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Brewery Will Convert To Brewpub

After almost four years of distributing the locally brewed beer across Mississippi and surrounding states, Yalobusha Brewing Company will convert to a brewpub this summer. Co-owner Andy O’Bryan reported that building the brand will help attract customers to the Main Street brewery, where the beer will be offered exclusively with the change.

By David Howell

Editor


WATER VALLEY – Yalobusha Brewing Company made headlines across the state late last week with the announcement that the Main Street microbrewery will be converted to a brewpub. The change will take the company’s products off the shelves at retail outlets across Mississippi as the locally brewed beer will soon be sold directly to customers exclusively at the Main Street location.

Yalobusha Brewing Company co-owner Andy O’Bryan told the Herald that a restaurant, coffee bar and vintage arcade will be added inside the brewery building.  O’Bryan said his company is partnering with David Dixon of Oxford on the restaurant. 

“He is going to put a second brick and mortar location inside our building,” O’Bryan explained, citing Dixon’s longtime restaurant and catering experience. “We have been working with Dixon and contractors to figure out the best placement inside the building.”

In anticipation of the change, O’Bryan added that distribution ceased earlier in the spring to allow time for Yalobusha Brewing Com-pany products to sell out at retail locations across Mississippi and other states. He also noted this will be the first brewery in Mississippi to transition to a brewpub.

“This will enable us to stay small but to have 100 percent of our sales be direct to consumer,” O’Bryan explained. He cited the strong local support in the decision to make the change.

“This reflects the growth of our area and the huge local support we have received on our weekend tours. Many of the tap-room exclusive selections you may have tried will now become beers that you can order by the pint or get a growler to go. We will also be announcing several ticketed events throughout the year that will celebrate the release of our limited release beers, including the very much sought after Testify among other barrel aged products,” O’Bryan noted.

The change follows a new law passed during the 2017 Legislative Session that allows small craft breweries to sell limited amounts of light wine or beer they produce on the premise, starting July 1. House Bill 1322 allows microbreweries in the state to sell directly to consumer as well as selling to other retail outlets. The new law also includes brewpubs in the direct sales to customers, setting production limits at no more than 75,000 gallons of light wine or beer per year. Brewpubs are not allowed to sell beer for off-premises consumption in a packaged form. The new law does allow an exception for selling beer to fill growlers, a term used to define a sealed container that holds up to 128 ounces of light wine or beer that the customers can take home.

O’Bryan said his company is shooting for a summer opening date for the brewpub and will be open six days a week.

“When we started Yalobusha Brewing, the goal was to bring fresh, exceptionally made local beer to north Mississippi, to our friends and neighbors,” he added. “It was also extremely important to use the brewery to partner with the community through giving to Mississippi non-profits and charities: adding to-date, YaloBrew has donated over $500,000 to these charitable partners,” O’Bryan said.

“We choose to be great, rather than big,” he added.

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