Southern Brew News February/March 2016 : Page 1

FEB/MAR 2016 VOL.11 NO. 1 Recalling a decade of brewing growth and SUCCESS By Bill Plott Brewery owners Brad Thomas, David Thornton, and Keston Helfrich. P hoto by b arbara h elfrich W hen Southern Brew News began pub-lishing a decade ago, there was one brewery in Mississippi. Leslie and Mark Henderson, a young husband-and-wife team, had acquired warehouse space in the unlikely town of Kiln, just north of the Gulf coast in 2003. Their first Lazy Magnolia product, Southern Pecan , was released in January 2005. Why Kiln, a town of just over 2,200 popula-tion? “Because the soft water is so good,” said Michelle Robinson, marketing and public rela-tions director. “This area has always had an incredible moonshine history because of the water.” Starting with their flagship Southern Pecan (4.39%), they slowly developed a line of tasty beers. Regulars include Jefferson Stout (4.65%), Lazy Saison (5.3%), Southern Hops’pitality (6%), and Timber Beast Rye IPA (8.9%). There are also a number of seasonals such as Backwoods Belgian (8.51%), this year’s spring offering. Eventually, they had company. Brewpubs opened in Beau Rivage and Treasure Island casi-nos on the coast. Up at Jackson, the capital, in the center of the state, two more popped up. They were Hal’s and Mal’s and a Hops franchise. The casino brewpubs were hurricane vic-tims and the others fell by the wayside over time. Meanwhile, Lazy magnolia continued to grow, adding seasonals to their portfolio, fermen-ters to their plant and floor space to their ware-house. Today their original 10,000-square-foot facility is complemented by a 16,000-square-foot addition and a separate 5,000-square-foot grain warehouse. They have a 60-barrel brewhouse, 13 60-barrel fermenters inside, and two 240-bar-rel fermenters outside. Their bottling operation can produced two cases a minute. The pecans of Southern Pecan are still roasted as they were in the beginning, though, Robinson said, pointing to a pair of biscuit ovens salvaged from a Popeye’s restaurant. Soon, other starts-ups were coming to them for help. They brewed the first beers ever released by Back Forty Beer , now one of “O By Steve Deason See Trail p.2 ur mission is regional and seasonal beers. We want to distinguish and feature every-thing from the flora (grains, fruit, nuts, herbs) of upstate South Carolina,” says Carolina Bauernhaus Ales co-founder and Yeast Wrangler David Thornton. Carolina Bauernhaus opened in early December as Anderson’s first brewery and is South Carolina’s only 100% wild fermenta-tion brewery. Thornton is also a Co-founder of SouthYeast Labs whose story was featured in the December 2014 edition of Southern Brew News. SouthYeast Labs harvests wild yeast and bacteria from native flora and isolates strains that produce desirable flavors for brewing. The lab is now located in the 4,000 sq ft brewery which brews exclusively with its cultures. Thornton first met Carolina Bauernhaus co-founder and head brewer Kestin Helfrich at a Thomas Creek Brewery home brew competi-tion. The two met fellow co-founder and in-house counsel Brad Thomas through the Just Brew It Anderson home brew club. Helfrich often brought Belgian inspired sour ales to the meetings and when SouthYeast Labs got started, he was recruited as the first beta brewer. Thornton and his partner Even Skjervold would use the brews as samples of what their cultures could produce. Helfrich soon found he was brewing exclusively with the lab’s products. Finding many of these beers were well received, discussions began about creating a brewery. “We know we have these unique yeasts, what if we based our whole brewery on this con-cept of tying into the land and truly embodying the essence of terroir ,” Thornton says. To this end, Helfrich brews almost exclu-sively with seasonal ingredients from regional farms and orchards such as the SC Botanical See Bauerhaus p.15 Florida ......................4 Tennessee ..................5 Louisiana ...................6 Alabama/Mississippi ...7 Georgia ................... 11 The Carolinas .......... 14

Regional Seasonal And Wild In The Upstate

Steve Deason

Our mission is regional and seasonal beers. We want to distinguish and feature everything from the flora (grains, fruit, nuts, herbs) of upstate South Carolina,” says Carolina Bauernhaus Ales co-founder and Yeast Wrangler David Thornton.

