$12 million Abita beer expansion could bring new products, more brewery tours

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Abita, Louisiana’s largest brewery, is going through a growth spurt. The bottling and canning line which could fill 150 bottles per minute, now it can turn out 400 a minute.

“It’s made to be driven,” said David Blossman, Abita’s president. “The capacity on the bottle line could accommodate a 500 barrel brewery.”

At the moment, Abita only has a 100 barrel brewing system. At the start of next year, Abita will add another 200 barrel system.

The extra capacity means Abita can deliver even more of the beers beloved by drinkers across the country. When, for example, Abita releases its strawberry Harvest in 2014, it will be available not only in bottles but also on draft. And in October for the first time the high-alcohol Andygator will be sold in six-packs of standard 12-ounce bottles.

In 2014, Abita will also update both its seasonal beers and the Harvest beers made with Louisiana crops.

“The challenge as brewers,” Blossman said, “is making the beers always taste the same. But the artist in you wants a blank canvas to paint on. We always want to do something new.”

Among the Harvest beers, the satsuma wheat will be replaced by a grapefruit IPA. Lemon Wheat, formerly a seasonal beer, will be made with local citrus and join the Harvest lineup. The seasonal Fall Fest in 2014 will get a new, hoppier recipe and be renamed Octoberfest. Next summer, Abita will debut a seasonal Seersucker Summer Pilsner.

For the first time, Abita released a full calendar of its upcoming Select beers. These often experimental beers are available only on draft and at limited locations. The first Select, to be released in November, is a 6% ABV Macchiato Espresso Milk Stout. Other upcoming Selects include a hopped up version of Andygator called Hopgator, a repeat of last year’s popular Triple Haze and a Naughty Quaker oatmeal stout.

More >> NOLA.com

 

Here’s a complete list of the changes:

 

Seasonal

Seersucker Summer Pilsner: arrives summer 2014

Octoberfest: replaces Fall Fest in 2014

 

Harvest beers for 2014

Winter — Grapefruit IPA: newcomer replaces Satsuma Wheat

Spring — Abita Strawberry: draft available along with bottles

Summer — Lemon Wheat: formerly a seasonal beer

Fall — Pecan Ale

 

Upcoming Abita Selects with release dates

Macchiato Espresso Milk Stout (November 2013)

Hopgator (January 2104): an extra-hoppy Andygator

Imperator (March 2014): a black IPA

Triple Haze (May 2014): a popular Select from 2013

Legendary Gator (August 2014): an 11% “tripel helles doppelbock”

Naughty Quaker (October 2014): oatmeal stout

Joel is a local beer enthusiast, home brewer, member of the American Homebrewers Association®, The Louisiana Craft Brewers Guild and is a Cicerone® Program Certified Beer Server

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