Dixie Brewing Co.
In any list of iconic New Orleans brands — think Zatarain’s dirty rice, Café Du Monde coffee and beignets, Zapp’s potato chips — Dixie beer has to be near the top. Dixie is New Orleans in a bottle, with a rich history that dates to its founding in 1907.
For decades, Dixie Brewing Company was synonymous with the city, surviving Prohibition (when the company’s name was temporarily changed to Dixie Beverage Company), and distributing from its production facility in New Orleans’ Mid-City neighborhood until 2005.
When Hurricane Katrina struck the city on August 29th, 2005, the brewery, along with most of New Orleans, was flooded. Operations shut down, though the company managed to continue brewing at another facility out of state. Though you could find Dixie beer in bars and stores throughout the country, it wasn’t truly a New Orleans product.
That changed in 2017. Tom and Gail Benson, then Louisiana’s wealthiest couple and owners of both the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans (the city’s NFL football and NBA basketball teams, respectively), bought a majority stake in the business. Soon afterwards, a new, state-of-the-art facility in the eastern part of New Orleans began taking shape.
Finally, after more than two years since its homecoming was announced, Dixie reopened as a New Orleans brewery in January 2020. At the new facility, visitors can tour Dixie’s beer museum, filled with photos, artifacts and memorabilia from the company’s yesteryear. The taproom serves Dixie’s flagship lager, light beer and Blackened Voodoo lager, as well as experimental, smaller batch beers you won’t find anywhere other than the brewery. You can also sign up for one of Dixie’s guided 45-minute tours, where you’ll learn all about the brewing process and the history of one of New Orleans’ proudest homegrown brands.