It's very easy to find a reason to feel sorry for Mississippi, or to find a stereotype to make fun of its residents. (Personally, I prefer to mock West Virginia, but that's just me.) Just yesterday, there was a report that said Mississippi ranks last in overall health compared to all other states, with smoking and obesity as big contributing factors. A quick search on Google displays results calling the state Least Livable, poorest, and a few other not so choice distinctions. Wikipedia even cited an article calling Mississippi "the worst of the 50 United States for removing litter from statewide public roadways and properties." Tough crowd!
But tell me why should their ass-backwards beer laws be amongst these negatives? Apparently any beer over 5% alcohol content, or what I read somewhere they called "gourmet" beer, is off limits. I can't think of a better way to attract some business and entrepreneurs than to let the people of Mississippi compete with other nearby states in a booming industry like craft brewing and beer sales (all beer). This could be easily fixed by their legislature, unlike some of the previously mentioned social ills that need true solutions to fix.
A guy I know from Lazy Magnolia Brewing in Kiln, Mississippi recently told me about their Gulf Porter release party and its host Raise Your Pints, an organization dedicated to changing these crazy laws. I hope they are successful in their pursuits. If so, maybe their next step can be to change the three-tiered beer system in this country.
So now, the only question left on my mind is how to get myself a growler of that new Gulf Porter beer. Considering how I just highlighted some Mississippi lows, I'm probably not welcome there. But for the record, everyone I know from Mississippi has been extremely nice, intelligent and great to be around (and with their great sense of humor, I'm sure they all can see I'm just poking fun). Anyway, if you do by chance lose your way, or your GPS is broken and accidentally leads you across Mississippi state lines, stop by Lazy Magnolia and get yourself some beer. They brew good stuff there! My favorites so far have been their Jefferson Stout and Southern Pecan.
Having no Lazy Magnolia availability here (yet), I cracked open a bottle of Harpoon Winter Warmer brewed by Harpoon Brewery in either Boston, Massachusetts or Windsor, Connecticut. These guys have been around a while and have actually brewed this beer since 1988, so I guess it must be successful.
Very spicy aroma, tons of cinnamon. Wow, the flavors are just like the aroma. Lots of cinnamon and nutmeg and coriander to start. Maybe a little brown sugar with a slight amount of hops present. Did I mention that there are a lot of spices in this beer? And the medium to upper-level carbonation makes them even more prominent, if that is possible. I didn't get the "Warmer" part of the beer, either. This is Christmas baking overdone. Someone doubled the recipe and didn't tell whoever made the single pie. Sugar and spice and everything nice... there was enough of that to make a convent. Enough metaphors! Way too much spice! Drinkable but not great, and I really wanted to love this.
Mississippi Mud Dessert Bar