Bayou Teche Brewing in Arnaudville celebrated their massive expansion on Monday. The ceremonial boudin-cutting took place in front of family, friends and parish and local officials. The new brewery ends over two and a half years of work.
"We outgrew the original facility within a few months because we couldn't keep up, so this has been in the works for about two years. We're excited to finally be able to keep up with demand," said Karlos Knott, one of the founders. Karlos and his brothers, Byron and Dorsey started the brewery in a small 800 square foot building. Karlos said he was amazed at how quickly the demand grew; a demand that has spread across the south and into New York.
The brew-masters produce eight to nine beers yearly and plan to introduce five seasonal "lagniappe" beers in 2013.
"We have the crawfish season that is designed to go with boiled crawfish. Behind it we have a beer made with Mello Joy coffee that should launch in March. We have a very bitter strong beer; one made with Benard's honey coming out in early summer. Our final beer of the year is a real, real dark top secret beer," Karlos explained.
The bigger brewery is 15 times the size of the original, and has made room for more jobs, a tasting area and room for future growth. Behind Bayou Teche is a small swamp area, co-designed by the LSU AGcenter and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. The swamp helps to naturally filter beer waste. St. Martin Parish President Guy Cormier said the new additions and demand for the Bayou Teche products is exciting for the city and parish.
"Economies in both areas are going to increase because of it. Tourism will help that as well; people coming and seeing what this facility is all about."
Karlos said he hopes to distribute to more states in the future, and is grateful his business plan has succeeded.
" We started this with a joke. We said we wanted to make beer and sell what we didn't drink, and you know, it's pretty cool for a country boy from Arnaudville."