When it comes to craft beer, Mississippi might not be the first state that comes to mind. However, over the past decade, the Magnolia State has experienced a craft beer renaissance that's been nothing short of remarkable. From small, family-owned breweries to taprooms filled with unique and innovative brews, Mississippi's craft beer scene is thriving and worth exploring. In this article, we'll take a closer look at the rise of craft beer in Mississippi, some of the state's notable breweries, and what makes this scene so special.
The Rise of Craft Beer in Mississippi
Mississippi's journey into the craft beer world has been relatively recent compared to some other states. Historically, the state's restrictive alcohol laws, which included low ABV (alcohol by volume) limits, presented significant obstacles for brewers and beer enthusiasts. However, in 2012, lawmakers passed the "Gourmet Beer Law," which raised the ABV limit and allowed for the creation of more robust and flavorful beers, setting the stage for the growth of craft breweries in Mississippi.
Notable Mississippi Breweries
Yalobusha Brewing Company - Located in Water Valley, Yalobusha Brewing is one of the pioneers of the Mississippi craft beer scene. They offer a range of unique beers, including their signature "Snopes Family Pilsner," which pays homage to Mississippi author William Faulkner.
Southern Prohibition Brewing - Based in Hattiesburg, Southern Prohibition Brewing is known for its innovative approach to brewing. Their "Suzy B" is a popular American Blonde Ale that captures the spirit of the state.
Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company - Mississippi's oldest packaging brewery, Lazy Magnolia is located in Kiln. They have a wide range of beers, including the Southern Pecan Nut Brown Ale, which is the first beer in the world made with whole roasted pecans.
Lucky Town Brewing Company - Nestled in the heart of Jackson, Lucky Town Brewing is known for its diverse lineup of beers. The "Ballistic Blonde" and "Pub Ale" are crowd favorites.
Crooked Letter Brewing Company - Based in Ocean Springs, this brewery is known for its unique brews like the "Stuck in the Mud" and "Unfinished Symphony."
The Unique Flavors of Mississippi Craft Beer
What sets Mississippi craft beer apart is the infusion of local culture and ingredients into the brewing process. Many of the state's breweries draw inspiration from Mississippi's rich history, traditions, and agriculture. Ingredients like pecans, muscadine grapes, and Tupelo honey often find their way into the brewing process, resulting in distinctive flavors that pay homage to the state's heritage.
For example, Lazy Magnolia's Southern Pecan Nut Brown Ale uses roasted pecans, giving it a nutty, caramel flavor that's distinctly Mississippi. Similarly, Southern Prohibition Brewing's "Devil's Harvest" beer uses locally-sourced sweet potatoes, adding a unique touch to their brews.
The Craft Beer Experience in Mississippi
Visiting a craft brewery in Mississippi is not just about sipping exceptional beers; it's also about experiencing the welcoming and laid-back atmosphere that is quintessentially Southern. Many breweries offer tours, tastings, and events, giving you a chance to interact with brewers and learn more about the art of craft beer. Whether you're a seasoned beer connoisseur or new to the world of craft beer, you're sure to find a welcoming environment in Mississippi.
Mississippi's craft beer scene is flourishing, and it's an exciting time to be a beer enthusiast in the Magnolia State. The combination of innovative breweries, locally-inspired ingredients, and a warm Southern hospitality make Mississippi a hidden gem in the world of craft beer. So, if you're ever in the area, don't miss the opportunity to explore and enjoy the unique flavors and experiences that Mississippi's craft beer has to offer. Cheers to the rise of craft beer in the heart of the Deep South!