|Vicksburg, Mississippi looking west into Louisiana.|
Recap: This craft beer tour has proven very popular with readers of PillartoPost.org online magazine, which began several weeks ago. We based the tour on Craftbeer.com’s article, which published this journey in one article. To see that article in one sitting click here. But for the rest of us, it is also time for a recap. Let’s start at the beginning: it’s often referred to as Mighty as well as Muddy, but the Mississippi River cuts down a path in the middle of America. That path that could be your next beery own road trip. From the headwaters in Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico, there are dozens of breweries along the Great River Road.
The Great River Road was developed in 1938, this system of connecting highways–some national, some state and even a few county roads–runs the length of the 2,348-mile Mississippi River through 10 states.
Along this National Scenic Byway, you’ll find more than 70 museums and historic sites chronicle fascinating stories of the Mississippi River Valley, from the birthplace of Mark Twain to Civil War battles to the roots of blues music. State and national parks and wildlife refuges abound. Experience friendly small-town America at one stop and the bright lights of the big city at the next. Minneapolis/St. Paul, St. Louis, Memphis and New Orleans anchor the road trip, from north to south.
Remember that the route changes highways many times, so watch the signs. You can get a free map that provides all the major cities, towns and highway numbers on the Great River Road’s website. The Federal Highway Commission also breaks the route down by state with even clearer directions.
We last left you resting up in Memphis. Onward — it’s about a four-hour drive to Vicksburg, where we stop at Key City Brewing. It was founded in 2018 by a brewer who cut his teeth in the burgeoning San Diego beer scene
The brewery quickly made a name for itself with the easy-drinking blonde ale Mississippi Queen. Other styles include IPAs, stouts, sours and more, but Belgian-style beer is where the brewer Zack and Kaitlin Erickson got their inspiration to open a brewery. Expect to see some on the tap list. And as they share the address with Cottonwood Public House, you have craft cocktails and artisanal pizza as well. Owner Zack Erickson points out “...working in the beer industry is an incredibly rewarding thing, though it often requires long hours, grueling physical labor, and the soul crushing defeat that comes when equipment breaks.
Fortunately for us, it is an industry that is endlessly supportive. So when your equipment does break there is long line of generous brewery owners who are there to lift you up. Natchez Brewing Company (see below) and the now permanently closed Lucky Town Brewing Company in Jackson, Miss., have come through for us time and time again. We are eternally grateful for their continued support, we certainly wouldn’t be where we are without them! We are a small group here in Mississippi, but a strong one...”
|Key City's Zack Erickson|
Also, the area newspaper, the Clarion-Ledger published a profile of the founding of Key City Brewing and its positive impact on the local economy. Click here.
|Lisa and Patrick Miller, owners Natchez Brewing|
Cross the Mississippi here and continue on the west side track. It’s closer to the river and more scenic. Plus, another 45 miles south, the Mississippi River, which initially forms the border between Mississippi and Louisiana. Natchez Brewing: Click here.
While this blog depended on the research of CraftBeer.com, a division of the nationally based Brewers Association, we wandered off the path and discovered the Mississippi Brewers Guild, who pointed out there are many more beer makers in the state. For example:
--Lazy Magnolia Brewery, 7030 Roscoe Turner Road, Kiln, MS., Click here.
--Southern Prohibition, 301 Mobile Street, Hattiesburg, MS.,
--Chandeleur Island Brewing Company, 2711 Fourteenth St., Gulfport, MS., Click here.
CraftBeer.com is fully dedicated to small and independent U.S. breweries. We are published by the Brewers Association, the not-for-profit trade group dedicated to promoting and protecting America’s small and independent craft brewers. Stories and opinions shared on CraftBeer.com do not imply endorsement by or positions taken by the Brewers Association or its members.
Additional source: Mississippi Brewers Guild. Click here.
Additional research: PillartoPost.org
NEXT MONTH: LOUISIANA.