Mississippi is one of those states that has crazy and even maddening alcohol laws. Want to get the gang together to watch the game on Sunday at the local watering hole? Will not happen in good ol’ Miss. Want a locally brewed beer with alcohol by weight (ABW) of more than 5%? Try another state. Want to brew your own beer for personal consumption? You cannot, it is illegal.
These draconian laws have made it tough for breweries, both in and out of the state, to make in-roads in Mississippi. With a cap of only 5% alcohol allowed, most craft brewers cannot sell beer in the state because the typical alcohol content is well over the state cap. So, choices for tasty beer are rather limited. In fact, many beer-lovers will dash across the state line to get their fix of good beers since they are not available at their local corner store.
That’s where an intrepid group of friends come in more out of necessity of good beer than anything else. This group of pioneering beer lovers decided to banded together to brew up the idea for Lucky Town Brewery. With an eye towards bringing the fine citizens of the Magnolia state good beer and working to change the laws this group is working to open the new brewery later this year.
The group promises to produce year-round beers that are consistent, high-quality, contains absolutely no fillers, and taste delicious. They vow to make a wide range of brews that will appeal to the most die-hard of beer fans as well as newcomers. But, they also want to assure the beer-drinkers of the state that they will also produce many small-batch and seasonal brews.
Recently I corresponded with these fine folks and asked them to tell me about their favorite styles of beer and their inspirations.
Lucas, co-founder and brewer, draws his inspiration from beer luminaries like Sam Calagione and Greg Koch. But, he also draws inspiration from the trying to brew beers at home that have not been available to him in Mississippi because of its laws. He professes oatmeal stouts as his favorite brew because of the variations brought to the style by different brewers. Because of his love for stouts and the variations he has experienced one of Lucky Town’s more interesting beers is Stout of the Rising Sun.
Chip, co-founder and distribution and sales, is a fan of IPAs, porters, and stouts. Three styles that generally go far above the 5% ABW limit allowed by the state. He names Yazoo’s Hop Project, a brew with an ever changing hops profile, as his go to brew that is available in Mississippi. Anytime Chip has to spend time out of the state he is certain to stock up on his favorite brews. He draws his inspiration from Lucas’ brewing skills, his own entrepreneurial spirit, and his love of beer.
Brandon, the brewery’s R&D manager, tries not to allow himself to be pigeon-holed into a specific style, but confesses that he is partial to American amber or red ales. He is a voracious reader of anything that has to do with beer in order to learn about new styles and possible new products.
Angela, she is a student of all beers, but has a preference for hefeweizens and stouts. Her favorite brewery is New Glarus out of Wisconsin. She grew up in the cheese state and has at true appreciation for great beers and beer culture. She brings a desire to seed a robust beer culture in Mississippi.
The brewery plans to go to market with two brews, Our Flare Incident Stout and The Ballistic Blonde when they open. But, it’s opening that’s their current obstacle. The group is sponsoring a Kickstarter project to raise much needed funds. They are asking the craft beer community to take a look and perhaps make a small investment. You can take a look at it here:
Here in Florida, we are used to a few odd laws regarding beer, but nothing like what Mississippi beer lovers have to deal with. Never-the-less, the fine folks at Lucky Town aim to make the best of it and make the best craft beer in the state.
Until next time,
Long Live the Brewers!