Food & Drink

Craft beer isn’t the only thing brewing at this Coast brewery. Bring your appetite.

Crooked Letter Brewery and Restaurant is on Porter Avenue in Ocean Springs.
Crooked Letter Brewery and Restaurant is on Porter Avenue in Ocean Springs. Special to the Sun Herald

There is no question that Crooked Letter Brewing Co. is all about craft beer, really good craft beer in fact, but the menu is surprisingly diverse and surprisingly good.

The atmosphere is “Cheers”-like, comfortable, friendly and laid-back. You can play darts, watch a game on TV, and attend an amazing array of events, from music, performances, world food events, and some amazing tastings and pairings.

If you are like me, and enjoy small plates, Crooked Letter offers a dozen options. I sampled three appetizers that sounded irresistible, classics really — fried pickles, mushrooms and jalapenos — and was delighted with them all.

Appetizers vary in price from $4 to $10. The fried avocado slices and the Southwestern egg rolls looked great, and are some of the best sellers, but we had to save those for next time. It really would be a good idea to join a group of friends at Crooked Letter and make an evening of shared apps.

I can’t resist sausages of almost any sort, so I went for the beer brat. This one was a double, served with sautéed onions, bell peppers, house blend of mustard ($9), and with a cold beer, my choice was the Italian lager and it was very good indeed. The brats and a single appetizer would be more than enough for the average eater, especially when paired with one of the craft beers.

Check out the chalkboard that lists the beers available. The list will vary based on availability, but it is quite diverse, and the names are creative: Mystery Romp, Crooked Heffy and Angry Orchard Rose are examples. My Italian lager, Stabello, had hints of lemon, and a refreshing bitter aftertaste. Remember, when a beer sells out, a new batch must be brewed, so the beer menu will vary with almost every visit.

The main event of my visit was The Beast, a burger that will be long remembered. The burger is made with a blend of ground beef and Patton’s hot beef sausage, and layered with bacon, fried jalapenos, fried avocado and habanero mango. It was a fine burger and well worth the $15 price. If you go for The Beast, skip the small plates, unless you are absolutely famished. This burger lives up to its name.

I visited Crooked Letter with two friends, and we had a fine time. It’s a friendly place, the food is good, and you will find it as comfortable as can be. The list of events was truly impressive, so make sure to check out their Facebook page for an up-to-date schedule. Cheers!

Crooked Letter Brewery Co. and Restaurant

Where: 503 Porter Ave., Ocean Springs

Hours: noon to 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; noon to midnight Friday-Saturday

Phone: 228-235-1222