Gordon Creek Brewery recently posted photos of their new brewery location on their Facebook Page.
After running into a setback in their plans to open a brewery in Hattiesburg (See: Gordon Creek Brewery facing legal roadblock.), Gordon Creek Brewery was approved today by the City of Hattiesburg to brew in a location on East Pine Street. Months of hard work have paid off, and now the brewery will begin the process of obtaining state and federal licenses. If all goes well, Gordon Creek could see themselves in production by late October.
The Hattiesburg Planning Commission approved us to brew at a building on E. Pine Street. Special thanks to Donovan Scruggs, Patty Brantley, Kim Bradley, Dave Ware, Sparky Walker, Michael Anderson and a special thanks to Betsy Rowell who spoke in support of our project at the meeting. We’d also like to thank our family and friends who have helped and encouraged us to continue to move forward.
Neal said the Southern Prohibition operation, including master brewer Ben Green, would be transferred from the Keg and Barrel to its new home at 304 E. Second St.
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Production is expected to begin no later than spring 2013.
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Come 2013, downtown Hattiesburg could have two breweries where there were once none.
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Sam Sorrells, who brewed at Keg and Barrel for four years, has struck out on his own with wife, Karie, and said he hopes to have their Gordon Creek Brewery opened by the end of the year.
Gordon Creek Brewery recently released pictures of their new logo on their Facebook page. This image is from the back of a shirt printed by Upton Printing with their new logo designed by Whitney Miracle.
We used Whitney Miracle for the logo design because of her other work on beer related graphics experience. Both me and my brother in law have canoed the Gordon’s Creek in Hattiesburg which you have to catch nearly at flood stage to accomplish, this explains the canoe paddles within our logo.
Sam Sorrells on their new logo.
Sam plans to have t-shirts and stickers with the new artwork available in the very near future.
I also spoke with Sam last week regarding their progress on getting approval from the City Of Hattiesburg to open his brewery.
We had a meeting with the City last week about brewing in a Temporary location downtown and we’ve got another meeting planned later this week. The earliest we’ll know for sure if we have their official blessing is early Sept.
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We hope to have more news in a week or two about a location and approval by the City of Hattiesburg.
Hattiesburg American published a great article featuring quotes from Butch Bailey of Raise Your Pints, Leslie Henderson of Lazy Magnolia, Sam Sorrells of Gordon Creek Brewery, and John Neal of Keg & Barrel / Southern Prohibition Brewing.
With a new age of beer consumption dawning in Mississippi on the same day as the finals of the Euro 2012 soccer, Joey Vaughan and Nathan Latil just couldn’t help themselves.
With their drinking parlors at home shut down on Sundays, the Oxford residents decided to make the trek to the Keg & Barrel in Hattiesburg to celebrate the first day Mississippi beer aficionados could tap a wider – and more potent – variety of the yeasty beverage.
“We make runs to Memphis all the time to buy beers that we can’t get in Mississippi,” Latil said, “and that’s what we were saying on the ride down, you know, ‘Well, we really could have just gone up to Memphis and picked up some beers and watched the game at the house,’ but it was like, “No, no, no. We want to do this in our state, finally, and enjoy the beers that we want to in our own state.
“We didn’t want to wait a whole day to celebrate the new law.”
The two were joined by a bevy of fellow beerniks thronging inside and spilling onto K&B’s porch and shaded outdoor tables to enjoy the amended state law allowing the sale and manufacture of higher-alcohol-content beer that took effect July 1.
“It’s a great, great day,” said Raven Allbritton of Hattiesburg, who was joined by Andy Crumpton of Hattiesburg in sampling new wares such as “Jockamo” and “Andygator” from Abita Brewing Co. in Covington, La., and “A Beer Named Sue” from Yazoo Brewing Co. in Nashville.
But those are just a sampling of what could be pouring from area taps and stocked on local shelves in the near future.
“We have approved 124 (new) labels for distribution already,” said Kathy Waterbury, communications director for the Mississippi Department of Revenue. “There were a lot of them we got right after it was signed into law. Really, they were already calling before it was signed into law.
“So, yes, there will be new product coming.”
And not only from out of state.
The Lazy Magnolia Brewing Co. in Kiln, currently Mississippi’s lone brewery, unveiled an India Pale Ale dubbed “Timber Beast” at midnight Sunday.
