Craft breweries now have their eyes on Jackson. (Photo source: WLOX)
JACKSON, MS (WLOX) -
Now that the House of Representatives Wednesday passed House Bill 1322, craft brewers across Mississippi have their eyes on Jackson.
The bill would allow craft breweries and brewpubs to sell their product on site, instead of only at bars and distributors. For Lazy Magnolia CEO Mark Henderson, the passing of the bill is a step in the right direction.
"Building up the craft beer culture is critical to Mississippi," Henderson said, "It hits tourism, it hits all the things we love about the south. It touches on the romance and the creative economy. It touches all of those things...And anything we can do to build up local manufacturing, is good for the state of Mississippi."
According to Henderson, a meeting between state distributors and craft brewers brought a shocking stat to light. Mississippi is 51st in the nation (including Washington D.C.) in the number of breweries and impact of breweries per capita. He believes this bill would move the Magnolia state up to the middle of the pack.
Kiln Resident Barbara Harriel thinks the convenience of being able to buy directly from the breweries would be a hit in Mississippi.
"I think it's a great opportunity for the economy, for the craft beer breweries, and I think it's a good idea to be able to stop in and just pick up your beer at the local brewery," Harriel said.
Along with the increase in profits H.B. 1322 would improve, Henderson says the amount of money spent on product testing and marketing would drop severely as well.
The bill passed the house by a 93-23 vote. It now moves to the senate for more debate.