How did your interest in craft beer begin?
I started getting bored with beer being manufactured by the big beer companies. The beer started tasting bored & bland, nothing to surprise my taste buds.
In 2001, I was out with co-workers from California, we decided to try a bottle of Lagunitas IPA. At that time, craft beer was fairly unknown in MS and the bottle of Lagunitas IPA was reasonably priced (.99). This was my first experience with craft beer and the rest is history.
How did 17% Drip get started?
I always had a dream of owning my own business. I wanted to invest in a concept/business that I loved and would do for free. 17% Drip is a concept that came to life over 7 years ago after traveling the world working and visiting countless brewpubs, breweries, and taprooms sampling different types of craft beers. Within that time, I experienced a style of beer called English Barley Wine and fell in love with the barley wine style beer. My favorite Barley Wine beer clocks in at 17% ABV… hence the name 17% Drip. This beer was served in a specialty glass and came with its own merchandise. After that experience, I noticed that specialty-made glassware & merchandise was an untapped market, at that time. So, the concept of collaborating with breweries and brewpubs to make specialty-made glassware and merchandise was a great opportunity to highlight their beers and 17% Drip.
What’s next for 17% Drip?
I will be increasing my collaboration with well-known breweries and wineries, having merchandise in other stores outside of the breweries, participating in more festivals and creating apparel with musicians.
What does the craft beer industry do well? What needs work?
I love that the craft beer industry welcomes newcomers to the industry with open arms. The craft beer industry is a community of brothers & sisters who love to share their experiences with beer. It is a community that supports & gives to others without expecting anything in return as well as support many causes. We are a family.
Yes, the craft beer community is a family of different races, ethnicities, genders, cultures, etc…However, I feel that we need to have a better understanding/more education of all the many differences and complexities within the community. More understanding of what it means to use racist, homophobic, male chauvinist terminology and/or actions that come across as offensive to the many communities within the craft beer industry. Like in all families, there are times when you say and do things unintentionally but your brother or sister should be able to have a conversation with you when such moments occur and there should be the openness to learn.
What are your favorite and least favorite beer styles?
My favorite beers are Barley Wine / BA Barley Wine, Stouts / BA Stouts, DDH IPA’s, and Crispy Boys AKA Pale Ales.
My least favorite beers are Brut IPA’s, Seltzer Beer, Brown Ales, Smoked Beer, and Pumpkin Beer.
What beers have you enjoyed lately?
Lately I’ve been loving all the beers from Corporate Ladder Brewing Company and anyone that makes a good crisp Pilsners and Fruited Berliner Weisse.
What are a few of your favorite Instagram accounts?
I have a lot of OG accounts that I love but these are some of my new favorite accounts:
What’s your favorite local brewery?