Eric and Leah Jensen outside their future brewery on the corner of Royal and Lesseps.
Eric and Leah Jensen created the name Parleaux Beer Lab
(4224 Royal St.) because it reflects the forthcoming brewery's surrounding neighborhood as well as Eric’s previous work as an educator. “Parleaux” joins the French words for “by" and "water,” and Eric says “lab” evokes the kind of brewing he plans to do when the brewery opens late this year.
“Labs are used to describe experimental processes,” Eric says, “That’s how I approach brewing.”
The 17 fruit trees on the property — including satsuma, fig and kumquat — will inspire the types of beers brewed, and the expansive back yard also will serve as Parleaux’s beer garden.
Eric and his friends home-brewed under the name Neutral Ground Brewing before he and Leah decided to purchase the shotgun house on the corner of Royal and Lesseps streets to construct their brewery. After the school year ended in May, he turned full-time attention to the project.
The first phase of construction is building the brewing space in the area behind the house, with the entrance on the Lesseps Street side of the building. A 10-barrel brewhouse system and tanks will take up much of the indoor space, but there will be room for a service bar and tables. Future phases will develop the upstairs and front of the house.
The Jensens think the outdoor area will shine, with a green, shaded space by bordering railroad tracks serving as Parleaux’s beer garden. They plan to start by offering four to six beers and plan to add more later.
Parleaux Beer Lab’s beer will be available onsite only, and it will not offer beer from other breweries.
“We want to be a part of the neighborhood and serve the community,” Eric says. “For us, that’s what beer is all about.”