Carolina Bauernhaus opened in early December as Anderson’s first brewery and is South Carolina’s only 100% wild fermentation brewery. Thornton is also a Co-founder of SouthYeast Labs whose story was featured in the December 2014 edition of Southern Brew News. SouthYeast Labs harvests wild yeast and bacteria from native flora and isolates strains that produce desirable flavors for brewing. The lab is now located in the 4,000 sq ft brewery which brews exclusively with its cultures.

Thornton first met Carolina Bauernhaus co-founder and head brewer Kestin Helfrich at a Thomas Creek Brewery home brew competition. The two met fellow co-founder and in-house counsel Brad Thomas through the Just Brew It Anderson home brew club.

Helfrich often brought Belgian inspired sour ales to the meetings and when SouthYeast Labs got started, he was recruited as the first beta brewer. Thornton and his partner Even Skjervold would use the brews as samples of what their cultures could produce. Helfrich soon found he was brewing exclusively with the lab’s products. Finding many of these beers were well received, discussions began about creating a brewery.

“We know we have these unique yeasts, what if we based our whole brewery on this concept of tying into the land and truly embodying the essence of terroir,” Thornton says.

To this end, Helfrich brews almost exclusively with seasonal ingredients from regional farms and orchards such as the SC Botanical Gardens, Clemson’s Musser Fruit Research Farm, Hazelwood Hop Farm, and The Happy Berry.

About ninety percent of Carolina Baurnhaus’s beer is fermented or aged in barrels. The brewery is not heated or cooled, so most “main beers” will be brewed in the spring and fall with cold fermented and hot fermented beers done in the appropriate seasons. Thornton explains the results varied when a brew barrel was located in a controlled environment versus a natural one. “We really like the effect you get from going through those seasonal changes in the beer. The barrels swell and contract. Wicking (absorption) occurs into the wood and then it’s spit back out again providing filtration and putting wood character into the beer plus oxygen intrusion. It adds complexity and increases flavor.”

Helfrich groups the brewery menu into four families; hoppy beers, funky beers, quick sours, and true sours. Within the hoppy family is FRIPA a Farmhouse Rye India Pale Ale. There is also a dark roast or black version called DRIPA for Dark Rye IPA. The featured malt is Carolina Rye from Riverbend Malt House in Asheville, NC. This heirloom rye grown in the south for over two hundred years is a favorite of Helfrich.

The Funky beer family is brewed with 100% Brettanomyces yeast and fermented in barrels. WIPA, the brewery’s wit inspired White IPA, uses wheat malts and Galaxy hops in combination with the Brett funk. Cluster Funk is a Brett Pale Ale brewed with locally grown rolled oats and all Cluster hops. Cluster hops are the earliest commercial hops sold in the U.S. and are believed to be a cross breed of native hops and ones brought from Europe.

Quick sours are brewed in as little as two months, are fermented with lactobacillus, and have a simple grain bill which results in low alcohol content. Thornton explains “in this case (we are) not looking for barrel character but using the barrel to ferment faster … that little bit of oxygen helps keep microbes happy.” The “source series” beers emphasize the flora, especially native fruit, by using yeast sourced from the same type plants. Thornton gave as examples two different sour rye ales. One was brewed with June Princess Nectarines and microbes from a nectarine tree; the other was brewed with Prickly Pear and microbes from a Prickly Pear cactus. When the owners picked local plums and mulberries for brewing, they harvested yeast from the very plants they were picking. The mulberry beer was named Keowee which is the name of a large lake nearby and is Cherokee for "place of the mulberries."

