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    Things weren't always easy for the men of Mississippi State College in the years when the city outlawed alcohol and there was hardly a female to be found on campus. What were these strapping young men to do with nothing to drink and no one to talk to but themselves?

    It was out of necessity, really, that Mayhew Junction was born, inspiring us all these years later to craft beers made for socializing and enjoying. You see, it was the small community of Mayhew that was the closest place the young State men could buy beer, and it was also halfway to the nearest concentration of those respectable members of the opposite sex at Mississippi University for Women. In those days, everyone met at the Crossroads. It was a match made in heaven, and that's what we're all about at Mayhew Junction Brewery. We're Mayhew made and Mayhew inspired, always up for a cold beer and a warm conversation.

    Our founders, above most all else, love great drinks and good people. Trail them on any of the brewery tours they frequent and you'll find them in the tasting room chatting up bartenders and making friends with whoever is sitting the next stool over. Perhaps that's why they were so eager to upgrade their home brew party of four and start a brewery themselves. As Jean will often confess, we've gotta find some other people to talk to! Just as none of our four founders are exactly the same, neither are our many beers. It's a good balance, they say, between Derek who loves his stouts, Jean who enjoys a nice hefeweizen, Chris who savors the flavor of hops and his wife Katy who, she discovered one night, has a particular fondness for a good sour. None quite the same, but all coming together with ease. At Mayhew Junction, our concern is not for adhering to tradition and style or attempting to make the fanciest brew in the south. We just like highly-drinkable beer with highly-enjoyable company. We believe beer is for sharing. The best thing you can say about a keg of Mayhew: it floated. We can't promise you'll find a date, but it only takes a sip to find your Mayhew Match.

    MAYHEW JUNCTION: THE CROSSROADS OF GOOD TIMES AND GREAT BREWS.


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    OUR PEOPLE

    Derek Derek Katy Chris
    JEAN MOHAMMADI-ARAGH IRBY        DEREK IRBY              KATY EDWARDS             CHRIS EDWARDS     
    FOUNDER/BREWER FOUNDER/BREWER FOUNDER FOUNDER/BREWER
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    How our founders met remains a matter of opinion, or at the very least a matter of memory. Beer can have that affect sometimes, we've discovered. As Chris remembers it, he once brought some fresh brewed goodness to a tailgate before a football game to share with a crowd that included his wife, Jean and Derek. Sometime after that supposed meeting, of which Jean has fairly little recollection, she remembers thinking someone had sent for an, ahem, exotic entertainer one evening when a thirty-something year-old man dressed in a full police uniform barged into a house full of friends unannounced and dropped his bags to the floor. Turns out, that was just Chris. He's a standard local cop, not of the dancing variety. Perhaps the dropping of the bags was unneeded theatrics, but we can only assume he needed his hands free for beer drinking.

    That's what brought the group together, though - beer. Good beer, specifically, as the crew has spent years visiting breweries, festivals and each other's homes in a never-ending search for satisfying drinks. We've found those drinks, of course, but that doesn't mean we won't keep looking for more, and we'll never stop creating our own. We're no Picassos or Einsteins, but we believe brewing beer is more than just science. It's art, and art must have passion and love to inspire it. It's a love for people that keeps us together and it's a passion for beer that brought us together to begin with. Each of us has our own beer love story, our moments which instilled an appreciation for good drinks. We won't call them fairy tales, but perhaps beery tales, the types that have been told at the Crossroads in Mayhew for years.

    Derek can hardly remember a time when he didn't enjoy a cold brew. He grew up with beer, he'll tell you, and fondly remembers neighborhood fish fry parties as a kid when the adults would allow him a small cup of beer to drink on his own. He was turned down when he asked for more, of course, a responsible yet unfortunate answer as those of us of age now know that the next beer is always the best one.

    Jean was a bit the opposite, however, telling people for all of her early life and well into adulthood that she just didn't like beer. In college, as things often do, her opinion changed. At the wedding of a friend, she had begrudgingly accepted a beer as the only available drink. Someone came by to ask if she wanted another, and she started to decline the offer by showing she couldn't even finish the one she had, but when she looked down, the entire beverage had been consumed. Oh! she thought out loud, I guess I do like beer!

    Chris, who grew up in Mayhew himself, fell more in line with Derek's early-life affinity for suds. In a unique manner, Chris was raised by a father who was A) a committed Baptist and B) a great lover of beer, both of which were lessons taught to his son. In college, budgetary concerns limited Chris's experience to light beer purchased warm at the local gas stations in the days before cold beer was allowed in Starkville. But one day, Chris went to a beer festival elsewhere in the state where he became a kid in a hops-filled candy store, trying every single variety he could get his lips on. At that point, Chris says, he knew beer had changed his life. Now, all he wants to do when he wakes up every day is either brew beer or drink it. Both, if time allows.

    And it was that brewing which helped Katy discover a love she never knew she had. She always loved her husband, of course, and because she knew Chris cared about beer, she cared about it, too, on his behalf. But, as she admitted, she didn't much like drinking it herself. That is until one day at (believe it or not) Jean and Derek's wedding. That day, a bottle of difficult-to-find sour beer was being passed around the group by a friend of Derek and Jean's named Cass. At Chris's insisting, she gave it a sip. To both her surprise and Chris's, she loved it. In many ways, Katy is the perfect example of finding her Mayhew Match. There' something for everybody.

    Our founders, like our beers, all have different personalities, tastes and stories, and that's what Mayhew Junction is all about.

    WE LOVE BEER SO MUCH, WE MADE OUR OWN.


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