Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Great Raft Has A Brewery Space!

Looks like one of the up and coming Louisiana breweries now has a space to call home, and what a space it is!  The press release is below, but here are the highlights:  36,000 total square feet, 27,000 of warehouse/brewery plus 9,000 of office, retail, and tasting areas.  Great Raft Brewing operations should begin this summer (the 20-barrel brewhouse is on order already!) and the grand opening at the brewery is expected in Fall 2013.  Taking advantage of new legal decisions made possibly by the LA Craft Brewers Guild, Great Raft Brewing expects to also be able to sell beer from their front-of-the-house operation.  Now that's progress in the Louisiana beer scene!  Read more below the picture... also check out my older post about some of their beers

Great Raft Brewing Secures Location in Shreveport, Louisiana

Lindsay Nations, Press Contact
318-734-8101 (office)

Apr. 30, 2013, SHREVEPORT, La. -- Great Raft Brewing, a locally created and owned craft microbrewery, signed a lease for 1251 Dalzell Street in Shreveport, Louisiana. This 36,000 sq. ft. facility will serve as the brewery’s location for all operations and packaging, as well as a tasting room. The building consists of 27,000 sq. ft. of warehouse space, along with another 9,000 sq. ft. for office, retail and tasting areas. Operations are scheduled to begin this summer, with a grand opening at the brewery in early fall.

The size and location of this building are both critical to Great Raft’s strategic vision and growth plan. In March, Great Raft ordered a custom 20-barrel, three-vessel brewhouse, five fermentation tanks and two brite tanks, with a capacity of 3,500 barrels (BBLs) annually. Great Raft intends to produce approximately 1,000 – 1,500 BBLs in its first year – increasing production in future years to enter new markets and meet demand.

Co-founder Andrew Nations said, “One of the reasons we selected this location for Great Raft’s operations is that we wanted to have room to grow. We didn’t want to be in a position where we were looking to change locations after a year or two due to space constraints.”

Great Raft Brewing recently applied and received approval for a use variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA). Not only will Great Raft be allowed to manufacture its products at 1251 Dalzell, but it can also open its doors for public tastings and tours. During those hours, Great Raft intends to serve samples of products, provide educational tours of the brewery, and sell beer to-go.

“This location affords us the opportunity to not only produce beer of the highest quality, but also educate the public about our products and the beer making process. We are excited to have a visible location, close to Interstate 49 and Downtown Shreveport, and hope to be a fun destination for locals and tourists alike,” said co-founder Lindsay Nations.

Great Raft Brewing will be located less than one mile from the last known brewery to exist in Shreveport – Shreveport Ice and Brewing. Shreveport Ice and Brewing operated for years before closing its doors in 1908 when Shreveport went dry.

“Locating our brewery near the historic Shreveport Ice and Brewing building is a cool thing for us as we work to awaken Shreveport’s brewing culture. We want to continue the history of brewing in Shreveport, and being near that landmark is a constant reminder and inspiration to our team,” added Lindsay.

About Great Raft Brewing: Great Raft Brewing is a Shreveport, Louisiana based craft brewery dedicated to making creative, authentic beer and helping to build a great beer culture within communities it serves. Co-founders Andrew and Lindsay Nations are Shreveport natives with a passion for beer. Born from their desire to bring exciting, flavorful, fresh craft beer to their hometown, Great Raft Brewing is bringing the craft brewing tradition to Northern Louisiana.
Information about Great Raft Brewing can be found at www.greatraftbrewing.com. Learn more on Twitter https://twitter.com/GreatRaftBeer and Facebook www.facebook.com/greatraftbrewing.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Feature Beer Friday! - NOLA Brown Ale

Another local beer in the Feature Beer Friday! series... and the second one overall from our friends just down the road in New Orleans.  NOLA (New Orleans Lager & Ale) has been around for a few years now and has emerged as one of the craft brewing leaders in the state.  I've previously featured their Hopitoulas IPA in this segment, and NOLA also puts out some of the better craft beers around with their Irish Channel Stout, Mechahopzilla, Pour Me Somethin' Mistah, and others.  Today though, we're going session-style and trying the NOLA Brown Ale.  

