The age-old tradition of home brewing has culminated into a wealth of local craft breweries here in Louisiana. In past recent years, brewers from around the state have embraced their individual local cultures and have put all the flavors from their area into each batch of beer. This has resulted in a variety of brews, approaches, and unique tastes that make each brewery have their own stamp on the art form. Here are the 10 best breweries in Louisiana that are packed full of their own flavors.
Founded in 1986, this Louisiana institution has been serving flavorful brews for decades. Having started with just 1,500 barrels of beer in its starting year, today it’s one of the largest breweries in the state producing about 151,000 barrels of beer every year as well as 9,100 barrels of root beer! The region of Abita Springs is blessed with the purest of water and the crispness of each batch proves that tale true. No preservatives, additives, or stabilizers go into these beers that also use the finest of ingredients. The classic is the Abita Amber, which is a crisp amber packed full of dark flavors. The Abita Strawberry is a seasonal treat every spring that pairs perfectly with spicy crawfish, while the Andygator is a unique high-gravity brew with high alcohol content perfect for just sipping. Try all the flavors in an Abita Party Pack!
Located right off Tchoupitoulas Street in New Orleans, this brewery hand-makes all their craft beers right in the city. Some of their signature brews like the brown ale, blonde, and Hopitoulas can be found in almost every bar in New Orleans as the brewery has truly become a staple of the city in recent years. Their Series Beers include a NOLA Funk Series, which are a wild bunch of brews that will make you feel like funkin’ it up! Inspired by his love of beer and New Orleans, founder Kirk Coco was proud to open NOLA Brewing as the first brewery since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. At this brewery beer comes first, the team is second, the community third, and finally the profit is last. This makes for a company so dedicated to their craft that it positively influences their families, community, and lastly themselves. Can’t argue with that!
After spending six years in West Germany tasting the different local beers and how they paired with the local cuisine, the brew master of Bayou Teche returned home to Louisiana. His dream was to create the perfect beer to pair with our own unique regional flavors and so came up with a host of local brews to do just that. After years of practice, the Knott Brothers thus converted an old discarded railroad car into a farmhouse brewery that today, thanks to the help of friends and neighbors, looks just like an old Acadiana shotgun home with a porch in front and everything. The LA 31 Biere Pale goes great with all sorts of dishes like boiled seafood, gumbo, sauce-piquant, and many other Cajun as well as Creole dishes. The Biere Noire pairs best with dishes such as blackened red-fish, manchego, and sausage po’boys. They have flavors for every south Louisiana dish over at Bayou Teche Brewing.
The beers that come out of Graft Raft Brewing are bold, inspired, and complex. They create beer that is truly unique to their north Louisiana region complimenting the regional flavors. Chief Brewer Harvey Kenney hails straight from working at Thunder Road Brewing Company in Melbourne, Australia, where he blended his background in chemistry and brewing since its inception in 2009. Having a biochemistry and brewing degree from the University of California-Davis, this guy truly knows his stuff and the flavor can be tasted in every brew. The “Southern Drawl” pale lager is a wildly mild brew that is packed with flavor but still makes for easy drinking, while the “Creature of Habit” coffee brown can really get the party started with a kick! “The Grace & Grit” double IPA has tropical aromas that are balanced with a honey malt that is simply delightful. Great Raft Brewing takes all the goodness of north Louisiana and puts it into every beer they uniquely brew up.
Always fresh and never pasteurized, this local company has its home in the heart of Cajun country in Broussard. Using old school techniques with German, Belgian, and North American barleys as well as the finest hops from the Pacific Northwest and Europe these beers resonate cleanliness. Some of the favorites served around the region are the Canebrake Louisiana Wheat Ale that is so crisp, smooth and packed with of sweet remnants of sugar cane that you wouldn’t believe it. “Envie” is their version of the American pale ale though their new-school take puts a juicy, yet hazy spin on this traditional ale. These beers truly reflect the relaxed feel of Cajun country packed full of culture, flavor, and good times.
The story of Tin Roof Brewing in Baton Rouge is one of friendship, beer, and love of the south. Charles Caldwell and William McGehee both grew to love local craft brews as their life stories continued and decided that the deep South simply had a shortage of great microbrews for locals to choose from. So, they started their own company using only the finest American and European malts, freshest hops, and pure parish drinking water. The Perfect Tin Amber Ale has a hint of toffee that makes it truly distinct while the Juke Joint IPA 2.0 is an American IPA that has a balance of hoppy bitterness with notes of citrus, berry, and tropical fruit. For LSU tiger fans, the Bayou Bengal Lager is the only way to go on game day! Buy local and drink Tin Roof.
Being the first and only brewery to grace the region of central Louisiana, this brewery has rapidly become a favorite with the locals. Staying true to the Louisiana brewery theme, the brew masters at Broken Wheel have taken influences from growing up in the area and have put it all into their unique brews. Marksville native, Jonathon Knoll paired with Colorado native Chris Pahl to open this brewery just a few years back. The Pachafa Pale Ale is named after the famed half horse half boogieman children of the area grow up fearing, while the Spring Bayou Blonde Ale is a crisp, clean beer that is perfect for the nice Louisiana spring weather. These brewers love to make beer they love, reminding all their loyal customers that “If it ain’t broke, don’t drink it!”
This great brewery named their company Southern Craft for a reason. Not only do they call the South their home, but all their ingredients derive from the area as well. From Louisiana honey to Carolina malt, these two engineers crafted their home brew for years before taking it to the next level using homegrown ingredients. In 2011, that opportunity came when their Red Stick Rye placed second in the National Homebrew Competition in San Diego that had over 7,000 entries. Today, other brews like the “Pompous Pelican” double IPA utilizes Louisiana raw cane sugar and Cascade hops from the southern Appalachia. Their seasonal beers include the coffee oatmeal stout that uses Cafeciteaux Coffee and the “Swamp Sting” uses Louisiana honey to create a light American ale. Get a taste of true local flavor at Southern Craft Brewing.
Coming straight from way down in the bayou, Mudbug Brewery embraces the Cajun culture of the area to the fullest. Named after the flavor-packed crawfish, that Louisiana folks eat seasonally this brewery is not shy when it comes to venturing towards new realms. Take their King Cake Ale for example, a golden spiced ale that has hints of cinnamon and milk sugar. The Pelican Pilsner is their version of the German pilsner utilizing five noble hops and was brewed to taste refreshing even in the hot Louisiana summer. “Brewed for all we love Cajun,” the team at Mudbug is dedicated to continually brewing beers that have the same unique culture and flavor as the place they call home.
Having opened its doors in July of last year, this brewery is one of the newest in the state. They hail from the far corner of southeast Louisiana in Lake Charles and have put together a great round of beers that their customers were eager to try. They describe The Chuck, as “a thirst quenching juggernaut of a session ale” that is perfect for any occasion in the region being going to grandma’s house, the beach, or the duck blind. The Belgian “Single Ready to Mingle” brew is a crowd pleaser that is light and yummy and the “Calcasieu Common” is an amber-colored lager that is as unique as the parish in which it is brewed. Their story started with a conversation at the family supper table and has gone on to add so much to other people’s conversations in the area today as people from the Lake Charles area are flocking to buy these beers. The name comes from Calcasieu Parish where the legendary chiefs gave the “quelqueshue” war cry that later became the river name and parish where Crying Eagle is brewed.