Urban South Brewery
New Orleans’ Garden District neighborhood is becoming known as the Crescent City’s craft beer headquarters. Urban South Brewery, located within a five-minute drive of NOLA Brewing Company, Port Orleans Brewing Co. and Miel Brewery & Taproom, is now the largest brewery by volume in New Orleans, and the second-largest in Louisiana.
When asked why Urban South placed itself literally between its competition, founder and president Jacob Landry believes it’s a matter of creating a community. “There’s synergy with those breweries nearby,” he says. “Our philosophy is, ‘a rising tide lifts all boats.’
“The microbreweries aren’t in competition with each other, but with the macrobreweries that control 80 percent of the market.” Landry foresees the market for small breweries growing every year, and expect more small-scale operations like his popping up in Louisiana and beyond.
That rising tide Landry refers to has certainly been high for Urban South. The brewery’s opening night party in March 2016 saw upwards of 600 visitors to its taproom, with crowds standing in line for beers that include its Holy Roller IPA and Charming Wit witbier. Landry, who founded Urban South with fellow beer connoisseurs Wes Osier and Kyle Huling, says the choice of debuting those beers in particular was an effort to “capture the two ends of the spectrum.”
“We knew one had to be flavorful but also had to be something the newer craft beer drinker could access,” he says of Charming Wit. “The Holy Roller IPA is at the other end. We wanted to create something citrusy and tropical that fits our climate and food. It’s the kind of beer you’d want to drink out on a parade route.”
Urban South’s story didn’t begin in a garage, but rather, a classroom. Landry’s first career was in K through 12 education. After spending years dreaming of opening his own brewery, he switched gears to attend business school at Tulane University, and then paired up with Osier (whose background is in brewing) and Huling (whose background is in marketing). The three combined their expertise and got Urban South up and running. Landry and Huling continue to run the business.
Holy Roller and American lager Paradise Park are Urban South's top sellers. Also in production is the saison Coop’d Up, which, according to the company’s website, “longs for greener grass underfoot and a field of stars overhead.” Who Dat Lager and Lime Cucumber Gose are just a couple of the other top sellers Urban South produces.
Stop by Urban South’s tasting room to see what’s on tap, and don’t be shy about asking for an informal tour of the brewery. Urban South is open daily from noon to 9 p.m. on weekdays, and on Friday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.