The NOLA Brown is labeled a "Brown" but stylistically they call it an English Dark Mild Ale, which is a fancy way of saying it uses English malts, it's dark in color, it's not too strong, and it's an ale!  In fact it's only 4% abv on average so this one is really coming in on the low side for craft beers and that's also one of the more appealing aspects of the brew.  It's even the #20 ranked English Dark Mild Ale on BeerAdvocate, so that's pretty cool!  Sessionable local beer in a can?  Hell yeah if you ask me... but on to the review:

Reviewers: Eric Ducote (BR Beer Scene), Jay Ducote (BiteandBooze.com), Charles Pierce (Me And My Big Mouth podcast), Brenton Day (The Ale Runner.com), and Ross Marcotte.

Serving: 12 oz. can.

Appearance: Dark brown, small white head, exactly what you'd expect.

Aroma: I found a good caramel/molasses aroma in this one that reminded me of Steen's cane syrup. Brenton and Jay both thought it was more roasted, and maybe even a little nutty. 

Taste: The roasted notes that they picked up on the nose were more present to me in the taste.

Mouthfeel: A little on the thin side, but this is only a 4% beer, and there were no bad off flavors to worry about.

Overall: We all enjoyed this one, but some of the panel more than others.   I thought it was very nice easy drinking brown ale, and a perfect brew for getting a little more malt flavor out of a session beer. 

Overall Rating: 70.8
My Rating: 70

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Stone Is Bringing Back Ruination Tenth Anniversary!

It's a happy day for all the double IPA lovers out there, Stone Brewing is bringing back their fantastic 10.8% Ruination Tenth Anniversary IPA for another year!  This one came out initially in Summer 2012 (here's my review from that batch!) and now it looks like it will be back for Summer 2013, under a slightly difference name.  I've seen two different label variations dubbing the new release as either the "RuinTen IPA" or simply the "Ruination Anniversary IPA."  Either way, I'm a fan.  Thanks to Dan for bringing the BeerStreetJournal article to my attention, and here's the full press release:

RUINING PALATES SINCE 2002 n June 2012, we celebrated the 10th birthday of our notoriously mega-hopped double IPA, Stone Ruination IPA, with the release of a very special version that was even bigger and, incredibly, even hoppier than the original. If Stone Ruination IPA is “A Liquid Poem to the Glory of the Hop,” then Stone Ruination Tenth Anniversary IPA was an amped-up heavy metal version of that ode delivered with the force of a sledgehammer. Luckily for us, our fans love loud and aggressive brews, specifically when copious amounts of humulus lupulus are involved. The original release of this beer was so instantly beloved by those who dared try it [particularly us] that there was no way we could relegate it to one-hit wonder status. You are holding in your hands a veritable hop monster. We dropped the word “Tenth” but the decidedly indelicate recipe is the same as the one first unleashed in 2012. This belligerently delicious ale has the substantial malt backbone needed to stand up to the whopping five pounds of hops packed into each barrel. If all the hyperbole hasn’t frightened you away by now, we know you’ll love this audacious gem of hoppy splendor just as much as we do.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Parish Brewing's Farmhouse IPA Releases On May 1st!

Hello BR Beer Scene readers, some good news on the Parish Brewing front!  Their second big bottle release (following the Grand Reserve barleywine) is set for next Wednesday, May 1st.  This beer is going to be a Farmhouse IPA, hoppy but with a Belgian farmhouse flair.  I've been lucky enough to try a few early batches of this one, and I got to try some at the Zapp's Beer Festival, and I can say that you will want to grab a few bottles.  

The release will probably be similar to the Grand Reserve release back in November, except that there were 1,300 bottles of Grand Reserve, and there should be about 4,000 bottles of Farmhouse IPA.  Unlike the Grand Reserve, I wouldn't recommend cellaring this beer, it should be consumed as fresh and hoppy as possible, so grab a few bottles and share with your friends, or just drink up!

I don't have an exact list of stores, but you can expect the usual players like Calandro's, Matherne's, Cuban Liquor, and The Beverage Store to all get some.  The next big bottle release from Parish should be the L'Autre Femme Double IPA, so be on the lookout for that one in the future. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Beer Reviews: White Birch Hop Session and Hooksett Ale

Time for a quick bonus beer review... or reviews in this case!  Whenever I'm out buying groceries or homebrew supplies I'm always on the lookout for new beers and last week Mandi and I were looking for a little food and drink at the local Bet-R store and two new ones from White Birch Brewing caught our eye.  I'm always a little leery of new breweries that I haven't heard about, but these were affordable at $5.99 and $6.99 so we picked up a White Birch Hop Session and a White Birch Hooksett Ale.  Very clean labels, and I really liked that they had the bottling dates so clearly marked.  Another thing I'm always leery about is finding an IPA that has a bottling date of somewhere around 9 months ago!  Not the case here though, fresh, new... worth a look. 

