On April 20, Flying Heart Brewing (700 Barksdale Blvd., Bossier City, 318-344-8775; www.flyingheartbrewing.com) became Louisiana's 15th and Bossier City's first brewery. A grand opening celebration is at 3 p.m. Friday, May 1. "We've got a lot of beer in the tanks ready to go," co-founder Ben Hart says.
Flying Heart Brewing will work with Glazer Distributing to get the beer into the Bossier area, and its tap room will be open at the brewery.
Initially, Flying Heart will release three beers: Firehouse Blonde, a 4.8 percent alcohol by volume Kolsch style that Hart calls the brewery's "gateway" beer; 6 of Hearts, an American-Belgian-style pale ale with extra hops and wheat; and Black Heart Smooth Black Ale, the beer that inspired the three partners to open the brewery.
Hart and partners Jason LeBleu and Ben Patillo began homebrewing together with a clone of Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout. For their business, they learned as much as they could from educational institutions such as the Siebel Institute of Technology, as well as fellow craft brewers. LeBleu and Hart have backgrounds in biology; LeBleu works with the yeast, Hart focuses on hops and malts and Patillo, a water engineer, oversees water quality and filtration.
The brewery is located in a converted firehouse, which the three bought from Bossier City last year. The Flying Heart logo and name come from Hart's family's ranch in Washington State.
The three are excited to build on northwest Louisiana's growing craft beer culture, which started with Shreveport's Great Raft and Red River Brewing. "It's not just about one brewery," Hart says. "It's about becoming a brewery destination."