From pale ales to porters, new Starkville business Smiling Frog Brewing Supply sells the tools and ingredients to make any beer imaginable.
Longtime home-brewing hobbyist Chris North opened the shop on April 15 at 436 Highway 12 West, next door to Ziggy’s, and has seen a slow but interested flow of clientele since, composed primarily of members of the Golden Triangle Brewers home-brewing club.
“I’m selling, or trying to sell home-brewing equipment and supplies, the ingredients and equipment that people use to brew their own beers,” North said.
In addition to brewing supplies, Smiling Frog also stocks a limited amount of winemaking equipment.
North, a Texas native and retired engineer, started home brewing in the 1990s, when the practice was at peak popularity after sampling a beer home brewed by his brother. “It’s a very enjoyable hobby, and that’s why I decided to open this place up,” North said.
To bring more interest to home brewing and his shop, North plans to hold a home-brewing basics course, meeting Thursdays at 6 p.m. for five weeks starting June 1. North said participants in the $10 course will learn the entire brewing process, and the group plans to brew a batch of beer over the course of the class.
“The course that I’ve got planned out goes through what all of the steps are, and gives a little history of what beer is, and why we call it beer, what makes beer different from wine and things like that,” North said.
North said the emergence of craft beer has brought more interest to home brewing, and added that it gives the public a chance to do its own experiments, use quality ingredients and make beer exactly to personal tastes.
“The resurgence we’re seeing now, I think a lot has to do with people trying to get back to really understanding beer, not just something you get out of a bottle,” North said.
North said dealing with the city and setting up his business had gone smoothly, albeit with hard work put in getting his store space, which is located in a former paint store up and running. He added that selling home-brewing supplies required no special licenses.
“There’s no alcohol in anything I sell,” North said.
Smiling frog is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays. However, the shop will be closed next week due to North having to travel out of town.
The shop can be contacted at 662-722-3882 or at email@example.com.