Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Great Raft Brewing - Coming Soon In Louisiana!

It's always exciting to hear about up and coming breweries in the Louisiana area, so I was thrilled to hear about plans for the first North Louisiana brewery, Great Raft Brewing!  A few weeks ago Jay brought me a couple of samples that he had received from Andrew Nations, one of the co-founders of Great Raft along with his wife Lindsay.  Both samples I tried were unique and had a little lagniappe, so to speak, which I think is exactly what Andrew and Lindsay are going for. Read more about their story here.

Andrew told me he was looking to focus more on Belgian brews (one of the first two I tried was a saison) but that they weren't going to be an exclusively Belgian brewery.  The one I tried was a saison with a little lemon zest and pine needles.  I really enjoyed the way the pine needles and citrus gave the beer a lot of hoppy feel without the actual hops, and the Belgian yeast gave it the right amount of funk as well.  According to Andrew this wasn't going to be one of the flagship brews, but he did expect it to be a seasonal at some point.

What most of you probably want to know, though, is an expected date.  Andrew told me that they were targeting late Summer 2013 for their launch, and it would start out just in the Shreveport area.  Their plan was to be in South LA by year two, but as we've seen with Parish Brewing, if the demand is there up north then it'll take it longer to reach us down here.  I'm hoping for another Louisiana brewery success story, so if he's selling all he can up in Shreveport, I won't be holding any grudges that we can't get it here.  As they say, a rising tide lifts all boats. 

All in all, more exciting brewery news for Louisiana.  If Great Raft can make a 2013 debut then that will likely be at least 3 new breweries this year, and maybe more if some of the NOLA area breweries in planning can get online.  Good times to be drinking local, and only getting better.