Leslie Henderson

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What’s your current position at your brewery, and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?
I co-own Lazy Magnolia with my husband, Mark. I am the operations manager in charge of production scheduling, accounting, logistics, and compliance. My brewing career began like so many others—an engineer with a homebrewing habit and a dream of making my home state a better place. We opened in 2005 as Mississippi’s first packaging brewery. A lot of great things have happened since then, and I am proud that Lazy Magnolia has played such a big part in that change.

What’s new at Lazy Magnolia?
We have been around for 16 years. Lazy Magnolia has survived this long by constantly reinventing ourselves. Something is always new at Lazy Magnolia. Our team has recently updated our brands and our company logos. Several new team members have brought in fresh new ideas and energy to the whole company. Our taproom has adapted to COVID-19 by creatively using our space to safely host guests and continue to provide hospitality and great beer during these strange times.

What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?
The people are absolutely the best part. This industry is all about relationships. Every time I reach out for advice, encouragement, or help I am overwhelmed by the generosity of our community.

Name a favorite food and beer pairing.
Southern Pecan and one of our brick oven pizzas.

What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?
Still being very happily married to the same guy after 23 years.

What’s your favorite beer from another brewery?
Any beer that I’m drinking in the presence of someone who had a hand in making it. Beer is just as much an emotional experience as a culinary one.

What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?
Music. I play bass and sing in a local cover band just for fun. I also play guitar and bass for my church band. And I’m learning piano along with my 9-year-old son.

What’s the most memorable travel destination at which you’ve had a chance to sample the local beer?
Nova Scotia. I was probably just so happy that my cell phone didn’t work and no one from my real life could bother me. I was with some of my favorite people and had no agenda other than relaxing and having a good time. That doesn’t happen for me if work can find me. Everything tasted better because of that freedom.

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