Beers from New Orleans' newest brewery have been turning up at a diverse and growing list of local establishments. In one week I sampled their drafts at the Uptown bar Rendezvous, at the Rugby Pub in Gretna and even at the Carrollton-area restaurant Boucherie, where it is served in 32-oz. carafes.
To celebrate their strong start, the brewery will hold a grand opening party on Thursday, April 2. The party begins at the brewery itself, at 3001 Tchoupitoulas St., where a second line parade led by the Free Agents Brass Band will depart at 5:30 p.m. and march through the Uptown neighborhood to the Balcony Bar, 3201 Magazine St., where the party continues with $3 pints for sale.
The tiny Irish Channel brewery was organized last year by Kirk Coco and veteran local brewer Peter Caddoo. With the exception of a handful of brewpub operations, NOLA Brewing is the first company to resume commercial brewing in New Orleans proper since Hurricane Katrina knocked the historic Dixie Brewery out of commission. The Covington-based brewery Heiner Brau initially produced Dixie after Katrina, but the famous New Orleans brand is now made under license in Monroe, Wis., by Minhas Brewing Co. Abita beers are of course produced across the lake in Abita Springs.