A little more about White Birch Brewing... they are a relatively new brewery (founded 2009) from Hooksett, New Hampshire.  You mean you've never been to Hooksett, NH?  Yeah, me either... in fact I've never been to New Hampshire, or Vermont, or Maine, or Rhode Island for that matter.  That little corner of the country is one of the few missing on my states list it turns out.  White Birch Brewing is currently using a 7-barrel system for their beers, which makes it even more surprising to see some in Baton Rouge... for reference Tin Roof uses a 30-barrel system... over 4 times as large, and they aren't even distributing to the whole of Louisiana. White Birch has three beers out right now, and it seems like they do three year-round beers plus a regular rotation of multiple seasonals. 

All that said, it's the beer that we really care about, so how do these beers really stack up?  Typical tastings go from light to dark, but we had an Anglo-American IPA and a Belgian Style IPA to work with so we started with the lighter abv beer, the Hop Session Anglo-American IPA.  Now what exactly is an "Anglo-American IPA?"   I'm not entirely sure, but based on the name "Hop Session" and the low 5.2% abv I can assume that this is intended to be a sessionable easy-drinking IPA... and that's exactly what they have created.  It's light bodied, but not TOO light, and it's hoppy but not TOO hoppy.  This is exactly the sort of beer I think more breweries should strive to make... simple, easy, hoppy.  It shows off the hop flavors without being obtrusive and balances it well with a lighter malt body.  Very nice work.

The second beer we tried was the Hooksett Ale, a Belgian Style IPA coming in stronger at 8.5% abv.  This one (just like the Hop Session) was bottled in March of 2013, so it's pretty damn fresh which is how you want your IPAs.  They describe it as "Inspired by our love of Belgian ales and hoppy West Coast ales. We bring Cascade and Columbus hops together with our house yeast for a smooth Belgian style hopfest."  Mmmm, I love some Columbus hops, and this beer really works well with them and the Belgian yeast.  Smooth, creamy even, with a good hop profile and just a little funkiness to it.  All in all another nice beer.

So there you go... two really nice additions to the beer shelves and at nice prices too. Maybe we'll see the third flagship and the seasonals in the future?  Based on these two I'd definitely give them a try. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Feature Beer Friday! - Abita Lemon Wheat

Alright everyone, it's our first Abita Brewing beer to make it to Feature Beer Friday!  I'm sure most friends of mine and readers know that I'm not the biggest Abita fan ever.  I don't want to hate either, I think they make some good gateway beers and occasionally also put out a nice select brew or two.  I just feel like they miss out on a lot of potential to be a great craft brewery.  Just because they are large (14th largest craft brewery by volume in 2012) doesn't mean they can't also put out some exciting beers.  They just... well... don't.  

Lately though, I've seen a few new Abita seasonal beers, the Spring IPA and the Lemon Wheat which are the new Spring and Summer seasonals.  I tried the Lemon Wheat briefly at the Chafunkta Brewing release party, but recently some friends came over to my place record the Bite And Booze radio show and the Me And My Big Mouth Podcast, and as part of the Bite And Booze show we broke out some local beers for Feature Beer Friday!  The first up was the Abita Lemon Wheat.  NOLA Brown, Tin Roof Voodoo Bengal Pale Ale, and the Covington Bayou Bock are coming in the next weeks, getting local! 

Reviewers: Eric Ducote (BR Beer Scene), Jay Ducote (BiteandBooze.com), Charles Pierce (Me And My Big Mouth podcast), Brenton Day (The Ale Runner.com), and Ross Marcotte.

Serving: 12 oz. brown bottle.

Appearance: Slightly hazy and lemonade-esque.  We all wrote down that it was slightly hazy so I guess that was the most notable aspect here.

Aroma: Brenton and I both picked up lemon, and some sour funk. Jay picked up asparagus, which is definitely not something you want a beer to smell like, and Chuck P didn't get much lemon at all.  

