1709 Corbin Rd, Hammond, LA
Gnarly Barley Brewing, in Hammond, LA is one of our favorite breweries. We visited for the second time this weekend so we could write a review.
The taproom and brewery is located in a large, un-air conditioned warehouse. They keep many large doors open throughout and have two large box fans running. Despite this, we were “glistening” with perspiration while we were there. There were a few changes from our first visit a year and a half to two years ago – there are more tables, including picnic benches, and seating this time (last time there were only standing tables). There was more merchandise for sale, including multiple t-shirts featuring different beers, pint glasses, etc.
We drank a pint of Catahoula Common each, then Father Jack got a Radical Rye IPA while Large Marge partook of a Brightside IPA. While enjoying our second pint, we were able to chat with Zac, the founder and brewmaster of Gnarly Barley. He explained how they like to tweak their recipes, even those they are currently distributing. He also revealed his desire to brew sours, but that he has resisted due to his concerns with contamination. We also learned that Louisiana does have a Brewer’s Guild, of which he is a member, and that they recently hired a lawyer to represent them in Baton Rouge.
We were very excited to try the Brightside IPA on tap at the brewery. We bought a 4-pack the moment we saw it in New Orleans, but were a tad unimpressed with the taste. It has an almost floral aroma out of the can, but the taste was very much on the bitter side – a bit of false advertising, if you ask us. Brightside tasted much better at the brewery, though! The aroma matched the taste more and the bitterness was subdued. Large Marge liked it so much that she got a pint!
We did not take a brewery tour this time, but our first visit to Gnarly Barley a year and a half ago did feature a tour, given to us by the head brewer and his wife. All the equipment is in the warehouse and easily viewable. Zac was eager to share his knowledge and passion for the brewing process and welcomed any and all questions. We highly recommend you visit Gnarly Barley and chat up Zac!
If you do make a visit to Gnarly Barley, make the short trip to Low Road Brewing at 1110 C M Fagan Dr. which is about a five minute drive from Gnarly Barley. Low Road has ten of their own beers and twenty other beers from around Louisiana. The tap room was small but air conditioned with bar seating and small pub tables with seats. There was another room with all of his homebrew equipment and additional seating. We sampled the Belgian Wit, Pale Ale, IPA, Belgian Dubbel, the Belgian Dubbel/Wit, Peanut Butter Porter and Coconut Poter. We ended up getting pints of the Wit, IPA, Belgian Dubbel (that reminded Fr. Jack more of a Belgian Tripel than a Dubbel) and the Coconut Porter. We got to talk to the brewmaster/owner and he mentioned his plan of opening up one of his 30 taps once a month to a homebrewer.