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Yalobusha Brewing Company Names New Ale after Larry Brown

Shirley Temple and Arnold Palmer are drinks just as famous as their namesakes. This November in north Mississippi, Larry Brown will join them on the menu.

That would be the new ale invented by Andy O’Bryan at Yalobusha Brewing Company, located at 102 South Main Street in Water Valley.

Andy O’Bryan, owner of Yalobusha Brewing Company, said, “We were already going to make a brown ale. We were working on the recipe when we thought it would be really cool to tribute it to Larry Brown.”

O’Bryan lives near the late novelist’s son, Shane Brown in Tula, Larry Brown’s beloved hometown.

“Now that I live in Tula, I drive by every day where Larry Brown used to write,” said O’Bryan. “I definitely respected his work and read his novels. I went to just about every book signing he had at Square Books. I knew him from my home bar at the City Grocery.”

Larry Brown was a staple in the Oxford’s literature scene. Writing since he was a firefighter stationed at Station No. 1 on North Lamar Boulevard in the 1980s, he had 10 works published which two were made into movies: Big Bad Love (2001) and Joe (2014).

Brown won several awards including the Mississippi Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts as well as the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters award for fiction. His writing legacy continues through his son, Shane Brown.

Larry Brown Ale is a traditional brown ale with a few tweaks to the recipe. In the prototype of its label, the drink is described as a “rich full-bodied American brown with roasted chocolate notes. O’Bryan added flaked oats to the ale to lend it “a velvety mouth feel.”

Label design prototype
Label design prototype

O’Bryan said that a part of the profits from the Larry Brown Ale will go to a scholarship for the English department at the University of Mississippi. The scholarship is still in the works as the drink won’t be out until this November.

This drink is the first of Yalobusha Brewery’s fall series. O’Bryan said, “This is the first time we’ve come up with a full-fledged drink. We will do this every fall, October or November.”
Shane Brown is happy with the tribute.

He said, “A hometown brew for a hometown guy… I got to taste one of the first Larry Brown Ale batches with a Yalobusha County hometown bro I shared with. He’s big on authentic brewed beer. He was an instant fan of Larry Brown Ale. I’m a fan of the ale and my Dad too. Cheers to you, Yalobusha Brewery. And of course thank you from the Browns.”

His friend, Anthony Whitehead, was the fan of the Larry Brown Ale. He said, “I’m so proud of Yalobusha Brewery. They are putting out world-class brews right now. And their new brown ale can hang with any of the big boys’ brown ales. I think Larry would have enjoyed one or two of them.”

To keep up with the developing story of the Larry Brown Ale, follow Yalobusha Brewery Company on its website, Facebook and Twitter.


Callie Daniels Bryant is the senior managing editor at HottyToddy.com. She can be reached at callie.daniels@hottytoddy.com.

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