Jacktober Fest

by Zachary Smith
arts & life editor

photo courtesy NatallieMaynor

photo courtesy Natallie Maynor

If you consult the history of contemporary Mississippi law, brewers and beer drinkers have made serious headway. From the proliferation of higher-alcohol-content beers in 2012 and the lift of the ban on home brewing earlier this year, the future for Mississippi’s own beer looks brighter with a fuller body each year. Reveling in the aftermath of these changes are the men and women who put on Jacktoberfest, a German-style beer festival, each year.

According to Stephen Barnett, one of the founders of Jacktoberfest, it all started as a “bet among friends” who wanted to find a platform for Mississippi beer. They were surprised to see the numbers who came out to the event. Eight years later, that event has grown to attract a crowd of thousands onto Congress Street to celebrate Mississippi beer. The event lasts from 11 a.m. to
11 p.m. and features 20 beers with 16 on tap. The real local beer event, however, takes place between 5 and 7 p.m.: festival goers pay $15 for a pint glass and try a massive assortment of craft beer ranging from small companies to people brewing out of their home’s closet. They may not all be winners, but attendees get to try the full spectrum of Mississippi home-brew.

This is not to say that beer is all Jacktoberfest has to offer.  The event also has full German beer garden fare featuring brats and sauerkraut. They are also bringing in Superband Wasteland, TBird and the Breaks, and the Dime Bros to play music
all day.

If you are in town Friday, Oct. 18, come downtown to Congress Street between Amite and Capitol. Remember admission is free. Come have a good time.