Story Jason Browne | Photograph Luisa Porter
To say the folks at Mayhew Junction Brewing Company have mastered the art of making beer sounds pretentious and puts undue pressure on them to live up to ridiculous expectations. So we won’t say that. They’re not master brewers, OK? But they can, and usually do, nail new recipes on the first try.
Read between the lines.
Founded in 2015 by two couples with decades of home-brewing trial and error between them, the Starkville brewery already boasts 20 beers on tap at its Eckford Drive location. But co-founder Chris Edwards and his partners never stop plotting their next batch.
“Years ago, it would take us two or three tries to get it right. We learned the hard way that a little (ingredients) goes a long way. These days we can dial a beer in on the first try,” says Edwards.
The “years ago” part was back when Edwards, his wife Katy, and their partners Derek Irby and Jean Mohammadi-Aragh Irby were brewing small batches at home. Back then they would share their concoctions with the other beer nuts in Starkville’s surprisingly robust home brewing culture. Now their Mayhew Mild is on tap at Dave’s Dark Horse Tavern, The Camp House, Bulldog Burger Co., Starkville Country Club, Mugshots, Buffalo Wild Wings and more.
“The Mild is an English brown mild ale. It goes really well with fried and grilled food,” says Edwards.
The young brewery will eventually expand its operation to canning beer for home consumption. For now, if you want to taste the amber rainbow you’ll have to buy a tour, where $15 will get you a souvenir glass and your choice of six samples. Edwards’s favorites include the Mayhew-Rita (a German gose), the Mayhew Crush (an orange cream ale) and the Mayhew PBC (a peanut butter-chocolate milk porter).
Meanwhile, the beer fanatics at Mayhew Junction will keep dreaming up new beers and refining existing recipes in pursuit of the beer unicorn, an elusive, transcendent experience Edwards has only encountered a time or two himself.
“There are a lot of good beers in the world, but some are just life-changing,” he says.
Tour schedule available at mayhewjunction.com