Starkville is hopping with Mississippi beers

These Mississippi-brewed beers are available on draft at local businesses such as Bulldog Burger. The selection rotates on a seasonal basis.

Mississippi is a state full of unique breweries and places to try local beers. As a recent member of the "21 and over" club, I have been dabbling in the different facets of alcohol in general, and beer is a favorite of mine. Through my trials and tribulations, I have noticed some of my favorite beers are brewed here in Mississippi. Because of this, I decided to go to local restaurant, Bulldog Burger, to provide a peek of some of the Mississippi brews offered to beer-lovers in Starkville.

To begin the tour of the flight, I tried Ale State by Lazy Magnolia. Lazy Magnolia, Mississippi’s oldest packaging brewery, is located in Kiln. The brewery was founded in 2003 and has since increased its reach to most surrounding states in the South, New York, Indiana and even Colorado. The brewery focuses on Southern traditions and tastes, and this is evident through their collection of beers. I focused on their American Pale Ale, Ale State. Prior to first tasting, there is a clear aroma of a light toastiness, and it is a pale golden yellow shade in the glass. Once the APA hits the pallet, there is an immediate sensation of refreshing carbonation that carries through the full swig. This beer is very light with subtle notes of mild nugget hops. Joel Lindsey, senior petroleum engineering major and local beer enthusiast, is a fan of this particular brew. 

"It is citrusy, light, and refreshing," Lindsey said. 

This is the perfect beer for a summer backyard barbecue.

Next up, I sampled Tart Island by Chandeleur Island Brewing Company, which is located in Gulfport. Chandeleur Island Brewing Company is named after the 50-mile chain of barrier islands in the Gulf of Mexico. It is located in a groovy part of downtown Gulfport near an old train station. A unique fact about this brewery is customers can actually donate to their Tarpon Tagging project in an effort to save Tarpon from being overfished. Tart Island is a part of their "Gulf Sour series", and I would say it fits right in. Right off the bat, this Gulf sour has an interesting color, it resembles the milky cloudiness of orange juice which is most likely due to its fruity roots. The aroma is very sour and crisp. The first notes that hit the tongue are definitely the banana and kiwi fruits used in the fermentation cycle. Once that settles, I was left with a sour and slightly salty oiliness. While packed with flavor, this was still a fairly light beer with a bit of acidity. This beer had a crackery, bready aftertaste which was surprising.

Moving up the state, my next sips were taken from Mayhew Mild from Starkville brewery, Mayhew Junction Brewing Company. Mayhew Junction gets its name from the prohibition days when alcohol was not available in Starkville. Mayhew was the place to get beer and where all of the local college students flocked to socialize and get a buzz. The brewery’s tagline is "Starkville made, but Mayhew inspired." Mayhew Mild is an English mild which is inspired from a pub ale from England. This brew is slightly richer and darker than the previous two I tried, but it still had a light and crisp aroma. The slightly more amber color brings a hint of caramel notes to the table, but not too much. It was very smooth and not overpoweringly carbonated. 

Overall, the Mayhew Mild is exactly thatmild with a hint of freshness.

Sabrina Boswell, a bartender at Bulldog Burger, said the Mayhew Mild is a popular drink. 

"A lot of our clientele comes in, and they try a lot of that. It's like an English mild, nothing too heavy," Boswell said.

Finally, we travel back down South a little bit to Hattiesburg to try Suzy B, a Blonde Ale from Southern Prohibition Brewing. Southern Prohibition Brewing, or SoPro as locals call the brewery, was established just six years ago in 2013. Since then, they have expanded their alcoholic arsenal to include seven year-round beers and several different sections of new releases. Suzy B is one of the lightest beers I have ever seen and tasted. It has a very pale yellow, almost clear appearance, and the aroma is very bright and crisp. It has notes of wheat and breadiness throughout, but is overall very light with slight hints of subtle citrus. There is no real aftertaste with this one, so that makes it quite easy to drink.

After tasting these four staples from each of these Mississippi-Made brewing powerhouses, my mind is definitely intrigued. I look forward to expanding my horizons the next time I crack open a cold one. 

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