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Beer of the Week: Mississippi Mud

Unrepentant beer drinkers, rejoice! Each week, Clean Plate Charlie

will select one craft or import beer and give you the lowdown on it:

How does it taste? What should you drink it with? Where can you find

it? But mostly, it's all about the love of the brew. If you have a beer

you'd like featured in Beer of the Week, let us know via a comment.

There are times when cheap beer is in order -- preferably in large quantities and preferably ice cold to mask any errant flavors. Cans are fine in this scenario, but bonus points are given to any beer presented in jug form.

Yes, beer in a jug. This is the major drawing point behind Mississippi Mud, a quasi-black and tan that combines both English porter and European pilsner. Well, the jug, and its cheap price. At less than $4 for a quarter of a gallon of brew, Mississippi Mud is only slightly more expensive than the real thing.

But how does it taste?

Short story: Not bad.

Brewed by the mysterious and elusive

Mississippi Brewing Co. of Utica, New York (try that one on for

size), this "black & tan" is not so much a typical variation of the

English pub drink as much as a medium-bodied, malty sweet amber with a light dose of what tastes like noble hops (a typical European

pilsner hop). It's not thick per se and is rather drinkable, with a slightly oily finish.

Tracing its history is like a daytime soap. But a little digging on the net yields rumors that the

Mississippi Brewing Co. is actually owned by the same people who

make Arizona Iced Tea. According to Beer Advocate, however, the product

is contract-brewed by Utica brewer Matt Brewing Co., makers of Saranac.

Anyway, the beer isn't horrible, as I said. It's actually fairly decent

with sweet barbecue or burgers or rich foods of the ilk. And you get to

keep the kitschy jug when you're done. What to do with it? I don't

know... the sorts of things jugs are good for: Making 'shine. Collecting rainwater. Or starting up a jug band, perhaps.

Anyhow, pick up Mississippi Mud at Publix and other fine retailers.

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John Linn

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