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Saturday, October 21st 2011

The PeliCAN State:
Louisiana Brewers Going with Cans

Google the words "Louisiana" and "Beer" and your first result will be Abita Brewing Company. Abita opened it's doors in 1986 making it the oldest craft brewery in the state and last year they brewed over 100,000 barrels of beer which also makes it the largest. Their beers can be found in 42 states and up until now they've only been available on draught or in a bottle.

Three of Abita's major brands will be canned in 2012

This summer the Abita Springs brewer made a ripple in the craft beer world when it announced that they would begin canning three of their major brands in 2012. In the meantime the beer store shelves in Louisiana are being stocked with a number of other in-state cans.

Heiner Brau Kolsch was first canned in 2005

Heiner Brau Microbrewery in Covington was the first craft brewery in the state to can one of it's beers - and they still can that one beer and you can crack one open if you're lucky enough to find it. Heiner Brau's Kolsch was first hand-canned in 2005 and sporadically so since then. Last we heard a small batch had been canned and was only being sold at a limited number of stores. Perhaps the newly emerging market for cans will spur Heiner Brau to do more canning? We shall see.

This past year, NOLA Brewing Company (New Orleans Lager and Ale)in New Orleans (of course), and Tin Roof Brewing Company, in Baton Rouge, both began brewing and both made the decision to go with cans. These two new breweries are among a growing number of craft breweries that have foregone bottles in favor of cans and represent the rapidly growing market for good beer in the south.

NOLA Blonde Ale is the first canned release from the new brewery

NOLA Brewing is releasing the first batch of their NOLA Blonde Ale in cans next weekend and will release their NOLA Brown Ale in cans this January. The brewery plans to also release their Hopitoulas IPA, Flambeau Red Ale, Hurricane Saison, Irish Channel Stout and 7th Street Wheat all in cans. Located in New Orleans, the brewery references a number of reasons why they chose cans over bottles and one of those reasons is that its legal to drink beer from a can on the streets in the Big Easy whereas you can't do so from a bottle. They should put that information right on the cans!


Tin Roof Brewing Company's Perfect Tin Amber Ale

Tin Roof Brewing, located in the state's capital city, began brewing in November of 2010. In late August of this year they shipped out the first cans of their Perfect Tin Amber Ale. The brewery also has plans to can their Voodoo Bengal Pale Ale as well as, and this made the news quite a bit in the college sports world, their Bandit Blonde Ale. The name comes from the term Chinese Bandits - and is a reference to a nickname given to players on an LSU football team back in the late 50s and now a song that is played by LSU's band at football games when LSU forces a turnover. It will be the "Official Beer of Louisiana State University" and is dressed up nicely in the school's familiar purple and gold along with "a Chinese bandit tiger wearing an eye patch on the back". Look for cans of Bandit Blonde to hit shelves later this year.

By 2012, when those Abita cans finally show up on the beer store shelves in Louisiana they'll have to find some room for them! We wish all these guys nothing but the best and from what we've been hearing the folks down in Louisiana are pretty excited about all the great new locally brewed beers hitting the market. Enjoy and Cheers!

Posted by Russ