The sampling of beer and food doesn’t need much cause for support.<>But as in years past, when that cause is for arts and education the glasses are raised and bites are devoured in the annual Miss-I-Sippin’ fundraiser.
The event, which benefits the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council and the University of Mississippi Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management program, will be held from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday at the Powerhouse Community Arts Center.
Food creations from NHM chef Beth Pace and the students of the hospitality management program will be paired with local and regional brews.
A partnership with the Mississippi Brewers Guild will put more of an emphasis on the Magnolia State, as beers from all Mississippi breweries, including Yalobusha Brewing Co., Southern Prohibition, Lazy Magnolia, Lucky Town and more, will be showcased.
“We’re going to have a Mississippi craft brew area that’s focused on Mississippi craft brews,” said Wayne Andrews, YAC director. “They’re going to bring things that maybe are not out in stores or things that they’ve been working on. We’re not going for, ‘Oh, it’s a hundred beers from around the world.’ We’re really going for, ‘All the food’s from Mississippi, it’s been made by Mississippi people and we want to focus on beers of that nature.’”
Miss-I-Sippin’ will even mark the debut of a brew from a successful local restauranteur.
“We will be debuting Snopes Family Pilsner – which is a collaborative beer we did with Chef John Currence. It is a Czech Pilsner, which is very crisp and dry. We started working on this project in December and are very excited to launch the beer at Miss-I-Sippin,’” said Andy O’Bryan, co-owner of Yalo Brewing and MBG member.
Andrews said their will be “traditional” beer offerings as well, as Abita and Clark Beverage Group are set to take part.
Beer is not the only spotlight for the state as Mississippi-based companies Polk’s Meat, Delta Pride Catfish, Gulf Select Shrimp and Sanderson Farms, along with several other local and regional businesses, donated items for the food pairings which include shrimp and grits, fish tacos and chicken wings to name a few.
“This event helps us showcase great things in Mississippi for two great causes (arts and education),” said Jeremy Roberts, NHM instructor. “As a department, we definitely like having our students involved in various aspects of the town and university so this helps them see new things and to gain the hands-on experience they need for the industry.”
Terri Massey, Wild Goose Gardens owner, has teamed together with Yalo to create a beer float using her Bliss Handcrafted Ice Cream.
“They’ve been meeting with the brewers and they’ve been creating an ice cream that’s flavor profile will complement the beer,” Andrews said.
As much as the event educates those in attendance on different beers and food pairings, Miss-I-Sippin’ also offers hands-on experience for Roberts’ students.
“Many of our students majoring in hospitality management and dietetics/nutrition have not been involved in planning an event such as this, so we are able to give them this opportunity, in more of an educational environment before they venture out and do this professionally,” Roberts said.
Now in its seventh year, the move from a one-night event to an all-day affair is a direct result of the growth in popularity for the fundraiser, which generally sells out.
Plans are already in the works for next year’s Miss-I-Sippin’ Andrews said.
“Our goal for 2016 is that it will become a two-day event,” Andrews said. “We’ll have a brewers’ dinner with a guest celebrity chef on Friday night, so the brewers will make a special, select small batch that only if you buy that ticket will you get to try. You get to sit with the brewers, you’ll actually get to learn about their product. You’ll become buddies with the guys who run the fun breweries and the people doing interesting things and the chef will balance the menu to that. Then we’ll go to Saturday to our food and beer-pairing experience.”
Tickets are $55 and may be purchased at the Powerhouse or Lenoir Hall on campus, by calling 662-236-6429 or online at www.oxfordarts.com.
Beer and food pairings will be served from noon to 4 p.m., while beer and live music will be offered from noon to 6 p.m.