COURTESY CAJUN BREWERY
Cajun Brewing's team includes (left to right) James Lutgring, Gene Nelson, Zeke Bossley, Brandon Lavergne, Chad Lege and Aaron Breaux.
is the state’s 17th brewery and the first based in Lafayette. Fellow Acadiana-area breweries include Parish Brewing Company in Broussard and Bayou Teche Brewing in Arnaudville.
According to general manager Chad Lege, the idea for Cajun Brewery developed when owner/founder Zeke Bossley fell in love with brewing and became a member of Lafayette’s Dead Yeast Society
homebrew club. Bossley met James Lutgring and Gene Nelson in the club — all three served in leadership positions. The trio began building Lafayette’s first brewery in 2010 when Bossley bought the building that later became the brewery's home.
Bossley, and later Lege, worked intermittently on construction, and in 2014, Bossley hired contractors to expedite the work.
Cajun Brewing became fully licensed last month and brewed the first commercial batch of Cajun Wit on its one-barrel pilot system last week. The brewery’s 30-barrel brewhouse and 60-barrel fermenters will be installed in November, but the pilot system-brewed Cajun Wit will be available at Lafayette locations in a few weeks.
“Our first focus is to capture the Lafayette market,” Lege says. “That’s our home city.”
As soon as normal brewing operations are in place, the team will focus on opening a tasting and tap room, which they expect to open by early 2016. Lege says that the tasting room will serve as a guide to what beers are popular.
“Our first few beers are pretty approachable,” Lege says, noting a brown ale and red ale will follow the release of Cajun Wit. “We will eventually be covering the whole spectrum of styles.”