We were thrilled when Visit Mississippi posted an entire microsite devoted to craft beer and Mississippi breweries—and tons of great videos—so we thought we’d promote it a little bit. For starters, we wanted to call attention to three South Mississippi breweries who are really making a difference in the craft beer scene.
Here’s each video and a quick look at the wonderful people behind these breweries!
Lazy Magnolia (Kiln, MS)
Long before craft beers were cool, Leslie and Mark Henderson were brewing up their own concoctions with a distinctly hometown flair. The founders of Lazy Magnolia, Mississippi’s first packaging brewery since Prohibition, they pride themselves on being part of their small-town community in Kiln, which has supported them since they opened shop in 2005.
The brewery is best known for its fan favorite Southern Pecan, which won a bronze medal in the 2006 World Beer Cup.
Leslie and Mark take great pride in Lazy Magnolia’s unofficial title of beer ambassador to the state. Leslie says Lazy Magnolia is a gateway for many to visit Misissippi, some of whom stop by as they’re passing through on the highway, never intending to stop, but intrigued by the brewery.
One sign of its appeal: Leslie says she’s heard from customers who don’t normally touch alcohol, but love their beers.
Though craft beers are their product, what they’re really selling is romance, Mark says. Other flavors include Sweet Potato Stout (made with sweet potato and a little milk sugar), Southern Hopspitality, and KMG, a lighter variety that features corn grits.
Chandeleur Island Brewing Company (Gulfport, MS)
Twin brothers and contractors Cammack and Cain Roberds had been hired to build two Alabama breweries when they asked themselves: Why doesn’t Gulfport have its own brewery?
As a result of that question, Chandeleur Island Brewing Company was born. Inspired by their favorite place, the uninhabited Chandeleur Islands, a premier fishing destination on the Coast, the brothers name every beer after something from the islands. Names include Freemason, Lovebug, Osiris, and Satsuma Sunrise. They recruited a Level 3 Cicerone (an expert in beer tasting and serving) to lend expertise and creativity to the mix—and they added fishing lures to the cans.
In addition to their beers, the brewery hosts the annual Chandy Fest in downtown Gulfport, a big closing-of-the-street block party for their fans. It features live music, local cuisine, bed races, and special release beers. Held each April, it attracts about 1,200 people.
Natchez Brewing Company (Natchez, MS)
Some tourists are surprised to learn, when visiting Natchez, Miss., that the small town has its own brewery. But Pat and Lisa Miller, who opened Natchez Brewery Company about four years ago, want everyone to know what their company and the bluff city has to offer.
Lisa says the city’s heart and soul make it an ideal locale for their brewery because of the sense of community and the fact that Natchezians care about one another and enjoy supporting a locally-made product.
It was while drinking beer at Fat Mama’s Tamales one day that the two decided to open their own brewery. With the financial support of family and friends, their dream quickly became a reality, making the tourism destination even more appealing. As Pat, the official “brewmaster” explains, the brewery gives visitors another site to enjoy with its own unique twist, which includes the year-round brews Bluff City Blonde, Altered State, and Old Capital.