Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Louisiana's Fast Rising Craft Beer Scene
Five years ago when I started writing this blog we had one legitimate craft brewery in this state. Abita. We had some attempts in the mid 90s at others such as Day Brewing and Rikenjacks but they didn't make it for whatever reason.
I'm pretty sure we didn't even have a homebrew shop 5 years ago. We had Brew Ha Ha pre Katrina but I'm not sure when they closed up shop. Pretty sure they weren't around in 2008. And Avenue Pub? Yeah, there was an Avenue Pub but not like we know Avenue Pub today.
The Louisiana craft beer landscape is changing and it's changing pretty quickly. It feels slow but it really isn't. I even complain about how slow it feels. I complain often about it. It confuses me to go to a small beach town like Destin and see a mountain of craft beer options.
What I need to remind myself of though in the case of Destin is that it has the luxury of being located in the Panhandle which is attached to Florida. Lot's going on in Florida in regards to craft beer. Lots of new and awesome breweries, beer stores and bars. Destin is just a recipient of this awesomness not a player in the game.
And I think demographics plays a huge role in that. Nobody is really from Florida. They moved there from somewhere else. Hell, I lived there briefly and my family lives there now. We're not from Florida. These people are bringing their drinking habits with them and the market is adjusting appropriately.
I also think demographics is playing a large part of the growing Louisiana craft beer scene as well. While all the craft breweries we have popping up in the state are mostly started by locals with the exception of Courtyard Brewing(Scott is from San Diego but Lindsey is from here) and Great Raft(Andrew is from Virginia I think) many of the craft beer drinkers are not local.
With a growing tech industry and even a growing "hipster" scene we are beginning to see a lot of money coming into the city as well as craft beer drinkers. I also think just like the national trend we are seeing people's palates are improving along with the beer options.
New Orleans is surely on the rise and the rest of the state is either right there with us or following very close behind. I know local Louisianians don't like to admit it but this influx of outsiders is helping create the rising craft beer trend in Louisiana. Bars, stores, distributors, laws, etc will all adjust appropriately.
With six breweries currently in production(Abita, NOLA Brewing, Bayou Teche, Parish Brewing, Tin Roof and Covington Brewhouse) and seven on the way(40 Arpent Brewing, Cajun Fire Brewing, Chafunkta Brewing, Gnarly Barley Brewing, Great Raft Brewing, Mudbug Brewing and Courtyard Brewing) our future looks bright. And I can't forget our brewpubs with Crescent City Brewhouse, Gordon Biersch and soon to be open Old Rail Brewing. It's truly a great time to live in Louisiana and witness a growing craft beer scene.
Sit back(or join in) grab a local beer and enjoy the ride.
The Beer Buddha
Posted by The Beer Buddha at 9:35 AM