Craft Beer Tour 2017: Louisiana

These photos were taken Saturday, October 21 at the Great Raft Brewing 4th Anniversary, in Shreveport, Louisiana.

As I spent the previous night in Vicksburg, which is on the east side of the Mississippi, and Louisiana is only a couple hours wide from the Mississippi border to Texas, I was going to have to plan this well if I wanted to visit any breweries in Louisiana. Fortunately, a name that kept coming up in conversation east of the Mississippi was Great Raft Brewing. Great Raft is located in Shreveport which is almost on the Louisiana/Texas border. Since it was a 2 1/2 hour drive from Vicksburg to Shreveport, and Great Raft opens at noon on Saturdays, I figured I would be able to arrive at Great Raft close to opening time, making it easy to try a few beers and snap some photos prior to moving on to Texas. I have to admit, I was pretty surprised when I arrived shortly after they opened only to discover their parking lot was full and I was going to have to park at a second lot down the street.

When I got inside I discovered why the parking lot was full; Great Raft Brewing was celebrating their fourth anniversary. While this could have been a good thing under normal circumstances, it was going to mess with my pattern of photograph the brewhouse and have a flight. This was a ticketed event, and they had like 25 specialty beers available; I had a date three hours away in Texas, so I did not have time to drink 10 beers. First world problems. When I explained my situation, they sold me an entry with three beer tickets. I was going to have my work cut out for me trying to pick three out of all they had available.

As I wandered around taking long distance photos of the brewhouse I came across a table that had a couple casks sitting on it. I asked the beertender what beers Great Raft was known for and was told that they are usually “all about the lagers, but today it is the barrel-aged beers.”

One cask was labeled as being Foeder Solera Pull #2 On Chokeberries; the description she gave me of what a chokeberry tasted like was enough to convince me this would be my first pour. After trying it I knew I was going to enjoy myself and I need to find a source of chokeberries; they are delicious when used in sours.

I decided to try the 2017 Ramble Anniversary IPA since they had bottles available to go and I was considering purchasing a few; it was a good decision. Mosaic dry hopped IPA with Oak and Vanilla; it was very tasty.

As good as the other two were, the Barrel Aged Rye Old Mad Joy 2017 Pappy Van Winkle w/ Vietnamese Cinnamon and local coffee was mind blowing; it almost made me cancel my Texas appointment.

It was a fun event, and I will definitely stop by again on a normal day to see what that’s like and try the everyday brews.

Great Raft Brewing is located at 1251 Dalzell Street in Shreveport. They are open Wednesday through Saturday, have a dog friendly area and sell growlers, crowlers, bottles and cans to go.

Congratulations to Great Raft Brewing on their four years, and thanks for the special ticket package. Cheers!

Back to Photos from Great Raft Brewing 4th Anniversary

Back to Photos from Great Raft Brewing 4th Anniversary

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