It’s been a long process since they brewed their first beer, but the four founders of Biloxi Brewing Co. are almost moved into their permanent brewery in Biloxi.
To get their craft beers into the hands of thirsty customers, the partners contracted to brew batches at Lazy Magnolia Brewing Co. in Kiln. But soon they’ll be turning out product from 186 Bohn St. The brewery will be in what had been the Professional Drug pharmacy warehouse, a short walk from MGM Stadium between Howard and Division Streets.
“Everything we bought for (Biloxi Brewing Co.) is brand new, from American Beer Equipment in Lincoln, Nebraska,” said Mark Cowley, co-owner and co-founder.
“We’re projected to do 24,000 barrels our first year, and we will eventually start ramping that up,” Cowley said. That equates to about 48,000 half-barrel kegs.
After three years, Biloxi Brewing plans to install more fermenters and again expand production.
The 11,000-square-foot converted warehouse will have offices and a laboratory for trying out yeasts and test brews. There’s also an old vault, which Biloxi Brewing plans to convert into a barrel-aging room.
Also planned is a 100-square-foot tasting room and 950 square feet of cooler space for storing beer before it is shipped out.
Cowley and the other three co-owners — Carlon Broome, Mark Murray and Donnie Richards — closed on the building in June, and started tearing down walls on Independence Day weekend.
“We started with a solid wall separating the two halves of the building so we had to bust down that wall,” Broome said. “We had the cooler put in in early November.”
The brewery’s equipment consists of four 40-barrel fermenters and one 10-barrel fermenter. They will also have a fully automated canning line that will operate at 15 cans per minute, with a person at the end building six packs and pallets for shipping.
Biloxi Brewing plans to release the Biloxi pale ale and its top-selling Beach Blonde ale, with the rest of its line-up to follow.
The brewery plans a trial opening in December and a grand opening is set for early 2017. As dates have not yet been set, checking in with Biloxi Brewing’s Facebook page will be the best way to find out how to attend these events.