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Ale Yeah! Craft Beer Festival Comes to Oxford This Weekend

miss i sippinIf you are a craft beer advocate and love brew hopping, you will not want to miss out on the eighth annual Miss-I-Sippin’ hosted by the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council this Friday and Saturday on April 1 and 2.

From live music to great food and drinks, Anna Leigh Phillips, event coordinator, said this year’s festival will be filled with exciting activities.

“We are excited that we were able to expand the event to two days this year which includes a dinner and day festival,” Phillips said.

For both days, the Mississippi Brewers Guild will be a sponsor for the event. Up until 2013, craft beer in Mississippi was hard to come by with only one craft beer brewery in the state. When legislation passed a bill into law, the sale and brewing of beverages went up from 5 percent alcohol by volume to 8 percent. Mississippi’s craft beer culture has been changing ever since and according to the Drink Mississippi website, Mississippi is home to one of the fastest growing craft beer industries in the South.

“All proceeds from Miss-I-Sippin’ will benefit the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council and the Mississippi Brewer’s Guild,” Phillips said. “Miss-I-Sippin’ is a non- profit event designed to invite the community to explore how Mississippians use traditions to inspire our innovations. We’re looking forward to greeting beer lovers or just good-time lovers from across the state.”

miss i sippin 1Attend the Brewer’s Dinner

The event starts on Friday night with the Brewer’s Dinner at the Powerhouse Community Arts Center. Guests can purchase tickets online, and select from the seven different brewers of Mississippi Brewers Guild to sit with. Wayne Andrews, Executive Director of the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council, said brewers will bring a limited edition beer for their table, and promotional items will be provided to guests that attend the Brewer’s Dinner.

“The brewers are bringing things that they made special for the event on Friday,” Andrews said. “I know Lucky Town is bringing something that is brand new and coming out, so it will be the first time you get a chance to taste it. Friday’s dinner will be a lot of fun because you can get more intimacy, knowledge and direct engagement with the product.”

miss i sippin 2One of the Mississippi brewer attendees will be Yalobusha Brewing Co. Coming from Water Valley, Mississippi. Phillips said that out of all the breweries, Yalobusha Brewing Co. was the fastest to sell out for Friday night’s dinner. Yalobusha’s manager and partner/founder, Andy O’Bryan, is excited for the event this weekend.

“We will be bringing our flagship lineup of beers that include Larry Brown Ale, Mississippi Blues Trail Ale, and Snopes Family Pilsner,” O’Bryan said. “For Friday night, I’m bringing several rare beers and a secret beer that no one has ever had before!”

The chef for Friday night’s dinner, Meredith Pittman, is currently the chef de cuisine at Second Line in Oxford. She will prepare a Mississippi inspired meal that compliments all of the brewers’ beer.

The four course meal will include:

  • First course: Smoked Catfish Dip, homemade pickles, mustard, crostini sponsored by Delta Pride Catfish.
  • Second course: Half Braised Chicken Thigh Poboy—dressed sponsored by Sanderson Farms.
  • Third course: Shrimp Bahn Mi & Grits sponsored by Grit Girl & Gulf Pride Select Shrimp.
  • Fourth course: a beer float—ice creams paired with beer from brewers.

Places, Times and Dates:

For Friday night, the brewers include: Yalobusha, Crooked Letter, Lazy Magnolia, Lucky Town Brewing, Southern Prohibition and the Mississippi Brewing Company. To top the fun atmosphere, musician Jimmy Phillips will provide entertainment for the Brewer’s Dinner. Phillips said that seating for the dinner is limited to 100 people.

Saturday, April 2 from noon to 6 p.m. is the Miss-I-Sippin’ festival at the Old Armory Pavilion on University Ave. The festival Saturday will feature all the beers from the Mississippi Brewer’s Guild from Friday’s dinner plus more from surrounding states including: Wiseacre, Ghost River out of Memphis, Good People Brewing out of Birmingham, Abita out of Covington, Louisiana, among others.

Saturday’s festival will also feature local food, art and music.

miss i sippin 3“Due to some changes in Mississippi food truck regulations we are pleased to offer a larger variety of food for Saturday’s festival. Vendors such as, Small Time Hotdogs, Mugs Cupcakes, Living Foods, Sunday’s Best, and Yoknapataco will be present,” Phillips said.

Also Saturday’s live music will feature Hana Lena, Nate Robbins, and McLeod Guyer trio and Golden flake potato chips will be provided.

Ticket prices for members of the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council will be $25 for Saturday’s event and $75 for both days. For non-members it is $30 for Saturday and $80 for both days.

For more information and where to buy tickets visit www.oxfordarts.com.

Barrett Ervin is a intern through the Meek School of Journalism and New Media. Ervin can be reached at ebervin@go.olemiss.edu.

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