Low Road Brewing
Tangipahoa Parish is vying to be the hub of Louisiana’s brew scene, with no fewer than four breweries operating in and around Hammond. Among the newest is Low Road Brewing. Joe Ribando — president, brewmaster and bartender at Low Road — opened in March 2017, with a goal of bringing his and other Louisiana brews to craft beer lovers and craft-beer-lovers-to-be.
“This market has taken off,” says Ribando about craft brewing in the state. As testimony, he points to the 30 taps he has in Low Road Brewery’s tasting room, all pouring Louisiana beers. Ten are reserved for Low Road, which include as-yet unnamed varieties that include a pale ale (“a smooth, summer-drinking beer” Ribando says), a peanut butter-flavored porter and a lemon-blueberry ale. Ribando will be cycling these and other beers in and out to see what he and customers like best.
With a single-barrel system like his that produces small batches of 310 gallons at a time, Ribando has a lot of flexibility. “When you come and see the brewery, you won’t see huge stainless-steel equipment — we’re in a little bitty room,” he says. And that’s how he likes it: The small-is-better approach is all part of the plan. Ribando is more interested in creating a space for both locals and travelers along the I-12 and I-55 corridors (at the intersection of which Low Road Brewing is located) than in becoming, he says, “the next Abita.”
The other 20 taps at Low Road’s tasting room are dedicated to beers from around the state. Gnarly Barley Brewing Co., 40 Arpent Brewing Co., Great Raft Brewing, Mudbug Brewery, Bayou Teche Brewing, NOLA Brewing Company and Urban South Brewery are just some of the breweries that have taps reserved at Low Road. According to Ribando, educating visitors on Louisiana’s beer-making businesses is part of the fun.
"We had people come to our opening who didn't know each other beforehand," he says. "Craft beer lovers. Within a couple hours, thy were all talking, saying, "Well, have you tried this one yet?"