Check out this week’s On Tap column for The Advocate that’s published here.
Mississippi on My Mind
Louisiana isn’t the only state with a burgeoning craft beer scene these days. Our neighbors to the north and east also have several breweries which are sending their interesting creations to us in south Louisiana.
For years, Lazy Magnolia was the only brewery in Mississippi. I still have fond memories of drinking its Southern Pecan brown ale on a cool fall day. Now there are a dozen-plus breweries in Mississippi, several of which distribute in our area.
Southern Prohibition, or as they like to call themselves, SoPro, is located in Hattiesburg and has been in operation since 2013. SoPro features four year-round offerings as well as rotating seasonals and one-off beers. Among the flagship beers are Suzy B, a blonde ale; Devil’s Harvest, a self-described breakfast IPA that weighs in at a mere 4.9-percent alcohol by volume (ABV); Mississippi Fire Ant, an imperial red ale; and Crowd Control, an 8-percent double IPA featuring mosaic hops.
Southern Prohibition also recently released some specialty beers into the south Louisiana market, including Ice Box, a lemon gose; and Paradise Lost, a double dry-hopped IPA that is their hoppiest beer to date.
Chandeleur Island Brewing Company opened in late 2013 in Gulfport. It produces a wide array of styles, ranging from sours and golden ales to IPAs and porters.
Lil’ Miss Sour is a tart ale brewed with tangerine juice that’s as refreshing as it sounds. Osirus Gulf IPA is a hazy and juicy IPA that’s best enjoyed fresh. Curlew’s Coconut Porter is full of chocolate and coffee notes with a twist of coconut flavor. Love Bug is a golden sour ale brewed with passion fruit and mango.
Located in the capital city of Jackson, Lucky Town Brewing just began distributing its beer in Louisiana this summer. And when Lucky Town sent Louisiana some beer, boy did it mean it. I’ve run across no fewer than seven different Lucky Town beers in the last couple of months.
Lucky Town’s offerings include a blonde ale (Ballistic Blonde), a pair of IPAs (Hop Fiasco and Lords of the Night), a wit (Johnny Wit), a gose (Gose Gamblin’), an imperial stout (Stranger in the Alps) and a farmhouse ale (Old No. 49). Lords of the Night IPA is hazy, but is also brewed with coffee beans for a twist on the style. Old No. 49 is fruity and citrusy, but with an interesting yeast character and a touch of spice on the finish. Gose Gamblin’ is sour and salty, perfect for a hot afternoon.
Natchez Brewing is located in, you guessed it, Natchez. Although its beers aren’t yet available on shelves in Baton Rouge, you will be able to find them in New Orleans, although I recommend taking the short two-hour drive to the sleepy town of Natchez for a brewery visit.
Natchez Brewing specializes in sour ales, both the barrel-aged versions as well as the easier to produce kettle sours. Its kettle sour series starts with a tart Berliner Weisse-style beer and features several different versions. There’s the base beer known as Southern Grace, as well as a dry-hopped version, a version infused with ginger and a POG (passion fruit, orange and guava) version.
Natchez Brewing also features sour ales aged in wine barrels. Cronyism, a golden sour, and Rascalism, a dark ale with raspberries, are aged in cabernet sauvignon barrels, and Nepotism is a sour stout aged in a variety of wine barrels before being blended.
For the nonsour beer fans, Natchez Brewing also features Bluff City Blonde ale, Old Capital IPA and Altered State, a German-style amber ale.
No matter your tastes, you should be able to find something to enjoy from any one of the Magnolia State’s craft breweries.