Home » NEWS » Third time a charm for ‘high-gravity’

Third time a charm for ‘high-gravity’

"High gravity" comes to Mississippi.

“High gravity” comes to Mississippi.

In April, Gov. Phil Bryant signed Senate Bill 2878.

It wasn’t just any piece of legislation. It was the payoff for years of hard work by a grassroots beer advocacy organization that had sought to raise Mississippi’s cap on beer alcohol content.

The bill raised the cap from 5 percent, which was the lowest in the U.S., to 8 percent alcohol by weight.

It was the third time Raise Your Pints and its legislative supporters had submitted the legislation.

Former Sen. (and now Rep.) David Baria, D-Bay St. Louis, was the original flag-bearer for the bills, when they would routinely die in committee. It wasn’t until Raise Your Pints, Baria and a handful of GOP lawmakers started to sell the issue as an economic development tool that could drive tourism that the issue started to gain traction at the Capitol.

The plan worked, and the law, which took effect July 1, is already bearing fruit. Three breweries have since either announced plans to start production, increase production, or both. That was the point Butch Bailey, one of Raise Your Pints’ founders, made in April after Bryant had approved the measure.

“We’re thankful that Gov. Bryant recognizes that this will help our small businesses and it will promote the production and sale of Mississippi-made products,” Bailey said then.

Hancock County’s Lazy Magnolia Brewing Co. has expanded its offerings of craft beer, and Crooked Letter Brewing Co. in Ocean Springs started production this fall. Jackson’s Lucky Town Brewing Co. launched its product in December, and Southern Prohibition Brewing Co. in Hattiesburg has increased its capacity.

Right before the law took effect on July 1, several beer companies — like Abita and Lazy Magnolia — made preparations to have the new beers on the shelves as soon as it was legal to do so.

Once the beers made it to stores, they didn’t last long. Specialty beer retailers like Hops and Habanas in Madison sold it as fast as it came in the door. Two new coolers store owners had purchased just to stock with new offerings were empty less than two hours after opening on July 1.

Grocery stores like McDade’s locations in Jackson created set-ups just for high-gravity beers that still are among the most popular sections in the store.


… we’d like to ask for your support. More people are reading the Mississippi Business Journal than ever before, but advertising revenues for all conventional media are falling fast. Unlike many, we do not use a pay wall, because we want to continue providing Mississippi’s most comprehensive business news each and every day. But that takes time, money and hard work. We do it because it is important to us … and equally important to you, if you value the flow of trustworthy news and information which have always kept America strong and free for more than 200 years.

If those who read our content will help fund it, we can continue to bring you the very best in news and information. Please consider joining us as a valued member, or if you prefer, make a one-time contribution.

Click for more info

About MBJ Staff

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *