The 3rd Annual Beer Taste-Off with Raise Your Pints | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

The 3rd Annual Beer Taste-Off with Raise Your Pints

Southern Prohibition Brewery's Jack the Sipper

Southern Prohibition Brewery's Jack the Sipper Photo by Trip Burns.

For the third year straight, we invited the folks over at Raise Your Pints to come to the Jackson Free Press offices and share their insights on great craft beer. This year marks the first that multiple Mississippi breweries have a strong presence in the local market, so we decided to focus on made-in-Mississippi beers. We sampled brews from Lazy Magnolia, Lucky Town, Oxford Brewing Co. and Southern Prohibition (special thanks to Capital City Beverages for supplying many of them). Because we used all Magnolia State beers, we included a category for our tasters to include what Mississippi place, activity or event the beer brought to mind. Here's how it shook out.

BEER: Southern Prohibition Brewery's Jack the Sipper (English ESB)

Appearance

Andrew: Slight haze with a white ring of foam around glass.

Zilpha: Caramel-color, less clear.

Micah: Amber, light golden.

Aroma

Andrew: Sweet malt, slightly skunky hop aromas with some lemon.

Jonas: Noble hops and with nice malty sweetness.

Zilpha: Citrus? Mostly smells like beer.

Amber: Bitter, maybe a little molasses-y.

Taste

Andrew: Balanced on the bitter side, but not harsh. Grainy malt flavors.

Jonas: Initial hop bitterness fades quickly. Malt character is apparent.

Zilpha: Bitter, but sort of flowery?

Micah: Fair use of hops, bitter.

Body/Mouthfeel

Megan: Feels like beer—slightly over-carbonated.

Andrew: Medium-light body, puckering bitterness, medium carbonation.

Zilpha: Thick-ish.

Micah: Crisp and clean taste, light.

Haley: Has a bit of a bite.

Finish

Jenny: Clean finish.

Jonas: Really nice example of the ESB style. Easy to drink.

Micah: Bittersweet, smoky.

Haley: Don't care for the aftertaste—almost like medicine.

I would pair it with this food:

Craig: Oatmeal raisin cookies.

Ashlyn: Toasted pecans.

Jonas: Crab bisque.

Zilpha: Mexican food; a quesadilla.

Haley: Burger.

It reminds me of _:

Craig: A tire swing.

Andrew: Cricket.

Jonas: College

Zilpha: Hey Joe's patio.

Carmen: Summer.

Micah: Lakes; fishing.

BEER: Southern Prohibition Brewery's Fire ant (imperial red ale)

photo

Appearance

Megan: Mimics apple cider.

Andrew: Deep toffee brown; amber rocky head fades to a thick ring on the glass.

Haley: Molasses or syrup colored.

Carmen: Darker caramel.

Aroma

Megan: Slightly sweet—reminds me of my grandma's kitchen.

Andrew: Cinnamon sweet malt profile; piney and citrusy hop aromas.

Zilpha: Bitter.

Micah: Sweet apple scent.

Taste

Ashlyn: Clean, slight hops, wee-bit-o fruit (plum? apple?).

Andrew: Great sweet, malty backbone of toffee and unsweetened caramel. Hops are bitter and citrusy (oranges and grapefruit) and well-balanced with malt.

Zilpha: Bitter on the back of the palate but sweeter on the front.

Carmen: Apples that aren't ripe yet.

Body/Mouthfeel

Andrew: Medium body, carbonic bit, slight alcohol warmth.

Micah: Full, smooth.

Amber: Medium body.

Finish

Andrew: Finishes dry, leaves the tongue rubbery, bitterness lingers.

Jonas: Pretty crisp and sweet—could be dangerous.

Micah: Sweet, somewhat fruity, less intense.

I would pair it with this food:

Megan: PB&J.

Ashlyn: Hal & Mal's red beans and rice.

Zilpha: Home fries.

Carmen: A summer salad with apples and cranberries, or turkey and dressing.

It reminds me of _:

Craig: Picking plums beside the road.

Jenny: Fondren Public.

Andrew: Insects.

Micah: Ole Tavern; bar shows.

Carmen: Thanksgiving.

Haley: Fishing.

BEER: Oxford Brewing Company's Sorority Blonde (blonde ale)

photo

Appearance

Megan: A melted citronella candle.

Craig: Clear as a bell(e).

Andrew: Light straw color, tiny bubbles of white head fades away.

Jonas: Light yellow and great clarity.

David: A little gold with slight ruddiness.

Kathleen: Super yellow. Blonde—but fake blonde.

Aroma

Jenny: Light, sweet smell.

Andrew: Slight pils malt grainy sweetness; very light hop aroma.

Zilpha: Lemongrass.

Amber: Citrus.

David: Wheat and syrup.

Taste

Megan: A butterscotch candy.

Ashlyn: Like it belongs in a sorority house.

Andrew: Grainy sweetness, lemongrass, slightly bitter.

Jonas: Malt character comes through but slight hop.

Zilpha: Crisp. Unimpressive but drinkable.

Carmen: Sweet, crisp, citrusy.

Amber: Lemon and sweetness.

David: Very sweet and wheaty. Swheaty.

Body/Mouthfeel

Megan: Sweeeeeeet.

Jonas: Very light with medium-high carbonation.

Carmen: Light, little body.

David: Full and bubbly.

Finish

Megan: Pretty on the eyes, smooth on the finish.

Jonas: Easy drinker.

Carmen: Clean.

David: A foamy mouthfeel that lasts longer than expected.

I would pair it with this food:

Ashlyn: Taco Bell, vegetarian #1.

Jenny: Grove food.

Andrew: Anything bold. Sushi, baby!

Carmen: Philly cheesesteak.

Amber: Pork tacos.

David: Grilled chicken and veggies.

It reminds me of _:

Megan: Visiting a candy store.

Craig: Steamy days.

Ashlyn: All the things I hate.

Jenny: Misogyny.

Zilpha: Rooster's.

David: Mowing the grass.

BEER: Lucky Town Brewing Company's Pub Ale (an English mild)

photo

Appearance

Jenny: Honey color.

Andrew: Copper color, brilliant clarity, off-white head fades to light ring on glass.

Carmen: Honey.

David: A reddish gold with little head.

Aroma

Megan: Smells like well water.

Andrew: Very light sweetness with a tea-leaf character; very low hop aroma.

Zilpha: Vaguely like a mossy forest in the morning.

David: A woody scent with a slight sourness.

Taste

Megan: Slightly earthy flavor.

Andrew: Very slight bitterness, low sweetness, reminiscent of a light tea.

Zilpha: Uninspiring.

Carmen: Nutty.

Amber: Buttery and toasty.

David: A slight hoppy bitterness cloaks a round nutty taste.


Body/Mouthfeel

Megan: Smooth ... barely there.

Andrew: Medium-light body, no alcohol warmth, not puckering.

Carmen: Light.

Amber: Medium body.

Finish

Ashlyn: It's good for drinking more than one. Goes down easy.

Jenny: Mild musty aftertaste.

Jonas: Good lawn-mower beer.

Zilpha: Meh.

David: A slight sweetness at the end with the nuttiness.

I would pair it with this food:

Megan: Pistachios.

Craig: Barbecue.

Ashlyn: Pizza.

Andrew: Baked fish or mildly seasoned chicken.

David: Barbecue.

Kathleen: Pub food in England.

It reminds me of _:

Megan: Walking through the zoo.

Ashlyn: The Library Lounge at the Fairview.

Carmen: Grilling.

David: Afternoon.

BEER: Oxford Brewing Company's Mississippi Pale Ale No. 8 (American IPA)

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Appearance

Andrew: Caramel orange/brown; off-white head fades to a ring almost immediately.

Jonas: Amber, copper and clear. The head left some lacing on the glass.

Haley: Amber, caramel.

Aroma

Megan: Wilson's leather.

Andrew: Sweet malt-like toffee; very light hop bitterness and hop aromas of grapefruit.

Zilpha: Beery, a bit like grass?

Carmen: Hoppy, grapefruit-y/smells like defeat.

Taste

Ashlyn: Slight grassy hop with biscuity hint of caramel.

Andrew: Apricot sweetness and hop aromas; slight bitterness.

Zilpha: Like an IPA.

Carmen: Citrusy, bitter, malty/a less intense IPA.

Body/Mouthfeel

Craig: Nice introduction into IPAs.

Jenny: Acidic, bitter, very bold.

Andrew: Medium-low body; slight alcohol warmth.

Micah: Medium body.

Finish

Andrew: Finishes dry, slightly puckering from hop bitterness, but just enough sweetness to round it out.

Carmen: Bitter aftertaste, like after an MSU victory.

Amber: Fingernail polish with a hint of sweetness.

I would pair it with this food:

Megan: A Primanti Brother's sandwich ... don't know what that is? Look it up!

Craig: Grilled bass.

Jenny: Slice of Sal and Mookie's pizza.

Andrew: Grilled cheese and pan-fried bologna.

Zilpha: Potato soup with lots of onion.

Carmen: Parmesan-crusted tilapia.

It reminds me of _:

Megan: Playing Tarzan on the rope swing.

Andrew: Skinny-dipping.

Jonas: Brad Lovejoy's house.

Carmen: TSUN #hailstate.

Haley: People who like IPA.

Amber: Going to a bar.

BEER: Southern Prohibition Brewery's 2014 IPA (India Pale Ale, part of the Cicada seasonal series)

photo

Appearance

Megan: Cloudy butterscotch.

Andrew: Dark orange/ light amber with poor clarity (hop haze). Off-white head is profound and persists.

Zilpha: Amber, more opaque.

Haley: Dark orange-y color.

Aroma

Craig: Oh the hops!

Andrew: Holy hopheads, Batman! Skunky, lemony, pink grapefruit and grass, slight grainy sweetness in the background.

Zilpha: Bitter but sort of citrusy.

Carmen: Grapefruit, lemony.

Taste

Craig: It's trying to wreck my palate.

Andrew: Heavy, malty backbone got immediately overtaken by hop flavors of orange zest, sweet grapefruit and bitterness.

Zilpha: Strong! Still a little citrus.

Haley: Citrus taste, too. It's strong like IPAs always are but not overbearing.

Body/Mouthfeel

Jenny: Metallic, dry, delicious.

Andrew: Medium-low body, slight alcohol warmth.

Micah: Stronger aftertaste, light flavor.

Haley: Kind of light for an IPA.

Finish

Jenny: Burnt finish.

Jonas: Everything I'd want in an IPA, intense hop aroma and enough ABR to back it up.

Zilpha: It's all I can taste now...

Amber: Flowers and oranges, hint of bitterness.

I would pair it with this food:

Craig: Crawfish or fried cicadas.

Ashlyn: Chicken and sausage gumbo.

Jenny: Fat Mama's tomatoes from Natchez, Miss.

Micah: Fish.

Zilpha: A burger.

It reminds me of _:

Megan: Walking through a freshly cut hay field.

Craig: Locusts.

Jenny: Drinking on the Babalu patio.

Jonas: Brewing on Saturdays.

Micah: Eating a meal on the porch.

Carmen: Beer snobs.

BEER: Lazy Magnolia's Lazy Saison (saison/farmhouse style ale)

photo

Appearance

Andrew: Mostly clear, wheat-gold, white head sticks around.

Carmen: Light like apple juice.

David: Hazy straw gold.

Aroma

Ashlyn: Floral/fruits/slightly banana-ish.

Andrew: Spicy phenols of clove, a little smoke; slight earthy hop aromas; a little grainy malt in the background.

Zilpha: Green apples.

Carmen: Malty, fruity, orange.

David: Citrus, grapes, tart apple.

Taste

Megan: Hint of granny smith apples with the buzz of a honeybee and a snap of clove.

Ashlyn: Earthy but not farmhouse-funky.

Jenny: Belgian flavor.

Jonas: Fruity, slightly spicy and alcoholic.

