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Craft Beer Producers In The Great State Of Mississippi - Red Panther Brewing Company

“Humankind was built on beer. From the world’s first writing to its first laws, in rituals social, religious, and political, civilization is soaked in beer.” –William Bostwick

Clarksdale, MS - Red Panther Brewing


Clarksdale, Mississippi, is home to over 21 music festivals annually. From the Juke Joint, a celebration of Blues and Roots music. To the Mighty Roots with a mix of Americana, Blues, and Indie, located at Stovall Farms. Clarksdale, Mississippi, is 90 minutes south of Memphis, Tennessee, and home to music greats like Sam Cooke and Muddy Waters. Clarksdale is known for its fantastic wildlife and migratory ecosystem: the Delta Yazoo Basin, North America’s most significant wetlands and migration corridor for American waterfowl. The Yazoo Delta Basin has one of the richest bottomland hardwood forests. Bottomland forests typically grow in areas prone to flooding near streamside woodlands woven with oak, maple, ash, cypress, and tupelo. Today, Clarksdale is home to a new local brewing company named after its heritage, Red Panther Brewing.

Red Panther Brewing Company Founded 2022

Red Panther Brewing Company

In 2022, friends sat down to discuss what it would take to build a Nano Brewery in Clarksdale, Mississippi. The plan began to determine if building a local brewery could succeed in Northern Mississippi. That group of friends, embodying the soul of a start-up, set about the journey of market research when they decided to create a brewing company offering local beer in one of North America's most environmentally diverse areas. From there, the genesis of naming their brewery was soon derived from the Native American language of the Choctaw: the name Coahoma (co-ah-oma) means red-colored panther. This was from the passion of connecting the brewery's name to the land and the people from the land. And so it was named - Red Panther Brewing Company. That Fall, the team of Ann Williams, Chuck Rutledge, Amos Harvey, and Ned Silverman launched their brewery in planning.

Delta Kölsch

By the end of 2022, Amos and the team knew they needed to secure a contract brewer. They also knew the days of the stigma of contract brewing were over and were ripe for a partner willing to brew a few test market batches to complete their proof of concept by Spring 2023; just in time for Clarksdale’s 20th Juke Joint Festival. So, Amos contacted the owners, Ryan & Blair, of Soul and Spirits Brewery in Memphis, Tennessee, to explore synergies on making The Delta Kölsch for the upcoming festival. Together, they brewed 18 sixtels and 40 cases of the Delta Kölsch. Within four hours, they sold out! Red Panther Brewing Company’s first proof of concept succeeded, and they continue to build on that momentum. As a frame of reference, the size of a beer barrel equals 3,968 fluid ounces. Once the team could measure success and profitability from their first proof of concept, they dove into the second, right behind it.

Clarksd' Ale

Amos called upon his friends, Will Goodwin and Clark Ortkiese, at Cross Town Brewing Company for this next brewing project, and the team doubled down on brewing production and again sold out. This time, they also brewed Clarksd’ Ale (Extra Pale Ale) from there, produced 20 barrels, and it continues to build. Keep an eye out for an Amber Ale toward the end of this year, near the Holiday Season.

Clarksdale Seed and Feed

Red Panther’s Footprint

Red Panther Brewing Company's 12-month plan includes breaking ground on a brick-and-mortar site this Fall. By 2024, they should be in total production on this next iteration. Amos Harvey is a trained brewer and head of business development. He has a history of working in brewing and music, from tour manager at Fat Possum Records to running Yalobusha Brewing Co. back in 2012. His ability to manage and build momentum shines through; speaking pridefully about his experiences and desire to grow and develop Red Panther Brewing Company. Today, Red Panther Brewing Company is in 62 Northern Mississippi bars, restaurants, and retail stores.

Proud Larrys

The top five customers are: Proud Larry’s Bar is based in Oxford, Mississippi, with great food, weekly entertainment, and live music. City Grocery Restaurant Group, run by John Currence, offers pork belly and crawfish jambalaya to cider-spiked duck breast. Pairing Red Panther Brewing Company beer with rustic and delicious food. Larson’s Cash Saver, located at 1936 University Ave. Oxford carries Red Panther Brewing Company cans. Bulldog Burger Co. was founded by a local family with the purpose of creating a community with burgers, good beer, and friends. The Collective Seed & Supply Company is an independent general store in Clarksdale sponsored by Coahoma Collective. Their sister business, Travelers Hotel Clarksdale, Mississippi, is a thriving community hub and one of the area's best lobby bars, making it right-sized for impromptu events and cocktail parties.


What It Takes To Start A Brewery

Start-up plans usually begin with how much it will cost to prove your concept. Then, choose a brewery format and create a business plan. Amos mentioned it is always essential to ensure the management of federal and state regulatory filings. Consider licenses and taxes, and file for a DBA. The professionals recommend taking it one step at a time, growing with each successful milestone. Brewery equipment depends on the initial production size and whether you buy it used or new. For example, the benefits of buying a new brewhouse system come with warranties and technical support. You can purchase these systems, ranging from 1BBL to 10BBL, and a 30BBL, which costs as much as $1M.


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