Brews Inspired by Mississippi’s Barrier Islands
The Chandeleur Islands are a chain of uninhabited barrier islands approximately 30 miles south of Mississippi’s coast. These islands are a favorite of coastal residents who enjoy fishing and boating. Two folks who share the local love of these islands are Cam and Cain Roberds. When their love of beer making as home brewers became more than just a hobby, it was only fitting that they name their brewery “Chandeleur Brewing Company.”
Craft beer has become increasingly popular, and the demand in South Mississippi is no exception. When the new laws passed to allow microbreweries in the state, the Roberds brothers decided it was time to turn their years of passion for beer making into a business. Chandeleur Brewing Company was born.
The Brewery Tour
In late 2013 they purchased a historic building in downtown Gulfport, just a block from the Gulf of Mexico to become the new home of Chandeleur Brewing Company. Since then, the old warehouse has been converted for their purposes – with half being an industrial tasting room with huge glass windows looking into the other half, which is the brewery with enormous steel tanks and a canning line. Pair that with their coastal artistic labels, and it’s a super cool vibe. Definitely an awesome place to visit on a Friday afternoon!
General manager, Brandon Lewis, graciously showed me around the brewery. I met Brewmaster, Dave Reese, who is somewhat of a beer making genius. He studied chemistry and actually has a degree in beer making. I didn’t even know that existed! The two guys introduced me to the team that was working that day, then poured me a few brews to taste.
You can snag a tour of the brewery and a tasting flight of their beer for just $10. The owners’ passion for beer spills over into their tours where you can really get a sense they aren’t just selling beer here—they’re sharing the art of hand-crafting beer with anyone who’ll listen.
Currently, the brewery hosts 400 to 500 visitors per month on current schedule, which offers tours Thursday and Friday from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. and Saturday from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Here are my notes from my tasting at Chandeleur Brewing Company:
The most popular of their brews, this one is an easy drink. A hops forward beer with a slight sweetness. This is a smooth IPA that most anyone would enjoy.
Surfside Wheat Ale – 4.8% ABV 15 IBU
My favorite. Red and white wheat with a citrus taste from the fresh pineapple juice used in the finished product. It balances the hops. Definitely tastes like summertime!
Curlew’s Toasted Coconut Porter – 5.8% ABV 30 IBU
A rich porter that lends notes of coffee and toffee. Coconut is the finish giving the heavy porter a nice tropical feel. Love the combination here.
Freemason Golden Ale – 5.3% ABV 13 IBU
A light bodied beer with a slight sweetness from corn and notes of citrus. The perfect beer for a day out on the water and, we’ve been told, it’s one of the most popular local brews in the area lately.
New Harbor Honey – 5.4% abv 24 IBU
Combines American hops and local Hattiesburg, Mississippi honey to create a delicate summertime beer for easy drinking with tropical and floral notes.
Chandeleur brews are made available to Mississippi coast restaurants, bars and retail locations through Rex Distributing, and the beers are also available elsewhere in Mississippi and in parts of Louisiana and Alabama at the time of this writing. Be sure to look for their recognizable cans in retail stores and on draft when you visit the Mississippi coast region where you’re most likely to find their extraordinary seasonal options more easily.