"It's so much more than a beer. It's really a comeback moment," said Beau Rivage spokeswoman Mary Cracchiolo-Spain.
The Beau Rivage went to the Legislature to get permission for microbreweries and was the first to operate in Mississippi. Copper brew kettles from Germany were installed at the Coast Brewing Co. at the Beau and customers watched the brewers making Biloxi Blonde and six other beers.
"Biloxi Blonde was one of our top-selling beers," said Cracchiolo-Spain.
Brewmaster Brian Bush won the silver medal in the German-Style Kolsch category at the 2004 Great American Beer Festival in Denver, beating Anheuser-Busch's Michelob Amber Bock and other national contenders. When customers kept asking for Biloxi Blonde, the Beau Rivage collaborated with Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company in Hancock County to bring it back.
Along with the brewing equipment, the recipe for Biloxi Blonde was lost to Katrina. Magnolia head brewer Gar Hatcher tasted Biloxi Blonde years ago and with that inspiration he recreated the process and the taste.
Biloxi Blonde, Beau Rivage’s top selling microbrew beer pre-Hurricane Katrina, will be available to guests once again as a result of a partnership between MGM Resorts International and Mississippi’s Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company.
“We are very excited to collaborate with an outstanding local company so that we may bring Biloxi Blonde back in the bottle and on tap throughout the resort,” said Beau Rivage Executive Director of Food & Beverage Ron E. Hall. “Hurricane Katrina may have taken our collection of copper-clad brew tanks and the popular beers they produced, but it didn’t stop us from wanting to give our customers what they request; thanks to our partnership with Lazy Magnolia, we’ve now come full circle. We can please long-time fans, as well as give new customers a chance to try Biloxi Blonde for the first time.”
Before the August 2005 storm, Biloxi Blonde and six other beers were brewed on site at Beau Rivage’s Coast Brewing Company, Mississippi’s first microbrewery. The brewpub was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina and when the resort reopened following a year-long renovation, Coast returned as a nightclub without the brewery.
Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company’s interpretation of Biloxi Blonde is nearly indistinguishable from the original. Biloxi Blonde is a German-style Kolsch beer that features American and European malts for depth of flavor, exceptional drinkability and a refreshing finish. “We had always admired Beau Rivage’s brewmaster Brian Bush and wanted to stay as true to his award-winning recipe as possible with the brewing equipment we use,” said Leslie Henderson, co-founder/brewer of Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company, “the focus remains on quality.”