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Beer buzz: Parleaux Beer Lab in Bywater 

click to enlarge Eric and Leah Jensen will open Parleaux Beer Lab in Bywater.

Photo by Nora McGunnigle

Eric and Leah Jensen will open Parleaux Beer Lab in Bywater.

Eric and Leah Jensen created the name Parleaux Beer Lab (4224 Royal St.; because it reflects the forthcoming brewery's surrounding neighborhood as well as Eric's previous work as an educator. "Parleaux" joins the French words for "by" and "water," and Eric says "lab" evokes the kind of brewing he plans to do when the brewery opens later this year.

  "Labs are used to describe experimental processes," Eric says, "That's how I approach brewing."

  A large backyard features 17 fruit trees — including satsuma, fig and kumquat trees — which will inspire the types of beers brewed. The space also will serve as a beer garden.

  Eric and friends home-brewed under the name Neutral Ground Brewing before he and Leah decided to purchase the shotgun house on the corner of Royal and Lesseps streets to build their brewery. After the school year ended in May, he turned his attention to the project full time.

  The first phase of construction is building the brewing space in the area behind the house. A 10-barrel brewhouse system and tanks will take up much of the indoor space, but there will be room for a service bar and tables. Future phases will develop the upstairs and front of the house.

  The Jensens think the outdoor area will shine, with a shaded green space bordering railroad tracks serving as Parleaux's beer garden.

  The Jensens plan to start with four to six beers that will be available only at the brewery, and add other beers later.

  "We want to be a part of the neighborhood and serve the community," Eric says. "For us, that's what beer is all about."

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