President of Beers: #41

Southern Pecan: Lazy Magnolia Brewing, Kiln, Mississippi

We're drinking the flagship craft beer from every state in the Union, counting down from 50-1, to find which is home to the President of Beers.

#41: Southern Pecan: Lazy Magnolia Brewing, Kiln, Mississippi

State: For a full list of all the love/hate elements of the Magnolia State, you'd have to sit a spell. It gave us William Faulkner, Medgar Evers, Muddy Waters and Elvis Presley. But, then again, it also gave us Confederate president Jefferson Davis, Trent Lott, and Britney Spears. Notably, it was the last state in the union to repeal Prohibition.

Brewery: Lazy Magnolia sold its first beer in 2005, becoming the state's first brewery. Less than a year later, it was destroyed by Katrina. Today, joined by a brewpub in Hattiesburg, it remains the only production brewery.

Beer: Sadly, the samples of Lazy Magnolia's Southern Pecan were soured by infection or the tribulations of time and travel. Both bottles, which were provided by the brewery, yielded noticeably spoiled beer. But it's generally a go-to beer: a pleasant brown ale with a Goldilocks amount of real, roasted pecans. When in Mississippi, New Orleans, or throughout the Deep South order it.

Difficulty of obtaining in Oregon: Moderately hard. Readily found throughout the Deep South but most of those states don't allow alcohol to be shipped.

Average score: 56.25 (Tied with tomorrow's beer: check the bottom of this post for how the tie-breaker test.)

New Orleans nabs the headlines when it comes to hurricanes and flooding, but a mere six miles from the Gulf is the small town of Kiln from whence the state's flagship beer hails. And Isaac just drowned their sorrows, so we wish them Godspeed in their recovery.

Mississippi gets a bad rap. It's citizens are the most impoverished and obese in the union. But, from the beaches of Biloxi to that famous crossroads in Clarksdale where Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil, there's a lot to like about Mississippi. Without the Mississippi Delta, music would just plain suck. They gave us the Mississippi Mud Pie. It's been a hotbed of many things—but craft brewing isn't one of them. Two of the most significant reasons are that until July, it held the lowest legal limit for alcoholic content in the country (6 percent alcohol by volume, now raised to 10 percent) and it's one of two states holding out to see who can be the last to legalize homebrewing. (Neighboring Alabama is also one of worst states to be a craft beer fan.)

But Mississippians aren't hopless. Credit Lazy Magnolia founders Leslie and Mark Henderson for pioneering craft brewing here. Southern Pecan was the first beer ever to use pecans, part of the local terroir. And their Jefferson Stout incorporates locally grown sweet potatoes. It's crazy good. Their plight and fight has been abetted by Raise Your Pints, a state-wide organization instrumental in raising the legal limit for alcohol content in beer brewed or even made available in state. 

Here's a great video about their efforts to augment its beer culture.

Here's a video that highlights other aspects about its culture.

Tie-breaker: Any time you average out results there is a chance of a tie. Many competitive events end in ties–in soccer some are even deemed “thrilling”–but not the President of Beers. In the same way that we cannot allow a tie for the presidency, there cannot be a tie for 40th place. To break this up, we used the only logical tie-breaker: a battle royale between the competing beers’ state animal. Sorry, Mississippi, but Flipper never really stood a chance.

Click on a state to read more President of Beers posts: