BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Opening a brewing company in the middle of a pandemic may not seem to be the best idea, but by mid-October, Biloxi will be getting a new one.
There’s a lot of physical work left to do before opening Fly Llama Brewing, but owner David Reese has been mentally ready for a long time.
“Beer has been life for the last 15 years, so it’s just a natural progression to kind of branch out on my own,” he said.
He’s a level three certified cicerone - a sommelier of the beer world - and has been brewmaster on the Coast for six years.
His 10-barrel brewhouse is located in the old Biloxi Brewing Company building on Bohn Street, but he doesn’t fear being haunted by ghosts of that failed venture.
“I’m not worried,” he said. “We’re going to blaze our own path, and I’ve been successful in the industry up to this point, and I’m confident we can do it again.”
Reese said he will be adding to the existing equipment.
“What that’s going to allow me to do is really going to have a rotating tap list, and we’re going to have very dynamic beer lineup that’s going to change weekly and there’s going to be a lot of different options,” he said.
He said the pandemic made him pause for a while, but he decided to move on with his plans.
“I want to invest in the community,” Reese said. “I want to create some jobs and I want to contribute to the tax base and I want to make this a better place to live. So, I think it’s more important than ever for us now to stand strong.”
The name is all part of that attitude.
“Well, if you’re going to be a llama, be a fly llama,” he said with a laugh. “The brand is just about anything is possible. Surrender to the flow; reach for the stars; follow your dreams.”
His plans include an outdoor patio area for safety precautions and his brewery will be family and pet friendly. He also plans to distribute his product primarily in Mississippi.