Two well-known breweries, Left Hand Brewing Company of Colorado and Bell's Brewery of Michigan, enter the New Orleans market this spring, and Left Hand has partnered with NOLA Brewing to create a new beer. Left Hand Brewing is known for its Milk Stout and Nitro beer series, and Bell's brews the popular Two Hearted IPA and Hopslam Ale.
Left Hand Brewing held a pre-view event at The Avenue Pub March 7 and plans a variety of events beginning March 21 in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Lafayette to celebrate distribution in Louisiana. A Magazine Street pub crawl on March 23 stops at Dat Dog, The Rendezvous Tavern and The Bulldog.
Left Hand will introduce its regular beers, and there is a special collaboration beer created by Left Hand Brewing, NOLA Brewing and Hey! Cafe called Hey! Collab Coffee Saison.
The two breweries have been linked since the 2008 opening of NOLA Brewing, when it purchased a 20-barrel brewhouse system from Left Hand. The brewing team at NOLA has been brewing with it ever since.
Left Hand CEO and co-founder Eric Wallace came to New Orleans from the brewery's home in Longmont, Colorado in late January to work on the beer, which features Ethiopian Sidamo coffee beans roasted by Hey! Cafe.
Kalamazoo, Michigan's Bell's Brewery hired a regional sales representative to oversee its spring rollout in Louisiana. Vanessa Gomez, formerly director of craft beer at Champagne Beverages and events director at The Barley Oak, will cover Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas for Bell's. Gomez expects Bell's beers to be available locally in May.
Both Left Hand Brewing and Bell's Brewery will be distributed in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Lafayette and the Northshore by Crescent Crown Distributing.