Covington Brewhouse (226 E. Lockwood St., Covington, 985-893-2884; www.covingtonbrewhouse.com), originally founded in 2005 as Heiner Brau, experienced its first seismic shift in management and mission last year when founding brewmaster Henryk Orlik left and Brian "Bruiser" Broussard (pictured) took over as head brewer. The second shift occurred last month when an investment group, including Broussard and new Covington Brewhouse President David Arbo, purchased the brewery.
"I'm working 70 hours a week," Arbo says with a grin, "and I'm loving every minute of it." Arbo is new to the beer world, having spent his first career as a science teacher and administrator. Although he admits he misses his students, Arbo has been relishing his role heading up one of Louisiana's seven commercial breweries.
Broussard, a former brewer at Abita, says he is thrilled to exercise more creative control and influence the direction of the brewery. "My main concentration has been on [ensuring a] quality product and putting the freshest beer on the shelves," he says. "I've also been working on new products like the Anonymous IPA to give our brand a new, fresh, exciting boost."
Broussard's Anonymous IPA, brewed with five different hops, has popped up over the past several months at events including the WYES Private Beer Sampling in June. The IPA created a buzz at the event among local beer enthusiasts. In keeping with its mysterious moniker, the complex hop profile of Anonymous is being kept secret. "So far nobody has figured them out," Broussard says.
Covington has partnered with the Columbia Street Tap Room & Grill to offer experimental beers to the community. The first beer was Farmhouse Wit, a wheat style with yeast spiciness and hop earthiness. The second, Snickerdoodle Bock, is a bock spiced with ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon.
Anonymous IPA will be released at The Avenue Pub (1732 St. Charles Ave., 504-586-9243; www.theavenuepub.com) at 6 p.m. Nov. 9. As for future plans, Broussard says, "if we told you what's brewing, we'd have to kill you." — NORA MCGUNNIGLE