Lucky you dear reader I am backed up with beer reviews and product reviews because that means you get another session of The Beer Buddha Interviews. This time we got a Q & A with the owner of NOLA Brewing Kirk Coco. Pay attention to the answers because he gives great insight to the struggles of breweries in the state of Louisiana due to outdated laws. Enjoy!
1) Louisiana Revised Statutes 26:273 states:
§273. Limitations on the issuance of state permits; exceptions – A. The commissioner shall not: (2) Issue a wholesale dealer's permit to a person or his spouse possessing a manufacturer's permit, retail dealer's permit of either Class A or Class B, or a microbrewer's permit.
As a small brewer how does this hurt your business?
It forces a new brewery to immediately contract with a distributor before it's beer is even on the market. It also does not allow a brewery to have a beer garden or tasting room. Finally, it does not allow a brew pub (such as Crescent City Brew House) to EVER sell it's beers outside of it's restaurant.
Most breweries in the US started as brewpubs or VERY small breweries that self distributed, and then grew big enough to need distributors. By not allowing this growth process, LA is limiting the number of breweries that have started and therefore creating an artificially low number of breweries in the state. LA could support an EASY 20 breweries, as it did in the past.
2) Which fast food chain has the best French Fries?
McDonalds, No competition. However, my favorite fries are the Truffle French Fries at New Orleans Hamburger and Seafood, ummmm. That's a lot nicer than fast food, however.
3) Miller Coors brews approximately 10 million barrels per year. For perspective how many barrels did you brew this past year?
1300 Barrels in 2009 (We didn't start until March.) Miller/Coors can relax for the time being. :)
4) There are currently 4 pieces of federal legislation active in Congress which would reduce excise taxes for small brewers. How can this help NOLA Brewing?
It would allow us to make slightly more money per barrel, which would allow us to reinvest in equipment.... like a bottling line!
5) What is your favorite sno-ball from Hansens Sno Bliz?
Sugar Free Wedding Cake, with Junior Mint and Satsuma as close seconds.
6) How do you feel about online beer sites like Ratebeer.com and Beeradvocate.com? How do sites like this affect you as a brewery?
Good and bad. They raise awareness of craft brewing and the smaller breweries out there (especially BeerAdvocate.com.) However, too many people take their ratings as gospel (myself included) and don't give beers with lower scores a chance. I have found that my tastes don't always coincide with the general public's. That being said, our beers have done extremely well on these sites and I am very happy they exist.
7) Louisiana breweries have been popping up right and left over the last 2 years. What do you see for the future of craft beer in Louisiana?
I hope for a Renaissance of brewing, similar to what Louisiana had prior to Prohibition. The growth of slow food and awareness that local products reduce carbon emissions will certainly help the push for local beers, and Louisiana food products are always the best in the country, so why shouldn't we be producing the best beers in the country as well?
I wanted to answer a few questions in previous interviews:
Voltron. Voltron is the Defender of the Universe... much more powerful than a car that turns into a robot. Also, he has a cool lion for a hand.
Lion-O. He had the Sword of Omens, plus that cool hairdo.
Favorite Macro... You know it: Pabst Blue Ribbon. It won the BLUE RIBBON for Go'd Sake!
A-Team: For style, Mr. T. But overall, Dirk Benedict as 'Faceman' Peck (plus, he played Starbuck on Battlestar Galactica.)
Thanks Kirk! Hope you guys enjoyed this interview!
The Beer Buddha