The Hospitality State is Going Craft

By Meghan Storey

In a state with one (yes, you read that right) craft brewery, leaps and bounds are being made to expand the beer horizon in Mississippi. Governor Haley Barbour recently signed a proclamation of Mississippi Craft Beer Week (July 24 – 31), which includes the inaugural Top of the Hops Beer Festival.

Barbour even gives a shout-out to the state’s homebrewers, “The craft brewing industry is defined by three distinct producers: brewpubs, microbreweries, and regional craft breweries, and let us not forget our homebrewing enthusiasts. Increased support of craft brewing is important to fostering growth of an American industry that creates jobs, greatly benefits the economy, and brings accolades to American small businesses.”

Currently, Mississippi is one of only two states (MS, AL) where homebrewing is not yet legal. Raise Your Pints, a grassroots, non-profit organization whose mission is to help bring the highest quality beers in the world to Mississippi, along with the American Homebrewers Association (AHA) is working to legalize homebrewing in The Hospitality State.

As someone who grew up in Mississippi and now works in and around the craft brewing industry, this is such a promising step in the right direction. Craft beer has a home in Mississippi and with the support of Governor Barbour, and organizations like Raise Your Pints and the AHA, we hope to make it feel welcome—after all, we are The Hospitality State!

Meghan Storey has been lucky enough to work in the world of craft beer since graduating from the University of Mississippi. Now living in Nashville, TN, with her big yellow dog Wally, she loves introducing friends to new craft beer and food pairings. Since beginning work on she can be found adding beer to just about everything she cooks.

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