Zilpha: Like potpourri smells.

Carmen: Floral, orange, bitter, earthy. Doesn't taste as strong as it is.

David: Light but full, with a hint of pepper and spice. Ends with unexpected bitterness.

Kathleen: Very clean, crisp, herby spices/clove.

Body/Mouthfeel

Megan: Tangy and wonderful.

Andrew: Light body, high carbonation gives bite. No alcohol warmth, despite the high ABV.

David: Excessive bubble and a rounded feel.

Finish

Jenny: Herby, spice finish.

Jonas: Very drinkable and dangerous at this level of ABV.

David: Fades quickly with a slight bubbly feel remaining for a time.

I would pair it with this food:

Craig: Crawfish.

Jenny: Roasted chicken breast from Char.

Andrew: CHEESE (smoked gouda, bacon cheddar, gruyere ...)

Jonas: Seafood gumbo.

Zilpha: A chicken fajita.

Kathleen: Lamb? Something with rosemary.

It reminds me of _:

Megan: A breezy summer evening sitting on a rocker swatting the mosquitoes.

Andrew: Dusk.

Jonas: A low-humidity day.

Zilpha: Christmas.

Carmen: The coast.

Amber: Crawfish boils under the carport at my house.

BEER: Lazy Magnolia's Song of the South (sour)

photo

Appearance

Craig: Clear as PBR.

Andrew: Golden straw, slight haze, off-white head slowly fades.

Zilpha: Wheat-colored, clear.

David: Very hazy. A light honey color.

Aroma

Megan: Panera Bread soup.

Andrew: Pils-malt sweetness, slight funk (like aged cheese).

Jonas: Quite strange but a nice counter-balance to a hoppy IPA.

Amber: Chicken noodle soup.

David: Round sour smell. Some apple, some chalky scent.

Kathleen: Seawater/brine/pickling juice.

Taste

Megan: Like a salty, sweaty armpit. (I imagine, anyway—haven't ever tasted one.)

Ashlyn: Light on the sour, apples, a little barnyard/horse blanket.

Andrew: Acetic sourness (vinegar-like); slight malt background, sourness just dominates.

Zilpha: Like burping up pickle juice (vinegar).

Kathleen: Grows on me the more I try it.

Body/Mouthfeel

Jenny: Hot, burns a bit.

Andrew: Very light body with major carbonic bit. No alcohol flavors or warmth.

Carmen: Light and crispy.

David: Puckery and light.

Finish

Megan: Mouth-puckering, tongue-curling, slightly salty sour beer.

Andrew: Dry, but not puckering.

Zilpha: SO different on different parts of my tongue; awful on the front but really crisp and "fresh" on the back.

I would pair it with this food:

Craig: Fresh-picked Mississippi blackberries.

Ashlyn: (I'd) use it to make a vinaigrette.

Andrew: London broil marinated in balsamic vinaigrette and peppercorns.

Carmen: Two ibuprofen and a gallon of water, maybe a mid-morning nap.

David: Mehhhh ...

It reminds me of _:

Megan: Everything I don't like.

Ashlyn: Will Brown (a brewer at Lazy Mag).

Andrew: All the sours we can't get.

Carmen: Hangovers.

Amber: My grandmother's pantry.

Meet Our Experts

Raise Your Pints President Craig Hendry, Jonas Outlaw, Andrew Oswalt, Megan Albright, Jenny Naylor and Ashlyn Harmon made up the Raise Your Pints team. Mississippi Craft Beer Week is July 20-26th and is sure to include a beer dinner at Sal & Mookie's New York Pizza and Ice Cream Joint (565 Taylor St.). Visit raiseyourpints.com and follow the group on Facebook for more information.

*This story has been edited to reflect factcheck changes. Some of the names of the breweries were incorrect in the issue. Luck Towns should be Lucky Town Brewing Company's; Lazy Magnolias should be Lazy Magnolia's, Southern Prohibition Brewerys should be Southern Prohibition Brewery's; Oxford Brewing Co.s should be Oxford Brewing Company's. Jackson Free Press apologizes for these errors.

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