“This is a really good thing for everybody,” said Leslie Henderson, Lazy Magnolia co-owner, who also was able to offer brewery tours for the first time Sunday. “For our customers, for our distributors, for ourselves, for everybody. There’s no downside to this.”
The new law signed in April by Gov. Phil Bryant mimicked those found in other states across the nation, bumping the ceiling on alcohol content in beers made and sold in Mississippi from 5 percent alcohol by weight to 8 percent ABW.
That equates to about 10.3 percent by volume, a more common measurement.
Any new beer, whether produced in state or beyond the borders, has to be given a thumbs-up from the state before it can be distributed and/or sold, Waterbury said.
“It’s a tremendously good thing,” said Butch Bailey of Hattiesburg, founder of “Raise Your Pints,” a beer fan club that spearheaded the “Big Beer” campaign in Mississippi.
“After 106 years, Mississippi has lifted the prohibition on high-gravity beer. This just feels righteous.”
Commercially, Mississippi offers commercial brewers two options: Operate as a brewpub, where beer produced is sold on premises or as a brewery, which beyond a tasting room, has to distribute the large portion of its product to distributors for retail sale.
“In Mississippi, it’s a three-tier system: manufacturers, distributors, retailers,” Waterbury said.
The Keg and Barrel has operated as a brewpub for the past four years or so, with its in-house Southern Prohibition microbrewery producing about three barrels of brew a month.
“We’re probably the smallest brewer in the country,” K&B owner John Neal said. “We have a lot of great beers on the wall here, so the whole idea was to produce extremely flavorful and different styles of beer, and to complement, not compete, with what we already had.
“We wanted to gear (Southern Prohibition-produced beers) toward the craft beer drinker.”
They did just that this weekend, offering “Little DIPA,” a double-IPA, and a Russian Imperial Stout.
Neal said SoPro, under master brewer Ben Green, will have to expand its capacity because of the longer fermentation time necessary to produce higher-alcohol beer.
“In the next couple of months, we’ll be looking to expand,” Neal said.
Bailey said the craft beer movement has been afoot and growing nationwide.
“The momentum for craft beers has been growing for the past 10 years or so, and it’s really been a tremendous, steady growth in the beer industry,” Bailey said. “Mississippi’s been at the tail end of that because of some of these laws.”
Bailey said he expected the new laws to create business opportunities around the state.
“I have no doubt, that within a year from this law’s change, we will double (our breweries and brewpubs),” Bailey said. “At least. Easily.”
Sam Sorrells, who brewed at K&B for four years, has struck out on his own with wife, Karie, and said he hopes to have their Gordon Creek Brewery opened by football season.
“I see this being a trend, with more and more people getting into it,” Sorrels said. “Beer, historically, has been very much a local product. Now, (the Busch family), they figured out a model and were able to go national with refrigeration and everything, but we’re seeing a trend back toward local beers.”
That suited Rob Benfer of Hattiesburg just fine.
“I’ve always had a fascination with different kinds of beers, so (Sunday), it’s a good thing,” Benfer said. “Anything that gets Mississippi out of the dark ages and up with the rest of the country is good by me.”
While Sam waits to hear from the City of Hattiesburg whether or not he will be approved to open a brewery on his property (Gordon Creek Brewery facing legal roadblock.), he continues to work to get his future brewery ready for production. Sam posted the following photos of the progress to his Facebook Page:
Gordon Creek Brewery had previously chosen a location for their production facilities at 127 1/2 Buschman in Downtown Hattiesburg, MS. They were in the process of getting approval from the City of Hattiesburg to operate a brewery at this location. Recently the City notified them that in order to obtain approval and have their utilities connected they would have to make major improvements to the property. Hattiesburg Code of Ordinances would require the brewery to upgrade their driveway and parking lot. They would also have to landscape the property. According to Sam Sorrels, these improvements would cost over $35,000 to complete. Sam is currently looking for a temporary location, but would like to be brewing at 127 1/2 Buschman soon.
What I really like about the building is the neighbors like The Depot, Rodney Richardson and New Yokel. Plus the whole Live@5 thing is very exciting. We may be forced to start somewhere else but that’s where I want to be.
