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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Brewsday Tuesday: What's brewing at Pearl Wine Co.

Posted By on Tue, Sep 16, 2014 at 9:00 AM

click to enlarge Owner Leora Madden with the local beer selection at Pearl Wine Company.
  • Owner Leora Madden with the local beer selection at Pearl Wine Company.

Viewers of the recent episode of Brew Dogs recorded in New Orleans may have been surprised to see Pearl Wine Co. listed as one of the best beer bars in the city, but owner Leora Madden saw it as validation of her efforts to offer craft beer.

“I really have been working hard to have one of the best craft beer selections in the city.” Madden says. “I love supporting small-production craft.”

A native of Mississippi, Madden became a fan of craft beer when she lived in California and Chicago while building a career in the wine industry. She says that bringing a large beer selection to her wine store was part of her business plan since she opened the shop in April 2013.

This fall, Madden plans to expand that reach by adding draft beer to Pearl Wine Bar, located in the adjoining space, so she can provide beers that are only available on draft. She also is taking steps to start the first retail growler program in the city.

“It will start small so we can do it right,” Madden says. She expects to have the growler program up and running by Halloween, and if all goes well, she will increase the number of taps by the December holidays.

Customers can buy beer to take out or carry next door to drink at the bar. The store’s delivery service applies to beer as well. For a minimum order of a six-pack, the Pearl Wine Company van will bring beer anywhere in the city without a delivery fee.

Education is important to Madden, who says that she’s happy to open beer for people to enjoy in the bar. If a customer doesn’t like a beer, she’ll swap it out. “You shouldn’t have to drink beer you don’t like,” she says.

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