OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - A Jackson County couple is turning their passion for craft beers into a successful business. Just a few weeks ago, Paul and Wanda Blacksmith opened Crooked Letter Brewery in Ocean Springs.
Large tanks and valves and hoses fill the back room at Crooked Letter on brewing day.
"This is going to get a little more interesting in a few minutes," said owner Paul Blacksmith, as he and head brew master John Myers carefully watched over a series of beer-making processes.
"Not only does it take several weeks to have beer from grain to glass. But on brew day itself, it's a good 10 to 12 hours," said Blacksmith.
Not long ago they hosted a ribbon cutting at Crooked Letter. Now, they're on their way to producing 3,000 barrels of craft beer by the end of this year.
"It's definitely growing. Sometime we think too fast. But that's actually a good thing. It's always good when your beer is sold before it's even made," he said.
"This is our kegging machine. This is the kegs that we fill and send out," said Wanda Blacksmith.
Paul's wife Wanda is the CEO and creative force behind Crooked Feather. She helps discover the perfect combination of ingredients for a tasty craft beer. Would you believe coffee beans and chocolate?
"That's our Mystery Romp. It's a mocha porter. It's got fresh roasted coffee beans in there, 'cause I'm a coffee and chocolate addict. And it's got 100 percent chocolate in there," said Wanda Blacksmith.
Brewmaster John Myers oversees the beer making from start to finish, keeping an eye on temperature, ingredients and sugar content.
"We take constant notes on everything. So, we check the sugar content to make sure we're getting the extraction of sugars we want," said Myers.
The brewery only produces kegs right now, but a bottling machine is on the way. And community response to Crooked Letter has been most encouraging.
"I want to make it probably a tourist attraction. I mean we're in a good area to help bring people to Ocean Springs and to the coast. One more thing for people to come to our area," said Wanda Blacksmith.
Crooked Letter Brewery is located on Government Street in Ocean Springs behind Broome's grocery store. Tours of the brewery are currently offered on Saturday afternoons from 1pm until 3pm.