GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - As the craft brewery business in Mississippi continues to expand, competitive pressure is growing. As a result, there is a need for the breweries to set themselves apart and constantly develop new products.
Coast craft beer breweries like Crooked Letter in Ocean Springs, Biloxi Brewing Company, Hancock County’s Lazy Magnolia, and Chandeleur Island Brewing Company in Gulfport are constantly challenged to create new flavors to pique the interest of beer lovers.
“The consumer wants new and shiny. We have to provide it or someone else will. We’re constantly challenging ourselves and redeveloping and taking chances. We hope the consumer takes chances with us,” said Chandeleur Brewmaster Dave Reese.
Chandeleur is in the process of brewing a brand new pale ale. The crew in the brewery is busy canning the beer in anticipation of releasing it on Friday.
“This one is Ole Buddy, our newest release. It’s a New England style IPA with more hops than we’ve ever put in a beer to date,” Reese said.
There are currently three breweries on the Coast packaging for off-site sales and a handful of brew pubs. Fifteen operate around the state. This is a business that is growing by leaps and bounds, and with that expansion comes increasing pressure to innovate in order to gain a competitive edge.
“There’s only so much shelf space, so it’s important to put out a solid product. It is a competitive market. You always have to be on your A game,” said Reese.
The craft beer business is extremely popular around America. It’s gaining ground in Mississippi, which encourages more people to invest in breweries. Most in the industry believe the business is on the cusp of taking off.
“There are more breweries than ever before, and they’re making more beer than ever. From a national standpoint we’re behind, but it’s growing every day,” according to Reese.
That new beer, Ole Buddy, will be released Friday, October 26. Only 50 cases of the brew have been made.