Mississippi is a “Bud Light state,” not a craft beer state, said Derric Curran, the owner of Mississippi Alehouse in Olive Branch. 

“The laws in Mississippi are tricky when it comes to having a brewery,” Curran said. “The laws are kind of difficult, so there aren’t very many in the state, and the ones that were in the state, a lot of them are shut down now, so there’s only a few.” 

Mississippi laws have long prevented breweries from flourishing in the state. Until 2012, people had to travel outside the state to sample beers with higher alcohol content and it wasn’t until 2017 that a law passed allowing small breweries to sell beer on the premises. A 2019 article by the magazine Beer Connoisseur ranked Mississippi as the worst state in the nation when it came to the beer scene and the number of breweries.

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Mississippi Ale House owner Derric Curran sits in the indoor seating area Thursday, June 30, 2022, at Mississippi Ale House in Olive Branch.

Despite this, Curran opened Mississippi Alehouse in 2017 and has seen success, celebrating the breweries fifth birthday in June. 

“We opened up as a craft beer bar with 11 tabs,” Curran said. “Basically, this whole thing started because there wasn’t a cool place to go hang out and have a good beer in Olive Branch…We just did it because there wasn’t one. There wasn’t one here, so we did it.” 

Mississippi Ale House features a front and back patio as well as an indoor seating area Thursday, June 30, 2022, in Olive Branch.

The brewery consists of a small dining room with a stage for trivia on Tuesday nights and music on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. There is a large back patio, where almost everything filling it, such as the covered tables and chairs, has been donated by citizens who wanted the brewery to succeed. A door connects Mississippi Alehouse with Olive Branch Pizza Company, allowing customers to walk between the businesses freely. 

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