Taste: I thought the taste was better than the aroma, with some of the wheat base coming through.  Brenton thought it was more like pine-sol, and Jay and Chuck P both thought it was bland and tasteless.

Mouthfeel: A little bubbly, very little body, bland.

Overall: None of us really liked this one, which is a shame because I thought Abita made some strides in the right direction with their Spring IPA.  

Overall Rating: 41.4
My Rating: 40

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Sweetwater Brewing Coming To Louisiana In 2013!

I think everyone down here assumed when Sweetwater Brewing out of Atlanta, Georgia started on their massive brewhouse expansion that it would eventually mean Louisiana availability, but now it's confirmed.  The guys at Sweetwater quadrupled their capacity and that means more beer and more markets.  They are expanding distribution in their 6 current states and adding Kentucky, Louisiana, and Virginia to the list!  They are expected to be in the three new states during the 2nd or 3rd quarter of 2013.  Knowing how optimism and reality usually coincide, bet on the 3rd quarter!  

Here's the full article at The Full Pint if you want to read more! 

So what does this really mean?  How good of a brewery is Sweetwater? I think that really depends on which beers make it our way.  They have a solid year-round lineup that I think we can expect to see, including the 420 Pale Ale, IPA, Exodus Porter, Blue, LowRYEder and Georgia Brown. I've had the 420 Pale Ale on Feature Beer Friday!, the IPA, Blue, and Georgia Brown are all good beers, but I've never tried the Porter or the LowRYEder.  Sweetwater also does a "Catch & Release" seasonal series and a limited "Dank Tank" series.  The Dank Tank series is what I'm really hoping we see here, but I think the year-rounds and seasonals will be a great addition also.  I'll certainly be looking forward to seeing plenty of their beer on tap at places like The Pelican House around town.  Another good addition to the Louisiana and Baton Rouge craft beer scene to go with New Belgium and Southern Tier.   

Friday, April 12, 2013

Feature Beer Friday! - Bell's Two Hearted Ale

Bell's Brewery... unfortunately another one that isn't available in Louisiana, but you can find Bell's a short drive to Alabama or Florida and Bell's Two Hearted Ale is one that you should be able to find year-round.  It's the most reviewed American IPA on beeradvocate, and the 33rd ranked by ratings, but most of the IPAs ranked higher have less than 1/10th of the reviews that Two Hearted does, so don't take that too seriously.

With all that, this is a beer run favorite... if I'm ever in Orange Beach, Pensacola, or anywhere else in that direction you can expect that I'll be bringing a few 6-packs of Two Hearted home with me.  I strongly recommend any beer lovers out there do the same.  Also makes great gifts for your beer nerd friends.  Hint hint.

Reviewers: Eric Ducote (BR Beer Scene), jay Ducote (BiteandBooze.com), and Jeremy Spikes  (Whiskeybomb.com).

Serving: 12 oz. brown bottle.

Appearance: Amber color, hazy with a small head.

Aroma: Wonderful hop balance.

Taste: Fruity, hoppy, a little pine too.  All around awesome, in my opinion.

Mouthfeel: Well done for an IPA, no bad lingering bitterness.

Overall: Jay felt like there was an "extra dimension of flavor & hops." I think that comes from the perfect balance in this 7.2% IPA.  It's hoppy, but not so hoppy that all you can taste are the hops.  Jeremy though, not really a hophead, didn't care for the Bell's all that much.  We aren't all perfect, I guess!

Overall Rating: 71.67
My Rating: 86

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Beer Travels: Pedernales Brewing Company - Fredericksburg, TX

So yeah, when people think Fredericksburg, TX they probably think wine country, and with good reason, but there are definitely some beer things going on here too.  The landscape in the TX hill country is fantastic for growing grapes and producing wines, but the area was also settled by German immigrants who brought over centuries of brewing knowledge and traditions.  In the center of town you can find the Fredericksburg Brewing Company, a "Bed & Brew" brewpub that has been around for nearly 20 years.  Mandi and I had a room at the bed & brew, but before we checked in we headed a couple of miles out of town to check out the relatively new Pedernales Brewing Company.  

