***Please note: We had direct permission from the owner to shoot here. This location is private property. Do not attempt to visit or access this site. I cannot provide any information regarding access or info of the owners. Thank you ***
Perched on the Mississippi bluff with the trolley line at its front door the Tennessee brewery was at one point the largest brewery in the South. With more than 1500 workers producing more than 250,000 barrels per year, the Tennessee Brewery was a titan in the beer making industry. When prohibition hit, operations shut down, but resumed afterwards producing the best known leading beer in Memphis called “Goldcrest”. The building which was erected in 1890 is basically unchanged today. The brewery officially closed in 1954. The current owners (who gave us permission to shoot there) purchased it a few years before the 2008 market crash in order to keep it from being torn down. They are holding on it hoping that someone will make an offer to renovate or restore it as a mixed use building
Above Images from Wikipedia
The brewery has other claims to fame beyond beer. A few scenes from “Walk the Line” were actually filmed inside. Memphis Paranormal Investigations have investigated overnight about 12 times and claim it is one of the most haunted buildings in Tennessee. During our 8 hour daytime shoot however we never felt any unease or heard anything other than the trolley out front coming by every 20 minutes on its circuit. That being said… I’m not sure I would like to spend the night there.
What really struck me as we entered the building was the massive open center shaft of the building which was adorned with beautiful metal worked railings. The windows mostly covered up with a semi-opaque corrugated plastic offered warm pleasing light to the enter the spaces.
As we walked around and explored all the twists and turns and hidden rooms of the seven story building we quickly realized that nothing was left inside, just empty rooms with interesting architecture. This presented a challenge for me as a photographer because many of the images that I take have a ‘human element’ that helps draw the viewer and place them in the scene. Instead I tried to capture the magnitude of the building and the beautiful decaying architecture all around me. I hope you enjoy the imagery: