ordinance that sets limitations on businesses that serve alcohol.
“There’s just too many restrictions. It’s just not going to be financially feasible for us right now,” Sadler told a Memphis daily paper last January.
The ordinance requires businesses that serve alcohol to derive 50 percent of their sales from food. The food also has to be prepared in a kitchen, as opposed to a food truck, and has to be eaten on site.
Although opening a taproom would likely attract even more business, Sadler did say that opening the brewery along with offering retail hours has helped grow sales.
Customers can’t enjoy an extended stay, but the brewery is open in short windows on Fridays and Saturdays from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Four and six-packs of Hook Point’s offerings can be purchased or if they wish, customers can fill growlers up to 64 ounces with their beer of choice as well. As for the company’s newbies, sample sizes of anything on tap are available to try.
Hook Point also has t-shirts and other items for sale.
Because the same hurdle with the ordinance still exists, Sadler said that Hook Point plans to build a kitchen in the brewery so that it can offer food and comply with the ordinance.
He said that he has already been in touch with chefs that he believes will be a good fit to cook there. Like their beers, the menu will feature military-themed items as well as ones that pay homage to the bluff city.
Sadler hopes to have the taproom ready by the middle of next year.