Royal Brewery celebrates grand opening in New Orleans East


  • Nora McGunnigle

Royal Brewery celebrates its grand opening over a long Memorial Day weekend with music, food and, of course, beer. Right now, brewers Raymond Pumilia and Michael Ogden are working on Royal’s Culicidae Ale, an American pale ale fermented with British ale yeast. Culicidae batches "001" and "002" will be available for purchase by the pint. The beer’s name is the scientific term for mosquito.

Head Brewer Ogden says the next beers brewed will be a clean-drinking lager and a light cream ale, perfect for the summer season. Over more than 20 years, Ogden has brewed beer at Abita Brewing Company and Covington Brewhouse. He says he learned to brew on large systems like Royal Brewery’s 30-barrel brewhouse, and always brewed other people’s recipes.

Joining up with Pumilia gives him access to the creative process for the first time. He will develop ideas and test them on the small pilot system, Pumilla’s old homebrew setup. The two men, both New Orleans natives, have been friends since childhood and have similar beer palates and brewing philosophies.

This weekend, the brewery hosts more than a dozen local bands and DJs. The Unnaturals perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, followed by the Suplecs at 9 p.m. Saturday features DJ Swamp Boogie at 1 p.m., Sunrise Sunset at 3 p.m., Mahayla and Liquor & Lies at 6 p.m., Zombies Eating Sheep at 8 p.m. and MC Trachiotomy at 9 p.m. Sunday includes Fury & The Whole World Shakes at 4 p.m., Bayou at 5 p.m., Alpha Sardine at 6:30 p.m. and Rik Slave’s Country Persuasion at 7:30 p.m.

Co-founder Mandy Pumilia says the music lineup is a result of “calling in 10 years’ worth of favors.”

The brewery’s weekend hours are 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Mandy says that the brewery will take cues from customers for regular taproom hours, but expects that those hours will be roughly 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.

Royal Brewery is located near new development projects in the Lakefront, Marina and Lincoln Beach areas. The development of “Lakefront Landing” by Tipitina’s owners Roland and Mary von Kurnatowski is underway. The National World War II Museum’s PT-305 patrol torpedo boat was placed in the water in April and is open to the public, and restaurants and cafes are open in the area.

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