Couple Turns Home Hobby Into Brewing Business

A Hancock County couple hopes to put Mississippi on the beer brewing map. They've started a licensed microbrewery in the Kiln Community called "Lazy Magnolia Brewery."

"Kiln, of course, is known as the boot leg capital of Mississippi and some might argue the boot leg capital of the world," Mark Henderson said.

During the prohibition days of the 1930's and 40's the Kiln became famous for its moonshine.

"We're tapping into a combination of that the local folk lore and the ideas surrounding that boot legging, but we're breaking from tradition and we're going to brew a legal product."

That product will be produced at the Lazy Magnolia Brewery located in the Stennis Air Park.

Beer brewing started off as a home hobby for Leslie and Mark Henderson. The brewing duo are both chemical engineers by trade.

"We plan on introducing our product to the three coastal counties, and then expanding upward toward Hattiesburg, Jackson," Leslie Henderson said.

Eventually the couple hope to go national with their beer.

Right now they produce four different flavors.

"One of our most special beers were very proud of is our Southern Pecan beer, which actually uses pecans grown in the state of Mississippi. We roast those pecans and we add them to the beer," Leslie Henderson said.

"I've had a lot of women tell me they really enjoy this beer and they don't like beer. So it's pretty special being a female bewer, I'm able to reach out to a crowd that's normally been left out of the beer market."

Other flavors include Blue Heron, Amberjaque, and a light beer called "Par 3."

But don't expect to find a six pack of the couple's beer on your grocery store selves just yet. The beer will first be distributed to local restaurants and lounges by the kegs, then bottled once there is a demand.

by Al Showers