WIth three new Baton Rouge breweries on the horizon and two already pouring the good stuff, the city is shaping up to be the place for beer lovers. There’s no need to pick one. Try them all. Twice.
Cypress Coast Brewing Co.
Cypress Coast Brewing Company may not have a facility just yet, but its name has been circulating with craft beer enthusiasts across Louisiana for years. Slated to open by the end of 2018, the award-winning brewery is looking to bring some new flavor to the Baton Rouge beer scene.
Owner, Caleb Schlamp began brewing about four years ago and his favorite pastime has now become a family affair. His wife, Brittney, and friends Justin and Rachel Myers, have all joined along for the ride and love it.
Schlamp and Myers have taken their beers to home brewing contests around the state, winning major awards. You may have spotted them at Larry Hartzog’s Twisted Brew Fest in Mandeville, NOLA on Tap in New Orleans, and other smaller festivals.
“Our vision is a small taproom. We won’t be doing any distribution of our product or anything like that, so it will all be available in the taproom,” says Schlamp. “Our wives like the farmhouse feel so it will probably be something like that with seating and a few games.”
Once open, the taproom will be a home away from home for beer lovers. The taproom will even be dog friendly, as Schlamp and his wife are dog lovers themselves.
Schlamp says Cypress Coast will offer a huge variety of brews so customers can be sure there will always be something new on tap. They will be tweaking and perfecting their recipes by changing ingredients, putting new spins on each brew, and rotating out flavors.
“The main goal is to essentially have a new brew coming out every week,” says Schlamp. “We’ll use some of the same base beers with different hops or a different types of coffee or something like that.”
Overcast IPA is a brew customers can expect to see on tap at Cypress Coast. The hazy IPA is one they’ve been brewing for years and has won acclaim in various home brew contests. Another award-winning brew is the Réveil, a coffee porter named after the French word for alarm clock.
Schlamp enjoys drinking and brewing hoppy beers like IPAs that have the bitter flavor with hints of citrus, while Myers prefers Belgian styles that have earthy spices and aromas of a drier beer.
“We brew something different every week,” said Schlamp. “There’s so many beer styles that you can potentially brew, so we should have a good range of different products to offer.”
By Halen Doughty | Photo courtesy of Cypress Coast
Rally Cap Brewing Co.
Rally Cap Brewing Company is ready to bring the community together with the unique brews they are creating for their sports themed taproom. Owner, Kevin Whalen began brewing about eight years ago and what started as a hobby, quickly became his passion.
With trials over the past few years, Whalen has finally begun fine-tuning his recipes for the future taproom. He says their focus will be on hoppy beers like Indian Pale Ales (IPAs) and range from dark stouts to lighter beers. He expects to have at least eight brews at a time and a variety of flavors that will rotate throughout the year.
“Our goal is to be rotating so that you’re not going to see the same beers on the board all the time. If you come visit us a week or two weeks later, you’re going to have something else that you can try.”
Keeping the beer in-house is an important aspect of the brewery that Whalen wants to focus on. And with a name like “Rally Cap,” you might believe baseball is the bar’s main game, but its really just about bringing the people of Baton Rouge together.
The sports-centric taproom will feature plenty of TVs for watching games and cheering on the Tigers.
“We really want to develop an atmosphere where people want to come to the brewery,” Whalen says. “We think we’ve designed a really nice tap room where people will like to come sit, hang out and drink the beers.”
Whalen has had a great time learning about the brewing process and figuring out things on his own, but adds that drinking it is just as enjoyable. Although the recipes aren’t quite finalized yet, he’s already decided what the first Rally Cap brew will be First Pitch Pale Ale.
“The name works from the sports aspect and also in the brewing industry when you put yeast in, it’s called pitching the yeast. So it’s a double meaning.”
Rally Cap Brewing Co. is still under construction with hopes of being open later this summer, in the Industriplex area off Siegen Lane. Bringing a fun spot to that side of town was important to Whalen as many bars are located closer to LSU campus and downtown.
By Halen Doughty | Photo by Sean Gasser
Le Chien Brewing
A while ago, Brett Durham bought his dad a home brewing kit as a Father’s day present. Ron Durham did what nearly all fathers have done with such gifts: he put it in his shop and didn’t open it. A year later, the Durhams pulled out the kit and made their first batch of beer kicking off a family passion for home brewing.
“It was drinkable,” said Brett, about that first batch. “That’s about it.”
In the years after, Brett went to brew school in Chicago and worked at local Louisiana breweries, all the while tinkering with his dad to make better beer. This year they plan to open their own microbrewery, named “Le Chien” after the family dogs which have been a part of their brewing life since the beginning.
“We also wanted to honor our Cajun heritage,” Brett said. “The Cajun French language is quickly dying and we just want to do our part.”
Durham said they’re looking for a space with grassy outdoor spots for patrons and their pooches to enjoy together. That also means yard games like giant Jenga or cornhole, and easy-to-carry finger foods such as cheese-stuffed boudin balls, chipotle mac and cheese balls, and occasionally Cajun staples like jambalaya.
As for the beer, Durham said he wants his brews to be inviting and approachable, while also finding ways to celebrate the wider home brewing community.
“We will hold home-brew competitions and the winner will get to come brew their beer with us and have their name on the wall,” he said. “We will be able to do crazy beers that would be harder to do on a large scale.”