True sours, such as the Flanders’ inspired 18 Mile Red, spend one to two years in barrels. They may be served straight or aged on various fruits. All of Carolina Bauernhaus’s aged sour beers contain unmalted grains. According to Thornton, this unusual ingredient provides a “rustic character, takes longer to ferment, and requires a mixed culture fermentation of Lactobacillus, Brettanomyces, Pediococcus, and Saccharomyces in order to get to the trapped sugars.”

The owners describe their facility and what they produce as “rustic refined.” The eighty year old structure, once a garage, is little changed. Thomas says the warm and cozy taproom is woodcentric to remind people of the barrel flavors they love. Local craftsmen and artists created the taproom furnishings from reclaimed hardwood and barrels. The bar top has a “live edge” and vintage Edison bulbs were used for lighting.

The brewery opened with about 45 barrels and has room to double that. The taproom has eight taps but there is room to add 16 more. Thornton says that many of the batches will be split into two barrels. One barrel of the batch will be served in two to six months and the other will be set aside for further fermentation. The three barrel brewery will need time to build up production. To help meet demand the taproom will offer guest beers and wine. Plans are for many of the guest beers to be collaborations like one done in mid-November with Freehouse Brewery in North Charleston.

Thornton owns twenty-eight acres of farmland less than two miles from the brewery. The land has fruit trees and is located near proposed bike trails. The partners’ vision is to add a second larger “farm to barrel” brewery on this location in the future and to grow many of the needed ingredients. In addition to enhancing their regional and seasonal offerings, Thornton says “we share this vision of developing this property as a cultural center for the community.”

Read the full article at http://sbnonline.brewingnews.com/article/Regional+Seasonal+And+Wild+In+The+Upstate/2391725/289967/article.html.

Mississippi Hot Damn: Recalling A Decade Of Brewing Growth And Success

Bill Plott

When Southern Brew News began publishing a decade ago, there was one brewery in Mississippi.

Leslie and Mark Henderson, a young husband-and-wife team, had acquired warehouse space in the unlikely town of Kiln, just north of the Gulf coast in 2003. Their first Lazy Magnolia product, Southern Pecan, was released in January 2005.

Why Kiln, a town of just over 2,200 population?

“Because the soft water is so good,” said Michelle Robinson, marketing and public relations director. “This area has always had an incredible moonshine history because of the water.”

Starting with their flagship Southern Pecan (4. 39%), they slowly developed a line of tasty beers. Regulars include Jefferson Stout (4.65%), Lazy Saison (5.3%), Southern Hops’pitality (6%), and Timber Beast Rye IPA (8.9%). There are also a number of seasonals such as Backwoods Belgian (8.51%), this year’s spring offering.

Eventually, they had company. Brewpubs opened in Beau Rivage and Treasure Island casinos on the coast. Up at Jackson, the capital, in the center of the state, two more popped up. They were Hal’s and Mal’s and a Hops franchise.

The casino brewpubs were hurricane victims and the others fell by the wayside over time.

Meanwhile, Lazy magnolia continued to grow, adding seasonals to their portfolio, fermenters to their plant and floor space to their warehouse. Today their original 10,000-square-foot facility is complemented by a 16,000-square-foot addition and a separate 5,000-square-foot grain warehouse.

They have a 60-barrel brewhouse, 13 60-barrel fermenters inside, and two 240-barrel fermenters outside. Their bottling operation can produced two cases a minute. The pecans of Southern Pecan are still roasted as they were in the beginning, though, Robinson said, pointing to a pair of biscuit ovens salvaged from a Popeye’s restaurant.

Soon, other starts-ups were coming to them for help. They brewed the first beers ever released by Back Forty Beer, now one of Alabama’s largest producers. Lazy Magnolia is currently contract brewing for Biloxi Brewing, Sweetgum Brewing of Starkville, Chafunkta of Mandeville, LA, and Dry County of Atlanta.

In 2007, following the success of similar groups in Alabama, Georgia and other states, a small group of Mississippians formed Raise Your Pints. The grassroots organization’s initial goal was to raise the allowable alcohol limit from 6.25% abv to 10.1%. The legislation was signed into law in July 2012. Within a year, Lazy Magnolia had half a dozen brewing colleagues and in 2014 the Mississippi Brewers Guild was formed.

