By Anna Grace Usery
Even though drinking an ice-cold craft beer can be celebrated year-round, the Brewers Association deems this week, May 13-18, as American Craft Beer Week.
The week celebrates the culture and community of small and independent craft brewers across the U.S., according to their website. There are more than 7,000 breweries in the U.S. and more than 98% are considered small or independent.
Out of a handful of craft breweries in Mississippi, Jackson Beer Company owner Allen Jackson said three statewide breweries are consistent distributing their beer in Oxford: Lazy Magnolia Brewery in Kiln; Southern Prohibition Brewing in Hattiesburg; and Natchez Brewing Company in Natchez.
“It’s good to drink local because it’s going to stimulate the local economy,” Jackson said. “The breweries in Mississippi that we have in here do well with keeping us in stock and making sure that we have all their new stuff.”
Jackson said sometimes supporting local brands is limited to exterior factors like distribution—Mighty Miss Brewing in Greenville and Biloxi Brewing in Biloxi have both discontinued distributing—but he doesn’t discount the “local” breweries Memphis provides because of Oxford’s close juxtaposition to the city.
“Our more local brands aren’t even in Mississippi. They’re in Memphis,” he said. “We count them as local, too.”
Jackson invites the public to his store—located on 1801 Jackson Ave. W—during American Craft Beer week because he plans to schedule tastings of local brews. He said he will release the names and brands every morning of beers he will sample throughout the week.
“I’ll keep it local the first couple of days, then going into the week we’ll probably do some other beers,” he said.
Jackson said if customers sample a draft beer they may want to take to the pool this week, his store is the only location in Oxford that can ‘can’ a 16 ounce draft beer.
“Looks like a good week to do that,” he said.
Jackson recommends trying these three Mississippi beers as a tribute and celebration to not only American Craft Beer Week but to the testament of the creativity of the Mississippi craft brew scene:
Suzy B (5% ABV) – Southern Prohibition Brewing in Hattiesburg
According to Southern Prohibition’s website, Suzy B is their lightest offering.
“It’s unfiltered, flavorful, drinkable and great for any occasion. Wheat, Barley, Hops, Water, Yeast.”
The Summer Sipper:
Grapefruit Radler (2.5% ABV) – Lazy Magnolia Brewery in Kiln
According to Lazy Magnolia’s website, this beer is its newest offering.
“It’s perfect for after a bicycle ride, when it is hot out, and any other time that you want a lower ABV but full of flavor beverage. Paired with Grapefruit soda, which is also made with a bit of natural lemon, this refreshing, quaffable beverage can be enjoyed right from the bottle. For the purist out there, you may also enjoy this in a pilsner glass.”
The Wild Pitch:
Push Up (7.9 ABV) – Natchez Brewing Company in Natchez
This beer from Natchez Brewing is one of the only beers brewed with lactose in the state, according to Jackson.
“Push-Up Double IPA brewed with Orange zest/juice, Milk sugar and vanilla; we then dry hopped the hell out of it with Amarillo and Mandarina Bavaria. This beer takes you back to childhood memories of enjoying orange sherbet treats; super creamy mouthfeel, a touch of orange and vanilla with low bitterness,” Natchez Brewing posted on Facebook.