Raymond and Mandy Pumilia, owners and founders of Royal Brewery
New Orleans, have been working to transform an industrial space in New Orleans East into the brewery they’ve dreamt about since serving friends home-brewed beer at their Royal Street home.
The brewery's tanks are in place and if all goes well, the Pumilias will start brewing by the end of the year.
Raymond's work in the film industry as an art director enabled him to claim materials to build coolers and other brewery equipment. His work as an insect photographer inspired the names of the beers he’s planning to brew: Termite Lager and Culicidae Pale Ale, made with a British yeast. He also plans to brew a porter, a cream ale, and possibly an IPL.
The inspiration for Raymond’s home brewing stems from 2012 and Bountygate, when New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton was suspended by the NFL after the team was found to have offered incentives for players to injure opposing players. Pumilia boycotted Saints football that season and spent Sundays barbecuing and brewing beer on his back porch.
“Basically, he found another way to waste eight hours every Sunday,” Mandy says.
As he became more serious about brewing, Raymond and Mandy decided to make Royal Brewery a reality.
The location is a building at 7366 Townsend Place, an industrial park near Morrison and Downman roads. It also is near the planned location of Lakeshore Landing, an entertainment development expected to have a music venue, attractions, restaurants and more.
Brewing Company also is making progress toward opening. A concrete slab has been poured for the facility. Robert Bostick and his team also pulled a felled log out of the Bogue Falaya to make the taproom's bar top.
Parleaux Beer Lab’s
brewhouse and tanks have been installed. Wayward Owl
Brewing Company is finishing construction and has electricity and gas. The Gem Theater has power for the first time since Hurricane Katrina.