In Mississippi, a new industry is brewing. Quite literally.
Since the Mississippi legislature passed the “craft beer bill” in 2012, the state has seen significant growth in commercial beer brewing. The new laws also made it legal for Mississippi breweries to give away samples of their products – improving the potential for brewery tours in the state.
Supporters of the craft beer legislation said that the Mississippi Coast, fueled economically by tourism, would be among the primary beneficiaries of new craft beer laws. In light of that, it seems fitting that the Mississippi Coast community of Ocean Springs, recently honored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and bestowed the 2013 Great American Main Street Award, would be the site of one of Mississippi’s newest breweries, with a name that speaks to the state it calls home: Crooked Letter Brewing Co.
Among the most interesting of Crooked Letter’s current offerings is Mystery Romp, a dark beer with broad appeal. The brew is mocha colored and infused with chocolate and coffee during the brewing process, which makes the brewery tour more interesting since you can taste and buy the same whole bean coffee used to brew the beer, sourced from nearby Long Beach, Mississippi’s local roaster, Coast Roast Coffee. The beer smells like dessert, and rumor has it that it’s good poured over vanilla ice cream. Or poured at 45-54 degrees in a pint glass, then enjoyed along with smoked grilled meats, barbecue or creamy cheeses like Brie, Havarti or Swiss.
During our Crooked Letter brewery tour, we learned how the beer gains its chocolate and coffee essence. There’s a lot to learn in the tour. Expect a 30 minute tour, which will be both entertaining and interesting for all ages (yes, children are welcome in this family-friendly atmosphere). It’s a brewery, so it’s a little chilly – a welcome change from summer days on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Free samples are offered to those of legal drinking age, and the gift shop is a treat in and of itself, with a tasting area that includes the chance to play Crooked Toss to “practice” and up your chances to win swag at upcoming festival and event appearances.
With one of the Mississippi coast’s greatest concentration of boutique shopping and gourmet eateries just steps from the brewery in beautiful Ocean Springs, this is a Southern brewery tour you don’t want to skip.
Crooked Letter Brewery Tours begin every 30 minutes on Saturdays from 1 pm – 3 pm at their convenient Government Street location in downtown Ocean Springs. Tours at other times and for large groups can usually be accommodated if you call ahead. For more information, visit www.crookedletterbrewing.com.
Crooked Letter on Eat Y’all:
- Crooked Letter beers featured at Jackson Eat Y’all Chef’s Table on April 22, 2013
- Crooked Letter beers featured at Gulfport Eat Y’all Chef’s Table on April , 25, 2013