There’s a certain risk in letting Redstick Brewmasters president Keith Primeaux order a beer for you.
Primeaux is also the owner of LA Homebrew and knows his craft beers, so it’s instinctive to trust his taste—even when you’re served a mysterious, dark brew at The Chimes, where he’s a regular. He’ll wait until after the first sip to reveal it’s an oyster stout, made with briny oyster water. Surprise!
The brew, an Abita beer called Bad Mother Shucker, is based on the winner of Abita’s 2010 homebrew competition. It’s a fitting drink order from the man who both supplies most of the city’s homebrewers and wrangles the 60 or so members of Redstick Brewmasters, Baton Rouge’s biggest and oldest homebrew club. Founded in the 1980s, the club meets once a month at George’s Southside to discuss craft beer news, talk shop about brewing and sample one another’s beers.
Its monthly brewing challenge focuses on a different style of beer every month, helping brewers expand their knowledge, skills and palates. Usually the group will have around seven beers to sample, but one month’s assignment of the German gose variety turned out a dozen different brews.
“I actually had members come tell me, ‘Man, thank y’all for picking this style. I had never heard of it; I just wanted to brew it because it was something different, and I am in love with this style now,’” Primeaux says.
Members range in age from 22 to 72; their ranks include biologists, engineers, judges and lawyers.
Some are certified beer judges, some are professional brewers like Southern Craft’s Wes Hedges or Tin Roof CEO Jacob Talley, and some don’t brew at all but love to sample local homebrews. One is a laboratory scientist who is accustomed to working in precise measurements every day. When he’s off the clock, though, brewing offers a chance to throw rough guesstimations of ingredients together.
What unites them all is an insatiable love of brewing. Each year, the club puts up a tent at Zapp’s International Beer Festival, and any interested member is welcome to bring a keg of homebrewed beer. Last year, they had around 30—more than they even had the equipment to serve.
It’s that love, that personal touch, that keeps the club growing and keeps its members hooked.
HOW TO JOIN
Visit redstickbrewmasters.com to contact the club about membership and read about upcoming meetups.
Click here to head back to our club headquarters.
This article was originally published in the March 2018 issue of 225 Magazine.