|Source: NOLA Brewing Company Facebook Page|
When it comes to local beer in New Orleans, two brands that come to mind are Dixie
and Abita. Neither is brewed in the city, with Dixie contract-brewed out of Wisconsin and Abita brewed on the north shore
of Lake Pontchartrain. But there is one beer in New Orleans that is made in the city: NOLA.The New Orleans Lager and Ale Company
, or NOLA Brewing Company, was started by Kirk Coco and Peter Caddoo in 2008. After leaving his job as a U.S. Navy officer, Coco came back home to New Orleans and saw an opportunity to help his hometown by filling the void left when the Dixie brewery was uprooted by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
|First thing you see when you walk into the facilities: the fermenting barrels.|
NOLA Brewing Co. started off with four people and now has 11 employees, including brewmaster Caddoo, who worked for Dixie Brewing Company
before Katrina. Coco bought a small 10,000 square foot warehouse in the heart of the Irish Channel at 3001 Tchoupitoulas Street (pronounced 'chop-it-too-las').
|The boil system. |
The first beer they started brewing was Blonde Ale in 2009. Then came Brown Ale, Hopitoulas IPA and 7th Street Wheat (brewed with fresh lemon basil). They have three seasonals: Flambeau Red Ale, Irish Channel Stout and Hurricane Saison (a pun on 'hurricane season').
|Dat Stack of cans.|
NOLA started off with a brewing capacity of roughly 2400 barrels. Now they are pushing 7,000, doubling their capacity from 2011. Compare that to Abita Brewing Company which put out over 130,000 barrels in 2011.