In 2013, both supply and demand for craft beer grew in Louisiana. Three new breweries — Chafunkta (www.chafunktabrew.com) in Mandeville and Great Raft Brewing (www.greatraftbrewing.com) and Red River Brewing Co. (www.redriverbeer.com), both in Shreveport — opened, along with a new brewpub, Old Rail Brewing Company (639 Girod St., Mandeville, 985-612-1828; www.facebook.com/oldrailbrewingcompany). Louisiana now has nine breweries and two independent brewpubs.
Parish Brewing Company (www.parishbeer.com), NOLA Brewing Company (www.nolabrewing.com) and Great Raft Brewing opened tap rooms at their breweries, which enables them to sell up to 10 percent of what they produce directly to the public. New beer-focused bars opened this year as well: German-style Aline Street Beer Garden at Prytania Hall (1515 Prytania St., 504-891-5774; www.facebook.com/alinestreetbeergarden) and Evangeline (329 Decatur St., 504-908-8008; www.eveanglinenola.com), which serves only local beer on draft. It expanded that selection steadily throughout the year.
Local breweries experimented and released many new beers this year. Under the direction of new head brewer Gar Hatcher, Bayou Teche Brewing released a series of seasonal beers including the springtime Saison D'ecrevisses, bourbon barrel-aged Biere Joi, tripel IPA Cocodrie, honey beer Miel Sauvage and imperial stout Loup Garou. Parish released its Farmhouse IPA and Dr. Hoptagon black IPA, and NOLA Brewing released a collaboration with New Belgium Brewing called Swamp Grape Escape, made with local muscadine grapes.
Tin Roof Beer (www.tinroofbeer.com) released a double black IPA called Rougarou, and Abita released more than half a dozen select and seasonal beers this year, including French Connection, Mayhawk, Macchiato Espresso Stout, Spring IPA and Grapefruit Harvest IPA. Covington Brewhouse (www.covingtonbrewhouse.com) changed ownership and released its new flagship beer Anonymous IPA.
All this activity was rewarded by the Louisiana Legislature, which passed a resolution last summer establishing the last week of September as Louisiana Craft Brewer Week. The Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism created an online Louisiana Brewery Trail (breweries.louisianatravel.com) to help visitors find breweries in the state.