Not long ago we use to refer to the local "Beer Festival Season”, but this distinction seems unnecessary now as festivals are being held throughout the year. The first area beer festival on our calendar this year is Top of the Hops in Biloxi, MS taking place this Saturday, January 24th at the Mississippi Coast Convention Center.
The most enticing reason for beer enthusiast in our area to make the trip to this festival has always been the chance to try beers from some of Mississippi's craft breweries. Breweries that, except for Lazy Magnolia, do not distribute to Florida. If you haven't been keeping up with the craft beer news coming out of Mississippi, then you may not be aware of the influx of new breweries, especially along the Mississippi coast. Our go to source for Mississippi craft beer information is Mississippi Brew Blog, where you can find information about the current craft breweries operating in Mississippi, breweries in planning, and more.
The following breweries should be on your must visit list if you find yourself lucky enough to be attending:
- Chandeleur Brewing Company - Gulfport, MS
They just started brewing this month. Try the initial beer offerings from what we anticipate being a must stop brewery when driving along the Mississippi coast. You can also check them out on Facebook.
- Biloxi Brewing Company - Biloxi, MS
A brewery just emerging from the planning phase and luckily was just approved to serve at the festival! Check out their Facebook page as well.
- Crooked Letter Brewing - Ocean Springs, MS
We can't say enough about this Mississippi craft brewery, we visited late last year and were very impressed by their offerings. Great people making great beer. If you haven't had a chance to try their beer, you really are doing yourself a disservice!
- Lucky Town Brewing - Jackson, MS
Seems like just yesterday we found Lucky Town's Kickstarter campaign. They have been impressing craft beer enthusiast with their beer for awhile now and had a grand opening for their new brewery in November of last year.
The Brew University offers four sessions during the festival for those who may be interested in learning about one of the subjects:
5:30pm - Homebrewing 101
6:15pm - Bourbon Barrel-Aging
7:00pm - State of Mississippi's Craft Beer Industry
7:45pm - The Glass Matters!
Tickets can be purchased online for $40 in advance. Tickets at the gate the day of the festival will be $45, if available. Designated Driver tickets are $15. VIP tickets have sold out. You can find all the details on the Biloxi Top of the Hops Beer Fest website and can even download a Festival Guide.