Baton Rouge is well located as a home base for brewery road trips to every corner of the state. These are some of my personal favorite day trips, all with great beer, friendly vibes and cool tap room/brewery spaces.
TO THE EAST
Parleaux Beer Lab in the New Orleans Bywater is part nanobrewery, part urban farm and part personal journey. Meticulous brewing techniques meet experimental ingredients. Its beer garden is a hidden oasis.
Set your destination to: 634 Lesseps St., New Orleans
I like to order: Whatever flavor gose that’s on is always a winner.
Wayward Owl in Broadmoor is worth a visit to see its renovated historic movie theater space. With communal tables and shuffleboard, it’s family-friendly.
Set your destination to: 3940 Thalia St., New Orleans
I like to order: The Galactik Quaker session IPA or the Shoop Citrus IPA
Old Rail Brewing Company is the only place you can get brewer Matt Horney’s excellent beers. The on-site only status shields one of the shiniest hidden gems in the state.
Set your destination to: 639 Girod St., Mandeville
I like to order: Cow Catcher Milk Chocolate Stout or Gin and Tonic Gose
TO THE WEST
Bayou Teche Brewing aims to provide a true Cajun experience at its tap room in Arnaudville, with music, food and sundry events. Those events are mostly on Saturdays, but it offers a more mellow experience on weekdays.
Set your destination to: 1106 Bushville Highway, Arnaudville
I like to order: Miel Sauvage farmhouse ale
Beer geeks make regular pilgrimages to Parish Brewing Company for the hazy-hopped beer releases it’s known for. Founder Andrew Godley and team have worked for seven years to bring world-class beer culture to Louisiana.
Set your destination to: 229 Jared Drive, Broussard
I like to order: Ghost in the Machine DIPA or Nova Vert IPA
Crying Eagle is a huge, gorgeous facility in Lake Charles. The taproom serves food along with its flagship and experimental beers.
Set your destination to: 1165 E. McNeese St., Lake Charles
I like to order: Calcasieu Common
TO THE NORTH
Red River Brewing’s new taproom is so large it has lawn games you can play inside. The design is rustic-shack chic. The perfect place to enjoy live music, yoga, trivia and, oh yeah, great beer.
Set your destination to: 1200 Marshall St., #500, Shreveport
I like to order: Pine Island Crude Black IPA or River Monster Imperial Red Ale
If you’re into the science of brewing, Great Raft in Shreveport is a good place to learn about how to make clean lagers, hoppy brews or sours, or figure out what the hell mixed fermentation is anyway.
Set your destination to: 1251 Dalzell St., Shreveport
I like to order: Reasonably Corrupt Schwarzbier or Oceans Between Us Brett IPA
What are your favorite breweries in the state? Tell us in the comments below. Nora McGunnigle is a beer, food and travel writer based in New Orleans. Find Nora’s Beer Blog on Facebook or her website, nolabeerblog.com, to see what she’s up to.
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This article was originally published in the February 2018 issue of 225 Magazine.