Here, in chronological order, is the growth of Mississippi’s craft beer scene

Lucky Town was founded in the city of Gluckstadt in 2011 by Chip Jones and Lucas Simmons. They soon released their flagship Ballistic Blonde (5.1%) and Lucky Town Pub Ale (3.76%), an English style mild ale. Their portfolio also includes Flare Incident Oatmeal Stout, Hop Fiasco American IPA and Lucky Town Gose Gamblin’.

In 2013 they acquired 10,000-square-foot former Greyhound service building in Midtown Jackson. The grand opening was held in November 2014 with tours and tastings.

Lucky Town broke new ground earlier in the fall of 2014 when they contracted with Millsaps College, an NCAA Division III school, for a beer garden at the Majors’ football stadium. The controlled environment alcohol sales were so successful that plans were soon revealed for beer to be available at other Millsaps athletic events including, soccer, volleyball, basketball and baseball.

Finally, Lucky Town topped off the banner year with its first canned beer releases in December.

A year later (2012), Paul and Wanda Blacksmith opened Crooked Letter Brewing in Ocean Springs on the Gulf coast. Paul said the company was more than 10 years in the making.

“Basically, it was just a nine-year hobby turned into a business plan, then a four-yearplan that turned into this. It was over a decade coming,” he said.

Today, Crooked letter has an “oversized” 15-barrel system that will allow them to produce a larger than usual quantity of high gravity beers. They have seven fermenters and two bright tanks. They’ve been bottling for a year and a half. They are contract brewing for Ghost Train Brewing in Birmingham and for one Natchez Brewing bottle.

“We brew for Natchez’s statewide distribution. They brew there for their local distribution,” he said.

Paul is president and head brewer. His wife Wanda is CEO and brewer. Wanda, a pediatric nurse working a night shift, handles the marketing. Their main stable includes Age Old Imperial Pumpkin Stout (8%), Mystery Romp Mocha Porter (6.5%), Gipsy IPA (7. 5%), Crooked Heffy American Hefeweizen (7%), and Stabello Maniscalco (5%). There are also seasonals and other contract brews for a coastal casino.

In 2013 the Mississippi scene exploded with four new breweries.

Mississippi Brewing opened in Gulfport as the state’s only brewpub, offering seven regular beers and four seasonals. The brewpub operation has since closed by the company remains viable as a contract brewer. Its current beers – Courage Pale Ale (7%) and Southern Light Blonde Ale (4.5%) are being produced by Crooked Letter.

The one-barrel system that was used in the brewpub was sold to The Dock Bar & Grill. Manager Christy Bryan said they have changed the restaurant’s licensing to allow on premise brewing and selling. They currently offer two house beers with a third planned.

Mason Meeks brewed it his first homebrew in November 2007 and suddenly found himself with an immediate passion and a future business. After winning several homebrew competitions he launched Oxford Brewing in 2013. His first labels – Sorority Blonde and MPA No. 8 – were contract brewed by Back Forty Beer Co., and released that summer.

Southern Prohibition Brewing, in Hattiesburg opened its doors for tours on Sept. 19 and has had a good reception by the local community so far.

Brand Manager Whitney Miracle said SoPro, like all Mississippi breweries at present, is handicapped by not being able to have a taproom. The current process is to charge for tours, then provide a specific number of samples at the end.

Brewer Ben Green started producing his beers on a very small system at Keg & Barrel restaurant several years ago. Quimby Chunn, a local restaurateur, hired Green and bought the rights to his beers. Chunn, who has a brewing degree, was working in Blanco, Texas. He hired Green as an intern. They opened Southern Prohibition in 2013.

The current operation is a 30-barrel system with four 40-barrel fermenters and a bright tank inside. 60-barrel fermenters are being added.

Miracle said they buy blank cans for their small batch and seasonal beers. That allows them to use an Inland labeler and fill just what they need without having to buy huge pallets of preprinted cans.

