Last week was a big one for Louisiana beer and brewers. On June 6, the Louisiana Legislature passed a resolution designating Sept. 23-29 "Louisiana Craft Brewer Week" in recognition of the many contributions by Louisiana craft brewers to the state. This resolution was sponsored by Rep. James K. Armes III and Sen. Elbert Guillory and supported by the Louisiana Craft Brewers Guild, a 501(c)6 nonprofit organization.
The resolution passed lauded Louisiana breweries on the grounds that they have been awarded more than 12 medals for their superior products; support responsible consumption of alcoholic beverages and promote programs, education, and legislation aimed at preventing over consumption; lead the way in preserving Louisiana's unique environment by brewing their products in an ecologically sound manner; make every effort to support Louisiana agriculture by using the finest Louisiana-grown products; and support the enjoyment and export of Louisiana culture by brewing beer specifically designed to complement and therefore highlight our extraordinary Louisiana cuisine.
This is a huge step forward in providing Louisiana brewers and breweries the support they need, and to add even more breweries to that number.
The third piece of beer progress is the creation of a citizen beer advocacy non-profit called the Louisiana Craft Beer Collective. ...
Formed in January 2013, the collective is an open society of passionate individuals who seek to increase the awareness of craft beer in the community by promoting craft beer education, celebrating beer culture, and supporting local businesses that choose to participate in the growing beer scene. (Disclosure: I am the president of this organization.)
Here is the collective’s “beer manifesto":
The Louisiana Craft Beer Collective is not (just) a drinking club. It is much more than that. We are a gathering of diverse individuals with a driving passion to see craft beer succeed in this community. We are not here to pass judgement on those who drink something else. We are here to share our knowledge and enthusiasm for quality beer made with quality ingredients, and to spread the gospel of craft to all who will listen.We are definitely not here to form an exclusive society of elitist drinkers. We aim to welcome the open-minded men and women of this unique region into our continuous celebration of craft beer culture.
There are many ways the Collective can achieve these goals. We will promote the responsible consumption of craft beer, through educational initiatives and social events. We will support those who deliver us the beer, from the distributors and retailers to the bars and restaurants that sell their products. We will assist in any way possible the growth of the beer community, especially the local businesses, breweries and otherwise, that make up the core of this burgeoning scene. Finally, we will gladly share our beer with anyone curious enough to ask.
If you are curious about the collective, we invite you to our next meetup at Evangeline (329 Decatur St., 504-908-8008; http:///) on Tues., June 18, from 6:30 p.m.- 8 p.m. Please visit the Facebook event page to RSVP so organizers and the venue can estimate the size of the crowd.