Friday, March 11, 2011

Don't miss the Miss-i-sippin' beer and food pairing event

The state of Mississippi is slowly crawling out from the dark ages. And I do mean slowly.

Whatever for do I mean?

"The Magnolia State" has archaic beer laws. And by "archaic" I mean... retarded.  Any beer over 6.3% ABV is prohibited. In most counties alcohol still can't be sold on Sundays, and there are many "dry" counties where it's illegal to possess alcoholic beverages of any kind. Some cities within those "dry" counties have voted in beer sales, but still...

And then there's the real coup de grâce: Mississippi is one of only two states in the nation (Alabama being the other) where homebrewing is still illegal. Without homebrewers it is impossible to develop a real culture centered around beer. Furthermore, there are only two recognized craft breweries (Lazy Magnolia and Southern Prohibition) in the entire state. TWO!! Needless to say home grown beer pickings are very slim.

Due to these "barbaric" laws Mississippians haven't been able (let's say allowed) to create an environment where craft beer is accepted. Which is too bad considering a recent report says the beer industry as a whole provides over $223 billion to the U.S. economy.  With their heads firmly buried in the sand, lawmakers in "The Magnolia State" are missing out on a great deal of revenue.

Now, why am I talking about Mississippi beer in the first place?

A few years ago Wayne Andrews, Director of the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council, and Chef Lee Craven of Lenoir Dining Services (on the campus of the University of Mississippi) were both looking to create an event that captured the social side of food - a twist on happy hour as it were. Word got around that they were both looking to do the same thing and soon Miss-i-sippin’ was born.

“The popularity of the event has made it attractive for regional products” shared Craven “as we are able to highlight local products in our menu and inspire people to try these items when they cook.” The menu changes each year allowing the event to draw people back and ensures support for the charities. Now in its third year, the event will feature pairings of 22 different beers with culinary creations by Chef Craven and his team.

Remember what I said earlier? The beers you'll see at the Miss-i-sippin' fundraiser isn't what many of us in more refined beer states would consider acceptable because most events like this - in more refined beer states - are replete with ONLY local beers brewed by local breweries. But hey, it's a start for our Southern Brethren!

Miss-i-sippin’ 2011 Menu

Coors & Coors Light paired with:
Curry Coconut Popcorn with Toasted Sesame Seeds
Mexican Style Popcorn with Cumin and Red Pepper

Blue Moon paired with:
Spoons of Creme Fraiche, Orange Gelee and Pickled Ginger

Lazy Magnolia Reb Ale paired with:
Smoked Quail En Croute
(Sponsored by Wiseacre and Papa Johns)

Dos XX, Tecate & Sol paired with:
Chorizo Quesadilla

Stella & Hoegarden paired with:
Garlic Pesto Gnocchi with Lemon

Lazy Magnolia Jefferson Stout paired with:
Ice Cream Floats

Guinness paired with:
Make Your Own  S'mores

Bass & Harps paired with:
Crispy Catfish Po' Boy with Comeback Sauce 
(Sponsored by Country Select)

Lazy Magnolia Southern Pecan & Abita paired with:
BBQ Pork Sliders
(Sponsored by Papa Johns)

Becks & Lazy Magnolia Indian Summer paired with:
Marinated Shrimp and Polk's Brand Cajun Smoked Sausage Skewers
(Sponsored by Polk's)

Newcastle & Sierra Nevada paired with:
Mini Corndogs with Magnolia Red Casing Sausage
(Sponsored by Polk's)

Blue Moon Seasonal paired with:
Tempura Vegetables
(Sponsored by Yocna Farms)

Sushi provided by Kabuki
Mini Pizzas provided by Papa Johns

See what I mean?  The food sounds absolutely fantastic, and I'd personally love to try the beers from Lazy Magnolia.  Abita and Sierra Nevada rock, but the rest of them... not so much. Still, the widely distributed domestics and imports will likely taste much better given the quality of the food.  Wish I could be there!

This event is for charity - making it all worthwhile - and all proceeds will go to the Arts Council and the Hospitality Management program. There's a very limited number of tickets available which can be purchased for $35 ($25 for arts council members & “of age” students) by calling the Arts Council at 662-236-6429 or going by The Powerhouse Arts Center between 9:00AM-5:00PM.

If you attend please let me know how it goes!



Unknown said...

You guys are on my list to contact to raise awareness of our archaic beer laws here in Mississippi. I am a home brewer and a craft beer lover to boot. I order all of my home brewing supplies out of state, I go on beer runs out of state. I take it that our leaders do not seem to care that my hard earned money does not stay in my home state of Mississippi. The legislature's excuse this year was it was an election year and did not want to put controversial items on the agenda. REALLY? That's their damn job isn't it?

Ok, enough of that, I could type for days. Please take a look at Raise Your Pints. I am not in leadership in the organization, but I do my best to advocate and tell our story to anyone who has open ears. So any support you guys can throw our way to share our mission of getting good quality beer in our state is always appreciated.

So you want to try some Lazy Magnolia? I'll get ya some, so you guys can try it on Taste Buds. My treat.

I heard of this event last year and it was too late to purchase tickets. Thank you for bringing this up. You see, I live in the state I didn't even know it was going on. The craft beer culture here in Mississippi is growing, but it's in no way up to par with the surrounding states.

Thanks for posting this. Email me and I'll get ya some Lazy Magnolia beers to try.

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