Imagine yourself sitting back at a barbecue surrounded by the people you love (and maybe a few that get on your last nerve). Imagine yourself out by the pool on a hot Louisiana day. Imagine yourself shooting pool at your favorite local dive. Now, imagine your beverage of choice for all these events. What is it? If it’s not a craft beer from a local brewery, you’re missing out.

May 15-21 is American Craft Beer Week and local breweries in the Shreveport-Bossier City area are ready to celebrate. This is an exciting time for craft brewers to salute their expertise. From beginner craft beer drinkers to lifelong enthusiasts, American Craft Beer Week is the perfect time to take part in local activities centered on the specialty beverages created in our own community.

SB Magazine got to chat with the owners of the three breweries located in the SBC to find out more about their passion: brewing.

Red River Brewing
1200 Marshall St.
Shreveport, LA 71101
318.317.4110
www.redriverbeer.com

Hours:
4-10 p.m. Thursday
3-10 p.m. Friday
2-10 p.m. Saturday
2-8 p.m. Sunday

Owners: Beau Raines, Jared Beville and Robert McGuire

Events:
May 20 — Grain to Table with Drake Catering
May 19 — River Monster 4-pack Release in honor of American Craft Beer Week

Interview with Jared Beville

SB: Why start a brewery?

JB: We started brewing in 2009 at my house. At the time, there were only four or five breweries in Louisiana, and none north of I-10. We were officially licensed in October of 2013 but it was still weekend work for us. We brewed on the weekends for nearly two and a half years, and in April of 2016, we opened our current location.

SB: How is your beer connected to the local area?

JB: We make sure our beer works with the culture and climate of the area. We have a lower alcohol content because of the Louisiana heat. We also like to give a sense of place with our beer names. Heliopolis was the name of Captain Shreve’s boat, Yellow Jack is a nod to the outbreak of yellow fever back in the day and Twice Pardon is named after Lead Belly. The names give us a regional focus.

SB: What’s unique about your beer?

JB: We make beers that don’t fit standard beer styles. We color outside the lines and we also like creating beers that fit with the cuisine of our culture. Hayride, for example, was crafted to enjoy with crawfish and other Louisiana foods.

SB: Which beer was your first craft beer?

JB: Hayride is what we launched our brand with. It’s our largest seller and most popular beer. It’s very unique — approachable, yet complex.

SB: How Is working at a brewery different from how you thought it would be?

JB: We realized that crafting beer is more science than art. The art comes in when we’re creating the beer recipe, but science comes in when we’re replicating those recipes. It’s all about consistency and that’s the science factor. Also, there is so much more cleaning than actually making recipes. So. Much. Cleaning.

SB: What efforts do you make to be environmentally friendly?

JB: We give our spent grain to local farmers (Smith Family Farms) where they feed it to their animals. This allows them to cut their food costs significantly.

SB: Which beer would you suggest to a first time visitor?

JB: Beginners love Hayride and Heliopolis. Both are super approachable. I tend to suggest River Monster to regular craft beer drinkers because it’s complex. It offers a lot of flavor and great hop notes.

SB: How do you decide on new beers to brew?

JB: We look at our overall portfolio and see what we can do to expand it with new and exciting recipes. We also pay attention to emerging trends in the market and put our own twist on them.