Looking for a neighborhood brewpub with a laid-back atmosphere that offers delicious food and the opportunity to find your new favorite brew? Look no further than Craft Advisory Brewing & Bistro in Ocean Springs.
With an outdoor patio that’s perfect for enjoying the weather and people watching, Craft Advisory prides itself on providing fresh, award-winning craft beer for locals and tourists alike.
Craft Advisory Brewing & Bistro is owned by Martin and Sandra Konrad, who met in Denver, Colorado, and moved to the Gulf Coast in 2012. Their journey to open a brewpub began when Sandra got Martin a homebrew recipe book and all the grain, hops and yeast needed to make his first three batches as a Christmas gift. By mistakenly including all three grain packages, he produced a dark stout that since has been tweaked and is now a menu staple.
The homebrewing hobby turned into a business after a few years of winning multiple competitions and people often asking to purchase some of his brews. Posting a poll on Facebook to narrow down name choices, they opened Craft Advisory Brewing & Bistro about a year and a half ago.
There are 32 taps available with a combination of beers brewed on-site, as well as some guest beers. You can buy it by the pint or sample flights of four until you find the one you like best. You also can bring some of your favorite brews home in either 16-ounce cans or growlers.
“We are trying to provide something for everyone,” Sandra says. “Not everyone is a beer drinker, so in addition to the traditional-style brews you would expect to find, we offer non-traditional style beers and seltzers, such as the option to add fruit puree into our sours and seltzers to give them a fresh taste that the customer can personalize.”
On our visit, my girlfriend Lauryn and I were greeted by Corey Page, whose official job title is “purveyor of fun.” We sampled many brews and agreed that Hoppy McHop Face, a New England-style IPA with tropical fruit and citrus flavors, was our favorite — especially the version of it called Margarita Sour, which features a simple syrup and lime mixture that reminded us of a beer that is no longer available that we both drank many years ago.
“The cool thing about craft beer is that what it is for you, and what it is for her, are two different things, and we want everyone to know that it can be whatever you want it to be,” Corey says. “Martin has these crazy ideas, and it works! I think that a lot of people rest on what sells and don’t try a lot of things. You can’t blame anyone for making what sells, but we make our beer from the heart and imagination. We get really excited about it.”
Looking through the menu, we were excited about the choices, which were not your average bar fare. There is a nice variety of starters, salads, burgers, tacos and entrees.
“We pair those great beers with great food,” Sandra says. “This isn’t your typical greasy brewpub food. The food is elevated and creative to match the style of our beers.”
We started with the wonderful appetizer, the beer cheese and pretzel bites. The Belgian-style pretzels come with tasty beer-cheese queso dip made with their house-brewed Vienna larger. We finished the whole plate.
Up next was a Southwest salad with grilled chicken breast that provided a little kick, and then it was onto our entrees. The half-pound, Mississippi grass-fed Craft Advisory burger, made with an Angus beef blend of filet, ribeye and strip and served with house-made Cajun dill pickles and garlic aioli, was a joy. The shrimp and grits, featuring jalapeno-cheddar sausage, bell peppers, and a creole cream sauce over smoked gouda grits, was delightful.
“Our goal is really to give you a fun, interactive experience,” Sandra says. “All of our brewing equipment is in the front of the building, and that is where we make all of our beer. Martin is here most weekends and loves to sit and talk beer with any customer who has questions.
“We are not trying to get customers to eat and leave, but instead to come in, ask questions, learn about how beer is made, be creative with their drinks, relax and enjoy their time with us. We strive to have an atmosphere that invites you to sit, enjoy a great beer and some great food and let the cares of the world slip away for a little while.”
Craft Advisory Brewing is open Tuesday through Thursday from 2-9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11a.m.- midnight and Sunday from noon-8 p.m. The establishment is kid and pet friendly, with outdoor seating available in the newly expanded outside patio and a variety of games available like foosball, darts, a giant Connect 4 and more. “Hoppy Hour” is from 2-6 p.m. Tuesday-Friday.
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Craft Advisory Brewing
1314 Government St.,