SoPro is into sustainability, also. A local farmer gets their spent grain to feed to his cows.

Their year-round beers are Devil’s Harvest (5. 8%), American pale ale; Suzy B Dirty Blonde Ale (5%); Mississippi Fire Ant (8%), imperial red ale; and Jack the Sipper (5.3%), ESB ale.

Andy O’Bryan opened Yalobusha Brewing in Water Valley in October 2013. Although their initial distribution was in North Mississippi, both packaged and draft beer is now available throughout the state, and they had a New Orleans rollout. Other Louisiana markets will be coming over the next few months and Memphis is also on the agenda.

Yalobusha’s flagship beers are Copperhead Amber Ale (5.65%), Mississippi IPA 6.02%), Testify Milk Stout (9%) and River Ale (4.8%), an American pale ale. Two new beers were released this fall especially to benefit local nonprofits. They are Mississippi Blues Trail Farmhouse Ale (4.5%) and Snopes Family Pilsner (5.2%).

Two more breweries made their debut in 2014 – Sweetgum Brewing and Chandeleur Brewing.

Sweetgum, located in Starkeville, was founded by Ed Dechert and Cameron Fogle. While they explore facility possibilities in Starkeville, their beer is being produced under contract by Lazy Magnolia.

Their first offering is Standby Red Ale, an Irish red ale with a balanced hop and malt profile. It is currently available in bottles and on tap in Starkeville, West Point, Columbus, Tupelo, Jackson, Hattiesburg, Laurel and the Gulf coast. They expect to cross the state line into Tuscaloosa, AL soon.

Chandeleur was started by Cammack and Cain Roberds while they were at the University of Southern Mississippi. When they decided to go professional with their homebrewing skills, they selected their hometown of Gulfport for the brewery location. Joining them were Brewmaster Dave Reese and General Manager Brandon Lewis.

They currently offer four year-round beers and one seasonal. The regular lineup is Lil’ Smack IPA (6.5%), Surfside Wheat Ale (4.8%), Curlew’s Toasted Coconut Porter (5.8%) and Freemason Golden Ale (5.3%). The seasonal is New Harbor Honey. General Manager Brandon Lewis said the Freemason is currently available in cans with the IPA next up.

Biloxi Brewing was started by Mark Cowley, Mark Murray, Donald Richards and Carlon Broome in September 2014. Their first released was Biloxi Beach Blonde Two other beers are planned. All are being brewed by Lazy magnolia while the owners look into prospects for their own facility.

Natchez Brewing opened in 2015 and is currently producing two year-round beers. Bluff City Blonde was their first release, a strawcolored session ale. It was followed by the ALTered State, a German-style amber. Both beers are produced at the Natchez facility. The Blonde is also produced at Crooked Letter Brewing for bottling.

They also have several seasonals that are being tested to determine which will be the third year-round addition to the lineup. Delta Shadow Black IPA, and Revival Coffee Porter were the early fall seasonals with Uncle Neville The Devil Red IPA coming next.

Natchez Brewing was founded by owner Lisa Miller, a native of Plymouth, England. Her husband, Patrick Miller, is the brewmaster.

Slowboat Brewing in Laurel began brewing in November. Owner-brewer Kenny Paul Mann and his wife, Carrie, have opened a five-barrel artisanal brewery with the capability of fermenting 60 barrels at a time. By the end of December they had had rollouts in Laurel, Hattiesburg and Jackson, also.

Their initial beers will be Into the Mystic (4. 9%), a Belgian style witbier brewed with hibiscus; Dairy of a Madman (5%), milk stout brewed with vanilla bean; and Wayward Son &.2%), a farmhouse ale brewed with grapefruit and fermented with Brettanomyces.

Read the full article at http://sbnonline.brewingnews.com/article/Mississippi+Hot+Damn%3A+Recalling+A+Decade+Of+Brewing+Growth+And+Success/2391728/289967/article.html.

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