Dixie Brewing Company
|Headquarters||3501 Jourdan Road, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA|
|1,000,000 cases (pre-Katrina)|
|Owner||Gayle Benson (majority owner)|
Joe and Kendra Bruno (minority owners)
Faubourg Brewing Company is a brewery founded in New Orleans, Louisiana on October 31, 1907 and originally named Dixie Brewing Company. The brewing operation was located on Tulane Avenue until 2005 when it closed due to Hurricane Katrina. After that the beer was contract brewed out of state until November 2019 when a new brewery opened in New Orleans. In 2021 the brewery was renamed the Faubourg Brewing Company.
Faubourg Brewing Company was founded as Dixie Brewing by Valentine Merz, and began production in 1907. The original brick Dixie Brewery building at 2401 Tulane Avenue at the corner of Tulane Avenue and Tonti Street was designed by the German architect Louis Lehle and completed in 1907 with a wooden extension added in 1919. During Prohibition, the company became the "Dixie Beverage Company."
In 1983, Dixie was sold to a New Orleans based corporation, Coy International. In November 1985, it was purchased by Joseph and Kendra Elliott Bruno and in 1989 its owners filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. After emerging reorganized in 1992, the brewery produced a new line of speciality beers, Blackened Voodoo (a dark lager), Crimson Voodoo (a red ale) and in 1993 introduced Jazz Amber Light.
In 2005, the Dixie Brewery was severely damaged when Mid-City New Orleans flooded from the levee failure disaster during Hurricane Katrina. After the area was drained the brewery complex was looted with much of the equipment stolen. Despite early post-Katrina claims that the brewery would be restored and efforts being made to encourage local government to support the return of the brewery, it never reopened. With the closing of the original brewery, Dixie Beer’s production was contract brewed at Joseph Huber Brewing Company in Monroe, Wisconsin.
When the brewery didn't reopen on Tulane Avenue, the closed brewery building was incorporated into the footprint of the new Department of Veterans Affairs hospital built in New Orleans' Mid-City neighborhood. During restoration, the focus was on stabilizing the structure. Liz Failla, project coordinator for the VA said, "Right now, what we're doing is stabilizing the structure that we're going to maintain, which is that iconic tower with the Dixie Brewery on there." The design preserves and repairs the six- and four-story sections of the old brewery. Failla also said a modern brick and glass structure will rise from behind the historic facade.
Tom Benson, owner of the New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans, bought a majority stake in the Dixie brand in 2017 from Joe and Kendra Bruno, with plans of returning the brewing operation to New Orleans within two years. After Tom Benson's death on March 15, 2018, his wife Gayle Benson took control of the majority stake in the brewery.
On August 7, 2018, it was announced a new Dixie Brewery would be built in Eastern New Orleans featuring a replica of the brick tower at Dixie's original brewery and metal letters that were removed from the exterior of the original brewery. The brewery and taproom were built in an 80,000-square-foot portion of an existing warehouse located on a 14-acre property. A private event space above the taproom has a bar made from a vintage fermenting tank also removed from the original brewery. A kitchen off the taproom offers bar snacks and food, while the area just past the on-site beer garden hosts food trucks. The property also includes a beer museum, a grassy meadow with a pond, walking paths, bocce ball courts, fire pits and an area for yard games.
On November 25, 2019, the Dixie Brewing Company began brewing at their new brewery in New Orleans, marking the first time Dixie was brewed in New Orleans since 2005. On January 25, 2020, the brewery had its official groundbreaking and the facility opened to the public.
In November 2020 the company announced that it was changing its name from Dixie Brewing Company to Faubourg Brewing Company, with the beer to be branded as Faubourg beer. Faubourg – pronounced "FO-burg" – is a French word that New Orleaneans often use interchangeably with "neighborhood". According to The Times-Picayune, "While the origins of the term Dixie as a nickname for the South reach far back into history, its affiliation with the Confederacy has made it divisive in modern discourse." In February 2021 the signage on the brewery was changed, with final preparations in place for new packaging for the beer.
The brewery and/or its beer have been featured notably in films including Red[disambiguation needed], Southern Comfort, Steel Magnolias, Stone Cold, Tigerland and Tightrope. It is briefly mentioned in the novels A Confederacy of Dunces, American Psycho and True Blood.
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- McNulty, Ian (November 4, 2020). "Dixie Beer Has a New Name; Here's Why It Was Chosen, When to Expect It". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved February 28, 2021.
- McNulty, Ian (February 26, 2021). "Dixie Beer Name Removed from New Orleans Brewery; Brand Soon to become Faubourg". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved February 28, 2021.
- Clint Eastwood movie "Tightrope", 1984. from IMDb. Retrieved 2013-05-03.
- John Kennedy Toole (1987). A Confederacy of Dunces. p. 9. ISBN 0802130208.
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