Forget the Hot Toddy in MS, it’s craft beer you want to sip. Head to Yalobusha to try some fantastic craft brews.
At only 37 years of age, Yalobusha owner, Andy O’Bryan, has started 22 businesses. But he says he’s found a keeper with Yalobusha brewing in Water Valley, MS. The town of less than 4,000 residents is just and hour and half from Memphis. The Yalobusha brew building, originally built in 1860 as an old Ford Motor factory, still retains much of its historical ambiance. The building is even listed on the National Registry of Historics Places. In fact, there is little signage at all for the brewery, something O’Bryan says was really important to him in preserving history.
Tony Balzola, head brewer, hails from Portland, Oregon where he had been a head brewer with McMenamin’s Brewing for the last 13 years. Here, Tony was able to oversee the quality of the beers brewed at Yalobusha.
But Yalobusha is more than the beer and the historic building in which is resides. It is a gathering place of sorts. Early on a Friday evening, groups of friends and families gathered at the picnic tables set up in the common area between the stage and the bar. Some bring their own pizzas, while others make the short walk down the road to Crawdad Hole, where you can order crawfish, shrimp, sausage or any combination of the three to go. Before long, a band starts playing and everyone’s forgotten the hectic week they’ve had.
You’ll want to stop into Yalobusha to see sample some of the seasonal releases only available at the brewery. Of course there are other mainstays on the menu that are quite tasty. These brews include:
- Snopes Pilsner
- Mississippi Blues Trail
- Larry Brown Ale
- Coffee Break Happy Hour Porter
The brewery is open to the public on 2 to 10 p.m. Fridays and 2 to 6 p.m. Saturdays for tours and tasting. Mississippi just passed laws allowing the sale of beer at breweries direct to the consumer instead of buying “tasting tickets” or getting a passport stamped. It may not seem a big feat, but for a state where many counties still remain dry ones, this was a huge win for the craft beer industry. Mississippi was the first state to enact prohibition and the last repeal it.
Check out the short video about Yalobusha and see why the brewery is unique.
You can read more about Yalobusha here: http://www.yalobrew.com/our-story