Flying Tiger Brewery
Monroe’s Flying Tiger Brewery serves up beer with a history lesson. Just take a look at its taproom: The nose of a World War II-era Curtis P-40 Warhawk fighter plane, honoring hometown hero Gen. Claire Chennault, peers out over the pecan wood tables where visitors enjoy Flying Tiger’s handcrafted brews.
The brewery began, as does many small-scale operations of its kind, with a couple guys home brewing in a garage. In this case, it was company co-founders James Earl Simpson and Robert Brewer. They tinkered and tweaked their first batches and, in 2014, began planning to open the microbrewery.
Fast forward to late 2016. At this point, Brewer and Simpson had brought former Abita Brewing Company head brewer Brooks Hamaker on board and had built a state-of-the-art brewing facility and luxurious tasting room. They opened late that year and have been watching both their reputation and bottom line grow ever since.
Brewer says, “We’re proud of our connection to Louisiana, and want to focus on building our brand in the state.” That focus on all things local is most evident at Flying Tiger Brewery’s taproom itself. It’s become a destination for hardcore beer aficionados and casual visitors alike, with ample space to unwind.
“We have a huge covered patio space, over 5,000 square feet. Some sitting nooks, the bar…. I’ve been to a number of breweries and none of them have been as comfortable as this,” Brewer says. Visit the taproom today and you'll find the flagship beers alongside some more adventurous varieties. Try the Belgian Strong, an ale that stands up to its name with a whopping 8% ABV. The Bockus Classic German Bock is an Old-World beer containing hints of caramel flavor; Final Resting Place is a double IPA; Nitro Milk Stout is a creamy combination of caramel and chocolate flavors with a hint of bitterness; and Plum Smuggler Amber Lager, a lighter flavored amber that's great for sipping on a hot afternoon.