Abita Brewing Company's (166 Barbee Road, Covington, 985-893-3143; www.abita.com) recent expansion added more space to brew beer and a larger visitor center, which features a taproom and merchandise store. Tours are scheduled more frequently and there's a new self-guided option.
Abita Customer Engagement Specialist Ben West says the self-guided tours are as easy as "checking in at the bar, heading upstairs and pressing a button," which will activate a video about Abita's history and the brewing process. Regular tours have expanded and include information about the brewery's yeast and grain processes.
Abita's taproom now charges for beer. Fifteen new taps should be installed along with a dual growler fill system by mid-January, and more experimental beers will be offered. The new taps will double the taproom's pouring capacity, and brewer Craig Rowan crafts experimental beers on Abita's 30-liter pilot system several times a week.
The taproom is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and West says hours may be expanded. Firkins will be tapped on Fridays and Saturdays, and the taproom team is working to get food trucks to park at the brewery on Saturdays.
Tours cost $5 and include tokens for four 4-ounce beers. Guided tours start every half hour from 2 p.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 1 p.m.-3 p.m. Friday, 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. Free self-guided tours (beer samples not included) are available 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday and 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. Monday and Tuesday.