When Paul and Wanda Blacksmith decided to take on the beer brewing industry and start up the Crooked Letter Brewery in Ocean Springs, they didn’t expect to be welcomed into the community by such open arms. Paul Blacksmith, the owner of Crooked Letter Brewery, says, "To have someone like the Beau Rivage and MGM come to you and say, ‘How would you feel brewing some beer exclusively for us?’ that’s pretty big." The Beau Rivage, wanting to get back into the brewing business, asked the Blacksmiths to come up with three craft beers to introduce into the casino world. Bruce Cartwright, the Beverage Manager at the Beau Rivage, says, "We wanted to do local business as well as filling that void for craft beer. It’s catching on and it’s a big market for us."
Those three beers were finally unveiled to the public tonight. The beers are: the Sheep Shank Ale, a light tasting beer; the Double Half Hitch IPA, with its hoppy taste; and Anchor Bend Stout, your more traditional, heavy, dark beer. Blacksmith also says, "What’s great about it is that we’ve been into craft beer for over ten years, and we’ve watched it grow into Mississippi and close in on it." The Blacksmiths say its mind blowing that such a huge corporation, like MGM, is willing to give local businesses a boost. Blacksmith closes, "I just think it’s awesome that they’re taking hold of a local business, just a little bitty old brewery. You know, it’s Wanda, myself, and two employees." The Beau Rivage and the Crooked Letter Brewery hope to expand their products to other MGM sites this year. You can also taste tonight's newly unveiled beers at Crooked Letter Brewery in Ocean Springs.