For Durham, craft brewing is more than just a hobby or a way to work for yourself. It’s a way for people who love good food and drink to also make a difference in their neighbors’ lives.
“When you buy beer from a local brewery, you help buy dance lessons for a little girl, a peewee baseball uniform, or dog food and chew toys in my case,” he said. “You are not helping pay for a Super Bowl commercial, but you are helping normal people fulfill their passion for good beer and doing what they love.”
The Durhams said they’re still working to nail down a location that matches all their desires, and they’re hopeful Le Chien will start pouring drinks and patting good boys on the head by the end of 2018. For now, you can visit LeChien.beer to keep an eye on their progress.
By Russell Jones | Photo courtesy Le Chien Brewing
Tin Roof Brewing Company
Tin Roof Brewing Company, located right off of Nicholson Dr., is home to Baton Rouge’s largest brewery. With favorites like Voodoo Pale Ale, Bayou Bengal Lager, and Juke Joint IPA, it’s easy to see how Tin Roof became a major player in the South’s craft beer game. Manager Jacob Talley answered some questions about the brewery’s upcoming plans for the New Year, dished about an upcoming Rosé beer (okay, I’m excited), and events happening soon!
What should we know about Tin Roof Brewing Company?
We have a really awesome crew here with some really solid backgrounds in this business. Many of our brands have experienced some reformulations. This has allowed us to meet the demands of the craft beer drinker in our footprint. Brands like Voodoo Pale Ale are performing really, really well. Our team has experience all across the country and their talents are on full display! Pick up a 6 pack of Voodoo Pale Ale, Juke Joint IPA or the new recipe of Parade Ground Coffee Porter the next time you’re at the store. You’ll be glad you did!
What’s been going on at Tin Roof lately?
We have been gearing up for our 2018 plans, which include changing our seasonal offerings and launching a new brand. We are going to further establish ourselves as leaders in the craft beer community in Louisiana.
Can you give us a little idea of what’s on the menu for 2018?
A new seasonal, inspired by Rosé wine will be launched in April. We are also going to introduce a new hoppier, year round brand soon. Think like Voodoo, but bigger, badder and scarier. From more activity at the taproom, more frequent food options and more different types of beer (and other beverages) to offer, we will have something for everyone.
Are there any events coming up where we can check out the brewery and grab a beer?
We love our Family Friday nights. The first Friday of every month, we transform the brewery into a fun place for families to hang out. Bounce houses, face painters, balloon artists, even entire rock bands of kids providing the music! Our specialty beer releases are really fun as well. We like planning events with local non-profits; being a good community partner is important to us. We’ve partnered with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Association, Susan G. Komen, Companion Animal Alliance and just about everything in between. In 2018, we will continue to do as much as we can.
Tin Roof Brewery also offers free tours on Fridays and Saturdays, Happy Hour Specials, and Yoga on Tap, a free hour of yoga on Wednesday nights. For more information on events and all things beer, head to tinroofbeer.com.
By Catherine Sisung | Photo courtesy of Tin Roof
Southern Craft Brewing Company
Joe Picou and Wes Hedges turned their hobby into a lifestyle when starting Southern Craft Brewing Co. here in Baton Rouge. Located on Airline Hwy, Southern Craft prides themselves on their devotion to local and southern flavors. With beers like Red Stick Rye, Pompous Pelican, and Swamp Sting, it’s easy to see how the south has influenced Picou and Hedges’s process. Joe Picou talked to us about big plans at the brewery, some projects his team are working on right now, and the ingredients that make Southern Craft special.
What makes Southern Craft Brewing Co. one of a kind?
One of the things that make us unique is the commitment to using local products. We were really inspired by the farm to table movement and we try to incorporate as many local ingredients as possible. For example, Pompous Pelican is made with Louisiana cane sugar. We use Louisiana honey, southern wheat, and southern rye. We proudly use local and southern ingredients for our brand.
Can you describe some of your favorite brews for the readers?
Right now we are featuring Citeaux, our seasonal winter beer. It is a coffee oatmeal stout, brewed using local coffee. The ingredients come from Cafeciteaux, right next door to the brewery, so it’s some of the freshest ingredients we can get. You can find Citeaux around town in places like The Bulldog or Chimes.
Do you guys have anything special planned for 2018?
Lately, we have been gearing up for cans. Until now, you could only find Southern Craft on draft. But we just commissioned a new canning system, so you can now find Southern Craft in local grocery stores.
Aside from cans, what does the brewery have in store for the next few months?
We are working on a collaboration with Baton Rouge’s first local distillery. Together we are working on a rye whiskey, based on our rye recipe. They will be distilling a mash that will be aged in barrels, then we’ll use those same barrels to brew a beer. So we will end up with a really nice and unique favor for both the brew and whiskey.
When can we stop by the Tap Room?
The Tap Room is open on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings. We always have a different beer on tap and there is something new almost every week. And we’re turning 2 years old in April, so we’re going to have a big party to celebrate with everyone.
Southern Craft Brewing Co. also offers free tours of the brewery on Thursday and Friday nights as well as a Brew Master Tour on Saturday afternoons. For more information of their beer, their commitment to local ingredients, and the Tap Room, check out socraftbeer.com or their Facebook page.