Update (6/05/12 11:44 AM):
We were in the process of filing a variance which the City said would happen but when it came time to hook up the utilities the City Code wouldn’t have allowed it. Specifically the Code calls for a driveway, parking and landscaping. The driveway will probably be the sticking point but the Bakery building has a driveway that we could share since both properties are owned by the same folks. The 127 1/2 building technically has parking on the left side of the building. The grass area has been seeded but we’re caught in a catch 22 without water to make the grass grow.
Currently it is unlawful for Mississippi breweries to sample their beers at the brewery. This will change soon. Governor Phil Bryant signed into law Senate Bill 2600 which will allow samples to be served with certain restrictions.
(1) A person having a permit to manufacture or brew beer under this chapter and who operates a brewery may offer and provide limited amounts of beer on the premises of the brewery for the purpose of tasting or sampling, subject to the following conditions:
(a) The beer provided for tasting or sampling must be manufactured in the State of Mississippi by the holder of the permit;
(b) The beer may be provided only to persons on the premises of the brewery at no cost and for consumption on the premises of the brewery;
(c) The beer may be provided for tasting or sampling between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. on the same day and only in conjunction with a structured tour of the brewery and related facilities which must include the entire manufacturing and brewing processes and methods used at the brewery;
(d) No one under twenty-one (21) years of age may participate in the tasting or sampling, and a sign indicating that prohibition shall be placed in a visible location at the entrance to the area where the tasting or sampling will be conducted;
(e) An individual size sample of beer shall not exceed six (6) ounces, and no more than six (6) samples of beer may be provided to an individual within a twenty-four-hour period; and
(f) The holder of the license operating the brewery shall keep an accurate accounting of the various beers provided and consumed as samples.
(2) For the purposes of this section, the term “brewery” means and has the same definition as that term has in 26 USCS 5402.
This law will take effect July 1, 2012.
This is great news for Mississippi’s breweries. This will only affect Lazy Magnolia on July 1, but will allow future breweries (Lucky Town Brewing, Crooked Letter Brewing, and Gordon Creek Brewery) to sample on site as well.
Sampling is a vital part of the touring process and greatly adds to the impact of a brewery tour. This is the first step of initiatives to modernize the laws regarding Mississippi’s breweries on-premise and off-premise consumption. The next step would be to legalize on-premise sales and then off-premise sales. This would allow you to visit a brewery, sample their product, then buy a pint, and buy a growler/bomber/six-pack to take home. This is probably a long way away, but most states allow their breweries to operate in this manner.
Great job in lobbying for this bill Lazy Magnolia!
Update (5/26/12 7:49 AM):
Every Saturday at 10:30am. No reservation required. Just show up. Really we mean it. For large or special tour times call to schedule.
Gordon Creek Brewery will soon be among the list of new breweries opening in the Magnolia State. Sam Sorrels, Keg & Barrel‘s original brewer, is starting his own brewery in downtown Hattiesburg. Gordon Creek Brewery is in the approval and permiting stages, but plans to be in business by the end of the year. They will be located at 127 1/2 Buschman Street in Hattiesburg “on the meandering creek from which we take our name.” They will start with a 5 BBL brewing system “and will brew beers mainly for the beer geek crowd while still trying to win over gateway beer drinkers, so look for Big Stouts, hoppy Pales and IPA’s, a lighter Cream or Blond ale and seasonal Big beers such as Barley Wines, Imperial Stouts, Wheat Wines and Scotch Wee Heavys. After a recent trip to England/Scotland I’m a big fan of Real Ales and would love to have some accounts that could sell an English Bitter from a beer engine.” They will start with “keg sales locally first. We’re planning on 4 to 6 seasonal big beers per year that’ll be kegged and bottled. Eventually we want to bottle to support keg sales, that is to say we want to sell bottles in places that won’t carry our kegged beer in the hope that the next time the cosumer is at a pub/restaraunt/bar they’ll ask for our local beer. “
I spoke with John Neal of Keg & Barrel about his relationship with Gordon Creek Brewery. “We are proud and to have been associated with Sam and will support all his new creations on our draft wall. Ben Green was our part time brewer (full time now) with Sam. The SoProBrewCo tradition continues on site at the KB. As Sam gets established, we have discussed with him the possibility of contract brewing for some our more popular beers. This way we can concentrate on smaller “out of the box” beers.”
Congratulations guys! Best of luck to you.