From Louisiana State University tailgate parties to Mardi Gras parades, folks in Baton Rouge, La., know how to throw together a good party filled with tasty beer. And with Bluebonnet Swamp right in the middle of the city, it’s no wonder that breweries offering a cool, refreshing, sudsy respite to those humid days have sprung up in and around Louisiana’s capital city.
Following a strong national craft beer trend, locally brewed beers are rising in prominence. Here are five choices within 100 miles of the city to see how beer is made in the Deep South:
Tin Roof Brewing Co.
Founded in late 2010, Baton Rouge’s own Tin Roof produces a variety of regular brews, seasonals and single-batch varieties crafted on-site using malts, hops and parish well water. Ales are popular here with names such as Juke Joint IPA, Turnrow Coriander, Tin Roof Blonde, Perfect Tin Amber and Voodoo Bengal Pale. The Not Too Sweet Watermelon Wheat is available in the summer while the Parade Ground Coffee Porter warms up a chilly winter night. Tin Roof’s taproom also presents trivia contests and open mic comedy nights. Don’t come expecting a meal to go with your ale, as there is no kitchen. Brewery tours begin at 6 p.m. Fridays and 3 p.m. Saturdays.
Abita Brewing Co.
Louisiana’s best-known brewery, with a 100-seat brewpub, is a little more than an hour’s drive from Baton Rouge in Abita Springs. When it was founded in 1986, the brewery produced 1,500 barrels of beer a year, according to the company’s website. Now Abita brews 151,000 barrels annually along with 9,100 barrels of non-alcoholic root beer. Beers include eight flagship brews such as Purple Haze and Turbodog, five seasonal brews such as Mardi Gras Bock and Seersucker Summer Pils and four Harvest Brews such as Strawberry and Lemon Wheat. Brewery tours and a tasting room are available.
Bayou Teche Brewing Co.
In 2009 the three Knott brothers worked to convert an old railroad car in Arnaudville, just west of Baton Rouge, into a brewery. Since then, they’ve created quite a menu of French-named beers including Noire, Acadie, Courir de Mardi Gras, Saison D’Ecrevisses, Cocodrie and the LA 31 series. Bayou Teche includes a taproom, occasional live music events and brewery tours, which are offered on Saturdays.
Parish Brewing Co.
Based in Broussard, in the Lafayette Parish, the brewery produces Canebrake, a wheat beer that uses Steen’s sugarcane syrup in the process. Other beers include ales such as Envie, South Coast, Farmhouse IPA, Dr. Hoptagon and Ghost in the Machine as well as Grand Reserve, a barleywine, and Imperial Reserve, a stout. A taproom is open every day except Sundays and tours are from noon to 2 p.m. Saturdays.
Located east of Baton Rouge in the city of Covington, this brewery, located in an old-fashioned white house structure underneath a water tower, offers a nice selection of beers including Rock & Roll Summer farmhouse ale, Strawberry Ale, Pontchartrain Pilsner, Anonymous IPA, Bayou Bock and a Kolsch. Brewery tours run on Saturdays, and a tasting room opened in April.