After Hurricane Isaac ripped the roof off NOLA Brewing (3001 Tchoupitoulas St., 504-896-9996; www.nolabrewing.com) a year ago, the repairs and expansion of the brewery led to the creation of a comfortable on-site tap room. Now, after a recent re-examination and reinterpretation of state laws relating to on-premise consumption at a commercial brewery, NOLA Brewing will be opening its tap room to the public to purchase pints and take home growlers and cans of beer.
The law permits up to 10 percent of a commercial brewery's production to be sold directly to the consumer on the premises, as well as the sale of small amounts for personal off-site consumption. (Parish Brewing Company in Broussard was the first to do so, and Tin Roof Brewing Company in Baton Rouge will be the next.) Now that NOLA Brewing has its licensing as well, its tasting room is open for business.
The brewery's 16-tap system serves its commercially available beers as well as "experimental" beers not found anywhere else, such as beer aged in rum barrels and test batches of future releases. Patrons can order a flight of beers or enjoy a full pint. Pints are $5-$6, with a 10-ounce option available for $3-$4. Open every day except Tuesday, the tap room will open at 2 p.m. during the week and 11 a.m. on weekends. The brewery plans to have a rotation of visiting food trucks and occasional live music.
Jen Harvey, a New Orleans native and the tap room manager, says the tap room will have a sports bar theme "where people come to watch the games with their favorite brew in hand. For those headed to the games," she says, "I will have our four- and six-pack cans available for purchase."
The brewery still will be offering its $5 tours on Fridays between 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
— NORA MCGUNNIGLE