When I was in New Orleans in October I decided to take a short day-trip to Mississippi while Albert was working. I had done some research leading up to the trip but couldn’t make up my mind on where to go so I decided to just drive along the Gulf Coast until I found a place I liked. After a scenic hour and a half drive, the white sandy beaches of Gulfport beckoned me to stay. Mississippi’s second largest city was the perfect place to stop for the day.
Gulfport and Tourism
Tourism is an incredibly important sector on the Gulf Coast. Nearly 18% of all employment (1 in 5 jobs) is in the tourism sector making it the second largest employer in the region, the first being government (Go Coast 2020). In 2015, the state of Mississippi received 22.6 million visitors, of which 5.8 million or 25% visited the Gulf Coast and spent nearly $2 billion (Mississippi Business Journal).
Chandeleur Brewing Company
After the beaches, another good reason to visit Gulfport is Chandeleur Brewing Company. Chandeleur is one of about a dozen craft breweries that sprung up in Mississippi after the state raised permissible alcohol content in 2012. The passing of this law gave homebrewers like Cammack Roberds and Cain Roberds, owners of Chandeleur, the opportunity to share their passion and talent for brewing with the rest of us. What’s more, the Mississippi’s Brewers Guild notes an increase in the local economy as a result and estimates that with additional changes to the law the state could see an additional $60 million annually just from craft beer production over a five year period.
Chandeleur was the perfect place to experience Mississippi craft beer for the first time. The brewery is located in a large historic building just blocks from the beach in downtown Gulfport and provides tours and a tasting for just $10. I was lucky enough to taste all the beers they had on offer that day. My two favorites were the Surfside Wheat with Pineapple and Lil Miss Sour, both of which were perfect for a warm autumn day on the Gulf Coast.
Unfortunately, Mississippi laws don’t allow for the sale of beer for takeaway or I would have filled a crowler to bring back to Albert. As it happened though we found a few restaurants in New Orleans that carried their beer so he didn’t miss out.
Murky Waters BBQ
After the long drive and beer tasting a hearty meal was in order. At the recommendation of the server at Chandeleur, I ate at Murky Waters BBQ, just two blocks away. The house specialty was the Brisket, and while not generally a meat eater I decided to go for it with a side of sweet potato fries. I definitely made the right decision.
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