When Michael and Emily Naquin, owners of 40 Arpent Brewing Company, arrived at The Avenue Pub after debuting their beer at the New Orleans International Beer Festival March 22, it was a victory celebration. Fellow brewers, distributors and beer fans crowded around to congratulate them.
"The support from area brewers was overwhelming," Emily says.
During the festival at Champions Square, the Naquins met many of their neighbors from Arabi and St. Bernard Parish who turned out in large numbers to support their local brewery.
"We couldn't believe how many people from the parish came out to meet us and support us," Emily says. "We literally had tears in our eyes a few times from all the heartfelt praise."
The Avenue Pub tapped 40 Arpent's Stout for the Saturday afternoon crowd, and it was the first beer I ordered that day. I enjoyed it. The Stout has great flavor and full mouthfeel, as well as coffee notes, low bitterness and a dry finish.
Michael honed his recipes while waiting for official approval to start selling beer, and it shows. The release has taken longer than expected, due to the government shutdown last winter, which caused suspension of federal licensing, and problems filing paperwork, Michael says.
"I think the most frustrating part was that every holdup had been from other people," he says. "I think it would be easier to stomach if it were my fault."
With the beer festival and after-party at The Avenue Pub considered the brewery's soft launch, the Naquins are looking forward to their official rollout event at The Rusty Nail at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 5. In addition to the Stout, 40 Arpent will serve Delacroix, which Michael describes as "Lenten abbey ale."
The brewery's beer is available at Avenue Pub and The Bulldog in Mid-City and Uptown. Look for that list to grow.