Hattiesburg brewery seeing more business with new state bill

Hattiesburg brewery seeing more business with new state bill
Southern Prohibition. Source: WDAM

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Mississippi's so-called "Beer Bill" is helping business at Southern Prohibition in Hattiesburg.

"It is incredibly exciting to see people come in here excited about the product, excited about the story and just seeing the place and seeing how it's made," said Southern Prohibition Vice President Emily Curry.  "Just drinking it here, it's been incredible."

On July 1, 2017, House Bill 1322 went into effect.  That bill, passed earlier in the year, allows breweries to sell their products directly to the customer.  Prior to that bill, breweries were required to sell a tour of the location with a limit of six, six-ounce samples for customers.

"It's been a big (revenue) uptick, we've had a lot of people come from out of town. New Orleans, Mobile, all over.  It's been really great," Curry said.

Curry said the bill has taken some stress out of the brewing business, with Southern Prohibition now able to get instant feedback from customers about new batches before sending it out to restaurants or stores.

"It's changed a lot, we are still releasing beers out into the market and everything," said Curry.  "But, just being able to brew a beer and not have to worry about the logistics of it and have it right here in our house, and see how people respond to it, it's been really awesome."

Southern Prohibition has also extended the hours for its taproom, now open on Thursdays and Fridays from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and then on Saturday from noon to 10 p.m.  Prior to that bill, the taproom was only open for about five hours on a Saturday.

"It makes it a lot more easy when you can buy the beer and not have to go to the gas station, track down what flavor you want, what type you want. Everything is all here, it's on tap, it's an awesome place," said Nathan Herrin, enjoying a Saturday with friends at the taproom on Mobile Street.

Herrin said that visit was the third time he had been to Southern Prohibition in the last two weeks.

"I think the location is great, what they have set up, a couple games and a couple of pool games," said Herrin.  "It's just one of those places it's easy to grab a couple people, go out and be social."

House Bill 1322 limits sales of a product to the equivalent of two cases in a 24-hour period to individuals.

Curry said they have a lot of events planned moving forward, as well as new releases and charity events.  You can stay up to date with Southern Prohibition's latest news here.