NOLA Brewing Company
Following Hurricane Katrina, Kirk Coco contemplated how to give back to the city he loved most. He realized that the city lacked breweries, which used to be numerous in New Orleans, and he wanted to bring at least a part of that back. NOLA Brewing Company, standing for New Orleans Lagers and Ales, took shape in 2008 with the help of Peter Caddo, who formerly worked as a brewmaster at Dixie Beer. Knowing the long history of New Orleans as one of the brewing capitals of the South only further fueled the fire to bring craft beer back to the Crescent City.
NOLA began with its flagship Blonde Ale as well as their refreshing Brown Ale, a beer light enough in body to drink in the Louisiana heat but still dark in color with plenty of malt presence. Before long the company added several more beers to their mix. Hopitoulas is an IPA named after the famous New Orleans street on which the brewery lives: Tchopitoulas. Their summer seasonal, the Hurricane Saison, is of course named after Louisiana’s notorious hurricane season. Seventh Street Wheat, made with fresh lemon basil, gets its name from the Seventh Street Wharf right outside the brewery, and Irish Channel Stout is named for the Irish Channel neighborhood where the brewery resides.
Another standout beer for NOLA is the Mechahopzilla, an Imperial IPA that Coco admittedly did not think would fly in the Bayou State. The brewery actually lost money on the first batches of the beer. NOLA brewed enough of the extremely hops-forward beer for what they thought would last six months, but three weeks later Coco and Caddo found themselves needing to brew a second batch. The Mechahopzilla had been unleashed, and Louisiana proved thirsty for more.
NOLA Brewing takes great responsibility in upholding the brewing traditions of New Orleans, as well as matching the culinary talents of the city. Tourists flock to New Orleans from around the world to eat. Mardi Gras, festivals and sporting events are only excuses to travel to the greatest culinary destination on the planet, so brewing beer to match the cuisine is not a challenge taken lightly. NOLA crafts each brew with the purpose of matching audacious flavor with consistency and greatness.
NOLA can be found in cans and kegs throughout Louisiana, in Alabama from Montgomery to Mobile, and throughout the Florida panhandle.
Tours are available at the brewery Fridays from 2 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. for $5. A gift shop is located at the brewery, and merchandise can be purchased at nolabrewing.com.