Last week I had the opportunity to tour Baton Rouge’s newest craft beer bar, The Pelican House, with fellow beer blogger Eric Ducote of BR Beer Scene. The Pelican House is still under construction, but plans are to open in a few weeks time later this month. The Pelican House is located just off Corporate Blvd in the Citiplace shopping center right next to Barnes and Noble. It also can be seen from I-10 just before the College Drive exit.
The Pelican House is co-owned by Chris Juge and Garrett Morgan, both of whom used to bartend at The Cove, a craft beer bar right across the street. The building itself used to house a Macaroni Grill, but it has been completely renovated to reflect the vision of the owners. Upon entering, the first thing you notice is that this is not a dark and dingy bar. Instead, natural light from the many windows make it very inviting from the moment you step in. The bright white paint, copper ceiling tiles and dirt dobber blue painted ceilings give the place a Louisiana vibe. Ornate light fixtures and wrought iron are just a few other nice touches.
But the attention grabber is the bar directly to the right. While there’s a satellite bar with a half dozen taps to the left, the main bar steals the show. 136 taps are the reason patrons will flock to the Pelican House. And this isn’t a bar full of crappy beer. No Bud, Miller or Coors will be available on tap, so if you want one, you’ll have to buy it by the bottle and show everyone the swill you are drinking. There will be some of the BMC crafty offerings such as Blue Moon, Goose Island and Red Hook, but most of them will be craft brews. Among the beers I’m most excited about are some new to Baton Rouge draft offerings such as Old Rasputin imperial stout, Unibroue’s La Fin du Monde and Stone’s Sublimely Self Righteous black IPA.
Did I mention there will be food? There will be some beer dinners once they get up and running and the initial menu looks very promising. Some of the items like the fried green tomato crawfish remoulade, blackened alligator and pork belly and smoked turkey club are making me hungry now.
One feature that has me most excited is that the entire place, with the exception of the 3,000 foot patio, will be non-smoking. I can’t tell you how happy this make me. For once, I can go enjoy the aroma and flavor of great beer, without having to also “enjoy” the aroma of other patrons’ cigarette smoke. And I can come home not smelling like an ashtray. I have purposely avoided many other places, simply because I abhor the smell of cigarette smoke and can’t stand coming home smelling like it.
Another exciting feature is that there are plans to dedicate one tap exclusively to home brews. While the beer cannot be sold, The Pelican House hopes to give away five ounce samples of various homebrews. I fully intend to submit one of mine once they are up and running. Anybody want to try Sasquatch Nuts, my peanut butter chocolate stout?
All in all, this appears to be a very impressive place, and I’m excited to enjoy my first pint there later this month. Hopefully this will turn into the go-to beer bar in Baton Rouge, a place where beer release parties can happen and patrons can go to find that special limited release beer that’s in short supply.
Check out some of the pics below!