Crooked Letter Brewing Company

262787_3513269170425_37064405_nPaul and Wanda Blacksmith have a place like no other on the coast. With the popularity of micro brewing growing in the country each day, the two have hit upon a winning combination that seems sure to draw a lot of clients to this amazing little business. Crooked Letter Brewing Company is as unique and colorful as its name.
The knowledgeable folks that run the day to day operations at the brewery have a massive amount of information about all that goes into making fine beer. From explanations of the brewing process to how each beer got its name, you will find the volunteers and owners of Crooked Letter to be important folks to talk to when making your beverage selection. These people have a wealth of experience behind them.
When touring the brewery, we met Mark Cowley, a volunteer educated in brewing craft beer. He blew our minds and our taste buds with his experience and knowledge. When you walk up to the modest building in Ocean Springs you notice that guests are usually sitting and rocking on the front porch, enjoying a sample of cold beer. Upon entering the foyer, you’ll see a wall with keg spouts above a bar area that sports beautiful hard wood features.
The tour is free and you get to taste every beer the company is offering that day. As you sip your craft beer you can browse the front entry to the brewery area or buy a logo glass to take home. When the guided tour begins, you will no doubt notice the cleanliness of the floors, work areas and the massive shining vats.
Crooked Letter smells of hops and barley with a hint of sweetness that is a feast for the senses. Bags of flaked oats, flaked corn, barley and rice hulls are stacked high and just waiting to be added to the process at just the right time. The color of each brew is partially determined by the malting process. (Caramelized beers are darker.) The brew masters adjust the temperature of the mash to get just the right sweetness and depth. Crooked Letter uses mostly U.S. grown hops but some is German. When the beer gets to the “Bright” tank, it is dropped to 25 degrees to get all the yeast to “fall out.” It’s at this point that the different flavors are added. For example, the GIpsy IPA uses 35 lbs. of hops in the boiler and then is dry hopped in the fermenter. The process can take hours, days or even weeks to get just the right flavor for each recipe.
With all the success of Crooked Letter in the past few months the owners are already expanding to keep up with demand. They have 3 fermenting machines and have 4 more on the way. Favorites for locals are already coming to light. The bartenders at Big O’s Sports Bar in Ocean Springs say that having the Crooked Letter brews on tap has been a huge draw. Customers rave about Mystery Romp, a chocolate and coffee flavored delight! Another popular beer is Gipsy IPA, a full-bodied, American-style, Indian pale ale with the flavors of hops and caramel. And for those of you, who like a little fruitiness in your brew, try Mariposa Pale Ale. It’s infused with mango, cilantro and jalapeno!
Free tours are every Saturday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and Tuesdays from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. with a new tour beginning every 30 minutes. All ages are welcome on the tour but only those who can prove they are 21 may drink. You can visit Paul, Wanda and their staff of friends at 1805 Government Street in Ocean Springs or email them at paul@crookedletterbrew.com or wanda@crookedletterbrew.com.
Watch your PBS station in the Fall to see a special episode that will feature Crooked Letter Brewing Company. Ask the brew masters at Crooked Letter for a list of other places on the coast where you can find their beers. Please call the brewery at 228-238-1414 if you and your group would like a special or private tour. Add a private tour to your itinerary when you’re looking for something different and fun to do.
Go To Places Monthly loves Crooked Letter. Cheers Gulf Coast!

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