I'd heard rumors of a new brewery coming around in New Orleans called the Courtyard Brewery. I'd seen some tweets from the brewer but wasn't sure what it was all about, except that it was going to be in New Orleans. I saw mention that Courtyard was finalizing a location a few weeks ago, and I sent a direct message asking about it. Not only did the question get answered (more info on that below) but I was warmly invited to come by and try their beers.
Scott Wood and his wife Lindsay live in Lakeview where they brew beer and are raising their son. Lindsey is from Louisiana and Scott is from San Diego, and when they got together they moved to New Orleans. When they first moved back they lived in an apartment complex in the French Quarter, which had a communal courtyard, which is where they started brewing more than three years ago. Thus, the name. They moved to Lakeview and have much more space and have a six-tap draft system for their test batches, which I was lucky enough to enjoy over the course of a couple nights.
I fell in love with their "Baby IPA," a session IPA. It's an excellent, balanced IPA at only 4.4%. They also had a Nelson Sauvin IPA which was also really good. A couple other beers on tap were a Tripel-Double, a double IPA hop build on a tripel malt base, an excellent hoppy brown ale, an imperial stout, and a "Dirty IPA," which was a bit of a brewing mistake that turned out quite nicely (it's a house favorite.)
Fun fact: Scott's great-uncle was a pre-Prohibition commercial brewer, so brewing is in his genetic code. He and Lindsay hope to recreate the family friendly beer drinking culture they found in San Diego. They also want to make beers that stand up to the strong flavors of New Orleans cuisine, and hope that once the brewhouse is in operation, they'll have 10-15 beers on tap, and see what the market responds to, and adjust from there.
So onto the plans! Courtyard will be leasing space at the Ironworks on Piety in the Bywater- which is right across the street from Pizza Delicious (which is kicking ass with their beer selection!) and will be using 1300 of 2500 square feet to house a 2 bbl brewhouse coming in from Cincinnati. It will have multiple fermentation tanks to create an overall 4 bbl capacity. So, they are excited having a location and a system lined up. I'm not sure when the system will be in place at the location or when the licensing will permit production, but I advise following them on Twitter: @CourtyardBrew to stay updated.
Whoo hoo, brewery in the Bywater!