A warm Saturday afternon we visited their brand spanking new tap room: small, but plenty of seating and a small stage area for live music on Fridays. The brewery is right on the levee and if you venture across the street and up the wall it affords a lovely view of the N’awlins skyline. Two televisions showed sports games while music played in the background.
We learned what the name of the brewery derives from. An arpent was a unit of measure under French rule and the standard unit of measurement for a farm was forty arpents in length. Also, they dug a canal between farms at forty arpents from the Mississippi River and is known as the forty arpent canal that runs from St. Bernard Parish all the way to the French Market.
We sampled all six of the beers that they had on tap: Oktoberfest, Duck Weed Pale Ale, Orange Blossom Opossum Honey Ale, Red Beans Red Ale, and two New Basin Stouts: regular and with coffee. Samples were free! No flight option, yet. We had full pints of Duck Weed, Red Beans and Orange Blossom. Duck Weed and New Basin are the only beers they bottle: only available locally in 22 ounce bottles.
We requested and received a brewery tour. Yay! We had to walk outside to get to the brewery, though they are planning to connect the two buildings via an indoor walkway. They have a ten barrel system with three fermenters. Only a single bottle hand operated bottling system which takes twenty-five seconds for a 22 ounce bottle. Our tour guide, Charles, was very informative and answered all of our questions. He somehow knew we were homebrewers.
Overall, it was worth the short trip to Arabi and we plan to go back after their taproom formally opens!