Saturday

Sweet Dixie.....

Since 1907 and the Golden Age of America's Brewing Industry, The Dixie Brewery has been a New Orleans' landmark. Dixie Brewery is the last remaining survivor of New Orleans' once flourishing Brewing Industry. Through the huge antique iron gates of the Dixie Brewhouse, its nearly century old brewing traditions continue. Coppers and original cypresswood tanks continue to be used as part of Dixie's traditional brewing process. This meticulous, time-honored brewing process is the essence of Dixie Brewery's proud southern tradition. Dixie Lager, Dixie Jazz, and its new specialty beers, Blackened Voodoo and Crimson Voodoo, are each characteristic of the many charms of New Orleans and the southern way of life. Much more than just a good brewery, like great New Orleans' jazz, Mardi Gras, and Cajun cooking, Dixie Brewing Company is true Southern culture.
 

Just before the hurricane, they not only were making beer at the original location, but were talking of purchasing property behind the site for the actual brewing and were looking for investors to convert the original into a tourist attraction, a brew pub, and a nightclub. Things were rolling until Tulane Ave got 15 ft of water from Katrina. Largely debilitated by Katrina and subsequent looting - looters made off with the copper brew kettles themselves -century-old Dixie Brewery here in New Orleans is still on a long and winding road to recovery. It seems the old Huber Brewery, in Monroe, WI was helping to "rebeer New Orleans," as Dixie's label characterizes its mission. For a while, all of D ixie's brewing was being done under contract with Minhas Craft Brewing at the Huber Brewery in Monroe. While it's ingrained in local culture - and seems to be the favorite local "ancient bar sign" brand - Dixie no longer constitutes a sizable portion of the local beer market.

For anyone familiar with the Wisconsin beer market, Abita is a bit like New Glarus and Dixie is like Rhinelander or perhaps a Kingsbury that managed to survive. Abita clearly holds sway in southern Louisiana - and there's not much else here beer-wise, besides the Crescent City Brew Pub, as far as locally produced beverages go.

As far as the unique flavor, it comes from the 100 year old cyprus kegs that they still use in the process. Granted, if you get it outside of high volume sales areas, it may be skunked. But typically it DOES taste different from other beers because it's the wood you taste that gives it a kind of sweeter, aged, tobacco/juniper infusion. It's not for everyone, like chicory in New Orleans coffee. But for many, it becomes addictive, and makes all other beers BORING. It is the only American brewery that still uses wooden barrels (places like Bud add wood chips to their steel tanks). Dixie is the last surviving true American Brewery, and is part of the SOUL of New Orleans. NOTHING pairs better with boiled crawfish.  Dixie is currently being brewed in limited amounts by a micro brewer, Heiner Brau
on the North Shore of Lake Ponchartrain, in Covington and by Minhas Creek Brewery

The ravaged Dixie brewery itself is in a tough part of town, and it looks like it might take quite some time before it's back up to snuff. The gigantic old brick building looms over Tulane Avenue, plants growing out of the nooks and crannies of the facade beneath the tarnished, silver-topped tower, the curlicues of the wrought iron gate imposing to passersby.

The above is all information I complied from various sites (see below) when researching the current state of Dixie Beer. Long story short, I was excited when I found a local pub, Krewe de Gras, here in Tallahassee that carried Dixie, so when I went to NOLA for Mardi Gras,  I only picked up a case for dad, and a case for me/friends... I returned to Tallahassee, only to find that Krewe could no longer get Dixie from their distributor.. sigh.... Guess this means another trip back to NOLA..

Information from : beerblog, Minhas Brewery, pubcrawler.com, beerme.com, lettersinbottles, wikipedia,

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