Gnarly Barley Brewing Co. (www.gnarlybeer.com) debuted its beer during American Craft Beer Week (May 12-18), earlier than anticipated, but co-founder Cari Caramonta says she and husband Zac, who attended previous years' events as beer fans, didn't want the brewery to miss exposure to local craft beer drinkers.
Two months later, the Caramontas are focused on beer production and brand awareness. The couple launched brewery tours July 5 and more than 50 people visited the facility in Hammond. Caramonta says they will continue holding tours from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturdays.
The brewery is still a two-person operation: Cari handles the business end, including accounting, sales and marketing, and Zac handles brewery operations. "We also assist each other when needed, and we are lucky enough to have friends and family that help out when they can," Cari says.
Gnarly Barley's flagship beers, Catahoula Common and Radical Rye P.A., are currently available in 60 bars and restaurants in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and on the Northshore.
Production is going smoothly, Cari says. Zac is refining recipes for large-scale brewing. Before the end of the year, the Caramontas expect to release Korova Milk Porter, a favorite of long-time Gnarly Barley fans since Zac served home-brewed beer.
The pair will continue to showcase their beer at events in New Orleans and the Northshore. They will participate in the Louisiana chapter (www.cff.org/chapters/louisiana) of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's fundraiser Grapes & Grain on Aug. 1 at the Castine Center (63350 Pelican Drive, Mandeville, 985-626-7997), and Cari says they will bring something special to The Avenue Pub's IPA Day on Aug. 7.