You don’t have to look very far no matter where you are in the U.S. to find passionate, innovative small brewers creating tasty and interesting craft beers. Behind these brewers are equally passionate communities of craft beer enthusiasts and homebrewers who are champions of their local beer scenes.
This is true even in Mississippi, the state with the least amount of breweries per capita and the only state that limits alcohol by weight (ABW) for beer to 5% [source: RYP]; severely limiting the craft beers available in the state. Mississippi residents also remain legally unable to take part in the hobby of brewing beer at home, leaving Mississippi and Alabama as the only two states that have not legalized homebrewing.
But despite the political and legal barriers that professional and amateur brewers face in The Magnolia State, Mississippi is home to beer activists that are tenacious to their cause. Case in point is Raise Your Pints, the grassroots organization whose mission is to “bring the highest quality beers in the world to Mississippi.” Additionally, Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company, which not only survived the tidal wave of red tape in the state to become Mississippi’s very first commercial brewery, but also survived the onslaught of Hurricane Katrina just two years after opening.
Both groups are advocates for the responsible enjoyment of flavorful craft beer in Misssissippi. It is through their efforts, and many others, that Mississippi Craft Beer Week (MCBW) will celebrate its second year, July 23-30. Even Governor Haley Barbour has recognized the week with a proclamation, highlighting the importance of craft brewers and even gives a nod to homebrewing, despite its current legal status.
During MCBW, supporters will have the opportunity to celebrate and support small brewers with dozens of events throughout the state. MCBW’s Facebook page allows even more enthusiasts to join in the fun.
Events to Attend During MCBW
Keg & Barrel – Official MCBW Kick-off
Saturday, July 23 at 6pm – 10pm
Lazy Magnolia is tapping a firkin of ginger & cinnamon spiced Southern Gold.
Parlor Market – Yazoo Beer Dinner
Monday, July 25, 6:30pm – 9pm
Parker House – Bayou Teche Cajun Beer Dinner
Thu, July 28, 7pm – 9pm
Top of the Hops Beer Festival
Saturday, July 30, 2pm – 6pm
Mississippi Congressman Palazzo Discusses Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company