First Look: Baton Rouge scores a new brewery this weekend with Rally Cap opening

Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that Rally Cap is off Essen Lane. It is off Siegen Lane. 225 regrets this error.

Walking into Rally Cap Brewing‘s tap room, eyes are immediately drawn to the stainless steel bar set into the back wall, the Rally Cap logo in large blue script. In between the rows of curvy beer glasses and cement counters is the bar’s best feature: a row of 16 taps. The taps are ready to pour out some of the 450 gallons of house-made beer brewed in preparation for the grand opening this Saturday, Dec. 14. 

This converted warehouse off Siegen Lane has long been a dream for Rally Cap owner and head brewer Kevin Whalen. He’d been thinking of the concept for around half a decade before working on the space itself over the last two years. The concept blends Whalen’s two biggest passions in life: beer and sports. His director of operations, Jeremy Brown, agrees.  

“The theme is baseball. A lot of the names of beers are baseball,” Whalen says. “Jeremy and I are both huge sports fanatics. To be able to merge sports and brewing is an exciting thing for us.” 

So naturally, there are 10 widescreen TVs around the open-plan main room, which is filled with tables and chairs. Rally Cap has enough seating for just under 100 people, but the space can hold up to 217 people. Behind the bar, the brewery is visible through a glass panel, and there are also a few seats inside the brewery itself for those who want a closer look. 

Whalen and Brown’s vision is about versatility—they want to be a bar, a brewery, a sports hangout and a community spot where people can unwind after work. There’s even a small stand filled with board games, including Pictionary.

Whalen is happy with the way all the features turned out, but he’s especially proud of the glass doors, which let in a lot of natural light, and the large red graphics on the ceiling surrounding the bar meant to look like baseball stitching. 

“I think people are going to be surprised at what they see,” Whalen says. “We put together a pretty nice space. We’re just happy to show it off.” 

For their grand opening event this Saturday, Rally Cap plans to offer five to six brews, including the First Pitch hazy pale and the Innings Eater with light American wheat, among others. Whalen also might brew some of his favorite IPA, Rainbow. The two plan on being flexible when it comes to brewing. 

Rally Cap owner and head brewer Kevin Whalen and director of operations Jeremy Brown

“What Jeremy and I like and what you’ll see at the start is a lot of hazy IPAs, pale ales, just some innovative things,” Whalen says. “But I think over time it’s important to know what the customer wants. If it continues to be hazy IPAs, that’s what I’ll brew. And if people want stouts, I’ll brew stouts.” 

Rally Cap is also about bringing more craft beer to Baton Rouge, and helping people fully understand and enjoy the brews, the team says. 

“We’re excited to be Baton Rouge’s third brewery. There’s still a lot of work to do in the community to get craft beer to where it is, even in New Orleans,” Brown says. “And so we’re excited to help with that. Our beer tenders are going to be knowledgeable, to help people understand what our styles are and to help people who haven’t had craft beer before to navigate.”

The grand opening event is set for Dec. 14, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Rally Cap Brewing is at 11212 Pennywood Ave.