If you're making a weekend trip to Fredericksburg (which I highly recommend as an easy long weekend trip from Baton Rouge) and you like beer (you're reading my blog... I hope you do!) then it'll be worth the few minutes off the beaten path it takes to visit the Pedernales Brewing Company.  From downtown Fredericksburg all you need to do is take a right on Washington Street (87), head past a couple of lights, then the brewery will be on your left just after the large equestrian facility. They weren't open for public tours as of Easter weekend, but they are working hard on the required permits and plan on opening in the very near future.  Fortunately, this little blog is enough to qualify me as non-public and the CEO Lee Hereford was happy to meet Mandi and me to show us around, let us try the beer, and talk to us about the brewery.

The brewery itself has grown a LOT in the year since opening, and Pedernales is currently putting their beers in large part of Texas, especially the central part of the state and up to Dallas/Fort Worth as well. It's really pretty astounding growth for such a short time when you consider how large of a market Texas is. Lee told me that they were optimistic about achieving statewide distribution by July 2013, which would be 15 months after the initial release.  The key to their success is brewing traditional beers that abide by the German purity laws, which in no way means they brew boring beers either. 

In proper tasting fashion we started with the lightest beer, which is also Pedernales' newest beer, the Lobo Lito.  The Lobo Lito is a traditional session pilsner, originally brewed for the British factory workers during WWII so they could enjoy their beer without getting to drunk to get back to the war effort the next morning.  It's only 3.8% alcohol, but this one packed a pretty nice flavor punch with a healthy body and a great noble hop profile.  I was extremely impressed after being skeptical about a "light" beer, but this is what a light beer should be, sessionable, flavorful, and thirst quenching.  

Up second was the Lobo Texas Lager, a pre-prohibition recipe pilsner with a little more punch than the Lobo Lito at 5.5% alcohol.  Again it's a lighter color and uses only noble hops for a very drinkable beer.  After a couple of lagers we were treated to the Pedernales Classic Hefeweizen, a recipe that the head brewer at Pedernales has been using for decades.  This unfiltered beer impressed me a lot with awesome banana and clove flavors and a great body.  A very nice example of a hefeweizen and it does the German heritage of the area proud.  

The fourth beer in line was the Lobo Negro, a dunkel dark lager in the German tradition, and in my opinion this was the winner of the day.  It had a fantastic rich malty base to it and an extremely smooth finish.  The best part was it really found the middle ground between sweet and roasted flavors, something that can be hard to do in a dark lager.  Very well done with this beer, I would drink many a stein of this at the German-styled beer gardens in Fredericksburg. 

The last beer on tap was the Pedernales IPA, again a traditional English IPA malt backbone but the twist here is American hop additions.  It uses specialty caramel malts for some sweet backbone and then pacific NW hops in the boil and dry-hopped, but only comes in at 6% abv.  The result is an easy-drinking, well balanced IPA that has a really interesting malt/hop interaction atypical of traditional west-coast IPAs or of truly traditional English IPAs.  It's not going to compete with Pliny the Elder or excite the real hop-heads out there, but I think it's a great beer to work on converting the BMC drinkers of the world to the notion that an IPA can be a really good thing.  

Now that we were sufficiently quenched, brewmaster Peter McFarlane took us on a quick tour of the brewery, an impressive operation for only a year's worth of production.  They currently operate on a 20-barrel brewhouse, nine 40-barrel jacketed fermenters and a couple of 80-barrel fermenters which feed into three 80-barrel lagering tanks for the three lagered beers.  The currently both keg and bottle their beers, and had just received a new bottling line right before our tour.  It certainly looked impressive but it wasn't operational just yet.  The crazy thing is that they are already close to maxing out their building, and still have plenty of Texas to distribute too.  I was expecting a much smaller operation when I first heard about Pedernales, but that's not the case, they are not taking a slow road to success at all.  And as long as the beer is selling, why would they?  

Pedernales has found a nice niche as a traditional German-inspired but still American craft brewery.  They've hit the nail on the head with several of their beers, marketing to people in a very German-rich part of the state and also brewing beers that are going to catch and keep the attention of BMC drinkers around.  It's a smart business decision that almost all breweries make to start out with some friendlier approachable beers, and Pedernales has done that and done it very well.  I look forward to trying more of their beer as they make their way to Houston and possibly even closer.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Chafunkta Brewing Release Party - Thursday at The Barley Oak!

Alright, Zapp's is over with, I survived, and it's time to get excited for the next beer event!  You don't even have to wait long, as the Chafunkta Brewing release party starts at 7:00 this Thursday, April 11th, at The Barley Oak in downtown Mandeville.  If you made it to Zapp's then you might have tried their beers, but if not (and even if you did) this will be their official commercial release.  

They will be starting out with two beers that will only be available on draft on the north shore to start out so if you want some you're going to have to drive a little.  The two beers are the Voo Ka Ray IPA and the Old 504 Porter.  It's awesome to see a new brewery coming on board with a little more aggressive styles, I know Tin Roof's last two seasonals have been a Coffee Porter and an IPA, but it's always good to see more of these beers coming along locally.  

And if you can't go on Friday, they will be at Mellow Mushroom in Covington Friday night for night #2 of the official release. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Feature Beer Friday! - Guinness Black Lager

And we're back to where we started... sort of.  The first ever Feature Beer Friday! was Guinness Draught and now we are featuring another Guinness brew, their Black Lager.  This one has been out and available for a while, but I never really wanted to mess with my mental picture of Guinness.  Fortunately, that's what friends are for and James brought us a Guinness Black Lager to talk about on the air and review for the readers. 

The Black Lager is described as "cold brewed" on the bottle, and I can't say I really know what means.  You can't mash cold or sugars won't be extracted, and you certainly can't boil cold... so I guess they mean that it's fermented cold.  Well, news flash, you already said it was a lager so we already know it's fermented cold!  I guess I'm being nitpicky, but I don't like it when the labels "lie" because labels (and the internet) are never supposed to lie!  Enough of that though, on to the beer.

Reviewers: Eric Ducote (BR Beer Scene), Dustin Davis, Jeremy Spikes and James Lawson  (Whiskeybomb.com).

Serving: 12 oz. brown bottle.

Appearance: Dark brown, thin tan head, decent dark beer.

Aroma: Roasted, slightly caramel and a little bitter.  Dustin wasn't all the impressed, but James liked the roastiness.

Taste: Weaker than the aroma I thought.  Dustin said, "definite lager yeast profile w/ slight burnt taste & dark roast."

Mouthfeel: Light mouthfeel with good carbonation.

Overall: I thought it was a decent dark lager, Dustin said it wasn't his favorite, and Jeremy described it as a "pretty good Guinness light."

Overall Rating: 69.5
My Rating: 73

(Guinness Draught scored a 76 overall and a 71 by me, so I guess I was favoring the lager on this day.)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

New Brewery News! - New Belgium, Southern Tier, Founder's

Hey everyone, I'm sure you all know by now that New Belgium from Fort Collins, CO is officially out in Louisiana.  They arrived yesterday at Calandro's, Matherne's, Cuban Liquors, and The Beverage Store, and other area stores (the national chains) should be seeing their allotments any day now.  All the perennial releases were represented and Louisiana was lucky enough to get some cases of the Lips of Faith series as well.  I know Fat Tire is the real moneymaker for New Belgium, but their Lips of Faith series features some outstanding brews.  This first round of Lips of Faith might be going, going, gone, but there will plenty more to come! 

In other news, I'm late to the party on this one, but I've heard from multiple sources
including Nora's Beer Blog and The Ale Runner that Southern Tier from Lakewood, NY will be coming to Louisiana in May!  They are rolling out in Texas this month and I'm glad they chose Louisiana to follow.  Some of the hits here include the 2xIPA, 2xStout, Unearthly IIPA, Imperial Pumking, Imperial Choklat Stout, and the Imperial Creme Brulee Stout.  And that's leaving off many of their year-round beers, most of which I haven't had the chance to try.  I don't know yet what the Louisiana roll out will look like or an exact date, but I'll be passing it on.
Lastly, it's not quite to Louisiana, but beer hauls to Texas are about to get a lot better as I saw on The Petrol Station's FB page that Founder's Brewing from Grand Rapids, MI will be there this month as well!  April Fool's joke?  Nah, I checked the Founder's Brewing site and it's indeed true, that on April 8th they will be available across the state line. Their big claim to fame is the KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) but the rest of the lineup is solid as well.  Hopefully this means that like Southern Tier, they are thinking about moving a little east from Texas and coming to Louisiana.  Hopefully.

So, to recap... New Belgium is here, Southern Tier is coming, and Founder's is coming to TX.