Bayou Teche Brewing has been brewing their unique beers in south Louisiana for the past seven years or so. During that time, a lot has changed about the beer culture around these parts. The team at Bayou Teche has recognized that, and is implementing quite a few changes over the last several months to bring some new beers to market, as well as to update some of their current flagship offerings.
As I mentioned last month, a brand new IPA (Swamp Thing) will make its debut in the next several weeks. I also teased that Bayou Teche would do some rebranding to some of their flagships. Well, here are some of the details.
According to Bayou Teche co-owner, Karlos Knott, “we have spent considerable effort the last few months here at our farmhouse brewery, adding new equipment, employees, and brewing a bunch of test batches. We have installed new water filtration equipment, increased the size and scope of our lab, and hired a new brewer.” That new brewer, CJ McFaul has a lot of experience in the industry, and recently brewed a big barleywine that will age for nearly a year in rye whiskey barrels, and be released as the 2017 vintage of Biere Noel. He also brewed a test batch of Biere Joi, the Mello Joy coffee infused dubbel, which will be released in February.
Acadie is the brewery’s Biere de Garde, a French farmhouse ale, and very few American breweries offer one. Acadie has been reworked a bit, and according to Karlos, “is still a copper colored ale with a light to medium body with an earthy, spicy, tangerine-like aroma, a soft, sweet malt flavor and a nice hop bitterness. Crafted from European malts, Louisiana raw sugar, Saphir hops from Germany and our fancy as hell house Biere de Garde yeast. Acadie offers a complex flavor that tapers off to a peppery, dry finish.” He also says they’re really enjoying it at the brewery, as samples from the fermenters have been disappearing at an alarming rate. Acadie also pairs really well with pretty much any south Louisiana cuisine. Check out the new packaging for Acadie below.
Bayou Teche’s first beer was the LA-31 Biere Pale, which has been its flagship beer since 2009. Although it’s labeled as a pale ale, most people don’t realize that it’s a Belgian style pale ale, which is very different from American style pale ales. That said, the brewery has reworked this beer the most from its original version. They started with changes to the water chemistry, and tweaked the grain bill a bit. They cut out some of the caramel Vienna malt and added some Biscuit malt. The hops have been updated to include a blend of Mosaic, Cascade and Chinook, with the majority of the hops added in the whirlpool (after the boil) and during dry hopping. Karlos says that this pale ale will be an “unfiltered, bronze-colored pour, with a biscuit malt center, featuring piney, citrusy and spicy hop flavors and gentle bitterness.” He believes the changes to Biere Pale “will be the most perceptible to our fans.” The new packaging on this beer is pretty cool as well.
Finally, the Biere Noire will feature the most changes. Karlos said, “When we first started brewing that one as homebrewers, it was pretty much a black French Saison. Once we opened the brewery and brought bottles to our distributors, they freaked. But fast forward six years, and we figure the Louisianan craft market is ready for our original intent for this beer.” The updated version of Biere Noire will feature “specially roasted malt with chocolate notes, European barley and wheat, and select noble hops. The malts lend a nice and dry French roasted coffee flavor to this now unfiltered ale. It is now fermented with our house saison yeast, albeit a pretty cool temperature to keep the esters down just a bit. It is still an easy drinking, low ABV black ale, just now a tad more complex and in my opinion, food friendly beer. I think everyone’s going to really dig this one.” Again, the new packaging on Biere Noire is pretty sweet.
All of the new beers should head to distributors beginning the third week of January. The brewery will be working with retailers to host events in each market as the new beers hit shelves and taps around the state. And of course, you can go straight to the source at the brewery taproom in Arnaudville to try them around the same time.