Bayou Teche stretches 125 miles through the heart of Acadiana. Once a thriving waterway that provided transportation and food for settlers from the prairie to the Gulf, the Teche now is a symbol of heritage that snakes its way from Krotz Springs to Morgan City.
In fact, teche is the word for “snake” from the Chitimacha tribe of Native Americans who originally settled much of the area.
The town of Arnaudville rests along Bayou Teche, and in this Cajun community you will find handcrafted beers inspired by eclectic Cajun cuisine. Karlos Knott, the founder of Bayou Teche Brewing, knows firsthand how well beer pairs with traditional Cajun meals.
Before opening his brewery, Knott traveled throughout Europe where he noticed the power of beer and food working together in harmony. Inspired by that notion, he thought that as good as the food is in Louisiana, there ought to be locally brewed beer to pair with it. A discarded railroad car became the perfect home for a farmhouse brewery on St. Patrick’s Day 2009 when Knott and his brothers decided to start brewing.
Bayou Teche beers are distributed throughout Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and even New York. The beers are branded by the sign for La. Hwy. 31, a state highway that follows Bayou Teche from Opelousas south to New Iberia.
The flagship beer for the Knott brothers is Bière Pâle, symbolized by the green LA31 label or tap handle. Classified by the brewery as a Louisiana Pale Ale, this is the beer they designed to pair with all local cuisine. Using Belgian malts and American hops and yeast, LA31 Bière Pâle is a unique brew that represents Acadiana. It can pair with boiled crawfish or cochon de lait, and it goes especially well with red beans and rice or jambalaya.
Roger Protz, a highly respected beer authority and author of The Complete Guide to World Beer and 300 Beers to Try Before You Die wrote that LA-31 is “A pale gold beer with a big fluffy collar of foam, it has a nutty and fruity nose with hints of caramel, butterscotch, and spicy hops. Intensely bitter hops burst on the tongue, along with tart orange/citrus fruit and sweet malt. The well-balanced finish has creamy malt, tangy fruit, a continuing hint of butterscotch and bitter hops resins. This is a quenching and complex beer.”
Other beers from the brewery include Passionné, a wheat beer with the bright citrus flavor of passion fruit; Bière Noire, with French roast coffee flavors; and Boucanée, which is highlighted by the essence of cherry smoke.
Passionné is the color of a South Louisiana sun, and pours with the bright citrus flavor of passion fruit.
Specially roasted German malts and select American hops provide LA-31 Bière Noire a small bite of noble bitterness and a dry, French roasted coffee flavor. It goes great with grilled steaks, hamburgers, sausage po-boys, or any spicy blackened Cajun dish.
LA-31 Boucanèe is an acknowledgment of the importance of the wild cherry tree to south Louisiana. Using cherry-wood smoked wheat the brew master crafts a surprisingly delicious and unique ale. A cold glass of Boucanèe enhances the taste of many local dishes, whether smoked or not. At the brewery, Boucanèe is paired with chicken and sausage gumbo, barbeque, sausage po-boys, and grilled hamburgers. We can no longer even look at a link of boudin without instinctively opening a cold bottle.
You can often find events or cookouts going on at the Bayou Teche brewery. The Knotts are a symbol of the good life people living in south Louisiana. There is always time for a festive occasion, and Knott may even pull out his accordion for a tour group.
Tours of the brewery are available Mondays through Thursdays from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m., Fridays from 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Tours begin on the hour, and beer sampling is available in the tasting room. Merchandise is also available online and on site.
Please Note: This is Part 15 of an on-going series on Louisiana Cuisine/Travel Ideas
Bayou Teche Brewing
Address: 1002 Noth Lane, Arnaudville, LA 70512
Phone: (337) 303-8000
A fine beer may be judged with only one sip, but it’s better to be thoroughly sure.